screenwriter to watch
Paul is the co-creator and creator of the hit fictional podcasts “The Black Tapes” and “The Big Loop,” respectively. The Black Tapes is in development with NBC with Paul as executive producer. Paul has another cable network development deal in place which he is excited to talk about later in 2019. Based in Vancouver, BC, Paul continues to produce hit fictional podcasts to be developed as IP for film and television.
How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?
I got my break in screenwriting through podcasting. I wrote and produced my first fictional series, “The Black Tapes,” with my friend Terry Miles. This series fortunately became a hit with over 43 million downloads, and a TV deal followed shortly thereafter. The critical reception of my second series, “The Big Loop,” opened the door to other writing and directing opportunities.
Executive Producer, “The Big Loop”
Executive Producer, “The Black Tapes”
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
I’ve learned that when planning a project, plan for success. Why attempt something if I don’t think it has a chance of being successful? So, for example, when choosing a hosting service, we used the best paid service we could find to handle the volume of downloads. We were very optimistic, and thank god we were.
What’s the hardest scene or project you’ve ever had to write? How did you navigate the challenge?
The hardest scene was one season in which we lost a key talent and had to quickly rewrite 6 episodes. We rose to the challenge but I wish we had more time or extra eyes to help us stick the landing better.
What was a major turning point in your career?
The major turning point in my career was when my friend Terry and I decided to turn our screenplay, “The Black Tape,” into a fictional podcast series. The screenplay was going nowhere so instead of letting it collect dust, we made it into something else. Now, due to that decision, we have careers in TV.
What are you working on right now?
I recently sold my second pilot to a cable network and waiting on notes. I’m also set to direct a major franchise (one of my favorites) and I’m nervous and excited about it.
What are some of your favorite movies?
Out of Africa; Shadowlands; Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid; Ordinary People.
Who are some of your favorite screenwriters?
This is a tough one to answer, so I’ll touch on the screenwriters who’ve recently made me sit up and take notice. Jordan Peele is one of them for the ways he is reimagining a classic genre. Eric Heisserer is another writer who amazes me with his ability to reshape various IP (e.g. from short stories, like “Arrival”) to the big screen.
Share a memorable experience at Austin Film Festival.
One of my favorite experiences was speaking at the fiction podcasting panel on stage with my friends Lauren Shippen and Gabriel Urbana. I will jump at any chance to sit on stage with my friends and sharing what we’ve learned in shaping these stories.