“It was a huge holiday party and people were dancing to a hip-hop gospel song,” remembers Elizabeth Hunter. “I looked around and said, ‘Oh my God.
This is a big idea.’ ”
Hunter’s flash turned into a spec script, “The Fighting Temptations,” now in rewrites at MTV Films. It’s the story of a Los Angeles rapper who discovers he stands to inherit a fortune — provided he starts a gospel choir.
Hunter, a 34-year-old Baldwin Hills native with degrees from Stanford and Cornell, is a former director of development at Universal. She began writing full-time in 1996.
David Gale, senior vice president of MTV Films, raves about Hunter’s characters and dialogue. He also is excited about how well she collaborates. “What made her truly extraordinary as a writer was that she took the notes and made them her own,” he says. “You knew that she was a writer who could not only do something once, but could improve upon it.”
Hunter says the key to her writing is simply love. “I’ve got to love all of these characters. Even the bad guys. There’s got to be some love in it, otherwise there’s no point in putting it out there.”
With one sale behind her, Hunter is more determined than ever. “I think it’s made me hungrier.” she says. “It’s made me want to do better.”
“I love working with those guys (at MTV). I feel pretty optimistic about the project. And I feel pretty optimistic about the future.”