It’s funny because I’m considered a first-time screenwriter, but I feel like a veteran,” Geoffrey Fletcher laughs. “Since graduating from film school (in 1999) up until ‘Precious,’ I had written thousands of pages of original material, and throughout those pages I managed to back myself into every dramatic corner imaginable, which was helpful in many respects when it came to writing this screenplay.”
“Precious” marks the 39-year-old scribe’s first produced screenplay.
Despite growing up in an upper-middle-class household in Connecticut, attending prep school, Harvard College and eventually NYU’s Tisch graduate film program, where he focused on directing, “Push” by Sapphire immediately “clicked” with Fletcher.
“I felt like Precious in the sense that I felt very much like an industry outsider before this (job). I knew I was capable and had talent to offer but never knew if I would get the opportunity to show it.”
Lee Daniels gave Fletcher that opportunity after seeing a 23-minute short, “Magic Markers,” that Fletcher wrote, shot, directed and edited in 1996.
“Before this project in particular, I’d begun to lose hope. Meeting Lee really taught me that sometimes strangers will give you a chance and to never stop trying and never stop writing.”
Hometown: Waterford, Conn.
Schools: Harvard College; Tisch School of the Arts at NYU
First writing gig: “Precious”
Influences: Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Vittorio De Sica
Screenplays that impressed this year: “Up”