Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's a major award!

Oscar Sunday, for a town that can't support an NFL team, is the equivalent of Super Bowl Sunday everywhere else. With the Bluecat deadline coming up this week, however, I'll spend it rewriting rather than fighting the crowds over at Hollywood & Highland. Or enduring the insufferably long telecast. But for every screenwriter who has dreamt of walking down the aisle and giving "that speech," this year's awards do provide a few inspirational stories.

Likely to take home the Best Original Screenplay is WGA-winner, Michael Arndt, for Little Miss Sunshine. His first script. Which only took a year (and 100 drafts) to write. And then five years to be produced. Michael, a former script reader and assistant, now works at Pixar. Nice work if you can get it.

Also in the category is Iris Yamashita, for Letters from Iwo Jima. Also her first produced screenplay. Iris worked as an engineer and web programmer while taking classes at UCLA Extension. And then she won the Big Bear Lake Film Festival's screenwriting competition, which got her hip-pocketed at CAA. Which also represents Paul Haggis. Who was working with Clint Eastwood on Flags of Our Fathers. When Paul begged off also writing a companion piece from the Japanese perspective, Iris's agent sent them some samples of her work and the rest was history.

The LA Times ran a roundtable discussion with all the first-time nominees for Original Screenplay this week.

Polish up those scripts for contest season and, maybe, you'll be polishing up your acceptance speech before you know it as well.


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