The James Altucher Show

Ep 85 David Levien - I Just Have To


James and David Levien talk about the art and the science of writing books and screenplays, producing and directing movies, plus making this your full-time career. Eventually he teamed up with his longtime best friend Brian Koppelman (Episode 59) but the road to success was tough. Like most screenwriters, he moved to Hollywood to launch his career. He started as an assistant to a talent agent hoping to get the contacts in place when he had his script ready. But over the couple of years he was there, he read thousands of scripts which left him very little time to work on his own. He made contacts but they didn't see him as a screenwriter. His dream just wasn't happening... He was stuck, so he just quit and for the next six years he was just another obscure writer living in N. Y. He and Brian finally reunited and decided they'd join forces to try writing a screenplay together. They had no idea what they were going to write about but they just kept at it. As luck would have it, Brian was invited to The Mayfair Club for a game of poker. He immediately called David and said, "This place was amazing. We can make the movie about this." And they did... Rounders was picked up, made into the movie, and David's career took off. But success never slowed him down. He knew he had more to give. Listen here as he talks about how he wrote City of The Sunwhile he commuted every day on the train. Plus, he tells James about his new book Signature Kill.   Listen today… It's a great conversation