Washington Business Journal

Excerpt From ‘More Please’

By Jennifer Nycz-Conner

... After Jeffrey Porro toiled for more than a decade on “The Great Debaters,” the new Golden Globe-nominated film starring Denzel Washington, you’d have thought the Washington speechwriter would have been on the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere to see his “story writer” credit firsthand. So where was he? In Thailand.

Porro, who’s crafted words for CEOs and world leaders, spent the past 10 years creating a feature film from a story he read about a 1930s African-American college debate team. The film, which he worked on with screenwriter/Berkeley buddy Robert Eisele, hits theaters Dec. 25. Throughout the process, Porro discovered the wild ride that is Hollywood, complete with the magic that happens when names such as Denzel, Oprah and Weinstein get involved (the latter two are producers on the film). Porro also has learned about scheduling insanity, which is why the family trip to Thailand was planned long before the premiere date was set.

“You know how it is,” he says from 12 time zones away. “We scheduled the vacation long ago.”

Porro plans to be among the first in line at the theater when he returns to Washington next week. And while he’s eager to keep pushing ahead on his Hollywood aspirations, don’t expect him to flee the Beltway anytime soon: “I’m not going to quit my day job,” he laughs.