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411mania » The 411 » Shawn S. Lealos
Name:Shawn S. Lealos
Current Roles:Alternate Takes, Movie/TV 3Rs, Pixels 'n Bits, Film Reviews, DVD Reviews, CD Reviews, Video Game Reviews and TNA PPV Previews. Also a contributor to Fact & Fiction, PPV Round Tables, Movie Round Tables and Top 5 Lists
Past Roles:Substitute for ECW on SCI-FI recap, WWE HEAT recap, Furious on Film News Report, Golden Globes Live Coverage, Academy Awards Live Coverage
Other credits:
And we're rolling... - 05.07.2008

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.

Back when I was a kid, I took art classes but my main focus was writing comic books and the art was just a way to do it. As I grew into adulthood, I started to read Stephen King and decided that writing what all I wanted to do. Short stories became my primary focus but I started college and began to work towards a business degree. I mean, I couldn't make a living writing, could I?

My English professor had different thoughts. She told me that the University of Oklahoma had an accredited degree in Professional Writing in its journalism school. She told me that unlike the English creative writing classes, the Professional Writing degree would also teach me how to make a living writing. I bought it and off I went.

In my first year at OU, we were shown all the opportunities available to us as extra-curricular activities. I decided to take an intern position at the Sooner yearbook and also took a class that allowed me to write for the Oklahoma Daily newspaper. It was at this time that I realized if I wanted to be successful, I had to fight for everything.

For the news gathering class, I was supposed to come up with ideas for stories. I was watching an OU football game and saw an interview with former Sooner great Brian Bosworth. He was talking about a foundation he had set up that gave tickets to football games to kids from the local children's hospitals and foster homes. He also gave them to inner city youth groups and children whose parents were victims in the Murrow bombing.

I brought the idea to the Oklahoma Daily and they told me it was a great idea and they were going to let one of their more experienced reporters take it and run.

What the ...

I was pissed. This was my story. I didn't let it keep me down, though. I went to the yearbook and told them about the story and they told me to go ahead and write it for the yearbook. I called the Athletic Director's office and found out the phone number of Bosworth's Hollywood agent. I made the call and set up an interview with Bosworth. My phone rang one day and I did the telephone interview with Bosworth. It was my first interview ever. He was the best subject I could have hoped for and was very courteous and open with me.

I went to the newspaper and asked how their reporter was doing on the story and they told me they weren't sure how to get in touch with Bosworth and were waiting until he was in town. I mentioned that I had already interviewed him and they just kind of looked at me in shock. They asked if I would be interested in writing a story for them.


I wrote the story for the yearbook and it was named the Sooner story of the year. I wrote the story for the newspaper and they saved it and made it the cover story of the game day paper, The Red Zone. It earned Honorable Mention in the state of Oklahoma's SPJ Awards ceremony for feature writing. I also wrote a "Where Are They Now?" article that was bought and published in the National sports magazine Inside Sports.

That was my first interview ever. My first major story ever.

I wrote for the yearbook for three more years. I won a number of Columbia University Gold Circle Awards. One year I even swept the Sports Feature Writing category, taking first, second and third place. The last year I wrote for them, I was standing on the sidelines in the Orange Bowl as Oklahoma beat Florida State for the National Title. It was the best way for me to go out. I wrote an article about MVP Terrance Marshall that was picked up by the AP and carried online for a couple of years.

It was my first story to be widely seen online.

There's another little story I would like to share. The Rolling Stones came to Norman and played at Owen Field. I tried to get some passes for the yearbook but was told - once again by the Oklahoma Daily - that we would not be able to get them. See, they told me the newspaper would be able to get passes but the event was too big for the yearbook to be allowed in.

What the ... , part deux.

No one tells me I can't do something. I started looking for information. I found a number and called The Rolling Stones management company in Chicago. Guess what? Press passes. And not the press passes for OU, but press passes reserved in my name to get in to cover the concert.

Hey, that story won some awards too. Like I said, don't tell me what I can't do.

After I graduated I moved a little further into filmmaking than writing. I took a couple of years of film studies classes. I remember in my Intro to Filmmaking class, we were given a paper with a list of web sites we should use when working on film studies. One of the web sites was called Chud.com.

While working on my films over the last eight years, I mainly just wrote screenplays. For a two year period, I did write for two alternative magazines - Loud and Vox. It was nice for awhile, but like most alternative magazines they would not last.

Well, in 2007, I got my first online writing gig, penning The Special Edition at Chud.com. In September of that year, I also began to review DVDs.

Another website I read religiously was 411mania.com. I will admit, I was lured to 411mania for its wrestling news. However, when I hear recently they were hiring new writers, I figured I would give it a try. As much as I love reviewing DVDs for a site like Chud.com, I feel I have much more to offer than just reviews. I wrote a couple of reviews and then pitched a column idea.

Alternate Takes was born.

Writing for Chud and 411mania are both great gigs, but more than anything else it is allowing me to write full time again. Now, as I write more and more, I have regained the fire that I felt was slipping away.

