Who: Wrote screenplays Jasper Milliken (2010) and Down on the Farm (2014); is also the executive producer and writer of spec pilot The Adventures of Catty Wompus (2015)
How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?
After a friend suggested I take a Screenwriting 101 course through UCLA’s Writer’s Extension in 2005. I was hooked. They had me with “This is a slug line.”
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
1. A competition win is not a ticket into the writer’s hall of fame so keep writing, writing, writing. And when you’re done writing, you fucking write some more!
2. You’ve got to network while building a solid body of work.
3. Learning to respectfully critique the work of others and to accept notes and critiques from others without chugging a bottle of Tito’s and collapsing into a writhing, crying, hormonal wreck.
4. Submitting work to top-tier competitions is worth the time and effort. Placings help build your resume so use them shamelessly.
What are you working on right now?
Trying to get our pilot to series. I’m also working with my Crooked Sidewalk partners to get our family comedy, Down on the Farm, off the ground. We also have a drama script called Journey that’s in the pipeline that we hope to film independently sometime in 2016. Lastly, I have a script rewrite in the works that’s taken on several iterations over the years that involves a female evangelist, a religious empire and a secret life of lurid sex.
Who is your favorite screenwriter?
This is like asking me to eat only one Twinkie, for cryin’ out loud. Billy Wilder, Wes Anderson, Neil Simon, Buck Henry, Larry Gelbart, Mel Brooks, Cameron Crowe.
1. Annie Silverstein 2. Jared Frieder 3. Mike Covino and Sam Kretchmar 4.Troy Anthony Miller 5. Kieran Fitzgerald 6. Ya’ke Smith 7. Brian Klugman 8. Nina Ljeti 9. Kevin Hamedani 10. Eric Haywood 11. Andrew Lanham 12. Julie Howe 13. Tess Morris 14. Matt Cook 15. Monica Zanetti 16. VJ Boyd 17. Edward Ricourt 18. David Broyles 19. Sasha Gordon 20. Eric Hueber 21. Faraday Okoro 22. Arturo Ruiz Serrano 23. Maya Perez 24. Max Taxe 25. Negin Farsad