Bio // Raised in San Jose, California Eric Toms began his career when his sketch comedy troupe pitched and sold their late night sketch show to a local TV channel. Eric immediately dropped out of college and threw himself into the experience, taking on the role of head writer, performer, and video producer. Making the leap to stand-up comedy Eric traveled the world and by 25 had already worked with some of his comedy heroes, such as Kevin Pollak, Norm Macdonald, Lewis Black, Tracy Morgan and Bobby Slayton.
In 2008, Toms was scouted and hired to host the comedy clip show Reality Binge on Fox. Working on Reality Binge later led to a guest appearance on Good Day LA and Last Comic Standing. Shortly after, show runner and fellow comedian, Steve Marmel, asked Eric to guest star as Gilroy Smith in Disney's Sonny With a Chance season 1 finale "Sonny: So Far" staring along side Demi Lovato.
Since then Eric’s writing has won recognition with The Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Austin Screenwriting Festival, and he has starred in independent feature films like disOrientation in which Eric was nominated for the Jury Award at the New Haven Film Festival. Eric has also written commercial campaigns for brands such as 7-11, Netflix, and Cholula Hot Sauce.
My work over the past few years. Everything from my Stand Up Comedy, Sketch Comedy Videos, and writing
SCREENPLAY – My Life Sucks
Logline: When a 500 year old suicidal vampire meets a depressed therapist they form an unlikely friendship
Screenplay – The Art of Dating in the Zombie Apocalypse
Logline: A Mid-western housewife and a Firefighter trainee get out of the ruts in their lives when the zombie apocalypse comes to town.
Screenplay – BEST SERVED COLD
Logline: A young and hungry investment banker is lured to a mansion in the middle of no where by an eccentric millionaire who plans on blackmailing him for his own murder.
me and Him…
Learn 2 Skate
Cholula Hot Sauce (Commercial)
About Eric's Blog // This is Eric's blog, where he writes about comedy, the entertainment industry, and really anything else he wants. It's updated regularly, so check back often.
Earlier this year I submitted an original screenplay titled Best Served Cold to the Nicholl’s Fellowship and made it to the quarter finals. Now most screenplay competitions are designed to just take your money and tell you that your writing is akin to a lunch made up of dead bugs and shards of glass, but the Nicholl’s is put on by the Academy of Arts and Sciences (the same folks that do the Oscars), so that carries a bit of weight.
Out of 7,200 applicants I made the quarter cut (down to 350) but didn’t move on beyond that. Now everyone told me that I should be proud and give myself a pat on the back, but honestly speaking I’ll do that when I have a legitimate career as a writer. Until that day I’ll just placate myself by damning everyone whom passes on my work, because after all they are monsters that should be put down like a rabid Hitler dog.
Although, this year the Nicholl’s Fellowship has implemented a “Reader’s Notes” in which they pass on the notes of the reader – it’s very aptly named. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for the kind words of these two people. I am forever thankful for this boost in confidence and thank you for recounting my story better than I ever could.
Usually 80 page scripts betray big gaps in storytelling skills. Usually revenge scripts are wildly uninventive. Usually talky scripts bore me. Not to mention ones where investment banking figures prominently…
Told in real time, within the confines of a single setting with only two characters, this script takes all of my expectations and reverses them in an original and brilliantly witty fashion. Investment banker Tristan and his nemesis Chester (a construction company owner who lost his business due to a shady loan) banter back and forth with rapid-fire intensity and no shortage of sardonic observations, playing a darkly comedic game of intellectual cat and mouse. This interplay is the crux of this script’s success.
A rather lighthearted set-up draws us into the action as Chester masquerades as an eccentric old man. By the time he reveals that he has plans to commit suicide and has already framed Tristan for the murder, we are impressed with the twist the action has taken as the tone shifts towards a darker purpose.
The claustrophobic aura is slightly reminiscent of a film like PHONE BOOTH and the writer escalates the tension in a subtle way with the ticking clock device. Chester clearly has the upper hand and his menacing quality is mesmerizing as he puts Tristan through the paces trying to erase evidence that would connect him to Chester’s impending death.
This is one of the best revenge scripts I have read. And probably the ONLY 80 page script I have ever read that tells a complete and compelling story. And I’m still iffy on investment banking as a major plot point, but the writer highlights the recent economic collapse due to shady banking in a way that is neither preachy nor dry. I don’t like to admit to being wrong, but hats off to the writer for making me eat my words on several fronts!
The dialogue in this script is captivating. The first part of this script reads like a hilarious black comedy that makes nuanced but very resonant points about the self-indulgence of the wealthy and what people are willing to do to ingratiate themselves with them out of greed. The script uses subtext very well during this portion of the story.
When the script turned into a thriller, I was a little disappointed because the elderly man whose voice I found so funny turned out to be a front. As the thriller part of the script progressed, however, I became intrigued in the attempts by the two characters constantly to gain the upper hand and outsmart each other.
What is great about this script is that it is pretty low-budget but full of plot twists and turns as well as interesting character portraits, and the dialogue is sharp throughout. Personally, I think the script would feel more complete and satisfying, however, if the genre were more consistent and set up audience expectations more consistently throughout since it’s a relatively short script so it feels a bit disjointed.
Just finished reading 1952 novel The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson about a small town Sherif’s deputy afflicted with what he calls “the sickness.” If you haven’t read it then I highly recommend it, but it stirred up something inside of me that has been brewing for a while and it stems from notes that I’ve gotten back for years regarding main characters being “unlikeable.” Why would anyone read a story with an “unlikable” main character? I’ll tell you, fathead: because I am a reasonably level headed guy and do not plan on snapping and killing half a dozen people (SPOILER) like the main character from this book, but there are days I would certainly love to know what that feels like. That’s why you read stories with unlikeable characters, because you can walk in the footsteps of men and women who have chosen wild, crazy and sometimes dangerous paths that regular folk can’t take if they plan on being a contributing member of society. When I get these types of notes back I want to grab the person and shove their face against a TV and play Dexter, Breaking Bad and the Sopranos on a loop. I want to read The Godfather to them out loud (the book, obviously, not the film. That’d be weird) I want to scream: INTERESTING CHARACTERS CAN BE UNLIKEABLE AND MOST LIKABLE CHARACTERS ARE BORING AS FUCK!
In conclusion, read the Killer Inside of Me. Jim Thompson does an amazing job of giving the sense that you are in a claustrophobically small room having a conversation with a man with a slow, polite demeanor who knows he’s smarter than you and is without a doubt more dangerous. A man who has one fear: he’s going to laugh too hard while he kills you.