IndieWire’s blog The Playlist recently put together a list of 13 screenwriters to watch in 2014.
This list is both inspiring and depressing. It’s an essential read for people who are writing their first script so that they can start to understand just how much work you have to do before you can be considered “on the rise.” Several of these writers have multiple credits and over ten years of work under their belts, either in screenwriting, television, or playwriting.
Too often, writers are ridden roughshod over during production, overlooked by the press and forgotten when the reviews and awards come pouring in (if they do). And yet thousands still set out to make their living as writers, because the rewards for the lucky few who do make it to the top of the tree are enormous, and every year brings an exciting new batch of talent whose writing skills make them as crucial as any part of a movie-making team.
As part of our ongoing series of On The Rise pieces (read about our picks for 2014’s outstanding actors, composers, and cinematographers), we’ve selected a dozen of the writers who’ve made an impression on us recently and who we expect to hear more from in the coming months and years. Our previous picks have included “Guardians Of The Galaxy” co-writer Nicole Perlman, “Sandman” scribe Jack Thorne, “50 Shades Of Grey” writer Kelly Marcel, and “Iron Man 3” and “Mission Impossible 5” pen Drew Pearce.
Here’s just one example from the list:
We can all agree that the romantic comedy has been in dire straits in recent years, with every promising attempt to revive the genre tending to fall flat. But if anyone’s going to give the genre a new lease on life, it’s British writer Tess Morris, who loves the idiom more than most, and has a potentially great new project on the way in 2015. Morris broke through at a very young age when her short script “Beer Goggles” won the Lloyds Bank Channel 4 Film Challenge in 1997, and was filmed by future “Starred Up” director David Mackenzie. After that, her career was on a slow-burn, as she combined work in production (she was an assistant producer on 2011’s “Resistance” starring Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen) with script-editing, lecturing in screenwriting, and writing for long-running British teen soap “Hollyoaks,” and comedy hit “My Family.” But when Morris made the Brit List (the British equivalent to the Black List) in 2011 with “Man Up,” that’s when her profile blew up. The story of a young single woman (Lake Bell) mistaken for the blind date of a stranger (Simon Pegg), it’s not a wild reinvention of the genre on the page, but does what it does better than almost any other romantic comedy in recent memory. Big Talk and Studio Canal filmed the project this year with “The Inbetweeners Movie” helmer Ben Palmer directing, and Olivia Williams and Rory Kinnear in the cast, and it’ll hit theaters next year. Morris has remained busy otherwise: with David Allison, she penned teen comedy “Charlie Ferrari” for Jeva Films, about a boy who wakes up from his coma with no memory of his unpopular past (the project’s no longer moving forward, unfortunately), and did some uncredited punch-up work on “The Love Punch” and “Cuban Fury.” And the folks at Big Talk clearly think a lot of her. She’s developing a sitcom “Is This It?” with them, and is currently working on a family Christmas-themed script “Secret Santa” at the company. Given that Big Talk helped birth the careers of Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish and Ben Wheatley, it’s worth keeping an eye on Morris.
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