Film Connection screenwriting grad Geoffrey D. Calhoun turns a hobby into a career passion!
“I actually started screenwriting as a bet,” admits Film Connection screenwriting graduate Geoffrey D. Calhoun. “I was at work, and a guy was an editor in film…He bet that he could write a better story than I could. And I’m a bit competitive, so I went home that night and started researching how to learn screenplay. I wrote a treatment that night and came back to work, and we compared stories and I won.”
That first treatment turned into a full screenplay, and others followed, including a script called “Pink Bunny” which Geoffrey says won awards at several festivals. But he says it was still little more than a hobby for him—that is, until he had a random conversation at the medical facility where he was working as an MRI technician at the time.
“One of my patients said to me …‘Do you love what you do?’” says Geoffrey. “And it just hit me like, I just realized I didn’t…there was this big moment where I realized I need to pursue my passion. I hadn’t even realized that I could make screenwriting an option.”
Since Geoffrey had already attended college to train for his healthcare career, he wasn’t big on the idea of returning to go to film school. “I wanted to find a program that I could really have a mentor,” he says. “I found The Film Connection, and it was perfect. It really felt like it was tailored to my learning style.”
Geoffrey enrolled in the screenwriting program and was placed with veteran Hollywood writer/director Richard Brandes (My Daughter Was Stolen, Penny Dreadful) for mentoring via Skype. “He really taught me how to descriptively make a scene more appealing to read,” says Geoffrey. “And that really is the difference between a good screenwriter and a great screenwriter…I was worried I would get a mentor that wouldn’t understand me, or I wouldn’t be able to click with. But I mean, Richard Brandes and I, it’s just such a nurturing relationship. He’s taken my screenwriting to a whole different level.”
Geoffrey says his relationship with his mentor has continued into a professional relationship past his graduation from the Film Connection program, as Richard is now actively working with him to help him knock on doors in the film industry with some of his scripts.
“I have developed a few projects with Richard,” he says. “He is giving them some exposure to some of the contacts he has specifically at a few network channels, which is pretty exciting. And there’s a lot of potential there for some development deals.”
Breaking into the industry as a screenwriter takes time and patience, but for Geoffrey, he’s in it for the long haul. What started as a hobby has turned into his life passion, and he knows it’s just a matter of time.