George Brown-trained screenwriter is living the L.A. dream
After graduating from film school, Adam Hutchison was working as a commercial director – and enjoying success in the field – but he yearned for something more.
"As a director, the technical skills were there, but I needed to focus on script writing," Hutchison says. "Although I had spent three years in school, I didn't feel I learned the science of script writing."
Enter Nika Rylski.
Adam was referred to Nika specifically and, as such, ended up in Continuing Education at George Brown College, where she is an instructor. In 2005, Hutchison started his first class with Nika, Write Your Own Screenplay, and was immediately impressed.
"I went into George Brown with nothing. I was not a good screenwriter going into that class," Hutchison says. "Nika was a revelation; she was blunt and to the point, which is just what I needed, and she changed my whole perspective."
The Key to Success
The product of that first class, the first 30 pages of his screenplay, Arcadia, which remain virtually unchanged even to this day, were Hutchison's key to his Hollywood success. In fact, at a screenwriting workshop in Los Angeles, he presented the first 30 pages to studio representatives and Arcadia was optioned in December 2006.
"Those 30 pages are what got me to L.A.," Hutchison says. "(X-Men director) Bryan Singer’s production company at Warner Brothers took an interest in my script, which, along with other interest from Hollywood producers, led to my work visa, getting management, an agent and working here in Hollywood."
While the writers' strike derailed some of the momentum Arcadia had built, it still appeared on studio executives' black list for 2007 – a list of the best screenplays that weren't released that year. Hutchison's name appeared alongside such Hollywood luminaries as the Coen brothers, and through it all, Hutchison leaned on Nika – his story editor for Arcadia.
"She completely shaped me as a screenwriter. I wouldn't be where I am at all without her," he says. "While she told me exactly what I needed to here, she was blunt and tough – which is good preparation for this industry which is not friendly by a long shot."
For Hutchison, there's no time to rest. While Arcadia is in the process of being made (the studio is finalizing casting, direction and several other details), he continues to work on a number of projects. And he always has time to recommend the Screenwriting Certificate at George Brown.
"I do it all the time, but just have one word of advice for would-be screenwriters," Hutchison says. "Even if you think you know screenwriting, start at the beginning and take the classes in order. It's definitely the way to success."
With Hutchison's Hollywood-style ending, it's hard to argue with that.