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Welcome to

Evil Monster Dog

I'm Emma Needell



World Builder

EVIL MONSTER DOG is my company, where I work to create original stories across multiple mediums. I gravitate toward stories that are "evil with a heart": dark in tone, plot, or theme but with a throughline of hope.

I grew up on a solar-powered cattle ranch in rural Colorado. My closest neighbor was 3 miles away. It was beautiful, but lonely. In absence of the "real world," I created my own - with the help of movies, nature, and my imagination. After college, I moved to Los Angeles to create and collaborate on films, television, books, and new media.


When I was 24 years old, my screenplay THE WATER MAN caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who came onboard to produce the project. Since then I've worked with Oscar-winning directors and producers, including Steven Spielberg and Ava Duvernay.

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Partners / Collaborators
Featured Work

My original screenplay THE WATER MAN was featured on the prestigious Hollywood Blacklist before being made into a film. 

The film premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. It had a summer theatrical run in 2021 before being picked up by Netflix. Watch it HERE.

Financed/produced by ShivHans Pictures. Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey (and me). Directed by David Oyelowo.

Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 78% rating.


Click on thumbnails to be redirected to the original article.

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Forbes 30 Under 30


Creative Screenwriting / "World-Builders and Myth-Makers” Emma Needell on ‘The Water Man’ and ‘Songs of the Damned’


Film Forums / Screenwriter Emma Needell: From evening class to working with Oprah Winfrey


Script Magazine / INTERVIEW: ‘The Water Man’ Screenwriter Emma Needell


Denver Post / Screenwriter Emma Needell draws on Colorado childhood for “The Water Man”


Arts & Sciences Magazine / Riding a Dream from Hopkins to Hollywood

Selected Short Films