Congrats on getting signed! Can you tell us a little bit about your writing backgrounds and the road to getting signed?
Alyssa: We met at Emerson College in Boston. Griffin was a screenwriting major and I was in cinematography. We worked together a bit during school but didn't really team up until we moved to Los Angeles in 2010. It's 2019 now, so that should give you an idea of the long road we've had. We've worked in every aspect of filmmaking, we worked in development, I was a line producer for several years while Griffin was an editor. All of it has made us better writers, but we're really excited that we've taken the next step so we can focus on what we really love to do.
Tell us a little bit about how you started writing together and how you work the logistics of two people, one project. (Also guys if you're comfortable with it, please talk a bit about working as a husband/wife team).
Griffin: Even in college, Alyssa would read any screenplay I was working on and give notes. Basically, I just started asking her opinion earlier and earlier in the writing process. Her strength is plot and pacing, and we could solve a lot of the problems by involving her in the outlining stage. Now, we talk through the idea at length and write an outline together, then I write the first draft. We do a lot of talking and a lot of reading out loud, then we basically split up scenes and re-write until we come together at the end and do a pass together, line by line. Our strengths lie in different areas so we work really well as a team. Basically it's reading and tweaking and reading and tweaking until we hate either the script or each other. Luckily the second one hasn't happened yet. As far as being husband and wife, there's mutual respect there but it can definitely be hard when we have disagreements in the script. Usually whoever is more passionate about a particular issue wins out. It's a lot of 'choosing your battles' which marriage is, too! Another married couple that works as producers once told us, if you can make a movie together, you can handle anything marriage is going to throw at you and they've been totally right. Basically we both get to do something we love with a person we love, so any little disagreements are pointless at the end of the day.
Who are your writing influences? Whose work do you admire?
Tarantino, PTA and the Coens are big. Phoebe Waller Bridge is amazing. Taylor Sheridan. Alex Garland. There's so many great ones. We like a really wide range of different stuff, but anyone who's able to drop us into a fully formed world is someone that we admire.
Other than getting signed, what's jazzing you right now?
Alyssa: Dark Crystal! If you haven't watched the new series on Netflix, do it. Also, Succession, and we're re-watching Mad Men right now. We do a lot of binging and typically have something on in the background as we write. We also read a lot of non-fiction.
Griffin: Alyssa just finished SAPIENS: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harrari and can't shut up about it. I also just read I'll Be Gone In The Dark about the Golden State Killer and that was pretty great.
How did you discover Roadmap Writers?
Alyssa - We had heard of it from a few execs we know from the industry, but never really made use of the service. We were extremely busy this summer producing an insane low budget anthology and were pretty burnt-out after that. We thought we had to get something going with our writing before we lose our minds. So we submitted one of our Pilots to the JumpStart Competition and signed up for a mentorship with Kegan Schell from Echo Lake, who would go on to sign us. For us, it was all very quick once we connected with Roadmap.
Congrats again Alyssa and Griffin!