‘No Experience Necessary’, Josh Lanzet, 2018
Introducing the 10 shortlisted writers and their script proposals, which interpret the theme of ‘movement’ in different ways
Meet the Script House 2021 shortlist
Script House is an incubator designed by Soho House and sponsored by Genesis Motor America to support emerging talent looking to take the next step as screenwriters and film-makers – with a focus on the theme of ‘movement’. We asked for script proposal submissions from across the globe that would interpret this theme in different ways.
This year’s shortlist of 10 writers have proposed stories of cryogenic freezing and magic gold hoops with scripts exploring loss, grief, and family ties. Two scripts will be turned into a short film, with one winning overall, judged by a panel that includes Barry Jenkins, Lulu Wang, and Guneet Monga.
Meet the writers below.
Name: Timothy Michael Cooper (41, New York)
Script: Quarter-Century Kid
Timothy Michael Cooper is an award-winning writer-director based in Brooklyn. A former journalist and playwright, his focus is on finding underdogs and giving them a voice through his writing, discovering the heart and humanity in even the most absurd situations. His short comedy Lemon, starring Jennifer Westfeldt, Noah Bean and Jenn Lyon, premiered at Tribeca and played at dozens of festivals around the world.
Cooper has been part of the writers’ room for the Writers Guild Awards for seven years, writing jokes and other material for Jimmy Fallon, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kenan Thompson, Rachel Brosnahan, Riz Ahmed, Ava DuVernay, and many more. His Script House 2021 entry is Quarter-Century Kid, telling the story of the night before a sweet but indecisive teenager is to be cryogenically suspended for 25 years to help solve the world’s escalating infertility crisis. The protagonist struggles with whether to go through with his choice – especially in light of his girlfriend’s shocking revelation.
Name: Mark Daniels (34, London)
Script: Old Joanna
Mark Daniels is a gay writer from south-east London with experience across screen, stage, and radio. He’s had three full-length plays performed on the London fringe scene: N89, set on a night bus; The Institute Of Nuts, which takes place in a dystopian training ground for masculinity; and Tinderella, a modern-day adult panto. Daniels has credits on BBC Radio 4 sketch shows Newsjack and The Skewer, and his sitcom, Straight Faced, was a BAFTA Rocliffe TV finalist and it also won Pozzitive Comedy’s radio script competition.
Daniels enjoys teasing the humour and drama out of everyday situations and also likes to interrogate sexuality and gender stereotypes. His new surreal satire, Coronavirus – A Great British Farce, will be on at Camden Fringe in August 2021. His Script House 2021 proposal, Old Joanna, narrates one pivotal night in the lives of Len (73) and Rita (70), who are watching their local East End pub close for the last time. Will this be their window of opportunity to take their relationship to the next level?
Name: Josh Lanzet (34, Los Angeles)
Script: Uphill Ride
Josh Lanzet is a stand-up comic and writer who fell head first as a kid into a bin of VHS tapes – and it shows. He performs comedy across the US (including longer stints in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles). His original two-person show, Dating: Adults Embracing Failure, had sold-out runs in Chicago, LA and New York, and was published in late 2016.
Lanzet’s two most recent projects will be debuting in the coming months: a web series called No Experience Necessary, and a podcast called Steep Conversations. For this year’s Script House, the comic’s submission is Uphill Ride. After having his heart broken mid-class, an overly enthusiastic cycling instructor attempts to continue teaching while having an emotional breakdown.
Name: Stephen Nolly 34, Los Angeles
Script: Talk To Me
Stephen Nolly is a Japanese-Jewish Air Force brat who cut his teeth in New York’s theatre scene. After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he was a resident artist at Tribeca’s Flea Theater (Drama Desk, OBIE Award). His scripts have been optioned, advanced and placed at the Austin Film Festival, Sundance Episodic Lab, Page Awards, NYU Production Lab, and he was a 2020 WB Writers’ Workshop finalist.
Nolly enjoys high-concept stories that focus on the perspective of the ‘other’. His proposal for Script House is titled Talk To Me, recounting the story of retirement-village resident Malcolm, who is no longer the man he used to be. When his chess partner, Rufus, is in danger of being moved to a different facility, Malcolm tries to save the only person who remembers him for the man he was. The only problem is Rufus has Alzheimer’s.
