Academy Alumnus Eric Almaguer Wins Writer's Arc Screenwriting Fellowship
Academy of Art University is proud to announce that
Motion Picture & Television alumnus Eric Almaguer was
chosen as a Fellow by the Writer's Arc Screenwriting Fellowship. The award was given for his
Real Men Don't Need Closure. Five to ten Fellowships are awarded, and each Fellow receives
$7,500 over the course of the sixteen-week program. This was the pilot session of the awards.
The Writer's Arc Foundation is a non-profit organization headed by Ami Vitori (former Vice
President at Josephson Entertainment) and Amy Kane (former studio executive at Universal Pictures).
The Writer's Arc are "focused on promoting screenwriting as an art form by seeking out undiscovered
talent and providing them the financial assistance and practical experience needed as they work
toward their goal of becoming successful screenwriters within the entertainment community."
Fellowship winners write a new script with professional guidance from Ms. Vitori and Ms. Kane
and also get to take part in many industry related community events in order to provide networking
opportunities and help them take steps toward reaching the end goal of becoming a professional
screenwriter. Various Fellowship winners' work is currently being read by top agents at Paradigm
and UTA and a studio exec at Paramount.
As a result of winning the Fellowship, Mr. Almaguer has been put in touch with several renowned
management firms, such as Thruline and Kaplan/Perrone. We spoke to Eric about winning the
Fellowship, his time at the Academy, and his plans for the future:
Describe your screenplay, and how you developed it. Did you receive any advice along the
way? Is this your first screenplay?
My screenplay is a broad comedy called
Real Men Don't Need Closure, about an estranged father and son who are polar opposites,
and get to know each other during a road trip in which they track down the son's fiancé, who left
him at the altar.
The development process was a unique one. During our first week, the fellows were instructed to
come to group meetings with three ideas we were considering. We each pitched our three ideas and
discussed as a group which would be most beneficial to our development as writers. From there we
picked the one we wanted to write.
What is unique is that the script I ended up writing was not one of the three I pitched. After I
pitched my ideas to the group, I told the directors that I had a title that I really liked, but had
no story to it. After I told them the title, everyone jumped on board. I then came up with three
possible directions for the script, and we picked the estranged father/son road trip angle for its
unique potential for comedy.
Along the way I received a bevy of advice, suggestions, and input from both the program
directors as well as my fellow Fellows. Each week we sat down with one another and discussed each
others' stories and any questions or suggestions we had to improve each others' scripts. Also, each
time we turned in an act of the script, we sat down for one-on-one time with the directors of the
program and received their input for rewrites.
This is now my fourth script. When I attended the Academy, I wrote my first script,
The Substitute Dick, which was optioned by an independent producer. My second script,
Fat Jockey got me an agent, a manager, and over thirty meetings with various producers and
executives around town. My third script is a romantic comedy called
Dating Down, which I am currently rewriting. And of course, now I have
Real Men Don't Need Closure, which I am also currently rewriting.
How did it feel to win the award?
Sort of like that tingly sensation you get when you drive over a hill too fast. You know the
one? Kidding. I'm not sure if I could do justice to describe how it felt to win the award. At the
time, I was at a pretty low point as far as getting the writing career started. I had come close a
couple of times but was never able to fully push through to a sell, and working a long line of
crappy assistant jobs was starting to get to me. I really began to question whether I wanted to
continue down this road. So when I got the call that I had won the Fellowship, it was sort of a
validation of everything I had been working toward.
Describe your experience as a student at the Academy?
The Academy experience was great. It gave me a broad view of all the facets of the film
industry. For example, I discovered early on that I will never, ever have a future as a Director of
Photography! I met a lot of good friends, who I still am in touch with today, as well as a host of
inspirational teachers, especially my screenwriting instructors Sam Scribner and Jackie
What are your plans for the future of your craft?
My plans are to keep writin', keep drinkin', and keep truckin'!