Pirates of the Caribbean

ARGH! The Pirate Guy: A Dream Client

As head of the Literary Department at The Gersh Agency and team member of both the Literary and Talent departments at Innovative Artists, I not only had an eye for talent, but also the ability to develop it.

Every so often, a rare individual would come from “nowhere” with a level of raw talent who exuded the promise to become a dream player.

A producer I knew and trusted referred a writer named Stuart Beattie. He was from Australia, and totally unknown – at the time working as a waiter. But, I saw superstar potential, and signed him. I asked Stuart to furnish two ‘spec’ scripts. The first, Lords of The Sea, was an international thriller about contemporary high seas piracy, chockfull of technically detailed action. My marketing strategy for the script attracted the attention of major producers and studios, and resulted in my pitching Stuart to Disney to write a film script based on the theme park ride, Pirates of The Caribbean. At the time, the idea of turning the ride into a film franchise was only a notion, no more than a glimmer in the studio chief’s eye. Stuart’s draft was able to get the project out of the station and onto a fast track. The other spec, Collateral, I sold to Dreamworks. It became the Tom Cruise/Jamie Foxx film directed by Michael Mann. For his role in Collateral, Jamie Foxx was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, while the year before, Johnny Depp received a Best Actor nomination for his role in Pirates, which by that time had become a mega hit.

The Mercurial Marriage of Fiction and Film

The Mercurial Marriage of Fiction and Film

The Mercurial Marriage of Fiction and Film

Friday, April 1, 2016
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Room 515 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

What kinds of narrative fiction and nonfiction publications best lend themselves to filmed adaptation?
Billy Mernit (moderator) screenwriter, author and story analyst for Universal Pictures.
Chris Balis, screenwriter whose credits include Asylum, the film adaption from the Patrick McGrath novel.
Nancy Nigrosh has represented many award winning writers, directors and actors, including Academy Award–winner Kathryn Bigelow, as well as brokering film and television rights for authors; among them, Amanda Brown (“Legally Blonde”) and Jodi Picoult.
Michael Weiss is a screenwriter, and former VP of production for Miramax Films whose screenplays include Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, and The Scorpion King.

More info: https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/event_detail/6036

How to Have a Professional Writing Career for Authors & Screenwriters

How to Have a Professional Writing Career for Authors & Screenwriters

February 11-14, 2016
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
Westwood campus

This Writers Studio workshop offers rare insight into any aspiring writer’s most burning question: “How do I get an agent?” The answer to this question involves acquiring a strong grasp of what a professional partnership with a literary agent entails and the realization that without representation, creative writers and screenwriters lack the most meaningful access they’ll need, to have to a professional writing career.
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For enrollment information please contact Chae Ko, Writers’ Program Representative (310) 206-2612

For inquires about future courses please contact writers@uclaextension.edu

Neutralizing the Mathilda Effect: How Women Writers Can Forge Successful Writing Careers

Neutralizing the Mathilda Effect: How Women Writers Can Forge Successful Writing Careers

October 3 – December 12, 2015
Saturdays 10am – 1pm
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
Downtown Los Angeles, 101B Figueroa Courtyard

Designed for women creative writers and screenwriters with serious professional aspirations, this course unpacks strategies and solutions to counter the prevailing bias in favor of men’s innate ability to self-generate prominence, known as The Matthew Effect. The course goal is for you to learn how to level the playing field by preparing yourself for the realities of the writing career game and engage in it actively, decisively, and successfully.

 
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For enrollment information please contact Katy Flaherty, Program Representative, Creative Writing (310) 206-0951