In the Spotlight: Genevieve McDevitt
Updated: Jul 3, 2021
It takes a particular type of person to become a screenwriter. Of course, they must be tenacious with an unrelenting determination. Genevieve has these in spades. But they also must be bold. To stand up and present a script that challenges others to open their eyes and discover an unexpected view of the world. To be a visionary. That is what Genevieve is and I am excited to introduce you to her.
This is Genevieve McDevitt...
I grew up in the golden prairies of the Midwest outside of Kansas City in a little town called Holden, Missouri where I aspired to one day see my name on the screen. I spent
most of my youth reading books, performing on stage, and telling wild stories about the
B-2 bomber and my neighbor Linda had forty acres of exotic animals. I learned how to edit on Avid in high school and went to Full Sail University where I received a Film degree. I moved to Atlanta shortly after and became an editor working my way through
music videos, commercials, and post until I finally landed in the production office where
I’ve spent most of my career. I’ve worked for networks like: MTV, FOX, NASCAR, SPEED, ESPN, and INSP.
Some of my favorite productions have been: American Idol, Room Raiders, Making the
Band, Careful What You Wish For, The Strangers, and Max. My passion is biopics and giving modern-day protagonists a unique voice that will tackle and push boundaries.
Q: How did you stumble upon screenwriting?
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Every path I took, led me to production with a script in my hand. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with legendary
screenwriters and I took those moments and learned from them.
Q: Who/what inspired you into taking this path?
The storms were fierce in Tornado Alley. The crickets would stop chirping, the sky
would turn an eerie pale green, and here I am…a ten-year-old kid with a ginormous meteorology book refusing to go into the storm cellar because I wanted to be just like
Brian Busby, KMBC’s Chief Meteorologist. When “Twister” came out in ’96, everything changed. From Spielberg’s stamp on the special effects to the infamous cow scene, I
wanted to be a part of that mystified wonder.
Q: Who was the first person who believed in you?
It wasn’t just one person but a pivotal moment in time. Mr. Dove was my high school Drama and Chorus teacher who inspired the dramatic yet comical flair within. He’s been such an inspiration over the years, and I’m blessed to have him as a friend.
Mrs. Robinson, a former news anchor, was my Visual Communications teacher. She
taught me how to edit, write a short, and encouraged me to go to film school. She always let me borrow her camera so I could make funny skits on VHS. One can only imagine if there were YouTube in those days.
In 2001, my father said, “Genny, you’ve got one shot at this life so do what you love. And
if you get paid for it, that’s even better.” With my parents’ infinite support, I sped fast down the highway to the land of hopes and dreams. Twenty years later, I’m still cruising and they’re still rooting. I love my parents!
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Q: When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a screenwriter?
I won a few poetry contests, wrote a few shorts in college but…it wasn’t until Bradley
Gallo, a movie producer I was working for, listened to me trying to solve a family
mystery over pizza. He encouraged me to dig further and said if it’s true, I should write about it. From that moment, I dusted off some of the screenplays I saved from production and retrained myself to write again. I went on this journey of discovery to find my voice and when it was all over, there “Geneva“ was; my first official screenplay.
Q: How do you define success for yourself?
Success for me is paving the way for my children to pursue their dreams. I will admit,
it’s remarkable to be recognized in the screenwriter’s world. Every twist and turn can make an impact and bring life to a new generation. Ambition and imagination are nothing without perseverance.
Give us a typical day in your life:
Q: Are you an Early Bird or a Night Owl?
Let’s just say they don’t call me the “Midnight Writer” for nothing. As a kid, if I didn’t write down my dreams, they would replay in my head until I was satisfied with the outcome of the scene. When the creativity starts to flow, I’ll run to my office and shut the door unleashing the powerful fury of the beast. Sometimes I do laundry, but no one wants to hear about me slaying towels.
Do you have a morning routine or ritual?
In order to keep the train moving, I drift in between gears of preparing breakfast and
making sure my children have everything they need to conquer their day. A few days a
week, I practice different forms of yoga and meditate. I’m always ahead, so sometimes I
need to slow myself down to focus on the present. It’s all about balance.
What do you do during the day?
I always strive to work smarter. I prepare my writing strategy and eliminate all obstacles in the day, so the writing can just flow at night. I listen to podcasts, do some research, and I have a weekly meeting with a group of female screenwriters where we hold each other accountable. When the kids get home, we go for a walk to pick honeysuckle and play. I make sure to carve out one-on-one time for them and listen to their day.
Do you have a pre-bed ritual?
I stretch before bed. It helps relieve tension and any stress from the day. I tend to slather myself with whatever anti-aging beauty kick I’m currently on, and I always pray.
I have never gone a single day without being grateful for my family and how truly
blessed I am to be a mom.
How do you define a successful day?