The decision to dedicate my life’s work to writing didn’t come easy. As the child of a successful businessman, I found myself trying to live up to what I thought my father’s expectations were. He jump started my working career at the ripe old age of 12 and I’ve been working ever since. I’ve done manual labour jobs both in and outdoors, sales in an outbound capacity as well as retail, and media-related positions in photo and video production. Unfortunately, all of these avenues felt like a dead end and didn’t achieve the approval I thought I was seeking.

At…

Today we talk to Tom Levesque about how the past, present, and future have shaped his journey as a writer. Tom has found success on the Black List website, including an option for his script THE TELEVANGELIST — cheers to you, Tom!

The Past

What was the first film that had a major impact on your life?

It would have to be when Dad took me to see Terrence Malick’s THE THIN RED LINE. It was the first time I had seen any of Malick’s work and although I was only 10 years old, the way Malick balanced an atmosphere with plot had a profound effect on expressing mood in cinema.

Was there a single film that made you want to be a screenwriter? How else did the decision to pursue that career evolve?

Writing was the only subject at school that felt good…

I remember the first time it hit me. My eyes hadn’t adjusted to the light outside the theater yet, but something inside me was different. I felt lighter. I felt funnier. A movie screen had just administered the visual equivalent of nitrous oxide. It was a high I would chase from that day forward.

I returned to the cineplex over and over again. The problem was that I couldn’t isolate the drug or, rather, the dealer. After I saw ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN I became a journalism major. When the lights came up on DEAD POETS SOCIETY I went out…

WarnerMedia and The Black List have partnered to launch a pipeline initiative to provide visibility and feedback for aspiring professional screenwriters to identify exceptional writers for episodic content, with access to decision-makers and creatives within WarnerMedia.

Through the below partner organizations, WarnerMedia and The Black List will identify up to 600 writers from historically underrepresented communities and provide a voucher to use The Black List’s platform for a free month of hosting and a script evaluation from professional readers.

The six-month program, which began April 1, is a philanthropic endeavor that expands upon WarnerMedia’s commitment to advance representation in the…

Today, we talk to Omid Iranikhah about how the past, present, and future have shaped his journey as a writer. Omid was selected as this year’s recipient of the Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting by the Writer’s Guild Initiative and the King Family Foundation for his script, THE STONING OF A WHORE. Omid will receive a stipend, as well as mentorship from a prominent screenwriter as a part of the Fellowship — cheers to you, Omid!

The Past

What was the first film that had a major impact on your life?

When I was four, my dad brought home a bootleg copy of Sam Raimi’s first SPIDER-MAN film, and from the moment the end credits started rolling, I turned to my parents and declared, “I want to be Spider-Man when I grow up.” Much to my disappointment, they explained to me that Spider-Man was merely a character played by an actor. Much to their disappointment, I decided then and there that I wanted to be an actor. …

The future location of Vidiots in Eagle Rock, California

As my dear friend Lauren Brown would say: It’s been a hard year.

I know, I know — a woefully inadequate statement to explain the Sisyphean struggle of this most impossible pandemic year, amidst the most stressful election of our lives and after one of the worst days in American history this past January. …

Today, we talk to Kevin Bachar about how the past, present, and future have shaped his journey as a writer. Kevin’s script THE INHABITANT (fka BLOOD RELATIVE) was a featured script on blcklst.com in 2016, and eventually found its way to the right creative production team. THE INHABITANT is set to star Dermot Mulroney, Leslie Bibb and Odessa A’Zion and will be released later this year — cheers to Kevin and the entire cast and crew!

The Past

What was the first film that had a major impact on your life?

I remember seeing a movie called THE LOST WORLD, which was a kind of INDIANA JONES meets JURASSIC PARK. I would watch it every time it was on and to this day if I see it on TCM or somewhere else I’ll watch it. It fueled both my desire to become a documentary filmmaker, but also fueled my love of movies.

Was there a single film that made you want to be a screenwriter? How else did the decision to pursue that career evolve?

The movie JAWS…

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t “the writing guy.” The impulse to tell stories has bubbled inside me from my earliest recollections. I’ve always been that mixture of introvert and performer who wants everyone to look at me and simultaneously to leave me alone to refuel. As a child, that often meant performing for an audience of none: my tales acted out and written down alone in my room. We weren’t a well-to-do family, and I remember paper coming at such a premium I’d cut envelopes down the middle to write on their blank white insides.

The ability…

We write because we’re lonely. I mean, that’s the reason someone can sit down and spend weeks, months, maybe even years getting wrapped up in a fictional world of their own creation, right? Most people don’t do that.

Maybe this isn’t applicable to everyone. But at least in my experience, it holds true.

If I’m going to be honest, I often feel alone. Even in rooms filled with loved ones, I rarely feel comfortable. Even as a kid. Especially as a kid.

After my parents’ divorce, I started spending more time with my uncle. It was my uncle who really…

Birthed to a Body of Words

“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” — Mitch Albom, For One More Day

The kind of birth I want to talk about is literal.

I was literally born from a body, my mother’s body, of experiences and inherited a lineage of stories. The more I interact with the present world, the more these stories fight to come out.

That is at the core of why I write, but I haven’t always thought of it that way.

On a “bad” day, my writing can sometimes feel artificial, man-made, or for lack of…

Kate Hagen

Writer. Director of Community at @theblcklst. Spooky.

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