Melissa Birks

Melissa Birks


Los Angeles, California

Member Since:
November 2014
Last online:
7 days ago
Invites sent:

About Melissa

Melissa specializes in historical fiction features. She enjoys hunting for hidden gems -- people whose rich stories may have fallen to the footnotes of history. As a former journalist, she is skilled at research, including navigating databases of old newspapers to pluck the right headline or anecdote that will lend an authentic flair to her writing.

Examples of Melissa’s projects include a Jack the Ripper origin story that placed as a quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowship. That script took place at a Victorian-era zoo and was inspired by a seasonal job Melissa once held as a tour guide at a large zoo. In the course of researching that story years ago, Melissa came upon an account of a famous Victorian-era elephant. Her most recent project is her fictional take on the true story of this elephant and his keeper. She also wrote and independently produced a 30-minute mockumentary about a steam-powered flying pig that features techniques akin to those in “Forrest Gump” in which real people from history mingle with fictional characters.

A Michigan native, Melissa worked for five newspapers around the country before pursuing her screenwriting goals. She moved to LA in 2019.

Unique traits: Short (4-feet-11-inches and possibly shrinking). Horse lover who once spent six weeks in Spain as a groom. Youngest of five and only daughter.


  • Jumbo's Keeper

    Jumbo's Keeper Budget: $10M - $30M | Historical An “animal-whispering” but awkward London zoo keeper wants to keep both the famous elephant he has raised from infancy and the charismatic woman he has fallen in love with, but his decision to join P.T. Barnum's circus in America jeopardizes everything he cherishes. Inspired by true events.

  • Girl of The Palio

    Girl of The Palio Budget: $5M - $10M | Sports In Siena, Italy, a talented but reckless young jockey threatens local tradition when she vows to be the first woman in recent history to race The Palio, a centuries' old, rough-and-tumble race around the city plaza.

  • The Confessor

    The Confessor Budget: $10M - $30M | Historical Crime When an ambitious but icy psychiatrist examines a confessed child killer for a headline-grabbing trial, the psychiatrist approaches the job as a coolly academic exercise until their relationship tests his career and his soul.


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