Alan Yang's 4th Script to Be Produced by Lionsgate

Not long ago Alan Yang was so discouraged by Hollywood that he was on the verge of signing up to take the LSAT. Today he’s not only a writer on the quirky NBC sitcom series Parks and Reaction but just had his fourth feature film greenlighted for production.

Yang’s Gay Dude is one of three projects that Lionsgate announced on March 30 under its new microbudget production initiative, which focuses on films with budgets under $2 million. Gay Dude is described as “a coming of age comedy with a twist.” Yang’s script was picked from the Black List, the annual compilation of Hollywood’s hottest unproduced screenplays. Lawrence Mark (Julie & Julia, Dreamgirls, As Good As It Gets, Jerry McGuire) is in negotiations to produce the film with Jai Stefan.

The other two microbudget projects announced by Lionsgate are a post-apocalyptic comedy titled Rapturepalooza, and a supernatural thriller titled 6 Miranda Drive.

Gay Dude is about Matty and Michael, best friends who decide to lose their virginity before graduating from high school. The twist comes when Matty tells Michael he’s gay. It’s billed as a funny, heartfelt story about friendship, prejudice, love, and the trials and triumphs of growing up.

Alan Yang knows something about trials and tribulations. Despite some writing credits on Carson Daly’s Late Night Show and consulting work for South Park, by early 2008 Yang was discouraged and ready to call it quits as a Hollywood writer.

“Early last year, things were bad,” he told Variety in July of 2009. “I thought I might take the LSATs. I even got on the website and was ready to register.”

What saved Yang from a fate worse than debt was landing a staff writing gig on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. During the six months wait for the job to start, he wrote the screenplay for “Gay Dude” on spec. It quickly impressed studio executives, and Yang was signed to rewrite “Boss Go Home” for Warner Brothers. He also sold to Sony his pitch for “White Dad”, a comedy about a white man who adopts the son of a black girlfriend who suddenly dies. Not long after, he sold a treatment for “We Love You”, about buddies who discover they’re dating the same girl. These developments got him named one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2009.

“I like the social nature of the TV writers’ room,” Yang said, “but I think I’m more attuned to feature screenwriting because I can go to a park and sit on a bench and write for a few hours.”

Alan Yang was born in 1982 in Riverside, California. He was majoring in biology at Harvard until he discovered his calling while writing for the campus humor magazine Harvard Lampoon. He finds inspiration in what he calls the “holy trinity” — The Simpsons, Seinfield and Saturday Night Live.