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Tyler Walker, left, and Brian Bourque. (Special to the American Press)

Tyler Walker, left, and Brian Bourque. (Special to the American Press)

Lake Charles natives taking on Hollywood in screenwriting competition

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 10:40 AM

By Ashley Withers / American Press

Lake Charles natives Tyler Walker and Brian Bourque are taking on Hollywood — making it to one of the final rounds of a prestigious international screenwriting competition.

But the two say their recent success was “born from failure.”

The longtime friends teamed up back in 2006 to accomplish their dreams, even though they weren’t quite sure what those dreams were.

“I would say the screenwriting started because none of our bands worked out,” Walker, 24, said.

“You asked me to help you write a comic book. That was when it seemed like we could still be in bands, but ultimately we dove headfirst into it because we couldn’t rely on our bands,” Bourque, 28, said.

“Then we realized that with comic books we had to rely more on the artist than on the writer,” Walker added. “That’s when we decided to just focus on the writing.”

“It’s makes a lot of sense. Going from writing songs that tell stories to just straight up telling those stories,” Bourque said.

Though it took some time to get there, Bourque and Walker have found success in screenwriting.

The two were recently selected as semifinalists for The Academy’s Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. The fellowship is earned by participating in an international screenwriting competition.

The competition received more than 7,000 entries this year, and only 120 were selected as semifinalists.

Bourque and Walker submitted two entries as partners.

The first, titled “Nova Valley,” was based on the comic books the pair had written. “It took us two years to write. It was our baby, and that one didn’t win anything,” Walker said.

The second was titled “Skull Creek.”

“We had two weeks to write it before the deadline. We were just like we are going to go all out to win the Nicholl,” Walker said.

“We started with a logline. A logline is a one sentence synopsis of a movie. You have to have it to sell a script. We wrote a logline that we just thought was classic Hollywood cinema.”

Their logline reads: “A Vietnam veteran wakes up in his hometown handcuffed to a briefcase with no memory of how he got there.”

“That’s where we started off and two weeks later we had written 120 pages,” Walker said.

“Skull Creek” is the title of the screenplay that made it to the semifinals.

Bourque and Walker were born and raised in Lake Charles, and both feel growing up in the area has played a big role in their writing.

“What’s great is we’re able to play on very specific Southern themes that we would only be aware of from living here,” Walker said.

“For as much as I’m happy to be out, I’m happy to have come from the South,” Bourque said. “It gives you a unique perspective on the world that I think will be beneficial.”

Bourque is living in Los Angeles and is attending film school.

Bourque and Walker hope to be sell the “Skull Creek” script and work as professional writers for a television series.

“One of the writers from ‘Lost’ was a semifinalist in the Nicholls. That was what kind of parlayed them into success,” Walker said. “What they do is release a list of all of the quarter-finalists and all of the semifinalists to different agencies, and that’s kind of the real win. Once you have representation, that’s the first big step.”

“It was our goal to make it to the semifinals,” Bourque said. “It’s our foot in the door.”

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