My name is Drue Grit. I'm a writer, director and mental health advocate, but above all - I'm a kid with a dream who believes that words, cinema, and love has the power to change the world. I know this because it has changed mine. Like the power of any great story or film, they have the ability to transport us. They nurture emotional experiences. They get us to think and makes us feel.by joining characters on a quest to understand their own sense of self, stories and films ask us to dig deep to remember who we are and what are purposes are.
In my life's journey, I've defeated depression, suicide, abandonment and helped many others through these struggles too. I've defeated heartbreaks, loss, and the anxiety of understanding who I am and what my purpose is. I think many people will relate and feel from THE INCREDIBLE EXISTENCE stories. I think they're stories that will ignite, inspire, and help others grow. You can discover more of my work on my website and get a sense of my story, my purpose, and why this series means the entire world to me.
WORDS & ACTIONS TELEVISION SERIES
• BEST TELEVISION PILOT - London Independent Film Awards
• Award of Merit - DIRECTING - IndieFest Film Awards
• Award of Merit - TELEVISION PILOT - IndieFest Film Awards
• Award of Merit - BEST LEAD ACTOR - Darren Tyler Morgan - IndieFest Film Awards
THE LOVE EFFECT - Feature Film
• QuarterFinalist BlueCat International Screenplay Awards 2018
THE LOVE EFFECT - Short Film
• Winner GRAND JURY PRIZE Santa Monica International Film Festival
• Winner BEST DIRECTOR
• Nominated for Best Lead Actor,
• Nominated Best Original Screenplay
• Nominated Best Cinematography
• BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Malibu International Film Festival
• BEST ACTOR - Tyler Atkins - Hollywood Short Film Festival
• Nominated SAMHSA Voice Award
• Official Selection: NYC Mental Health Film Festival
• Official Selection: Green Bay Film Festival
• Official Selection: MHA Mental Health Film Festival
Warner Bros. Television Writer's Workshop
Top 10 Finalist - Spec Screenplay "ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK"
The Washington Center Inaugural Scholarship
The only film student in the world to receive a full scholarship to the 2008 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama
UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting
• Honorable Mention - Screenplay Competition , for my animated family musical "Buga Beluga & The Deep Blue Sea".
HALF (The Director's Realization) - Short Film
• Granted Special FILM FESTIVAL rights to the original music of NINO ROTA from the Soundtrack "Fellini's 8 1/2"
• American Society of Cinematographer Heritage Award Honorable Mention:
Director of Photography, Golnar Fakhrai
• 1st place: Best Film The District Weekly/Long Beach Studios/CSULB Film Festival
• BORDER'S BOOKS Audience Choice Award DGA / CSULB Film Showcase
• 3rd place: Best Narrative Film CSU Media Arts Festival
• Nominated Best Film - 1st Annual RAWards Show
- Official Selection: Sonoma/Napa Wine Country Film Festival
- Official Selection: Newport Beach Film Festival
- Official Selection: West Hollywood International Film Festival
- Official Selection: RAW Natural Born Artists Special Screening
- Official Selection: box[ur]shorts International Film Festival
I've directed three independent television pilots. One was financed by Dwayne "The Rock Johnson's" THE GARCIA COMPANIES. I also co-wrote this one.
I was the Creative Director that led the design on the Intel / Warner Bros Autonomous Vehicle.
I worked at Apple Retail. My first internship was Apple corporate. I wrote and directed content that has been seen by millions of people around the world. My work is still featured on all Apple devices with iMovie as well as Apple Stores.
I wrote, directed and developed various VIRTUAL REALITY and Promotional Video content for Warner Bros. and The Justice League movie campaign.
As a Mental Health & Love Advocate, I have spoken in Washington D.C.
Twice through Mental Health America, the first and oldest Mental Health Advocacy group in the country. Here I showed my film THE LOVE EFFECT in 2016 and offered part of our interactive presentation. The second time was this year in 2018, offering a presentation on "How To Become Better Mental Health Advocates and Teachers of Mental Health." I have conducted over 6 talks on cinema, advocacy and love.
ATTENDING PRESIDENT OBAMA'S
I was the only film student in the world to attend President Obama's inauguration on a full scholarship. While still working towards my B.A. at CAL STATE Long Beach's Film and Video Production program, my application and essay was picked at the top of my school for selection. It discussed the power of media in politics, its influence on this election, and how my voice as a creative storyteller is imperative in this age.
M.F.A - The University of Southern California (USC)
My dream school. I was rejected three times, at different points of my life. On the 4th time, it was for the MFA program in Film and Television Production. I went through a series of hurdles, including the University losing my "re-application" submission for Spring. Not only did I contest this, it escalated to the Dean of Students. I stuck to my dream and my desire to attend. As a result, the school was fair and through a handful of more trials, I was accepted into the school.
