"I went to USC and majored in Filmic Writing. I saw screenwriting as an interesting way to tell stories."
"Right after school, I worked for the President of Universal Studios as an assistant. I saw how executives read scripts, how projects go from scripts to being bought, just the entire process. It was an invaluable experience."
Pursuing the dream
"After 2-3 years, I decided to save money, quit working and write full-time and see what happened. I wrote a couple of scripts that didn't really do anything. I worked all sorts of odd jobs. I was an SAT tutor. I drove a delivery van for a woman's clothing store. I worked as telephone support for an online casting company. I ran out of money and had to move in with my girlfriend."
"Early on, there is a stage most of us have to go through creatively where you are doing something but you don't know what the fuck you're doing."
The first big break
"I had met this producer named Josh McLaughlin who liked my first script. We were in a meeting, and I came up with the idea for 12 Rounds which led us to working on the idea together. We went out with the script, and no one bought it. I moved on, but then Josh had a meeting with John Cena, the professional wrestler. Josh gave my script to John who gave it to the WWE. Vince McMahon read it and in five days they said, Let's make this movie."
Seeing your words on the big screen
"It's straight up cool. You try to downplay it, but it's awesome."
"I am usually up and at my computer at 9. I have a good hour or two of breakfast, internet, twittering and catching up on the news. I write between 11-2:30. After a late lunch, I work again from 3 to close to my son's bedtime at 7. Sometimes it is more labor intensive or more relaxed, but I would say there are very few days where I don't do any work."
What would you do if you weren't a screenwriter?
"I have no idea. Even if I were struggling and had to get another full-time job to support my family, I would never not do this."
>>>Check back tomorrow for Daniel's tips to making it as a screenwriter.