- Associated Press - Monday, November 19, 2018

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Writing isn’t just for reading. It can also be expressed through other methods, like film.

That’s what University of Oklahoma professor Andrew Horton recently conveyed to about a dozen members of the Norman Galaxy of Writers at the Norman Central Branch Library.

During his presentation, Horton, an award-winning screenwriter who wrote the screenplay for “The Dark Side of the Sun,” which was also actor and Oklahoma native Brad Pitt’s first leading role, described how he fell in love with Greece and how its culture has helped influence his love for telling stories through film.

Horton said he wanted others to experience Greece and what it had to offer, as well. For the last 30 years he has led more than 20 study abroad trips to Greece with more than 400 students.

“I wanted them be touched by Greece the same way it touched me,” he told the Norman Transcript .

Horton said as soon as each trip stops in Athens, the first place they go is the Greek island of Kea.

“It’s our training camp,” he said. “It’s very important that each person that goes on the trip experiences Greek culture on an island.”

Two years ago, Horton, along with Brady Foster, an OU graduate and former student of Horton‘s, finished a documentary on Swedish clowns with Clowns Without Borders, an international organization that is active in 15 countries.

Horton and Foster’s film “Laughter Without Borders” focuses on the importance of comedy in life.

“Life is hard folks,” Horton said to the group. “There have been many studies done that support the notion that those who laugh live longer.”

Recent U.S. House candidate Mary Brannon is a member of the writing club and was among those who attended Horton’s presentation. She said the club normally meets on the first Saturday of each month, except in May, July and September when it meets on the second Saturday. The club frequently invites outside speakers.

“We’re all such a diverse and invigorating group of writers,” she said. “We look to build on that every time we invite someone to come speak to us. Horton was amazing.”

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Information from: The Norman Transcript, http://www.normantranscript.com

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