For someone who is fairly new to the film industry, Matthew Michael Carnahan has certainly found his footing rather quickly. The second script he ever wrote turned into The Kingdom, starring Jennifer Garner and Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx. He now has three more movies in the pipeline, the next being the Robert Redford-directed Lions for Lambs. The film, starring Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise, features the intertwining stories of a college professor, a journalist and a presidential hopeful and their connections to two American soldiers facing deadly circumstances in Iraq.

Only having completed a handful of scripts, Carnahan has already begun adapting his writing process to more efficiently navigate the labyrinth of Hollywood. Commenting on his process and lack of an outline, Carnahan told the Writers Guild of America, West Website, “It’s changed–evolved or devolved, however you look at it. When I wrote Soldier Field [Carnahan’s first script] and The Kingdom, I just dove right in. I think I was so enamored with the idea that I was writing a script, that’s all I wanted to do. That’s why both first drafts were in the 160-page range.”

As he continued to land jobs, Carnahan realized the benefits of using an outline. “An outline,” he continues, “serves two masters: It organizes your story and gives people a sense of what you’re going to give them, so if there are any problems they can be dealt with at the embryonic stage rather than turning in a 150-page script that doesn’t work for the people who are paying you to write it.” It’s hard to argue with this logic coming from a man who, with only a few scripts under his belt, has already been noticed by the great film legends of our time.