Name: Shikira Porter (25, London)
Script: A London Hotel
Shikira Porter is a screenwriter and published poet. She has spent time perfecting her craft working as a reader for various production companies and learning what makes a script sing. Her work reflects the human experience in all its forms: drama, comedy, escapism, and romance.
Porter is a script editor at Mammoth Screen, and in June 2021, she wrote and starred in her own film for BBC Three’s Laugh Lessons. She is currently in the writers’ room for the second season of the ITV/ Triforce panel show, Sorry I Didn’t Know. Porter’s entry for Script House 2021 is titled A London Hotel. Set on the top floor, two people reminisce about their past life together, without their spouses present. The pull of familiarity has them considering losing everything to live in the past, once again.
‘Identification’, Stephen Nolly, 2015
Name: Molly Quinlan (27, Los Angeles)
Script: Charlie Goes To Joshua Tree
Molly Quinlan is an associate content writer at Spotify, where she writes and edits storytelling podcasts for the Parcast Podcast Network. She edits the horror podcast Haunted Places and writes for the narrative anthology podcast Superstitions. She also writes for the Podcast Academy Award-nominated show Supernatural With Ashley Flowers.
Quinlan’s scripts feature character-driven horror, mystery and comedy, centering around flawed female characters, dysfunctional families, and the toll that secrets take on relationships. For Script House, her proposal Charlie Goes To Joshua Tree explores similar themes: when LA transplant Charlie can’t decide what to do with her father’s ashes, she sets out with her free-spirit sister Jules to find the perfect place to dump Dad (come hell or high water).
Name: Kylan Tyng (23, Los Angeles)
Script: The 13th Floor
Kylan Tyng is a producer and film-maker who graduated from New York University with a major in film and TV production and a minor in entertainment business. His past films have won the Soho House Shorts competition, the Tisch 48 Film Festival competition, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Student Filmmaker competition, and he was selected as a finalist for NYU’s New Visions & Voices Film Festival.
Tyng has worked at the production companies Hypnotic, Mad Chance, and Working Title Films. Since his graduation in May 2020, he’s worked for the Producers Guild of America and is currently in development and post-production on upcoming projects. Tyng’s entry for Script House 2021 is titled The 13th Floor, telling the story of an overworked company employee making a miraculous discovery while trapped in an elevator after hours.
Name: Rebecca Usoro (31, Los Angeles)
Script: The Family Meeting
Rebecca Usoro is a writer, director, actor and dancer based in Los Angeles. A graduate from the John Wells Division of Screen and Television MFA program at USC, she writes comedic, heartfelt stories about people who want to follow their dreams, but are at odds with their families and the multiple identities they inhabit.
Her film Ikwa Ozu (The Celebration), about a dancer within a strict education-obsessed Nigerian family, will be her feature directorial debut, and she’s currently writing an upcoming Netflix series. Her short film proposal for Script House 2021, The Family Meeting, focuses on a Christmas family meeting in the Udoewa household, which forces a granddaughter and grandmother to face their fears about growing up and growing old.
Name: Justin Smith Uzomba (37, London)
Having spent a decade releasing music both independently and on a major record label under the moniker Mikill Pane, Justin Smith Uzomba decided to make a foray into screenwriting in 2020, at the behest of friends and collaborators George The Poet and Romesh Ranganathan.
As well as entering the odd writing competition, Uzomba – born to Nigerian immigrants and hailing from the London borough of Hackney – is currently completing his first project: a humorous eight-episode TV show loosely based on his experiences in the music industry. For Script House 2021, he has written F.I.T.D., a story of two complete strangers who have a chance encounter and go their separate ways, unaware that they share a bond more powerful than they may ever know.
Name: Kasey Elise Walker (30, Los Angeles)
Script: Hoop Dreams
Kasey Elise Walker is a Los Angeles-born actress and writer. Early in her career, she co-founded a multimedia company, To The Moon Citizen, where she inspired young women to let go of fear and shoot for the moon through her creative content and short films. More recently, Walker has made an appearance in the Hulu series Into The Dark and the feature film North Hollywood, starring Vince Vaughn.
Her short film The Dispute, screened at Sundance and SXSW in 2019, and is now being developed into a feature-length title. Hoop Dreams is Walker’s Script House 2021 entry, in which protagonist Savannah Walker’s fear of speaking publicly in poetry class leads her to steal her mother’s magical golden hoops with a belief that they’ll help her overcome it. Ultimately, they transport her into a world beyond her greatest imagination.