Edward Ricourt’s films include: Now You See Me, produced by Summit Entertainment. Paramount Pictures brought his 2009 Black List script, Year 12, produced by Joe Roth. Ricourt also wrote the graphic novel Anomaly for Relativity Entertainment. In TV, worked as a Consulting Producer for the Marvel/Netflix TV series, A.K.A. Jessica Jones and is currently writing on the Fox TV series, Wayward Pines. Ricourt’s plays have been produced at New York Stage and Film, and the Manhattan Theater Source. Edward received his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
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 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, so 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 where 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’s the hardest scene or project you’ve ever had to write? How did you navigate the challenge? There was a book adaptation I was working on where the vision I had for the book was different from what the producers had in mind. We didn’t have a unified clear vision of the movie. They thought their way was best, so the only thing I could think of to prove my point was to write it their way so they could see what the problems were. It was a lot of extra work, but it was the only way to keep everything moving forward.
Do you have a favorite or memorable experience at Austin Film Festival? I was a finalist in 2009. I didn’t win. But few years later, a movie I wrote comes out and I came back at the festival to do panels. I remember where I was sitting just five years earlier — taking all the insights from successful writers, and now I was one of them. Every year at AFF is filled with memorable experiences. I can’t wait to go back this year!