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Monday, 10 March 2014 00:22

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - Amy Talkington (FILM ‘99)

Amy’s first book LIV, FOREVER will be published by Soho Teen in March, 2014. It has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection and an Amazon YA Book of the Month. Amy is currently adapting it for film with Offspring Entertainment attached to produce. You can see the trailer Amy directed for the book here.

Amy also has numerous film projects in active development including the “VALLEY GIRL” remake at MGM, “KICKED, BITTEN AND SCRATCHED” at Lionsgate, the “PRIVATE BENJAMIN” remake at New Line (with Anna Faris set to star) and “HOT FUSS,” based on a pitch she sold to Disney. Amy wrote and directed “THE NIGHT OF THE WHITE PANTS” which stars Oscar-nominee Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl and Selma Blair and was released in 2008. Amy wrote and directed six short films which were selected for numerous festivals (including Sundance and SXSW) and received many accolades. In the television arena, Amy wrote ABC Family’s “BRAVE NEW GIRL” and co-wrote “AVALON HIGH,” a children’s movie for which she won a 2011 WGA Award.

She is participating in a free event Thursday, March 13th at the Barnes and Noble in the Grove with Mickey Rapkin (Pitch Perfect) and Shauna Cross (Whip It) moderated by Beth Schacter, discussing screenwriting and young adult novels. For more information: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4680550

Below she tells us about her career so far and how she came to write her first novel.

I was pretty lucky because when Columbia screened my thesis short "Second Skin" in LA, it was spotted by an agent at UTA. I signed with her and have been busy ever since. I've written several pilots, two TV movies (one of which I won a WGA Award for), and I've been working steadily for the studios for the last six years.

I've been focusing on writing but I continue to direct when I can. Since finishing at Columbia, I've made five more shorts and one feature "The Night of the White Pants." Most recently, I directed a short that was selected for the Narrative Competition at SXSW this month ("Little Horribles: Minibar," a webisode).

I first imagined Liv, Forever as a screenplay but then I realized I really wanted to write it as a book (something I’d always wanted to do). I wanted to explore Liv's voice in a deeper way than I could in a script. I also wanted to create a layered ghost mythology that would've been harder to find in a screenplay. I took my treatment to the one editor I know in the publishing business and he gave me a contract to write it. So it all happened quite quickly. In fact, I was on studio assignments the entire time I was writing it so I wrote a lot of the book late at night—pretty fitting for the story actually.

As I was preparing for the release of Live, Forever, I noticed that a number of screenwriters are also writing books—specifically YA books—so, as part of the Liv, Forever launch week, we booked a night at Barnes & Noble, The Grove to have a conversation about "Screenwriting, Film, and YA." I'll be sitting down with two other screenwriter/authors (Shauna Cross and Mickey Rapkin). We'll talk about the crossover, the overlap, the reasons screenwriters write books, the business side, the creative side, the ways each type of writing informs the other, adaptations, etc. Columbia Film grad Beth Schacter will be moderating. I hope some Film Division grads will come out for it, it should be a great conversation (and free!).

As always, I'm juggling a bunch of projects. First off, I have producers attached and we're developing the movie version of Liv, Forever. I also have two TV projects I'm very excited about, including an adaptation of my friends' book X vs Y: A Culture War, A Love Story. And I have an idea for a second Liv book, which I'll write if there is an appetite. By the way, I found out yesterday that Amazon selected it as a YA Book of the Month! If anyone's interested in hearing more about the book and upcoming events, follow me on Twitter @amytalkington.

March 13, 7 PM at Barnes & Noble, The Grove
A conversation about "Screenwriting, Film, and YA" with Shauna Cross (WHIP IT, If I Stay) and Mickey Rapkin (PITCH PERFECT). Columbia Film alum Beth Schacter (BUNHEADS) is moderating. (Free).

If you miss Amy in LA, she’s also doing a signing in New York:
March 20, 5-7PM, Books of Wonder, 18 W 18th St, NYC
LIV, FOREVER NYC Launch. Book reading and signing.