About the Author

Lawrence Meyers

Lawrence Meyers grew up in Millwood, NY, a stone’s throw from the slightly more famous town of Chappaqua. He studied with Mister Barlow in his senior year at Horace Greeley High School, where his classmate found him to be such an incredible geek they facetiously voted him "Most Likely to Become a Chippendale".

Ignoring this recommendation, Larry instead enrolled in Cornell University’s School of Engineering the following autumn to study chemical engineering, eventually transferring to the School of Arts & Sciences to pursue (what he thought would be) the easier degree in Chemistry. Although he garnered a great deal of knowledge in advanced mathematics, organic chem and physics, Larry discovered his categorical imperative lay in the arts.

Prior to graduation, he learned the basics of film-making from Prof. Marilyn Rivchin, who encouraged her students to experiment and find their own creative voices. Professor Don Fredericksen, an expert in Jungian theory and therapy, provided an overview of film history and criticism. Professor David Bathrick shared his expertise in the New German Cinema. All three instructors influenced Larry in different ways, but provided the foundation for his subsequent interests. Despite these far more compelling studies, Larry still managed to graduate from Cornell with a B.A. in Chemistry, holding a diploma in one hand and a movie camera in the other.

Following graduation, Larry enjoyed a six-month sabbatical backpacking through the United States and Western Europe, absorbing the life experiences a would-be storyteller requires. He then settled in Los Angeles to attend USC’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. While there, he studied under Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Contact, Beowulf) and producer Lynda Obst (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Abandon, Sleepless in Seattle), both of whom were instrumental in launching his screenwriting career.

From 1992 to 2005, Larry wrote 23 hours, and produced over 60 hours, of dramatic television programming across all genres. These shows included Picket Fences (Story Editor), The Pretender (Executive Story Editor), Roar (Co-Producer), Fling (Producer), The Outer Limits, Andromeda, The Net, and Crossing Jordan. He also sold two feature film scripts, Superkids (with Stan Lee as producer), and 1001 Nights (with Toby Jaffe as producer). He also consulted on the groundbreaking documentary feature Villisca: Living with a Mystery.

In 2005, however, Larry sensed a monumental change coming in the world of media. Programming had become homogenized. Nobody took risks anymore. Audiences were leaving network television and movie theaters for the internet. Writing for traditional media just wasn’t fun anymore. The time had come to develop passion projects, concentrate on his family, and figure out how to return to media on his own terms.

During this period, he wrote two books. The first is his biography on Mister Barlow. The second is Inside the TV Writer’s Room: A Practical Guide for Succeeding in Television (available here). The book is a virtual round-table of interviews with television’s top writer-producers, discussing their creative process and the collision between art and commerce. It is the first book that digs into the heart of the creative process for television writers.

Larry also indulged his hobby of learning more about the business world. Being an avid stock investor since he earned his first real paycheck on Picket Fences, he began writing for The Motley Fool, a commercial website devoted to stocks, investing, and personal finance. He penned over 100 articles, focusing on sectors including Hotel REITs, leisure, manufacturing, financial services, and small-cap investing. He covered everything from auto salvage auctioneer Copart, Inc. to Ashford Hospitality Trust’s brilliant debt management to chicken byproduct processor Darling International.

Some of more notable (and controversial) articles included The Myth of Socially Responsible Investing, Parts 1 and 2; and an exposé on Bally Total Fitness, which the Fool pulled because it was too hot for publication. The series was subsequently published in a shortened form by Club Industry’s FitnessBusiness Pro trade magazine.

He continues to write for finance websites SeekingAlpha and InvestorPlace on all manner of investments and finance, and his articles appear at Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance, Zacks, and MSN Money. His investment articles have generated over two million unique page views. He was the first U.S. journalist to comprehensively cover the companies and stocks in the short-term consumer lending sector, also known as payday loans. He has since become one of the country’s leading analysts for the sector. In 2006, he founded a venture focused on providing low-cost short-term loans directly to consumers and working-capital commercial loans to other lenders across the country.

This venture wound down its investments in 2010. Today, Larry is regarded as one of the nation’s experts on alternative consumer finance. He consults for hedge funds and private equity via his Council Member status at Gerson Lehman Group, and as a member of Coleman Research Group’s Executive Forum. He also consults for Credit Access Businesses and Credit Services Organizations in Texas. His Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor have appeared in over two dozen major newspapers. He also brokers financing, strategic investments, and distressed asset purchases between private equity firms and businesses of all stripes.

With practical business experience under his belt, Larry has turned his attention back to Hollywood. Recognizing the inherent flaws in its many business models, he has spent much of the past year researching ways for content to be produced and distributed using alternative means.

 

"Get your elbows off your desk!"