Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek are screenwriters in Hollywood. Working for years honing their craft, often with little hope of compensation, they diligently sit down every day to tell stories. This dedication is hard to fathom if you’re not a working artist. The life can be thankless, with doubts and demons dogging every life decision. But Lauren and Elizabeth kept at it, winning a few writing contests here and there, until after 10 years of hard work, they got their break. Elizabeth and Lauren saw an opportunity in the new movement of Disney to create live action versions of their animated movies. They wrote a screenplay for a live action Mulan on spec. Disney bought it. And after a few delays Mulan will be on Disney Plus starting September 4th.
I’ve known Elizabeth since college, where we worked several shows in the Stanford drama department and the Ram’s Head Theatrical Society. Our biggest claim to fame was working on a production of “Three Penny Opera” directed by Carl Weber. (I’ll put a link to him in the description.) It was perhaps working with Carl where Elizabeth first experienced the real challenge to a successful, simply being a woman. I know Lauren less well, mostly through Elizabeth, but I have always enjoyed her insightful conversation. With the momentous occasion of their first blockbuster movie arrive in theaters (sorta thanks Covid) I thought I’d call them up and ask them about the craft of screen writing.
Lauren and Elizabeth work very hard, often for months or years on projects that simply don’t happen. Through sheer force of will, and the help of many, they have started to achieve the success they deserve. Their current project, at least the current project they can discuss, is a biopic of the computer pioneer Grace Hopper. They also cave out time to serve as co-chairs on the committee of Women Writers at the WGAW. I look forward to watching Mulan and the many other stories Lauren and Elizabeth will tell in the coming years.
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