Though primarily a long-form journalist for major magazines, writer Mark Boal turned his harrowing weeks-long experience with the U. S. Army bomb squad in Iraq into the Oscar-winning drama, "The Hurt Locker" (2009), directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Prior to that film, Boal established himself as a top-level journalist who embedded himself with troops in the world's most dangerous places in order to unearth stories that would have otherwise remained hidden. His entry into Hollywood came by way of director Paul Haggis, who turned Boal's Playboy article "Death and Dishonor" into the critically acclaimed drama, "In the Valley of Elah" (2007). After spending time with the U.S. Army's bomb squad during the Iraq War, Boal collaborated with Bigelow on the critically lauded "The Hurt Locker," which won him the Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Boal continued his partnership with Bigelow - which was also rumored to have blossomed into something deeper - with his second solo screenwriting effort, "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012), which detailed the decade-long hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Though he continued as a journalist, Boal had become with just two movies one of Hollywood's premier screenwriters.