August was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. He earned a degree in journalism from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; while there, he participated in a summer film program at Stanford and decided to pursue screenwriting. He went on to earn an MFA in film from The Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California. As part of his course at USC, August wrote a romantic tragedy called Here and Now. Though the script never sold, it resulted in August finding agent representation and helped launch his screenwriting career.
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