Adam Hoelzel has had an interest in the cinematic world most of his life.
"I always wanted to work in the film industry," Hoelzel said during a recent telephone interview from his California home.
Hoelzel, a native of Hammond, is an independent screenwriter in Hollywood. He also works as a production supervisor for Walt Disney Studios, where he produces a variety of projects including trailers for Disney's home entertainment division.
Hoelzel's latest screenwriting project was recently turned into the film "Beast of Burden," starring Daniel Radcliffe. The movie debuted last week at select theaters around the country and is available at Apple iTunes and from Video On Demand.
The story relayed in "Beast of Burden" essentially originated with Hoelzel and was inspired by a news account he read a few years ago.
"As a writer, I'm always looking for stories. And there was a news article I read on a website," he said. The story talked about someone smuggling drugs across the border in a really small plane.
That piqued Hoelzel's interest. "I thought what would happen if I wrote a movie that would be the length of time it takes to do a drug run?" he said.
The story told in the high-action "Beast of Burden" revolves around Radcliffe's character Sean Haggerty, who is a pilot involved with a cartel delivering drugs over the U.S./Mexican border.
"I wrote it in the summer of 2015 and shopped it around to producers," Hoelzel said. "I wrote it fairly quickly," he said, adding he "knocked an early blueprint of the script out in about two weeks." Hoelzel then did a series of rewrites on the script over an eight-month period. "And in the summer of 2016 it started going out to actors."
The screenwriter said Radcliffe's "people" got a hold of it. "They added it to the pile of projects for him to read and he was interested."
Hoelzel said that "once an actor comes on board and you get the money, everything moves quickly." The movie was shot at the end of 2016.
A graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington and Gavit High School in Hammond, Hoelzel said there was something about the world of movies that always drew him. So after finishing his education in Indiana he decided to take a shot at seeing what he could do in Hollywood.
"I didn't really know anyone here (in Hollywood)," he said. Hoelzel just kept coming up with ideas and writing scripts as a freelance screenwriter and continued to cart them around to producers and directors.
"They say overnight success takes about 10 years," he said, laughing. Besides continuing to develop ideas and good stories, the screenwriter said it takes not giving up as well.
Hoelzel earned a degree in telecommunications and also took theater and English classes while in school.
According to Hoelzel, writing and coming up with ideas are crafts he feels are personally rewarding.
"And writing is something you can work on without anyone interfering. The writing part is the part I can control on my own," Hoelzel said. He finds a person's talent as a writer can be "evergreen" and doesn't have to be subject to a person's age or even social circumstance.
Hoelzel said he's constantly working on scripts and other projects and has a new script about every four months. "I'm always shopping them around and taking meetings," he said.
Hoelzel currently has two new projects in development. He's also developing something he'll direct himself.
"I do have a project coming out later in the year revolving around a video game. It's from a series I love," he said, without giving any more specifics.
Hoelzel, who is single, is the son of Hammond residents James and Carol Hoelzel.