Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

Pixar & Marvel’s Meg LeFauve: From Agency to Set Floor, It’s All About Story

A lot goes into making a movie or a television show, and most of it isn’t glamourous. From story development to casting and post-production to marketing, an outsider might argue that most of the process feels very disconnected from the story from which it all began.

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But not so, says screenwriter, producer, and podcaster Meg LeFauve. And she would know; she’s worked as or with nearly every role you’ll encounter from the beginning to the end of film production. She maintains that the story is at the heart of it all.

Meg wrote Pixar’s “Inside Out” and Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” but she didn’t start in screenwriting.

"I started in advertising in New York and decided I wanted to go tell stories," she began in a recent interview with SoCreate. “But I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

After all, storytelling is a huge field, and there are hundreds of creative writing jobs to choose from.

"So my grad school was going to work at International Creative Management, ICM, which is a huge agency. That’s kind of the center of the storm of Hollywood. Everything flows through there, so I learned a tremendous amount of business.”

Meg graciously shares that experience and much more in her hit podcast, “The Screenwriting Life,” which she co-hosts with another star storyteller, Lorien McKenna. And when I say much more, I mean it. Meg went on to work for some of the biggest names in Hollywood before becoming a screenwriter.

“From there, I went and became a creative executive at Jodie Foster’s company, Egg Pictures,” she continued. Meg stayed with Egg Pictures for a decade, "which in Hollywood time is like dog time; you get a gold watch for ten years in the same place.”

During that time, Meg moved up in that company, all the way to the top to run it with Jodie.

“It was just a spectacular time, mostly because of Jodi herself. She is such an incredible mentor, and I learned storytelling from her.”

At Egg Pictures, Meg learned to approach storytelling from a different perspective than just her own. Instead, she says she now focuses on the director or the actor’s point of view, focusing more on theme and what the story is really about.

"So, she is my kind of story guru that really taught me what I needed to know to be a writer,” Meg said.

Working as a producer helped her learn a broad skillset that’s served her well in her later career.

“As a producer, the skillset you have to have is, first of all, to be able to work with creatives, be that the director, the writer, and help them find their story. But at the same time, on the other side of you is the studio and the buyer and what their needs are to sell this, to distribute it. You have to be able to package and find the actors and directors to put on it. So, the skillset is kind of beautifully large.”

Throughout it all, though, Meg said that storytelling is the skill set that served her best. From pre to post-production, you have to remember that everyone is there to serve the story.

“So you found the story, developed the story with the writer, put on a director, then you packaged it. You found a buyer. Now we’re on set. Now you have to be able to work with the line producer, deal with budgets, deal with all the under-the-line craftspeople who are also storytellers – cinematographers, production designers. You’re there holding the line on all of that stuff. And then when that’s done, now you have to go deal with distributing it, the marketing, the poster.”

Meg’s work ushering a story from beginning to end made her the storyteller she is today, writing for huge studios such as Marvel and Pixar.

“So, I saw myself through that process as the kind of guardian of the story, and those characters, and that director, and working with the director. It’s their film. What do they need to get their story out into the world?”

To me, Meg’s journey shows that there’s no easy path to truly understanding what makes a story tick. It takes years, many jobs, and a lot of hands-on experience in roles that you may feel have no connection to physically sitting down to write a screenplay.

Oh, but they do, writer. They do,

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