Education: B.A. Film & Media Studies // African-American Studies
Place of Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Companies Read For: Relativity Media, Page Awards
Job Prior To Entering Film: N/A
Favorite Place To Read: My home office
Favorite Movies: JACKIE BROWN, STAR WARS, THE DARK KNIGHT
Favorite Screenwriters: Stephen Chbosky, Diablo Cody, Quentin Tarantino
Favorite Director: David Leitch
Favorite Novels: Interview With The Vampire, Annihilation
Favorite Writers: Anne Rice, Jeff VanderMeer, George R.R. Martin
WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS YOU LOOK FOR WHEN YOU READ A SCRIPT?
First and foremost, I tend to look for a command of Story Structure. Without that in place, it is very hard for the elements of a screenplay to coalesce and come together. Beyond that, a discernible and unique voice is paramount to giving any script a sense of style and tone.
WHAT MAKES BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS?
Flaws, flaws, and more flaws. Characters, like people, are far from perfect. And whether they are aware of them or not doesn't matter so long as the reader is able to see them. Flaws, and unique character traits to speak more broadly, affect so much of how a character thinks (and thus acts) that it is very important for readers and audiences to get a sense of who the person is for their actions and decisions to make sense and resonate.
WHAT’S THE MOST COMMON MISTAKE YOU SEE?
Writers who copy current trends hoping this is what will make their work sell. Hollywood is very reactive. You don't have to go totally against the grain to stand out, but you should be writing stories you want to see and stories you want to tell, and have heard by others, rather than imitating what movie just made Number One at last weekend's box office.
WHAT KIND OF SCRIPTS ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO CONSIDER?
I am more likely to consider scripts that have a very strong voice, and a strong sense of themselves (which reflect the very diverse people who write them and their experiences). I don't really gravitate to any particular genre as I can be moved by a drama just as much as I am a comedy. Above all, I gravitate towards authentic scripts, and whatever those are feel very apparent. At least to me.
WHAT’S THE BEST SCRIPT YOU’VE EVER READ?
It is very hard to choose a single script, but one from very early in my career that had a big impact on me was DEMOLITION by Bryan Sipe. It eventually became a made movie several years after I read it, but I remember being struck by what a character study it was. It focuses on loss, and how a man deals with it after his wife dies. His grief needs an outlet, and he finds it by disassembling everything in his life (up to and including electrical appliances). I remember being touched how something so personal and intangible like grief could be shown in such a physical way as literally, and obsessively, breaking down mechanical things to their very core components.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIEGOING EXPERIENCE?
My favorite moviegoing experience is hard to pin down, but I would have to say it comes down to a trailer. Seeing the one for STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE (Special Edition) in 1996 when I was just a kid hit me hard. There was something about hearing Darth Vader's voice booming over theater-grade speakers that grabbed me and told me this is what I was meant to do, and I've wanted to work in the film industry ever since.