Del Mar, California, June 20, 2014, Michael Carnick’s screenplay, “Who’s Driving Doug,” which earned him the prestigious first place Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award in 2005, finished shooting in Los Angeles and Las Vegas from May 27 through June 20th, with a stellar cast.
“Breaking Bad” and “Switched at Birth” star RJ Mitte, Ray William Johnson of Youtube’s “Equals Three” and Paloma Kwiatkowski of “Bates Motel” will co-star in the indie road trip feature.
“Who’s Driving Doug” tells the story of a reclusive wheelchair-bound college student, played by Mitte, who needs a driver to get him around. He hires Scott (Johnson), an unemployed 20-something who is coping with drug addiction. The two embark on a wild road trip to Las Vegas that is further complicated when a love triangle develops with Kwiatowski’s character. The lives of all three are transformed during the journey.
The film’s producers are David Katz and Nicole Carbonetta with Haley’s Flight in association with Malibu Film Foundation and Katz Agency. The Director is David Conley.
Screenwriter Carnick was born with a rare disorder that confines him to a wheelchair. His work focuses on the human experience of being a minority, themes of disability awareness and the humor and irony of people’s circumstances, whether disabled or not.
In 2005, while enrolled in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California San Diego, he was unanimously selected as the winner of the prestigious 50th anniversary of the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for his screenplay, “Who’s Driving Doug?” Judging that year was A. Scott Berg, Pulitzer Prize–winning author; Robert Bookman, Creative Artists Agency partner and senior literary and director's agent; and Jonathan Kellerman, best-selling novelist and former Goldwyn Award winner. Carnick was the youngest person and the first undergrad to have received this honor.
In addition to the Goldwyn Award, the film also won the First Runner-Up Script Accessible Award at the Slamdance Writers Competition and was a Quarter Finalist in the Best Screenplay in the 2012 Nicholl Awards and the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.
The Goldwyn award not only validated his writing talent, but also launched his Hollywood career. Shortly after earning his MFA degree from the University of California Riverside, Carnick wrote “Rolling Romance,” a short film winning critical acclaim. He teamed up with David Conley as director, and using Kickstarter and some private backers, the enthusiastic young filmmakers saw their modest budget baby come to life.
From its initial showing, “Rolling Romance” gained momentum. The film earned the Best of Show Award at the 2013 Indie Film Fest, and it went on to win Best Screenplay at the Malibu Film Festival and was an Official Selection of the Silent River Film Festival. This year to date, “Rolling Romance” is a nominee for Best Original Screenplay and Best Short at the Madrid International Film Festival, and was an Official Selection at the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Julien Dubuque Film Festival, the River Bend Film Festival, the San Tropez Film Festival in France and the Milan International Film Festival in May.
The San Diego native also has created quite a buzz in his hometown, where the Larry Lawrence Jewish Community Center recently presented him with the 2014 Best Local Screenwriter trophy at its annual Joyce Awards. His film also was featured during the city’s recent Jewish Film Festival.
Release date is slated for early 2015.
For more information about Michael Carnick and “WHO”S DRiVING DOUG” visit his website at www.michaelcarnick.com
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