LMU writing duo Jeff Phillips, lecturer and alum, and screenwriting major Lauren Conn ’16, have been hired by Ovation to adapt the fantasy series The Chronicles of Ara into an eight-part miniseries. Phillips, an executive producer on DreamWorks Studios’ Stealing Time, met Conn when she was enrolled in his LMU writing course in fall 2014. It was then Conn impressed Phillips with her pilot script based on her mother’s departure from Cold War Russia.
“It turned out to be one of the best scripts I’d ever read,” said Phillips. “We kept in touch, and our shared interest in dark subject matter led to our writing partnership.”
“Jeff became a writer-dad to me,” Conn said. “We started writing smaller gigs together which progressed into this incredible opportunity now.”
Conn, who graduated this past weekend, said of her new gig at Ovation,”It feels just as terrifying as not having a job coming right out of graduation. At the same time it also feels rewarding after years of working odd jobs and interning.”
“There’s a different set of fears and demands we have to cater to once out of film school – subsequent gig or not,” she continued. “You hustle for a project, nab it, complete it, and that’s it. Then you have to hunt again.”
Conn believes that sitting back and letting opportunities come to you is not the way to pursue a career in the industry. “If you want to succeed you have to hunt. Simply, we’re Lions – go on the prowl and kill it.”
The Chronicles of Ara centers on Ara, a muse who inspires all of art and invention, but who is corrupted upon a tragic loss. Using parallel storylines, the characters include some of history’s more renowned “dark authors” — J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, Lewis Carroll, H.G. Well, Edgar Allan Poe — as they are inspired to pen their greatest works. Within these authors’ books are discovered clues of an impending apocalypse, when man is betrayed by his greatest creation: his art.