Education: USC - BFA Writing for Screen & Television
Place of Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Companies Read For: CAA, ICM, Mandalay Pictures, Overture Films, Benderspink, Twisted Pictures, Davis Entertainment, Craftsman Films, Dark Trick
Job Prior To Entering Film: Film Student
Favorite Place To Read: Home/office or down by the pool
Favorite Movies: American Beauty, Being Jon Malkovitch, Amelie, Jurassic Park, You and Me and Everyone We Know, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, many more
Favorite Screenwriters: Charlie Kaufman, David Mamet, Aaron Sorkin, David Koepp, Allan Ball, Allan Loeb
Favorite Director: Sam Mendes, PT Anderson, Quentin Tarantino
Favorite Books: The Road, The Ask, Jurassic Park, Then We Came to the End, Lord of the Flies, Eeeee Eee Eeee, The Wasp Factory, Brave New World
Favorite Authors: Cormac McCarthy, Michael Crichton, John Updike, Haruki Murakami, Sam Lipsyte, Josh Ferris, Douglas Adams, Tao Lin, Dave Berry
Favorite TV Shows: Six Feet Under, The Wire, Mad Men, Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, The West Wings, Family Guy, Freaks and Geeks
WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS YOU LOOK FOR WHEN YOU READ A SCRIPT?
Character arcs, plots that make sense, great dialogue, attention to detail… the usual suspects. Also, less tangibly, a great voice – a sense of confidence in the story that’s being told without bordering on arrogance. In other words, a script that knows where it’s going and knows how to get there, but doesn’t presume the reader will be blown away by the result.
WHAT MAKES BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS?
Flawed ones. Ones that have realistic needs and goals. Characters that don’t speak their hearts without provocation – characters that behave contradictorily, self-destructively, characters that had a life before the story began, and had it interrupted by saving the world, instead of just sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, and waiting to put on a cape and a perfect smile.
WHAT’S THE MOST COMMON MISTAKE YOU SEE?
Presuming that the script is “good enough” and that it will sell on the concept alone. Time and again, hastily-written scripts show up, and there are glimmers of interesting ideas, but the dialogue and characters are just an afterthought. It doesn’t count to go halfway – it’s really easy for an agent or executive to type “PASS” and move on to the next one. Chances are, if the concept’s really that great, there will be five other scripts that use it, too.
WHAT KIND OF SCRIPTS ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO CONSIDER?
Good ones. Ones that are told from the heart. It could be a Disney movie about clams trapped in the sewer or it could be Die Hard 5 – if it is told with passion, with great characters, with an amazing voice and a story that keeps the pages turning, then it could not matter less what genre it is, who the intended audience is, how commercial it is, or anything else. It’s all about the art and the quality of craftsmanship.
WHAT’S THE BEST SCRIPT YOU’VE EVER READ?
The Things We Lost in the Fire, by Allan Loeb. Like the movie, hate the movie, the script was incredible.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE GOING EXPERIENCE?
Going to the theater and just being totally blown away. Getting so wrapped up in the story and the characters and the plain old fun of it all that when the credits roll, it actually hurts that the movie’s over. Same goes for great scripts. Some of them are like dessert