Writer David Koepp was born in Pewaukee, Wisconsin on June 9, 1963 to Donald Koepp, owner of a billboard company and a family therapist mom. He has a bachelor’s degree in film from UCLA.
When he was going to Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wisconsin, he worked weekends and evenings at the McDonald’s restaurant in Delafield.
He has won a Saturn Award for Best Writing, a Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, and a Fantastic Arts Grand Prize. Koepp has also won the WGA East’s Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement.
Largely, David is known for his screenplays and a bit for his directing. With a total gross of $2.3 billion, he is the ninth highest grossing screenwriter of all time.
After he graduated, he learned the ropes of screenwriting with independent productions like “Bad Influence” and “Apartment Zero” before a script caught the attention of Spielberg. He was hired before he was thirty to co-write “Jurassic Park” and other blockbusters came after.
His process for writing screenplays has not changed since his early twenties. Thinking and research. Thinking is the idea in your head, and research can be as extensive as the project you are working on. Then there is outlining, first draft, and perpetual rewrites. All that has really changed since he began was he used to work at night. Now that he has kids, he writes during the day, and having kids means working with a regular schedule.
When writing a script for a director, he prefers there to be as few people in the room as possible. This way, the best possible movie is able to get made with little to no studio interference.
He feels a script is the way he wants around the third draft. After he finishes this one, he waves goodbye to it, knowing that whatever happens to it is out of his hands and will become something else, in some ways. It is possible to fight for things that you believe in but screenwriters win so few fights.
Working on “Mortdecai”, he worked with the writer in the normal way a director works with a writer, which is to get involved, supervise rewrites, and give as many good ideas as possible. It is nice just to provide another voice.
David feels it can get a bit lonely to write and direct since it is only your own point of view. Getting somebody else’s perspective on something will be invigorating and you can come up with something dynamic that neither one would come up with by yourself.
He views the making up part to be the jazz of writing a screenplay. This is why he likes working with Steven Spielberg as much as he does. He truly views kicking around a story as the whole world is alive with potential. Rather than some who just see it all as confusing and lame. Steven is the type, he feels, that will actually try to make ideas work and a constructive collaborator.
When he writes something that is a hit, he feels it buys him eighteen months more as a screenwriter. On the other hand, when something does badly, he wonders if it takes a bite out of his eighteen months.
When he first wrote “Cold Storage”, he mainly just invented. A lot of the stuff in the book only served the story.
Koepp only ever wanted to tell a great story, rather than pen the Great American Novel. Before this one, he had never even written a novel before.
Koepp got drunk with the ability to go into some long descriptions and talk about the thoughts of different people. These are things that are not possible in screenplays, since they show only what the characters or audience directly perceive. He wants readers to come away feeling it was exciting and fun and they even learned some things.
After he finished writing “Cold Storage” he asked a microbiologist to read it, have a laugh about it, and go over it with him. Despite his science not being terrible in the story, a lot of things were way off. David was told to not confuse benzene with fungus, which are not the same whatsoever.
After the microbiologist gave him notes, he was able to get the book to the point that a biologist could read it and not want to throw it at the wall. Rarely would David discard what he said, rather he would bend and adapt it.
His writing editor is brilliant and gave him some fantastic notes, too. David says that he knew how to present them without making David want to rebel against them.
His debut novel, called “Cold Storage” was released in the year 2019 and is a thriller.
“Cold Storage” is the first stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2019. They believed it was contained, but they were wrong.
Roberto Diaz, a bioterror operative, was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack. What he found was much worse. It is a highly mutative organism that is capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained and buried it in cold storage deep under a military repository that is hardly used.
Now, after it has festered in a long forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found a way out and is currently on a deadly feeding frenzy. Only Roberto knows how to stop it.
He races clear across the country to aid two unwitting security guards: one is an ex-con, while the other is a single mom. Over a single night, the trio has to figure out a way to quarantine this horror once again. They just have a mordant sense of humor, luck, and fearlessness. Is that going to be enough to save humanity?
Readers found this one to be pure and unadulterated entertainment. This is an astonishing debut, and is a horrifying and wild bioterrorism adventure. David Koepp penned something chilling yet still has wicked humor and humanity in it. Fans got addicted to this one, finding they couldn’t turn pages fast enough, with its story being just as contagious as the subject matter.
Books in order of publication: