malcolm spellman headshotWho are you and what do you write?

My name is Malcolm Spellman. I’m a kinda black dude from the Bay Area (California). I write in various genres (drama, crime, comedy, whatever), and I write in television and film.

I don’t really have a “preference” in genre or subject matter though more than half my employment comes in working on comedies. Also my only real (shared) credit is a family comedy for Fox (Our Family Wedding). But, like many writers, I try hard to push myself out of any creative comfort zones, particularly when speccing.

Where and when do you write?

I write at home. I write from 8am to 4pm, though shit does vary. Ideally, I get most of my new pages done in the first part of the day, edit and rewrite during the second half of the day. This seems to be pretty common with writers. At least awesome writers.

I like to write in a reclined position. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in excruciating carpal tunnel so I’ve gotta switch it up. Ideally, I’m on the couch or in a recliner. When the pain starts, I work at a desk sitting upright.

Also, I work in my car pretty regularly. Especially when I’m editing/rewriting. Isolation, AC and reclining seats, great view of whatever, you can’t beat it.

What software do you use?

workspaceI use Final Draft. And I use Microsoft Word (for outlining or brainstorming when I’m stuck). And I mostly use the internet.

What hardware do you use?

I use an ergonomic keyboard and a wireless mouse. This allows me to sit my computer away from me and spread myself across various furnitures. The wireless mouse allows me to procrastinate online in a completely blobbed out position.

I also use paper and pencil. Again, like most awesome writers, I do a ton of editing as I go. I reread and rewrite my scripts in entirety almost daily. I like to do this with a hard-copy, so I do a lot of printing. I have one of those fast, bulky black and white laser printers that never breaks.

When I’m stuck, I sometimes like to write with pen on a blank page. I use a pillow to take naps in my car. But mostly, I bullshit on the internet.

What (if anything) would you change?

If we’re talking about my workspace, I wouldn’t mind trying to go work at an office. But I never will. Not unless someone makes me — like, if someone actually made another one of my movies and I had to be on set. Or if I was desperate for money and Derek Haas threw me a bone and hired me to work on his show. But beyond that, nothing will ever change.

If we’re talking in general, I would change a lot. I would like to stick to one arena of story-telling long enough to get a foothold. I seem to be emotionally and psychologically incapable of doing that, much to the chagrin of my reps.

Also, I would read more. That is probably the first thing I would do differently. I don’t read enough. It is a major weakness in my otherwise astonishingly powerful game.