Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Warren Singer, had somewhat of a difficult path to Hollywood success. After selling his first screenplay in the late 1990s, the unproduced "The Sky Is Falling...
|Wrote the screenplay for "The International"|
|Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay|
|Premiere of his second produced script, "American Hustle"|
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Warren Singer, had somewhat of a difficult path to Hollywood success. After selling his first screenplay in the late 1990s, the unproduced "The Sky Is Falling," Singer made a comfortable living churning out scripts for some of the biggest studios in Hollywood. However, it would take nearly a decade for one of his screenplays to be produced: "The International" (2009), an action thriller starring Naomi Watts and Clive Owen. Singer's next produced screenplay was David O. Russell's darkly comic "American Hustle" (2013), which earned both him and the director Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay. With the Oscar nod for "American Hustle," Singer had the odd luck of becoming one of the hottest writers in Hollywood, a full 15 years after his screenwriting career began.
A native of Los Angeles, Singer enrolled briefly at Boston University, only to drop out and return to the West Coast. A lifelong love of movies and writing had Singer wanting to pursue a career in screenwriting, and he just happened to be lucky enough to call the movie capital of the world his hometown. Once back in L.A., Singer did what any young, aspiring screenwriter would do - he took a job as a night shift janitor. The mindless work and flexible hours allowed Singer to pursue his passion during the day, and before long he had a full-length feature called "The Sky Is Falling" written and sold. Now with the luxury of being able to work on his writing full-time, the screenplays poured out. He wrote and sold several spec scripts over the next 10 years, but whenever one was on the verge of being greenlit into production, the budget would mysteriously fall apart at the last minute. Undeterred, Singer continued to write and eventually sold a big-budget action thriller about an international banking scandal from the 1980s and '90s. That script, "The International" (2009) became Singer's first produced screenplay, and was a moderate success at the box office.
The idea for Singer's next feature came while on a plane trip from New York to Los Angeles. Singer struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to him, who just happened to be an Assistant to the Attorney General for the United States during the ABSCAM sting operation of the 1970s. Singer had never heard of the scandal, but thought it was rife with cinematic potential. He researched the script intensely and by 2010, "American Hustle" was one of the hottest scripts in Hollywood, with stars as big as Ben Affleck showing interest to direct. The helming duties eventually went to David O. Russell, who turned Singer's script into a huge critical and commercial hit. "American Hustle" went on to earn 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Screenplay nods for Russell and Singer.
|Singer worked as a night janitor while writing his first screenplay, "The Sky Is Falling."|
|He came up with the idea for "American Hustle" during a plane trip from New York to Los Angeles.|
|"After a certain point there's this threshold that you hit, where if you don't have something made, something tangible to show for all your work, you begin to feel like you're shoveling smoke, money be damned. Granted, I was very grateful to be getting paid to do what I loved, and I never forgot how lucky I was, but after a while, that just wasn't the point anymore. What's the point of spending your life in front of a computer, writing stuff that everyone tells you is great, that no one is ever gonna see? I had a friend at the time who was a carpenter. At the end of my day, I knew I'd just written something no one was ever gonna see. At the end of his day, he'd built a wall-something solid, something tangible to show for his labor. I was kind of envious of him. I had this thought that if I didn't make a movie before I hit 40, I'd really start to rethink if this is what I wanted to do with my life." -- from www.thehollywoodinterview.blogspot.com, February 14, 2009|
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