To Hell and Just Maybe to Hollywood
LIU Brooklyn TV Writers Studio Graduate sells his first script to Amazon Studios
Brian Harmon,Public Relations Director
Long Island University
Brooklyn, N.Y. — Amazon Studios has purchased an animated comedy script written by Angel Castillo, a May 2012 graduate of LIU Brooklyn’s TV Writers Studio. The announcement comes just weeks after the TV Writers Studio — an intensive two-year master’s degree program developed and led by famed movie director and screenwriter Norman Steinberg — graduated its first cohort of students.
Castillo’s “The 100 Deaths of Mort Grimley” is one of the first projects picked for the Amazon Studios Series Development Slate. The 24-year-old Miami native sold his script last month for $10,000.
“This is the start of my career. Now, everything else happens from here,” said Castillo, a stand-up comedian who lives in the Bronx. “No matter what happens now, I can say I’ve sold a script. The first obstacle is the hardest to get over.”
Castillo’s mentor and teacher agreed.
“This was giant for him. He was up against hundreds of people and the Amzaon folks picked his script,” said Steinberg, an Emmy Award winner and Hollywood screenwriter who teamed with Mel Brooks to craft the screenplay for “Blazing Saddles.”
Steinberg kicked off the TV Writers Studio in 2010, teaching and mentoring graduate student writers who had been carefully selected from across the country. In the program, the students function collaboratively, similar to the staff of a television series; as well as independently, as writers and creators of their own series pilot. The program graduated 18 students in May.
“The promise of the TV Writers Studio is that we won’t teach anybody how to write, but instead teach them how to be a writer; and we’ll open doors for them for careers in television,” Steinberg said. “Angel is the first one out of the batter’s box.”
In “The 100 Deaths of Mort Grimley,” Castillo has crafted a darkly humorous tale about Grimley’s efforts to strike a deal to boost Hell’s occupancy numbers after he accidentally takes a trip there.
“After I sold the script, the first person I called was Norman,” Castillo said. “He’s almost become sort of a father figure to us.”
Classes for the TV Writers Studio are conducted at Steiner Studios, a 305,000-square-foot, Hollywood-style production and support facility. Students earn an M.F.A. in Writing and Producing for Television upon completing the 48-credit program.
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dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.
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