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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
The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Wanted Movie Re-Releases (09.19.2014)
From Star Wars, Aliens and Nightmare on Elm Street to Starship Troopers and more, the 411 staff breaks down the top 5 movie re-releases they want to see!
Alternate Takes: Previewing Upcoming Comic Book Streaming Series (09.13.2014)
From Daredevil and Powers to Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and more, 411's Shawn Lealos looks at the coming slate of comic book TV shows set to air on streaming services!
The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Most Anticipated Fall & Winter Movies (09.12.2014)
From The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies and Dumb & Dumber To to Interstellar, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 most anticipated films for the rest of 2014!
Alternate Takes: Previewing The Fall's Comic Book TV Shows (09.06.2014)
From Arrow and The Flash to Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, Constantine and more, 411's Shawn Lealos looks at the coming slate of comic book TV shows for this fall!
The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Most Anticipated TV Shows (09.05.2014)
From The Walking Dead and Arrow to Flash, Gotham, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and more, the 411 staff breaks down their top 5 most anticipated TV shows for the upcoming season!
Alternate Takes: Top 5 Positives From DC's New 52 (08.30.2014)
From the handling of the Justice League and Aquaman becoming a badass to the revamp of Constantine and more, 411's Shawn Lealos counts down the top 5 positive things to come out of DC's New 52 reboot!
The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Summer 2014 Movies (08.29.2014)
From Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past to The Expendables 3, Edge of Tomorrow, Lucy and more, the 411 staff breaks down their top 5 movies of the summer 2014!
Alternate Takes: Top 5 Women Who Deserve Comic Book Movies (08.23.2014)
From Black Widow and Wonder Woman to Spider-Woman and more, 411's Shawn Lealos takes a look at the top 5 female superheroes that deserve their own comic book movies!
The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Detective/Noir Films (08.22.2014)
From Dirty Harry and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to Jack Reacher, Brick, Blade Runner and more, the 411 staff count down their top 5 noir and detective films of all-time!
Alternate Takes: Top 7 Cosmic Marvel Characters (08.16.2014)
From the Phoenix Force and Galactus to the Beyonder, Thanos and more, 411's Shawn Lealos counts down the top 7 cosmic Marvel comic book characters of all-time!
The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Robin Williams Performances (08.15.2014)
From Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting to Dead Poets Society, Mork and Mindy, The Birdcage and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 Robin Williams performances of all-time!
Alternate Takes: Top 15 Marvel Cosmic Characters (#15 - 8) (08.09.2014)
From Nova and the Watcher to the High Evolutionary and more, 411's Shawn Lealos begins his look at the top 15 cosmic Marvel comic book characters with #15 through 8!
The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Wanted Movies Based on Cartoons (08.09.2014)
From Thundercats and Centurions to Thundarr the Barbarian, Gargoyles and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 desired movies based on cartoons!
Alternate Takes 8.02.14: The Top 10 Marvel Defenders Members (08.02.2014)
From the Hulk and Doctor Strange to Daimon Hellstrom, Valkyrie, the Silver Surfer and more, 411's Shawn S. Lealos counts down the top 10 members of Marvel's Defenders!
411 Movies Top 5 8.01.14: Top 5 Wanted Comic Book Movies (08.01.2014)
From Iron Man 4 and Y! The Last Man to Wonder Woman, Punisher: War Zone 2, Black Panther and more, the 411 staff count down their top 5 wanted comic book movies!
Alternate Takes 7.26.14: Locke & Key (07.26.2014)
Joe Hill's supernatural comic book series Locke & Key has long been one that Hollywood has tried to adapt for film and television. 411's Shawn Lealos breaks down the series in this week's Alternate Takes!
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!
full archive

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