In addition to Sian Heder’s recent win for CODA, alumnus Josh Singer received an Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay for SPOTLIGHT (2015), shared with Tom McCarthy, who directed the film. Synchronously, for many years prior we referred to alumni with major credits as spotlight alumni. In addition to his other important work, Josh’s storied career is distinguished by his choice to write a spec script for The West Wing during Basic Training–and then getting staffed by that very show for his first industry writing gig!
Other MPAA accolades include Steph Green’s 2007 nomination for her short script New Boy, and the 2002 Best Documentary nod for long-time alumnus Stuart Sender, who produced THE PRISONER OF PARADISE.
Of session, Professional Member Octavia Spencer received an Oscar for Best Actress for a Supporting Role in THE HELP (2012). We were ecstatic for her–and it would be borderline bad behavior to suggest that her work with Writers Boot Camp’s term misbehavior contributed at all to that acting accomplishment. She won the Golden Globe that year as well.
Additionally, per the Golden Globes: In 2020, writer-director and LA Pro Member, Lulu Wang, was nominated for her wonderful film, THE FAREWELL in the category of Best Picture Foreign Language.
While We’re Mentioning Top Awards & Recognition
In television, alumnus Cindy Chupack is more than likely our top small-screen winner, having earned two Emmys, one for Sex and the City and her second for Modern Family.
NY Professional Member Steven Sater was recognized with the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical in 2007 for Spring Awakening, which also won Best Musical.
Additional Perspective for New and Experienced Writers
When we list credits and awards by alumni, we do not include achievement prior to their work with us. That said, experienced writers and filmmakers get even more out of Writers Boot Camp’s tools and process. Our approach is nuanced and non-formulaic, putting definitions and names to challenges that veteran writers naturally comprehend from their years orbiting through the tests of conceptual development and pitfalls of rewriting.
Another alumnus and Oscar-winning actor, for his role in THE GREAT SANTINI, Michael O’Keefe offered a quote in the 90s after going through Basic Training with us: “Writers Boot Camp is a no-nonsense approach that can work for the novice as well as the expert. If you’ve always wanted a way to organize your ideas, Writers Boot Camp will get your attention.”
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