I began my writing career in advertising--and still do a good deal of that. As luck would have it, I started in one of the largest agencies in the world, and was writing national television commercials before I did my first print ad. That meant working with top-tier producers, directors, and clients (think: financiers). All the disciplines of screenwriting were in effect: writing for specific audiences, working inside a budget and on a deadline, applying structure, taking notes and collaborating on shooting scripts, re-writing on set, revising based on tests, and always always always having fresh ideas and unexpected solutions to the inevitable challenges. The highlight was winning a Cannes Lion... and selling lots of clients' products (which, for a marketer, is the equivalent of applause).
When I finally felt I had enough stories and a voice good enough to tell them, I self-published the noir thriller "Lines of Descent" (available on Amazon.) Writing that made me realize that--if I wanted to write as well as the novels I admire--I'd never get through all the stories I wanted to tell.
I'd made movies as a kid, and was writing for the screen already; motion picture screenwriting was the obvious pivot. Since taking that turn, I've been through to the semi-finals of some of the most reputable contests, and actually wrote some extra material on assignment for "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" (credited as Jonathan Young - Consultant).
Like the man said: It's always too soon to quit.
Anything For Money Budget: $5M - $10M | Comedy A ballsy taskrunner's side-hustle becomes a life-or-death adventure when he agrees to help a trust fund diva escape an international crime boss... for a price.
Peter Piper Budget: $30M+ | Action ⋄ Comedy A collection of medieval misfits -- a half-dog mutant, a witch, and a kick-ass handmaiden -- must overcome the locals' fear and loathing to save their kingdom from an unstoppable invader. X-Men crash The Holy Grail.
Shiftress Budget: $10M - $30M | Thriller ⋄ Fantasy A rebellious young shapeshifter uses her supernatural power to escape her creepy backwater family... by transforning into the most exotic supermodel imaginable. But living a lie could cost her love and even her life. "Hannah Montana" comes of age in a "Twilight" world.
1NTEGER Budget: $10M - $30M | Sci-fi ⋄ Thriller A by-the-book cybersecurity pro goes after the mysterious hackers responsible for the death of his son, and finds himself in a world of technology-induced psychosis.
Of The Gods Budget: $30M+ | Action ⋄ Adventure The true story of a bastard prince's journey to end human sacrifice and earn his throne, only to discover he must find the cruelty in himself to succeed. Theseus as Michael Corleone circa 1540 BCE.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Film by Robert Schwentke Extra Material After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.