#Startwith8Hollywood

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Hello! Here’s a way for you to catch up on me before we meet. My end-game goals in the #Startwith8Hollywood program are these:

  1. Sign a manager who complements my approach and is excited to introduce me to prodcos and showrunners seeking diverse writers on their projects.
  2. Book an OWA (would love an IP adaptation) or be part of a writers’ room where authentic representation of underrepresented lives including the BIPoC, neurodiverse, and disabled communities is a priority.

About Me

I’m a Canadian-American story consultant and ghostwriter. As an natural extension of my identities as a biracial Black woman who is over forty, neurodiverse, and disabled, my work centers diversity, inclusion, and authentic representation of mine and other underrepresented communities. That means when I’m hired for notes on features, pilots and pitches, my analysis covers not only structure, characters, voice, production considerations, etc. they also include insight on intersectionality and authenticity of the world, characters, dialogue and more. Always have. Always will. Ditto for rewrites and adaptations. To be blunt, I’m gifted with story analysis and challenged by social navigation and networking.

To reach a broader audience, I’m seeking connection to pro-active prodcos whose work I respect such as: MACRO, Outlier Society, Kaling International, Array, Shondaland, Hello Sunshine, and Higher Ground Productions.

The Brief C.V.

I started as the long-form development assistant for Noreen Halpern and Christine Shipton back in the day at Alliance-Atlantis (replacing Keanu’s sister) and later for Katapult Film Sales. After working production for a while (set dec (on Keanu’s film) and script coordinator), I served as a Telefilm Canada-approved story editor working with prodcos and on international co-productions including the adaptation of an underground sci-fi novel. My work has contributed to top prizes at premiere festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and the Emmys (yep, randomly, Keanu again). My feature articles, short fiction, and column ran nationally including in Canada’s in-theatre magazine, Tribute. I’ve written a novel and collaborated on two New York Times bestselling non-fiction titles. Together with my director partner, we have released three features in theaters and streaming and continue to develop new stories for all screens. I also devote time to my advocacy work (see below).

Clients

As a ghost, my revisions integrate seamlessly while doing the heavy lifting of boosting emotional resonance. Here’s a selection of clients:

  • Dreamworks
  • SyFy
  • Lifetime
  • Pegasus Films — Known for Game of Thrones, The Tree of Life, and Fortitude.
  • Jeff Renfroe — Known for American Gods, I Am Steve McQueen, and The Colony starring Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Zegers.
  • Ericson Core — Known for The Fast and The Furious, Point Break, Invincible, and Daredevil.
  • Ramaa Mosley — Known for The Brass Teapot (and for being the only woman client I’ve had…ever.)
  • Kevin Smith — Known for Clerks.
  • Kai Sehr — Known for the Skatistan documentary.
  • Dov Seidman — CEO of LRN and author of New York Times Bestselling business title, HOW featuring interviews with Thomas Friedman, Steve Kerr, and others.

Original Work

I’m best known for giving audiences the feels. Pulling heartstrings is my jam. An early draft of my latest feature dramedy placed in the top 15% of the Nicholl Fellowship and earned semifinal placement in both Diverse Voices and Creative World Awards. I was selected to participate in the inaugural LA Women’s Weekend Film Challenge in the spring of 2020. That 72-hour project recently won Best Narrative Short at the International Independent Film Awards and made the premiere audience laugh, gasp, and tear up, all in 10 minutes. Here’s a recent KCRW interview where I share my experience with 100%-woman crew.

Available projects: I have a feature dramedy with a 40+ Black star and an LGBTQ cast, the Cronenberg-sanctioned reboot of Shivers, an original sci-fi action-adventure series featuring a disabled cast, and, in collaboration with my partner, an original family drama crime series tackling race and privilege in wine country.

Advocacy

At 42, I learned that my extraordinary abilities and confounding challenges weren’t inexplicable at all. They’re part of my neurodiversity and are shared by millions of others. (Neurodiversity is the umbrella term for conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc. and are especially prevalent in our creative industry.) Learning who I am was the greatest gift of my life so I founded Autastic.com as a way to share my discovery with other adults whose irregular path through life seemed to have no explanation. I now host the world’s largest online community of late-identified autistic adults and two of the few spaces dedicated to autistic people of color. I work every day to educate and dispel widespread misinformation by being out and visible and by sharing my experiences.

The next step is to bring broader, non-stereotypical autistic representation to the screen. I’m seeking connection to Netflix/Exhibit A (Atypical S4), Netflix/Northern Pictures (Love On The Spectrum S2), Netflix/Dark Horse (The Umbrella Academy), Freeform/Avalon (Everything’s Gonna Be Okay), and True Jack (On The Spectrum).

Other Tidbits

As polymaths will do, I’ve lived lives outside film and television. As a Blue Sky Strategist, I worked directly with the C-suites of influential organizations such as the LA Kings and with the major studios and key players such as Michael Eisner of Disney. I had a formative hand in what were then groundbreaking innovations in natural-language search, mobility, and location-based services. You’re welcome.

I am an accomplished baker of cookies and cakes, an animal lover, and a drag aficionado. I’ve been a teen runway model, a national pageant queen, and a roller derby bruiser. I was raised in post-white-flight Detroit by an immigrant single mother who worked double overnight shifts before carting me to ballet lessons and across the border to school in white neighborhoods. I’ve lived out of cars, cheap motels, and five-star resorts. I’ve been assumed to be my elderly white father’s side-piece because #racism. As a child I adored live theatre, the literary canon, and government cheese. Today I adore sci-fi & fantasy, sappy romance, and comedy with a message. I can discuss at length our global crisis surrounding mental health or engage in a light chat about social anthropology. I am learning every day about my Blackness and the forces that shaped my youth. I’ve dined with Norwegian royalty, broke the Viking high priest at my Icelandic cave wedding, and spent many drunken evenings singing at the top of my lungs with pop stars who shall not be named. I can bring veracity from any of these experiences to the screen.


I am often The Only — the only woman, the only racially ambiguous person, the only Black person, the only gifted person, the only disabled person, the only person who has traversed race and social class, and the only person who is all of these identities at once. My abilities to see the world from the majority and minority perspectives at once and the advantages conferred by my neurodiverse mind need to be put to use in service of a better world.

Get in touch @dianejwright or send a message here.