After 20 years as a professional musician, Scott needed a job with a more stable income. So he became a screenwriter.
Hailing from Long Island, New York, Scott came from a musical family, but thanks to his father taking him to weekly matinees throughout his young life, he loved movies too. As he pursued a career in music, he wrote sketches, short films and eventually feature scripts on the side with his childhood best friend and current writing partner, Gregg Zehentner.
Barkan and Zehentner optioned their very first screenplay to industry titan Michael Uslan (Batman, The Dark Knight Trilogy) in 2005. Since then, their hobby took on a life of its own. They have sold and optioned a steady stream of scripts, resulting in two produced features and a number of projects in the development pipeline.
In 2017, their home invasion thriller, Bleed, was picked up and produced by Parkside Entertainment, becoming Netflix’s Edge of Fear, starring Robert Patrick. Following that, Barkan and Zehentner’s psychological horror script, I’m Just F*cking With You, was produced by Blumhouse and premiered at SXSW 2019 as a Narrative Spotlight Feature Selection, before becoming a flagship entry in Blumhouse/Hulu anthology series Into the Dark. More recently, their supernatural western, The Sun Always Sets in the West, has been set up at Lionsgate, with Danny McBride’s Roughhouse Pictures producing. Production is currently slated for early 2023.
In addition, Barkan is a judge for the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, a professor at Rowan University, and a member of the WGAW. And he still shreds on guitar.
Barkan is repped by CAA and Mainstay Entertainment.
I loved the class. Scott was really great at explaining elements of film structure that I had never truly grasped before, despite reading many classic screenwriting books on my own over the years. This was a really great way to stress test a feature premise, and helped me realize there were some big foundational issues in my concept that needed fixing before getting into a first draft. Scott is a really smart instructor, has a pretty encyclopedic memory of classic films and their major beats, and was really positive and encouraging to all of us. Definitely recommend this class and Scott Barkan as an instructor!
I absolutely loved the class with Scott. He’s fun, he’s likeable, he’s smart. He was an excellent teacher and note giver. I feel like I learned a lot in such a short time. I definitely plan on taking more Script Anatomy classes in the future and would sign up for another taught by Scott in an instant.
Scott was a fantastic instructor. I don’t really love that word, fantastic. But, in this case, I think it works. Scott was always present and constructive and you can tell he gives a shit about you and your ideas. Scott was consistently able to see my blind spots which helped not only guide me as a writer but strengthen my script every step of the way.