“The Good Place” is in the writer’s room
It usually takes up to 10 years for writers to have their first big break for a big TV show or movie.
All it took was one interview for Sean Collins-Smith.
Collins-Smith, a Pierce College cinema professor and former media arts teaching assistant, has been recruited as permanent writer on the new Peacock series, Field of Dreams, a remake of the 1989 Oscar-nominated film starring Kevin Costner.
Collins-Smith said he is excited to work with Michael Schur, creator of The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine shows. Schur also wrote for the shows “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office”.
“This is my first ever paid writing job,” said Collins-Smith. “I was very lucky because most people have to spend years and years as assistants before they can become writers.”
Collins-Smith grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism.
“My goal in high school and college wasn’t exactly to be a writer,” said Collins-Smith. âI always knew I was good at it because I waited until the last minute to write all of my essays and my teachers told me they were great and gave me A-plus. I thought to myself, if I try really hard, maybe I could be really good. ”
Collins-Smith has taught and worked in the field of journalism for the past decade. It wasn’t until he wrote his first two pilot scripts in 2017 that he decided to take his writing career to the next level.
In 2018, after his pilot scripts won awards at several film festivals, Collins-Smith and his wife Allison Collins-Smith decided to move to Los Angeles to give Sean more career opportunities.
âI never thought that I would leave the east coast because my family is there. So when we decided to move, it was exciting and exciting, âsaid Allison Collins-Smith. “It was a bit scary too, but we did it together to make it more comfortable.”
Sean Collins-Smith started working for Pierce in the fall of 2019. He loved the campus and what the school is all about.
“I’ve gained a newfound respect for community colleges,” said Sean Collins-Smith. “I’ve only ever attended universities and worked, and I’ve learned that students who leave here to attend four-year colleges have a head start on those who only went to those four-year institutions.”
Jill Connelly, Chair of the Media Arts Department, appreciated the time he spent at Pierce working closely with students and teaching them valuable skills.
âSean is a dynamic teacher and has helped our students in many ways, including using Adobe InDesign and Premiere for editing. He’s always been very patient and I’ll miss his unwavering personality, “Connelly said.
Allison said she was proud of her husband’s accomplishments in leading to the opportunity.
“It’s incredible to watch Sean for the last three years as a screenwriter and now to be at the point where someone like Schur, one of Hollywood’s most talented writers, wants him in their writing room,” said Allison Collins- Smith.
Sean Collins-Smith may start his new writing career, but said he will not forget the many memories he made while at Pierce.
“I will miss the physicality of the campus very much,” said Sean Collins-Smith. âDuring my breaks, I only put on my headphones and walked around the campus because I liked the atmosphere there. But what I will miss most are the people. Everyone from the students to the faculty was so hardworking and it made my time here a lot more enjoyable. “