screenwriter to watch
Writer. Director. VR Prospector. Creator of Flowstate. Difficult to locate.
How did you break in?
I wanted to be a historian, but it was forbidden in my family for six generations.
Storytelling was the next best thing.
DEMON, FREE PIE, THE LOST & FOUND SHOP, FLOWSTATE APP
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Never draft in format. Especially if you’re a perfectionist. The brain cannot analyze and create at the same time. All drafting should be in freeform text or by hand. I created Flowstate for this purpose. In the past six years there’s not a single project of mine that hasn’t gone through it. I owe Stewart Stern my life for this.
Also writers should take acting classes.
Also writers should freestyle rap.
What has been your hardest scene to write?
A speech on love, when officiating the first wedding of my eight siblings. Navigated challenge via shrooms. Hell of a drug.
What do you feel was your turning point?
Getting kicked out of film school. I was 19-years-old and there was an older producer I wanted to read my script and lend support. He invited me over to discuss, and not being of legal age I cut a compartment in the liner of my winter coat to steal a bottle of wine from a grocery store. He drank the wine, read the script, and produced my film for $1200 with 75 people working on it. Every year to this day, I smuggle a bottle of wine back into that grocery store—specifically one they do not sell—and hide it amongst the goods. One can imagine it’s been a real caper for staff.
What are you working on right now?
MARSHALL FROM DETROIT is a dreamy VR experience with Felix & Paul studios about Detroit and the idea of home, featuring Eminem. I’m also writing a narrative VR series about an unknown chapter in the life of Orson Welles, as well as the feature length tale of my film DEMON.
What are your favorite movies?
12 Angry Men, Magnolia, Network, M, Inglourious Basterds, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Trial, The Big Lebowski, Stalker, Tampopo, Night of the Hunter, Von Trier’s Europa, El Topo, Everything by Kurosawa but especially Sanjuro and The Hidden Fortress, Witness for the Prosecution, The Five Obstructions
Who are your favorite screenwriters?
Akira Kurosawa, Quentin Tarantino, Orson Welles, Martin McDonagh (stop reading this right and go read The Pillowman right now), Lars Von Trier, Paul Thomas Anderson, Paddy Chayefsky, Michael Haneke. While new, I’m enamored with Julia Ducournau and anxiously await her next film.
What is your most Memorable AFF Moment?
Amidst a huge VR production, I’d planned to fly out for one day to catch the AFF award ceremony, as well as the premiere of my new film DEMON. My humble producer Eric Machiela counseled me not to rush the job for an awards ceremony we would almost certainly not win. Upon landing in Austin for the premiere, my phone blew up with a bunch of congratulations texts from earlier that day. DEMON won best short and to our embarrassment neither of us had even known we were nominated.