© 2018 Joseph Saroufim. All rights reserved.

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Early Life

I was born with a full head of hair in the fall of 1982. At the age of seven, I jumped off a cement bench in my backyard, caught my lip on the clothesline, hung for a brief second, then knocked myself out cold on the concrete. I may have been dressed as a pirate at the time.

My first love was Jessica Rabbit. I often thought that if I could be more like Cary Grant or Gene Kelly, then a woman like that would be in my reach. I still have a thing for redheads and I married one.

Education

I enrolled in my high school for the athletics, but I stayed for the character building in the form of ritual hazing. Finding writing to be my most loyal companion, I wrote a short essay about my family trip to Lebanon. The story was published on the front page of a regionally syndicated school newspaper and I received a pen made out of wood for my accomplishment.

Assuming that writer would be a good fallback when professional athlete didn’t pan out, I attended film school at Boston University. There I studied screenwriting in classes with names like, “Fellini, Fosse, and Frank Sinatra.” One day I stayed awake for an entire “Bergman and Tarkovsky” class. I made my thesis film about pseudo superheroes that save the banana from going extinct. I like bananas and would most likely have a banana smoothie for every meal if I didn’t have to wash the blender.

Career

In 2004 I moved to Los Angeles and worked as a PA on a random assortment of films and TV shows. While working on the film Bewitched, I provided actor Stephen Colbert with a portable FM stereo to listen to the presidential debates and therefore believe I deserve special thanks for the hilarious satire that soon followed on The Colbert Report.

I later studied screenwriting at UCLA’s professional program where I wrote an animated comedy that was optioned for a dollar ($1.24 when calculated for inflation). That script helped me sign with my first manager, who subsequently set up a pitch meeting with DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks didn’t buy my script but somebody told me I should view this as a step in the right direction. Soon after, Shirley MacClaine was attached to appear in a film that I wrote. I had lunch with her at a seafood restaurant in Malibu where she asked me if I believed in evil. She also told me that then Senator Obama was likely an alien who had come to unite earth. I simply nodded and took a large bite of my lobster salad.

In 2009 I lived in Japan for a month, slept on a floor, and showered in public baths while producing an award winning independent feature called Dog Years. My wife thinks you need to be somewhere more than a month to say you lived there. She’s probably right.

In 2011 I wrote and directed OB/GY-Anne, an independent TV pilot that won the best writing award at the New York Television Festival. This led to jobs writing television promos and unscripted TV treatments for Vh1.

 

In 2014, Samsung commissioned me to write and produce D-TEC, a big budget digital film that served as a proof of concept for Samsung's second screen technology. 


Creating content for brands led to two years writing at 72andSunny for the truth campaign and Starbucks. I am now a Creative Director at Observatory (formerly CAA Marketing), creating branded entertainment for multiple clients.

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