Who: Wrote Now You See Me (2013) and the upcoming Year 12; currently writing for Wayward Pines; served as a consulting producer on Jessica Jones.
How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?
I did an independent study doing my senior year at Dickinson college with the theater department. I gained a lot of confidence there and wrote four scripts after college. I never showed them to anyone. I was just developing the craft when I met filmmaker Boaz Yakin at my gym. We had played basketball a year before I knew he was in the industry. I made a bet if I made a three point basket, he would read my script. He said he would read it either way, and never took the shot. From there, he started a company with Eli Roth and hired me to write a script. Years later, I asked Boaz to look at a script I was working on. That script was Now You See Me.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Know your strengths. I remember considering a job for which I didn’t quite have a handle on the script. I realized that if I did a poor job on the script, it would hurt my career and undo any forward momentum I had. Now I try to be a lot more picky about what I work on. It’s best to say no to things and wait for the right opportunity to come along.
What was a major turning point in your career?
Switching agents was a major turning point. I was with an agency (here’s a hint: It had three letters) who thought a spec I had written was a “solid sample” but didn’t think he would sell it. He dropped me soon after. I went to another agency and they sold that same script within a few months. That changed everything.
What is your favorite film or television show?
The Wizard of Oz. The Godfather.
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