For the longest time when I first entered film school, people would ask me what type of films I wanted to write. I had no idea so I replied, ‘whatever pops into my head’. That was basically how I wrote. An idea popped into my brain and I would write about it. When I first started writing feature scripts most of my ideas were comedies. But I wasn’t really attached to them. They were like my bald headed stepchildren. But during that time and many years after, the movies I was drawn to were sci-fi, fantasy and action films. Those were the films I had to see in the theaters. Comedies I could catch at Blockbuster (remember them?) or even on cable.
I remember the first time I saw The Matrix. I went to a theater down the street from my school. I was blown away. I called my sister and said, ‘you have to see this movie’. So we went to see it the next day. She was blown away. She called her friend and said, ‘you have to see this movie’. I was not the type of person to see movies multiple times, so seeing it two days in a row was unprecedented for me. I liked plenty of comedies, but wasn’t so blown away by any of them to see over and over again in the theater.
Then Lord of the Rings happened. I have to admit, even though I pride myself as a reader, I never had heard of these books before. I knew about The Hobbit and had watched the cartoon when I was younger, but that’s as far as my knowledge of middle earth went. I didn’t see Fellowship of the Ring in the theaters. I had no idea what it was about, so I wasn’t excited to see it. That summer a friend gave me a $50 Blockbuster gift card (that was a lot of rentals). When I got tired of going to the store and renting movies I decided to buy a dvd to take up the rest of the money on the gift card. On the checkout counter was a display for Fellowship of the Ring. I decided to check it out. I took it home and watched it. And was hooked. After sitting through three hours of a movie, when I saw it concluding without them making it to Mordor, I was sad. I was ready to continue watching even if it took another three hours to get there.
So that December I and my sister saw The Two Towers in theaters. And after that we saw Return of the King in theaters. When Return of the King came out on dvd, I got the extended version. It had 40 extra minutes of footage plus 4 hours of behind the scenes documentaries. I absolutely loved the documentaries. I watched them as much as, and sometimes more than the movie. Seeing them make the movie from development up until the premiere filled me with such energy and excitement. I wanted that same experience. But I wasn’t going to get it with comedies.
I guess the turning point for me came when it was announced way back in 2008, I believe, that Masters of the Universe was going to be rebooted. My first thought was, ‘I want to write the script for She-Ra’. I loved He-Man and She-Ra. But I really love She-Ra’s origin story. Yea, it was retconned, but it was still a very interesting story. It was at that moment that I realized, I don’t want to just write whatever pops into my head. I want to focus on sci-fi, fantasy and action. Of course it would take me another few years to do just that, but I once I started, I stayed with it. From short films, feature films, webseries and now a fantasy novel.