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12th Annual Final Draft Awards to Honor Robert McKee and Issa Rae

February 16, 2017
5 min read time

Final Draft, a unit of Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, now in its 26th year as the industry standard for screenwriting software, today announced the selection of Robert McKee as its Hall of Fame Award honoree for the 12th annual Final Draft Awards. 

Awards ceremony to take place at the Paramount Theatre on February 23, with presenters Brian Cox, Quincy Jones, Margaret Nagle and Steven Pressfield



Awards ceremony to take place at the Paramount Theatre on February 23, with presenters Brian Cox, Quincy Jones, Margaret Nagle and Steven Pressfield

Los Angeles, CA (February 16, 2017) – Final Draft, a unit of Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, now in its 26th year as the industry standard for screenwriting software, today announced the selection of Robert McKee as its Hall of Fame Award honoree for the 12th annual Final Draft Awards. Producer and composer Quincy Jones (The Color Purple, In the Heat of the Night), actor Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, Braveheart), screenwriter Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire, Warm Springs, The Good Lie) and author Steven Pressfield (The Legend of Bagger Vance, The War of Art) will speak on behalf of McKee and his many contributions to the screenwriting field. This year, Final Draft will also honor Issa Rae with its inaugural New Voice Award.

The Final Draft Awards recognize these three levels of achievement:

  • The Hall of Fame Award honors a writer whose work has had a profound influence on the industry.
  • The New Voice Award recognizes a rising and vital talent.
  • The Big Break Screenwriting Contest awards aspiring writers with more than $80,000 in cash and prizes.

The ceremony, to be hosted for the third year in a row by comedy writers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, will be held on February 23 at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount Pictures Studios lot.

“Robert McKee is one of the most sought-after screenwriting lecturers in the world. Considered a guru by many, his seminal work STORY is a staple on screenwriters’ bookshelves,” said Scott McMenamin, President of Final Draft. “We are honored to celebrate his tremendous contribution to the art of screenwriting with this year’s Hall of Fame Award.

“It’s also exciting to recognize one of the brightest rising stars in the industry with our inaugural New Voice Award,” continued McMenamin. “Issa Rae is an undeniably inspiring new voice who is breaking ground with her YouTube content and HBO series Insecure.”

McKee, a Fulbright Scholar and a multi-award winning writer, is the most sought-after screenwriting teacher in the world. The best-selling author of STORY and the recently published DIALOGUE: THE ART OF VERBAL ACTION FOR THE PAGE, STAGE, AND SCREEN, McKee occupies a unique positionin modern media storytelling. His teachings have spread beyond the screen and stage to influence all story forms. McKee’s former students include more than 60 Academy Award winners, 200 Emmy Award winners, 1,000 Emmy Award nominees, 100 WGA (Writers Guild of America) Award winners, 250 WGA Award nominees, 50 DGA (Directors Guild of America) Award winners and 100 DGA Award nominees.

McKee continues to be a project consultant to major film and television production companies such as 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount and MTV. In addition, Pixar, ABC, BBC, Disney, Miramax, PBS, Nickelodeon, Paramount, GLOBOSAT, MNET and other international television and film companies regularly send their entire creative and writing staffs to his lectures.

Issa Rae, with her unique sense of humor, has produced content that has garnered more than 23 million views and 200,000 YouTube subscribers. In addition to making Glamour’s "35 Under 35," Forbes' "30 Under 30" and Entertainment Weekly's "Breaking Big" lists, Rae's hit series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl was the recipient of the coveted Shorty Award for Best Web Show. Her first book, a collection of essays, is a New York Times Best Seller and her latest project, Insecure, a half-hour comedy show for HBO, premiered in the fall to excellentreviews and earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Previous Final Draft Hall of Fame Award winners include Nancy Meyers, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Schrader, writing team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Robert Towne, Stephen J. Cannell, Oliver Stone, Syd Field and Sydney Pollack.

Lennon and Garant’s screenwriting credits include Night at the Museum, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Balls of Fury, Herbie Fully Loaded and Reno 911!: Miami, as well as the Comedy Central series “Reno 911!” They also co-wrote the best-selling screenwriting book Writing Movies for Fun and Profit.

About Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Entertainment Services Company

Final Draft has published Final Draft software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world – for 25 years. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards, allowing writers to focus on what they do best – writing scripts. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, James Cameron, and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft software is the professional’s choice and the entertainment industry standard. In addition to its flagship software product, Final Draft offers the annual Big Break™ Contest – a screenwriting competition that launches careers, and awards over $80,000 in cash and prizes. Final Draft also offers the Reader® and Writer® apps for iPhone and iPad, making creativity truly portable. For its incomparable contributions to the industry, Final Draft was awarded the prestigious Primetime Emmy Engineering Award in 2013. To learn more about Final Draft and its products and services, visit: www.finaldraft.com

About Cast & Crew Entertainment

Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, LLC (www.castandcrew.com) is the premier provider of technology-enabled payroll and production-management services to the entertainment industry.  Its services are provided through the Cast & Crew and CAPS Payroll brands.  Cast & Crew’s Final Draft brand is the industry standard for screenwriting software. Cast & Crew’s payroll and production-management services include payroll processing, residuals processing, workers’ compensation services, labor relations, production incentives and production tax credit financing. Cast & Crew’s PSL production accounting software is the industry-leading accounting application serving the needs of the film, television and digital media industries. The company was founded in 1976, and its corporate headquarters are in Burbank, California. Silver Lake, the global technology investing leader, is the controlling shareholder of Cast & Crew.

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