Hello All, please meet Austin the man behind “The Return of the Modern Philosopher” blog. Austin is a screenwriter and since I know absolutely nothing about screenwriting I thought I’d ask! And Here’s what he had to say.
LaChouett: Austin, I came to know you by reading your blog, The Return of the Modern Philosopher. However, you also lead a secret life as a screenwriter. Can you tell us how you chose that career path?
Austin: I always knew I wanted to be a writer, and I just assumed I’d end up as an English teacher who wrote the Great American Novel during Summer Vacation. My junior year of high school, however, I met with the Guidance Counselor to discuss college options. He asked me if I liked movies, and that was when he introduced the idea of my being a Film major and focusing on screenwriting. It’s all his fault!
LaChouett: Screenwriting is not an easy career choice, but you have had some success in the movie business. What are some of your career highlights as a screenwriter?
Austin: While I haven’t quite “made it” yet as a screenwriter, I’ve had two screenplays turned into feature films. If you’d like to watch the trailers, they are on my blog’s “About” page.
The first script was a rewriting job. I was hired to take an extremely disorganized script and turn it into something that made sense. To add to the challenge, shooting was scheduled to begin in a month, the cast had been hired, and the locations had already been locked. I cranked out six drafts over the next month, and was still rewriting scenes the day they would be filmed. In the end, my sixth draft ended up being the film’s shooting script.
My second produced script was an original screenplay that I wrote to impress a girl who had just broken up with me. I thought that if I turned our relationship into a screenplay with a happy ending, she’d be so thrilled that she’d take me back. That didn’t work, but I did sell the script, it got made into a feature film, and I did my first television and radio appearances to promote it.
Perhaps my biggest thrill as a fan boy/screenwriter was taking a meeting Dr. Dre at Skybar in Hollywood to discuss his producing and starring in a film based on one of my screenplays. This was during the height of the East Coast/West Coast Rap Wars, so the table behind us was taken up by Dre’s bodyguards. Upon meeting me, Dr. Dre told me “You are one sick mother@#$%^&”, which I still consider to be one of the greatest compliments I have ever received on my writing.
LaChouett: How did you go from screenwriting to writing a comedy blog with 13,000 followers and almost 700,000 views?
Austin: If you read my blog, you know the story of how I encouraged my then girlfriend to move to another time zone to chase her dream of going to grad school. The Girl Who Moved Away, as she is often referred to on the blog, demanded that I start a blog to help keep me distracted while she was away. She kept pestering me to do it until I finally gave in on November 1, 2012.
Writing the blog hasn’t made me miss her any less, but it has helped me to hone my comedy writing skills and given me a platform to vent about my broken heart.
LaChouett: Do you have any plans to write a screenplay about the blog’s quirky recurring characters?
Austin: Funny you should ask. Earlier this month, I finally started writing the blog’s origin story. I plan to turn the tale into a series of e-books that reveals how I came to live at The House on the Hill, and learned to deal with all the Otherworldly Beings who are frequent guests to my home.
If you’ve never read my blog, the basic premise is that the Maine Stephen King writes about in his novels is real. There are Zombies, Aliens, Witches, Werewolves, Gargoyles, and Vampires, as well as a menagerie of other beings that you would not find in any other state in the Union.
LaChouett: You also write a TV show, don’t you?
Austin: Yes, I am a writer for The Nite Show with Danny Cashman, a talk show that airs on Saturday nights in Maine. This year, I also got to act in a sketch that I wrote, and that was one of the scariest and most thrilling things I’ve ever done. The video of the sketch is also on my blog’s “About” page.
Thanks for asking me to be the featured blogger. If any of your readers have questions, they should feel free to drop me a line on my blog.
The Return of the Modern Philosopher: moviewriternyu.wordpress.com
Thank you Austin!!
“The Return of the Modern Philosopher” will feature on Chouett to the end of the week in the meantime check out of few of his posts: