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A picture of Leslye Headland

Leslye Headland

Writer, director (Sleeping with Other People)

in director, mac, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am a writer and director. I am a published playwright and my plays have been produced Off-Broadway and regionally. I have developed several television pilots for HBO, NBC and other networks. I wrote and directed the film, Bachelorette (2012), based on my play. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and stars Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Rebel Wilson. My new film, Sleeping with Other People (2015), also premiered at Sundance and stars Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie and Adam Scott. It's out on DVD/VOD.

What hardware do you use?

I write on a 13" MacBook Pro from 2012. I put it on an old pink Prada shoe box and use a wireless mousepad and keyboard. I has taken me years to find the right pens and notebook which I use mostly for organizational purposes or free-writing. I use Pilot Precise Grip Liquid Ink Rolling Ball Pens, Bold Point in BLACK ONLY and Baron Fig Confident notebook. These notebooks are just like Moleskine but with a better spine. They open easier and stay open. I read in Stephen Sondheim's autobiography that he suggests once you find the office supplies you like buy them in bulk because they will get discontinued. So I did. I have a 5' x 3' Quartet Cork Bulletin Board with an aluminum frame where I put up my index cards for my screenplays and television pilots. I rarely use it for plays.

I need constant noise when I work. So I use a Bose Soundlink wireless speaker which blasts music, podcasts, anything. Sometimes I just have movies on loop on my TV so I use Amazon, Hulu and Netflix apps on my PS4. Speaking of which, I also play games a lot when I'm stuck: Fallout 4, 3, NV and all the Uncharteds.

And what software?

Final Draft for scripts. Pages for free-writing and outlines. iCal for calendar. Mail for Mail. I use Evernote Plus to organize drafts, lookbooks, submissions. I also use it to bookmark stuff online for research, etc. It's a tricky app but I like it. Mostly because it lends itself to my "dump everything in the inbox and organize later" mentality. I also like it because I can share notes with my assistant easily. She can update projects with email exchanges, her notes from conference calls and Voice Memos. I don't have a lot of paper trails or files/filing cabinets... it's all digital.

What would be your dream setup?

I basically have it. A room in my home. A lot of natural light. It's covered in sentimental and aspirational movie-themed posters and paraphernalia. My own TV and PS4. A little fridge with supplies. A French press for coffee. It's cozy so people can come write with me or visit. The only thing I'd love is to have another room next door with four of my favorite writers so we could pitch and break story together. I hate how lonely writing is.