heather hach

Who are you and what do you write?

I’m Heather Hach, and I’m lucky enough to call myself a mostly-employed screenwriter. My best-known credit is Freaky Friday — the recent one, not the 1970s version. I’ve also written for Broadway (Legally Blonde the Musical), TV (an ABC pilot last season that didn’t get picked up), and a book you may have seen in the Bargain Bin pile (Freaky Monday), but I still consider myself first and foremost a screenwriter.

I tend to write comedies and more female-driven material. I’ll share credit on the upcoming What To Expect When You’re Expecting, which comes out Mother’s Day 2012. (Please go opening weekend. Please.)

I probably identify myself primarily as a screenwriter because I simply love movies all out of proportion. When movies are good, I’m the woman randomly clapping and guffawing with loud delight in the back of the theater. (Actually, not the back — the middle, and always on an aisle. Always. Small bladder.)

When I went through the ego boost of having my husband walk out on me 15 years ago, I told myself, “Good god, seriously? This is my life? Okay, what do I REALLY wanna do now then? Because my personal life is in the toilet but maybe my professional life could kick ass.”

And I realized while watching Good Will Hunting, I love movies most. (And while watching Star Wars. And while watching Jaws. And while watching Crimes and Misdemeanors. You get the idea…) And I love comedy. (I used to perform with an improv troupe in Denver.) And writing. (Which is what I did professionally.)

So I combined those passions, and realized that’s called being a screenwriter. I started writing scripts, and I knew this was ‘it.’ I moved to LA in 1998. In 1999, I won the Walt Disney Fellowship, and my first assignment was Freaky Friday. I had no idea then this is generally not how Hollywood works.

Where and when do you write?

workspaceI try — operative word being ‘try’ — to write from 9 to 5-ish at my home office, with varying degrees of success. I have a 21-month old boy at home who wants to wander into my office, and he is damned irresistible, so that’s challenging.

I also can be easily distracted and spend an inordinate amount of time looking up flash sales to places in the Bahamas I’ve never heard of and for ridiculously high heels I’ll never wear and why Kim Kardashian is the worst person on the planet.

Oh, and interactive maps predicting whether Indiana will go blue or red in 2012. I love those.

What hardware do you use?

I use a Macintosh OS X (I had to go to the “About This Computer” icon to find out that information, if that gives you a clue) and have a painfully out-of-touch Mac laptop. It’s so old I’m not even going to look it up and embarrass myself.

What software do you use?

Final Draft, of course, and I think I have version 8 but I could be wrong. I use Word a lot for my outlines. Frankly, I’m like a fawn whose mother has been shot in the woods when it comes to technology.

What would you change about how you write?

I think writing would be a lot easier if I could somehow magically be Aaron Sorkin for 23 minutes a day — or Beyonce, even. Both, ideally.

That’s not going to happen. So I have to maximize my own skills and do the heavy lifting and painful work of breaking a story (the part that inevitably makes me want to lay down). I wish I knew how to make that process more digestible. I still don’t. I wish I could tune out the world better and not be so ADD all too often.

I strive for five pages a day when I’m in delivery mode — whether that takes me an hour or ten. If I’m ambitious, I’ll do more.