According to journalist Joshua Davis, who knew Flinders as a child, he grew up in a spiritual community outside of San Francisco, and attended St. Vincent's high school in Petaluma, CA. While studying Film and Visual Arts at Occidental College, from where he later graduated, Flinders invented an alter-ego, the shy but precocious home schooled girl who would eventually become Bree. He wrote short stories about her, told fireside tales about her as a camp counselor and started writing scripts about her.
His short film "Pond" is about a Bree-like high school girl who gets left behind on a museum field trip and meets the ghost of the museum's famous architect. Together they solve the mystery of his confinement, freeing the architect from his museum purgatory, and helping Ana find something to care about. The Pond screenplay won the Panavision Young Writer's award in 2004.
Flinders was working as an assistant in the entertainment industry and maker of short films when he met Beckett at a karaoke bar birthday party. Beckett had the idea to tell a story about a videoblogger on YouTube. Flinders had the perfect character. The duo quickly set about planning, writing scripts and held a casting call. Around the time the series began, Flinders and Beckett contacted Greg Goodfried for legal advice. The three eventually became known as The Creators.