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
At the time of my MFA applications, I dropped my Columbia Film and NYU application. I knew in my heart I was a west coast kid, and I had already spent four years developing a relationship in Southern California. While I was rejected from the MFA program in Directing, I was accepted into the Professional Program in Screenwriting, where...
I wrote an award winning animated family musical, even when I was told not to.
We were told we were going to write two screenplays for the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. My whole creative career I wanted to write what I wanted to write. I had written dramedys and drama. For whatever reason, an animated family film, and a musical to boot, was inside my heart. More than one person told me not to do it, and that I wouldn't fair well with the end of the year screenplay contest. I stuck to my guns. I won an honorable mention in that contest. The results were posted in the Daily Variety and it was my first discussions with managers and agencies like CAA about my work.
I once meditated in a Sikh temple everyday for two hours a day for 2 and a half weeks.
It was during this time I was broke, practically homeless, heart broken and sick. I was 31 years old. My friend told me if I wanted to sleep on his couch, I had to do it. I did it.
Places I lived: San Ramon, Concord, San Jose three times, Mountain View (Born), Cameron Park, Stockton twice, Santa Barbara, Glendale, Korea Town - Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Mar Vista. To say the least, I'm a Cali boy from the Bay boy.
I once had a friendship with a Bonobo (lesser Chimpanzee) that lasted almost 10 years. Her name was Lana. She remembered me and would come to the glass window to see my face and interact with me. Even when my hair grew to my shoulders, she remembered me.
I went to Italy by myself at 20 years old, living in Rome and Sicily for two months, and I almost didn't come back. I hung out with filmmakers, poets, actors, singers, baristas, gangsters and grandmas.
I wrote an entire feature screenplay based on a Bob Dylan song, and it is regarded my peers as one of the best things I've written. It is.
I grew up in 10 homes before I was 10 years old. Then my family moved to the East Bay. I take an indescribable amount of pride in coming from "The Bay". Whether from the streets or from San Francisco, there is a type of aura or wave that Bay Area kids have. A pride, a swag, a feeling of diversity and breadth. Whatever it is, it's in me.
With ADHD, Dyslexia and a poor education, I was told I was endanger of failing High School, with a sinking 1.6 GPA. The year I started Video Production, I found my passion. I graduated with a 3.7 GPA.
For my film THE LOVE EFFECT, my team and I raised 30,000 in three days. We went on to raise over 60,000 for the entire campaign.
I co-directed a feature film starring James Franco, Carmen Argenziano (RIP), Horatio Sanz, and Luis Guzman. It was a blast. James is brilliant. I called him Jamesy. I'm not sure if he liked it.
My first screenplay was 256 pages. It's called DEATH OF A SHOES SALESMAN, based on my life and time hustling shoes between 19 and 22 years old. I converted into a 140 page screenplay. Then later, a T.V. series. Now I'm debating a novel.
My first film was at 7 years old. It was a stop motion film with my Star Wars action figures. I needed sand for my set. From my ankles to my ass, I stuffed sand in my pants and walked home. My legs were so heavy that the quarter mile neighborhood walk took over an hour. It was not comfortable. I needed sand.
Basically, I was Andy from Toy Story, making films with my toys amidst all my family's moving. My imagination was so strong and pumping that I didn't need the attention or friends; travel and moving was normal, so my creativity became my entire world.
I used to re-write, ghostwrite and give notes to everyone's scripts in Film School. I even directed 2nd unit sequences for a student's thesis at a different film school.
I'm a part of the last generation of film students to shoot on film. I've made films on Super 16, 16mm Black and White, and 35mm motion picture film.
2pac is single handedly the most influential hip hop artist of all time. Any rapper between 1997 to 2010 that says otherwise is lying, b.
The first novel I ever read was Jack London's "THE CALL OF THE WILD". I was 7 years old.
My first time on a big movie set was in Rome. I was 20 years old. It was for Danielle Luchetti's "MIO FRATELLO E' UN FIGLIO UNICO" -- (MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD).
While at USC, I was awarded the James Bridges directing fellowship award. Bridges directed Urban Cowboy. In total, I was awarded over $24,000 in Directing Scholarships and writing awards.
I've only written and directed things that make me proud. I've lost money and opportunities because I wouldn't direct anything less. I've been a freelance/contract filmmaker for over 11 years.
I believe words, cinema, and love have the power to change the world. They shape culture. They influence popular culture. They cut or uplift us. They nurture or they stifle us. These things matter, and my stories are a part of my movement to make an impression.