Members of the Atlanta community engaged in the entertainment industry find themselves grappling with a sense of frustration, particularly directed at the preponderance of writers' rooms concentrated in Los Angeles. Atlanta, renowned for predominantly extending below-the-line job opportunities to its local creatives, has regrettably lagged behind in creating conducive environments for the flourishing of writers' rooms.
Acknowledging this need, ATL-raised Heather Olsen envisioned "I Think You're Write" as a supportive haven for local screenwriting enthusiasts. Leveraging her extroverted nature, Olsen assumed a leadership role in structuring the group.
It is against the city’s current industry backdrop that "I Think You're Write" emerges as a crucial and strategic initiative — a pioneering starting point aimed at addressing and rectifying this persistent issue by providing a much-needed platform for local writers to converge, collaborate, and cultivate their craft right in the heart of Atlanta.
This eclectic gathering, which convenes at various locations throughout Atlanta, had its inaugural meeting on October 6, 2023 at the brig in Argosy, a restaurant and bar nestled in East Atlanta Village.
The second rendezvous unfolded at Manuel’s Tavern, a place Olsen affectionately refers to as her "birthright." Since growing up under her career-driven grandmother and mother’s roof –- both women were heavily focused on work and rarely cooked – Heather was a frequent guest at Manuel's for family dinners. Adding to the familial connection, her grandfather left an indelible mark by founding The Greater Atlanta Dart League at Manuel’s and The Rusty Nail in Brookhaven, before it evolved into the Brookhaven we know today.
The creative process unfolds organically during group sessions. Equipped with her laptop, Olsen encourages members to call out genres and nouns. Using a random choice generator, she leaves the selection to the whims of technology.
“I want you to take a moment and get in touch with your feelings, ‘cause we’re going to go there,” Olsen declares, as the generator settles on drama.
Nouns such as "sidewalk," "pancake," and "8-ball" are tossed into the mix by the group, prompting Olsen to interject with humorous remarks that effortlessly break the ice for newcomers in a bar filled with creative strangers.
When the generator picks “sidewalk" as the noun, the group dives into brainstorming the concept of a sidewalk drama. Despite being predominantly composed of millennial men, Olsen, the only woman in the second gathering, steers the ship with the levity of a natural comedian, fostering an atmosphere of collaboration and creativity.
In the midst of a dynamic and collaborative creative process, the group actively engages in the spontaneous exchange of ideas, dedicating considerable time to meticulously clarifying and refining these conceptual gems, all of which contribute to an atmosphere permeated with infectious laughter that resonates within the confines of Manuel’s backroom. Olsen adeptly navigates the intricacies of WriterDuet, a remarkably user-friendly script writing software, diligently transcribing the evolving narrative onto its digital pages.
As the group continues to grow and evolve in its nascent stages, there is a sincere and enthusiastic invitation extended to prospective creative writers who yearn for collaborative ventures. The doors to participation are wide open, emphasizing that it is never too late to embark on the journey of screenwriting. Olsen, serving as the welcoming orchestrator of this creative group, ensures that every individual, regardless of their experience level, feels encouraged to contribute their unique voice through the group’s storytelling endeavors.
For those eager to join this vibrant community and stay tuned regarding the unfolding creativity, a valuable resource lies in following "I Think You're Write" on Instagram. Olsen regularly posts updates about the group's scheduled meetings. These gatherings, designed to be mobile and explore various locations across Atlanta, promise an engaging and ever-changing backdrop for the shared exploration of the screenwriting craft.