About Smith & Leslie



Previously working as a Development Executive for Producers Matt Alvarez and Scott Bernstein, Matt Leslie was heavily involved in developing the script for the 2015 box office smash STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Stephen J. Smith previously worked in the marketing departments of MGM and New Line Home Entertainment, writing copy for the packaging and marketing materials of the studios' full slate of DVD, Blu-ray and VOD releases.

Meeting in a writers' group in Los Feliz, then becoming classmates in the Writer's Boot Camp program in Santa Monica, Smith & Leslie's first venture as co-writers resulted in a dude-friendly romantic comedy spec called Abandon Ship, which won The Script-a-thon Competition’s grand prize and garnered a live reading in Los Angeles by a group of professional actors. It was a dream come true, and solidified the duo's writing relationship as a united creative force.

Since that win, Smith & Leslie have written numerous feature specs, two series pilots, and dozens of movie treatments and pitches. They were named to the 2016 Young & Hungry List, which highlights “the top 100 writers on the verge” in Hollywood. The same year, their feature spec, SUMMER OF ’84, was named on the BloodList. Their next feature spec, the supernatural thriller titled, THE HARROWING, was named on the 2016 Hit List and 2017 BloodList, and is set to be produced by Cinelou Films   

In April of 2017, SUMMER OF ’84 was greenlit for production and filmed that July and August in Vancouver. Financed by Gunpowder & Sky and produced by Leslie and Brightlight Pictures, the film recently premiered in the Midnight Lineup at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and is set to be released on August 10th in select theaters and on VOD August 24th. 

Smith & Leslie are currently developing a mystery-suspense series with Skybound Entertainment (THE WALKING DEAD), as well as a feature adaptation of a horror graphic novel by Steve Niles (30 DAYS OF NIGHT).

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