Two reasons I'm writing this story: 1) I love screenwriter success stories, and 2) I love New York City screenwriting success stories. (No, I'm not very interested in seeing a sequel to New Jack City ... unless, of course, Chris Rock loses fifty pounds and plays another crack addict.) Over at Yahoo, they have a great story about a NYC tollbooth worker who wrote a crime script last year called Brooklyn's Finest. See, his car was totaled in an accident and so he entered this screenwriting competition with hopes the cash prize would help pay for a new ride. While Michael Martin had studied film in college, he had never written a full screenplay before -- and though his script placed second, it attracted attention from all over the place; landing on the steps of a Warner Bros-based producer who was searching for someone gritty enough to write the sequel to New Jack City.
Dude eventually moved to Los Angeles, wrote for the Showtime series Sleeper Cell, but then got homesick and returned to New York -- where, to this day, he works for the Transit Authority (he was just promoted to construction flagger). In between flagging, he still works on the New Jack City 2 script (which will probably go direct to DVD) on break in the subway tunnels, all while Brooklyn's Finest gears up to go into production this May -- in Brookyln -- with Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Richard Gere and Ellen Barkin starring. Training Day's Antoine Fuqua will direct.
Oh, and he has a new car now.
Great story; you can read the entire thing here. And good luck to you Mr. Martin!