I was born and raised in “Breaking Bad” territory -- Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was destined to be a writer since the third grade after writing my first book, “Bert the Monkey.” It was a great success with my teacher, he was impressed that it had "a beginning, middle, and end." I wasn't sure what that meant but I could tell it was a good thing. I was already instinctively writing in a three-act structure.
In 7th grade our class read a TV teleplay out loud. I’d never seen a script before. A revelation! It never occurred to me before that someone had to write the words my favorite characters said each week. “I’m not a novelist, I’m a screenwriter!” The clouds parted. Angels sang. Golden light shone down upon the script on my desk. Days later I decided my friends and I should invent our own storyline for the show, make up dialogue and write it all down. I loved it, but my friends lost interest after half an hour. They went for pizza. It was my valiant attempt to create my very own writers room! They never returned to the writing. But I never stopped.
In high school I loved all things English, so after graduation I went to art school in London. I explored haunted chalk caves, got known as a ‘regular’ at my neighborhood pub, kissed my favorite rock star in the gorgeous countryside, visited spiritualist churches every week, and walked in the footsteps of Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolfe. Oh, and I studied a little bit, too. England rocked!
Eventually I got homesick, returned to America and earned my B.A. in psychology with a heavy concentration in parapsychology (ESP, ghosts, paranormal phenomena). I did some legitimate ghostbusting with some of the most well-respected parapsychologists in the world.
Wanderlust struck again. I went to Moscow and taught English to Russians. My time there inspired me to write the feature “900 Days” about the siege of Leningrad. After my script reached the semifinals of the Nicholls Fellowship (top 3%) Hollywood insiders reassured me that I had enough talent to ‘make it’ as a writer. I relocated to LA to pursue screenwriting full-time.
In 2012 I was interviewed by Indie Source Magazine. Read the article here.
SO WHO SAYS JAN CAN WRITE?
- In 2000 Jan was a semifinalist in the Nicholl Fellowship (the top 3% of 4225 entrants) with 900 Days.
- Also in 2000 she was a semifinalist in the Austin Heart of Film screenwriting contest with 900 Days.
- In 2004 she was a Top Ten Finalist in Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope screenwriting contest (out of over 2000 entrants) with 900 Days.
- In 2006 she was a quarterfinalist in the AAA screenwriting contest (sponsored by Creative Screenwriting magazine) with her script The Postman's Reign (then titled Milo).
- In 2015 Jan's script for The Mercy List made the top 10% in the Nicholl Fellowship (the top 10% of 7442 entrants).
Email Jan at JanWilson@happyfrogfilms.com or call 818-522-6191.
Go to her website: Happy Frog Films to see her other projects.