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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
411 Movies Top 5 7.25.14: Top 5 Assassin Movies (07.25.2014)
From No Country For Old Men and Pulp Fiction to La Femme Nikita, In the Line of Fire and more, the staff count down their top 5 assassin movies of all-time!
Alternate Takes 7.19.14: Top 10 Wanted Non-Superhero Comic Films (07.19.2014)
From Locke & Key and Y: The Last Man to American Vampire, Fables, Ex Machina and more, Shawn S. Lealos counts down his top 10 wanted non-superhero comic book films!
411 Movies Top 5 7.18.14: Top 5 Sex Comedies (07.18.2014)
From The 40 Year Old Virgin and Porky's to American Pie, Knocked Up and more, the 411 staff count down their top 5 sex comedies of all-time!
Alternate Takes 7.12.14: Top 10 Comic Book Animals (07.12.2014)
From Killer Croc and Gorilla Grodd to The Lizard, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rocket Raccoon and more, 411's Shawn S. Lealos counts down the top 10 animal comic book characters of all-time!
Alternate Takes 7.05.14: Top 50 DC Comics Villains (#10-1) (07.05.2014)
From the Joker and Darkseid to Lex Luther, Catwoman, Black Adam and more, 411's Shawn Lealos counts down the top 10 DC supervillains of all-time!
411 Movies Top 5 7.04.14: Top 5 Horror & Sci-Fi TV Shows (07.04.2014)
From The Walking Dead and Angel to The Twilight Zone, X-Files, the original Star Trek and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 horror and sci-fi TV shows of all-time!
Alternate Takes 6.28.14: Top 50 DC Comics Villains (#20 - 11) (06.28.2014)
From Bane, Harley Quinn, and The Penguin to Two-Face, Professor Zoom and more, Shawn S. Lealos continues his look at the top 50 DC supervillains with #20 through 11!
411 Movies Top 5 6.26.14: Top 5 Foreign FIlms (06.27.2014)
From Mad Max and Hot Fuzz to Monty Python's The Life of Brian, The Raid: Redemption, Pan's Labyrinth and more, the 411 staff count down their Top 5 foreign-made films of all-time!
411 Movies Top 5 6.20.14: Top 5 Clint Eastwood Films (06.20.2014)
From The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Magnum Force to Million Dollar Baby, Letters From Iwo Jima and more, the 411 staff count down the top 5 Clint Eastwood films of all-time!
Alternate Takes 06.14.14: Top 50 DC Comics Villains (#30-21) (06.14.2014)
From the Riddler and Ares to Bizarro, Deadshot, Doomsday and more, 411's Shawn Lealos continues his look at the top 50 DC supervillains of all time with #30 through 21!
411 Movies Top 5 6.13.14: Top 5 Cop TV Shows (06.13.2014)
From 24 and The Shield to Homicide: Life on the Street, Dexter, Hill Street Blues and more, the 411 staff counts down their top five cop TV shows of all-time!
Alternate Takes 6.07.14: Top 50 DC Comics Villains (#40-31) (06.07.2014)
From Poison Ivy and Scarecrow to Metallo, Maxwell Lord, Gorilla Grodd and more, 411's Shawn S. Lealos continues his countdown of the Top 50 DC Comics villains of all-time with #40 through 31!
411 Movies Top 5 6.06.14: Top 5 Horror and Sci-Fi Icons (06.06.2014)
From Bruce Campbell and Boris Karloff to Nathan Fillion, Ray Harrhhausen and more, the 411 staff counts down their top five horror and sci-fi icons of all-time!
Alternate Takes 5.31.14: Top 50 DC Comics Super Villains (#50 - 41) (05.31.2014)
From Killer Croc and Clayface to Solomon Grundy, Hush, Killer Frost and more, Shawn S. Lealos begins his countdown of the top 50 DC comics villains with #50 through 41!
The 411 Movies Top 5 5.29.14: Top 5 Westerns (05.30.2014)
From Unforgiven and The Searchers to The Wild Bunch, The Magnificent Seven, Rio Bravo and more, the 411 staff counts down the top five westerns of all time!
Alternate Takes 05.24.14 - Ranking the X-Men Movies (05.24.2014)
From the 2000 original through X-Men: First Class and the Wolverine films, 411's Shawn S. Lealos ranks all the X-Men movies leading into this weekend's X-Men: Days of Future Past!
The 411 Movies Top 5 5.23.14: Top 5 X-Men Characters (05.23.2014)
From Wolverine and Magneto to Cable, Nightcrawler, Deadpool and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 X-Men characters of all time!
Alternate Takes 5.17.14: Top 10 DC Comics Superheroes (05.17.2014)
From Batman and Superman to Wonder Woman, Nightwing, Green Arrow and more, 411's Shawn S. Lealos concludes his look at the top 50 DC superheroes of all-time with #10 through 1!
411 Movies Top 5 5.16.14: Top 5 Comic Book Movie Villains (05.16.2014)
From Heath Ledger as the Joker and Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor to Ian McKellen as Magneto, Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 comic book movie villains of all-time!
Alternate Takes 5.10.14: Top 50 DC Comics Superheroes (20-11) (05.10.2014)
From Deathstroke and Aquaman to Booster Gold, Martian Manhunter, Batwoman and more, 411's Shawn Lealos continues his look at the top 50 DC superheroes of all-time with #20 through 11!
full archive

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