James “Doc” Mason’s first job is that of the father of three sons and a daughter. He works full-time as an advertising executive for the regular paycheck and the health insurance. His other full time job is that of a dedicated screenwriter and script doctor. His passion, however, is helping people learn to write clearly.
The nickname Doc came from his college days, where he gained a reputation for quickly rewriting his fellow student’s scripts. A script doctor of sorts. One night, at a particularly profitable game of poker, a fellow student suggested that they should call him Doc. After Doc Holiday in the movie Tombstone? That would be cool if it were true, but no. It was Nelson Algren’s book “A Walk on the Wild Side” and the movie of the same name, which gave us the three rules of life: “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.” Later, in Los Angeles, James was a PA with a couple other people who shared his first name. The AD asked if he had a nickname. And “Doc” stuck.
Doc has invested at least 10,000 hours into countless shorts and 15 feature and TV scripts. Several of the features have been optioned and made. From his vocation to his avocation, he knows the value of a well-defined, step-by-step process. He is the co-writer of the feature thriller, Caged (Dir: Aaron Fjellman, starring Edi Gathegi, Melora Hardin, Angela Sarafyan), to be released in 2020, depending on when theaters open up! Caged was one of several projects developed using the One-Line Method for feature film-making.
As a script doctor, Doc is committed to his clientele ‘s ultimate privacy. Publicly, Doc runs a screenwriting group in Santa Monica dedicated to losing its members to the professional ranks. Through this group he has mentored and supported dozens of members who can now be found writing for the MCU, indie features, and TV shows. If that weren’t enough, he has also been an administrator of the Loglines Facebook group for several years, offering members free individual training and feedback.
Join us Monday, August 24, for Doc Mason’s presentation on turning a novel into a screenplay. If you want to attend but are not already a Guild member, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link to the Zoom meeting.