Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ryan Jaffe (C'96) pens The Rocker

Ryan Jaffe's (C'96) script for The Rocker has just finished filming.

Per Ryan, "The Rocker stars Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Jason Sudekis, Jeff Garlin, Jane Lynch, Emma Stone, Josh Gad, and Teddy Geiger. It's the story of a drummer that gets fired from a band just before they become really famous and earns a second shot at rock stardom twenty years later when he hooks up with his teenage nephew's band. "

Per Variety, Ryan is currently writing Don't Lean on Me, a film which "tells the story of an assistant high school gym teacher with no interest in education who's forced into his worst nightmare -- a promotion to high school principal." Great concept!

Aspiring Penn undergrads and alumni writers, check this out...

How did this all happen for Ryan?

Per Ryan, "I wrote a script called The High Road, which led to a manager and then agent at Endeavor. Debbie Liebling at Fox liked the script and took a general meeting, where I pitched The Rocker. She liked it, asked for a synopsis, and then gave me a two script deal. It's not quite that simple, but that's the nutshell.

Until I sold the pitch to Fox I worked first as an assistant at Industry Entertainment for three years after graduation, then worked as a script reader, then a web producer, which took me to San Francisco for a year. While there I began taking fiction workshops at Berkeley and had a big breakthrough in terms of building confidence. I then moved back to L.A. to work in television, but my passion was always film and I ended up writing a couple features, one of which was The High Road (based on a short story I wrote while in San Francisco). I never saw the short story as a potential film, but was encouraged to write something that I didn't think would necessarily sell, but rather demonstrated an original, compelling voice. The script still hasn't sold but it's responsible for just about every opportunity I've ever had."

I bet he didn't write these scripts in Starbucks...

Congratulations, Ryan!

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