screenwriter to watch
Corey Moore is a docu-series television writer and award-winning broadcast journalist.
He’s written for the true-life TV program “Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen” (Warner Bros) and has worked as head story producer for the syndicated, true-crime show “Corrupt Crimes” (Sinclair Broadcasting).
Prior to his transition into creative television, Corey was a reporter and producer for such media outlets as NPR, “The Tavis Smiley Show”, KPCC (Southern California Public Radio) and BET News.
Throughout his journalism career, he pursued a passion for film and TV writing.
In 2017, Corey placed in the top screenwriting finals of Austin Film Festival and Screencraft for his supernatural drama TV script “Curse and Judgment.” In 2016, he was awarded Quarterfinalist in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Competition for his feature drama “Blu’s Country.”
Corey has earned a grant to study TV writing through UCLA’s Extension platform. He’s won a scholarship to the Writer’s Boot Camp and is a former fellow of the Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller USC screenwriting program.
Born and raised in Detroit, Corey attended Wayne State University where he received a full journalism scholarship. He enjoys legal thriller novels, obsesses over his mood-music playlists and loves his gym workouts almost as much as he loathes them.
How did you break in?
I’ve been writing scripts since I was a kid and for me, breaking into screenwriting comes with stacking achievements and getting scripts read by industry reps.
One example: winning a screenwriting fellowship at USC where I received notes on my projects and learned more about the craft from established filmmakers and TV writers. That experience opened the door to relationships with professionals and other writers.
Furthermore, I believe that consistently placing in respected writing programs and competitions shows my commitment to the work that it takes to become a screenwriter. It helps that I’ve made the top finals of Writers on the Verge, Warner Bros., Disney-ABC, Nicholl, Austin Film Festival, Scriptapalooza, Table Read My Screenplay and the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Earning high scores on the Black List Script Evaluation Service has given me a boost as well.
Based on these accomplishments, I’ve created a comprehensive portfolio that I believe showcases my strongest work to showrunners and producers.
Docu-series TV writer and award-winning journalist Corey Moore
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Write what you’d love to watch!
For me, it’s supernatural, horror and drama. And specifically, it’s writing characters who appear to have it all together — but are wrecked on the inside. That’s a theme I consistently find myself going back to. I get excited when I create a story based on such a character and believe people can see that passion on my pages.
Some other important lessons I’ve learned: write often (you can never have too many competed specs); get scrips notes from writers you trust, attend film festivals (AFF is a favorite), use rejection and disappointment as fuel.
What has been your hardest scene to write?
Every script I’ve written has been tough to muscle through!
But I’d have to say one of my most challenging projects was a supernatural drama TV pilot I wrote titled “Curse and Judgment.”
In this story, I knew I wanted to blend two genres (legal procedural and horror). Thinking of ways to push the boundaries of this supernatural world — while making it authentic, believable and chilling — forced me on many long brainstorming walks and rewrites!
What do you feel was your turning point?
A turning point in my career came when I transitioned from journalist to TV writer.
For years, I worked as a news producer and reporter — much of that time in Southern California, where I chased daily events and quickly turned stories around for broadcast. But I’ve always known that my biggest joy in telling stories comes from the world of scripted and creative programming.
My decision to accept an offer to write for a TV docu-series brought a higher level of fulfillment. For the first time in my career, my daily work enabled me to write scripts, collaborate in a writer’s room, develop concept ideas with a showrunner, pitch episodes and develop re-enactment scenes with actors and a film crew. Loved it!
What are you working on right now?
I’m focusing right now on three projects: a romantic dramedy feature-screenplay set in my hometown of Detroit; a supernatural horror TV pilot about bizarre murders in a small Louisiana town; and a contained horror feature script I’m developing with my writing partner.
What are your favorite movies?
That’s such a long list!
But some of my most memorable include: NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, LION, GET OUT, WHIPLASH, PAN’S LABYRINTH, BURIED, OPEN WATER, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE RAID 2, FATAL ATTRACTION, SCREAM, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS and ORDINARY PEOPLE.
Who are your favorite screenwriters?
Kevin Williamson, John Carpenter, Oliver Stone, Kasi Lemmons, Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro, Shonda Rhimes, Chris Sparling, Alan Ball, Damien Chazelle, Jordan Peele, Joel Edgerton and Dee Rees.
What is your most Memorable AFF Moment?
My table read!
Placing at Austin Film Festival as a semi-finalist for my 2017 TV pilot script “Curse and Judgment” was exciting enough, but Competition Director Matt Dy personally offered me a public table read at the festival — and that was amazing!
Hearing actors breathe life into my words and receiving feedback from an audience helped me tremendously. I reworked dialogue based on their reactions — changes I probably wouldn’t have made had I not heard the story read aloud. This wonderful opportunity at AFF helped prepare my TV pilot script for industry eyes.