CSUN Physics Alum and Filmmaker Ron Blum Encourages Students to Venture Beyond Their Chosen Field of Study

  • Dr. Ronald Blum poses for a photo.

    Dr. Ronald Blum M.S. ’90 (Physics) has built a dynamic career. He wrote and produced the feature film City of Gold. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Blum)

  • Blum with actor Christopher Atkins. They worked together on the film City of Gold. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Blum)

  • Blum with actor Vernon Wells. They worked together on the film City of Gold. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Blum)

A corporate executive, a biophysicist, and a filmmaker walk into a room. Only one man enters, and it’s Dr. Ronald Blum.

California State University, Northridge alumnus Ronald Blum M.S. ’90 (Physics) has established a career in numerous fields, including working as CEO of Blum & Associates Consulting (where he consults for a variety of healthcare-related organizations) and creating Castle Shore Films production company.

Blum has been nimble throughout his professional career, quick to adjust to an ever-evolving job market. Not only has he chosen varied fields, he has experienced success and satisfaction within each.

“It’s very difficult now to go to college, graduate, start to work for a company and be there for 35 years,” said Blum. “That’s almost nonexistent”.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from UCLA, Blum started a career path into dentistry. However, that career choice wasn’t set in stone.

“I finished two years of dental school at UCLA, did very well, but didn’t love it enough to stick with it for the rest of my life,” Blum said. “When I left, I tried to figure out what I really enjoyed doing, potentially for a life-long career. I always loved physics, so I came to Cal State Northridge.”

That decision to enroll in CSUN master’s program for physics would prove to be a stepping stone to making long-lasting connections that Blum still has today.

“The faculty and staff were outstanding and gave me an opportunity to explore options I had never considered before” Blum said. “I began doing research in Dr. Barney Bales’ laboratory, studying electron spin resonance in micelles, tiny structures that simulate precursors to cell membranes. This research was important as it helped tie together my interest in physics with my background in biology,” Blum said. “One of the wonderful things about CSUN was that many of the students were, like me, returning to school while they were working or seeking advanced degrees that they could use toward new careers. The comradery gave me insights into various career paths that were non-traditional.”

“I get invited back from time to time to give guest lectures on exploring alternatives in the job market within the field of sciences,” said Blum.

Blum has worked what he considers unorthodox jobs within his fields of study, including serving as a marketing and business development executive for some of the top commercial organizations in healthcare, consulting for imaging, software, and clinical trials companies through his consulting firm, and working with R&D teams to develop and commercialize new assays in laboratory medicine.

He also completed his doctorate in biophysics from University of California, Berkeley in 1996.

Along with working full-time in the medical field, Blum has been doing screenwritingand producing within the entertainment industry for the past 25 years.

“I’ve written everything from animation to romantic comedies to adventure thrillers,” said Blum.

Adding to the repertoire, Blum’s latest career venture has been to write and produce City of Gold, an adventure-action film that was released in December 2018. It has been almost two decades in the making.

“I wrote the original script about 20 years ago and held on to it all these years for the opportunity to produce it myself,” said Blum.

Working alongside friends and veteran actors like Vernon Wells and Christopher Atkins, Blum created Castle Shore Films production company about four years ago. A few months later the crew was in Maui, Hawaii bringing that script to life.

“For me, it was very exciting to not only produce this, but to have such a talented group of people who really clicked,” said Blum. “One of my goals is to continue to work with the wonderful cast and crew.”

Blum has plans for several other feature films, including a City of Gold sequel and prequel, and has created a new medical TV show.

“I’m currently pitching a very provocative scripted medical drama TV series. It’s controversial, fast-moving and futuristic. I’ve co-created the series with some amazing writers and producers,” said Blum. “I definitely welcome the opportunity to have the chance to create more films and TV shows,” Blum said.

Throughout his work in the varying industries, one thing remains the same: the capacity for reinvention.

Blum aims to keep up with the changing nature of both the healthcare and the entertainment industries and shares the insight as to how keeping an open mind and developing a solid skill set can help make that happen.

“You have to keep reinventing yourself — it’s now an essential part of survival in the marketplace. The more skills you have the more flexible you can be, the more adaptable you will become,” Blum said.

Watch and Learn More about The City of Gold here:  http://cityofgoldthemovie.com