February 2, 2022

Zack Ford on Screenwriting, Hacking into Hollywood, and Making it to Sundance with Watcher

Zack Ford is a New York-based screenwriter who sold his first screenplay right out of New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. The screenplay, originally entitled Scribbleface, would become Scar 3D, the first stereoscopic 3D horror film. Zack’s film, Watcher, premiered at Sundance 2022 and was recently purchased by IFC Films for theatrical and VOD distribution. Directed by Chloe Okuno and starring Maika Monroe and Karl Glusman, Watcher is about a young American woman who moves into an apartment with her fiancé in Bucharest, Romania, only to be tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in an adjacent building. This all happens while a serial killer is terrorizing the city.

Watcher Sundance Film Festival

                                        Maika Monroe in Watcher

What you will learn:

  • What first sparked Zack’s interest in screenwriting at age 6, how he wrote his first screenplay at age 12, entered a screenplay in the Nicholl screenwriting competition at age 16, and sold his first screenplay right out of NYU.
  • How Zack struggled in the industry after his first produced film, Scar 3D, was panned by critics, inspiring him to hack into Hollywood by creating a fake agency and submit screenplays under pen names. Zack’s Script Magazine article about this journey is linked under Resources below.
  • How Watcher finally got produced, years after writing it, after being optioned multiple times, going into production, and then being shut down due to covid, before finally getting produced during the pandemic in Romania.
  • Zack describes his work flow and writing process, which typically results in six completed screenplays per year.
  • How Zack’s approach to outlining has evolved over the years.
  • Where Zack would like to see himself professionally over the next few years.
  • What projects Zack is working on and is attached to in 2022.


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