Favorite class at VSB and why?
My favorite was Marketing. I think it’s served me well in my profession. As a writer, you have to sell your version of a story to the studio or the people paying for the writing of the screenplay. The studio owns an idea or book and they’re looking for a writer to adapt it. Now it’s my job to present my vision for the film in a way that excites the producers. That’s marketing. The producers have to feel confident that we see the same movie and that I’m the best writer to bring that vision to life.
Most important thing you learned?
Collaboration. Being a team player. Take a look at the credits at the end of a movie. Even the smaller, independent films have literally hundreds of names listed in the credits. Each person played a role in bringing that story to the big screen. First and foremost, a screenwriter really needs to be a great collaborator. So many elements of a story change on the way to production. If you’re too precious about the story, the filmmakers will feel they haven’t contributed to the overall vision. If you’re too willing to let go of things you believe in, the story will undoubtedly suffer. It’s all about finding the right balance. VSB really stressed what it means to work within a team environment and the importance of being a team player.
Favorite Villanova memory?
It happened after I graduated, to be honest. My father played basketball at Villanova and the school retired his jersey in the Pavilion. I went to the ceremony. It was wonderful to be back on campus and even better seeing his jersey hanging high above the court.
What are you currently reading?
Beautiful Boy by David Sheff.