I have also started writing a book. It is something I have wanted to do for awhile now. It is a nonfiction book dealing with the Stephen King dollar babies, of which I am one. I am excited about this new endevour and, as always, will do everything in my power to make sure it is the best it can be.
full blog
Alternate Takes 4.19.14: Top 50 DC Comics Superheroes (#50 - 41) (04.19.2014)
From Power Girl and Adam Strange to Steel, Black Canary, Starfire and more, 411's Shawn S. Lealos begins his countdown of the Top 50 DC Comics superheroes of all time with #50 through 41!
The 411 Movies Top 5 4.18.14: Top 5 Tech Movies (04.18.2014)
From Terminator 2: Judgment Day and The Matrix to Robocop, Nemesis and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 computer technology-focused movies of all-time!
Alternate Takes 4.12.14: Top 5 Wanted X-Men Spin-Offs (04.12.2014)
From Cable and Gambit to Deadpool and more, 411's Shawn S, Lealos counts down the top 5 X-Men characters who should be the focus of a spin-off solo movie!
411 Movies Top 5 4.11.14: Top 5 Haunting Movies (04.11.2014)
From The Shining and Beetlejuice to The Exorcist, The Evil Dead, Poltergeist and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 movies about hauntings!
Alternate Takes 4.05.14: Top 10 Captain America Villains (04.05.2014)
From Red Skull and Baron Zemo to MODOK, The Winter Soldier and more, 411's Shawn Lealos counts down the top 10 Captain America villains of all-time!
411 Movies Top 5 4.04.14: Top 5 Anticipated Summer Movies (04.04.2014)
From X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy to The Expendables 3, The Purge: Anarchy and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 most anticipated summer movies of 2014!
Alternate Takes 3.29.14: Top 10 Original Superhero Movies (03.29.2014)
From Hancock and The Incredibles to Unbreakable, Super, Darkman and more, 411's Shawn Lealos counts down the top 10 original superhero movies of all-time!
The 411 Movies Top 5 3.28.14: Top 5 Cop Movies (03.28.2014)
From Die Hard and Lethal Weapon to Hot Fuzz, Magnum Force, Raid: the Redemption and more, the 411 staff counts down their top five cop movies of all time!
Alternate Takes 3.22.14: Top 10 Comic Book Sequels (03.22.2014)
From The Dark Knight and Iron Man 3 to Hellboy 2, Superman 2, X2: X-Men United and more, 411's Shawn Lealos counts down the top 10 comic book movie sequels of all-time!
The 411 Movies Top 5 3.21.14: Top 5 Young Adult Adaptations (03.21.2014)
From The Hunger Games and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to The Princess Bride, Wizard of Oz and more, the 411 staff counts down their top five young adult movie adaptations!
Alternate Takes 3.15.14: Comic Adaptation Wish List (03.15.2014)
From World War Hulk and Kraven's Last Hunt to House of M and more, 411's Shawn S. Lealos looks at five comic book storylines he wants to see adapted to film!
411 Movies Top 5 3.14.14: Top 5 Video Game Adaptations (03.14.2014)
From Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat to Tomb Raider, Street Fighter and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 video game adaptations!
Alternate Takes 3.08.14: Spider-Man Spin-Off Ideas (03.08.2014)
From Venom and The Sinister Six to Morbius, Ultimate Spider-Man and The Scarlet Spider, Shawn S. Lealos takes a look at what Sony can use in their planned expanded Spider-Man movie universe.
411 Movies Top 5 3.07.14: Top 5 TV-Movie Adaptations (03.07.2014)
From South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The A-Team, Batman and more, the 411 staff count down the top 5 properties to move from film to television or vice versa!
Alternate Takes 3.01.14: Comic Book 2014 Oscar Winners (03.01.2014)
From Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World to Kick-Ass 2 and more, 411's Shawn Lealos looks at which films might win big at the Oscars if it only took comic book movies into account!
411 Movies Top 5 2.28.14: Top 5 Most Undeserving Oscar Winners (02.28.2014)
From Django Unchained winning Best Original Screenplay and The Hurt Locker as Best Picture to Roberto Benigni as Best Actor and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 least-deserving Oscar winners!
Alternate Takes 02.22.14: Comic Book Movie Changes (02.22.2014)
From the Kingpin being black in Daredevil and the big changes toDeadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine to John Constantine not being British and more, 411's Shawn Lealos looks at five changes from comic books to movies!
411 Movies Top 5 2.21.14: Top 5 Honorary All-Time Oscars (02.21.2014)
From The Godfather Part II as best film and Beauty and the Beast as best animated film to Christian Bale as best actor and more, the 411 staff counts down their top five choices for all-time Honorary Oscars!
Alternate Takes 02.15.14: The Avengers (02.15.2014)
From X2 and Serenity to the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon and more, 411's Shawn Lealos looks at five things to check out if you're a fan of Marvel's blockbuster The Avengers!
411 Movies Top 5 02.14.14: Top 5 Robot Movies (02.14.2014)
From RoboCop and The Terminator to Short Circuit 2, Aliens and more, the 411 staff counts down the top five robot movies of all-time!
full archive

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