014 – TV/Feature Writer Matt MacLennan

Whether you live in Los Angeles, Toronto, or anywhere else, you’re going to love this interview with Canadian TV & feature writer Matt McLennan. Not only is it full to the brim with tips on breaking in and getting ahead, but you’ll be inspired by Matt’s tenacious “never give up” attitude, his resourcefulness, and his desire to mentor.

Once Matt set his eyes on the goal, nothing would stop him from achieving it. He read books, worked as a script reader, sent out hundreds of unsolicited emails, worked as personal assistant and production assistant, and met with anyone who could give him advice on the industry.

When one door would close, Matt would open another. When he did get a job, he would milk it for all it was worth, volunteering his time for duties outside his job description, so he could learn as many aspects as possible of what it takes to put a show together.

Learn the amazing story of how he proposed an innovative solution to a modestly budgeted teen show, to use indie local bands for fresh but inexpensive music. Matt ended up helping to promote many bands that would use the TV show to springboard to greater success, and at the same time he was credited not only for his writing, but for his music supervision as well!

To top it all off, Matt graciously offers his email address to any writers who would like to seek his advice or help. if you’ve learned anything from Matt, take him up on the offer!

Matt’s latest show, HBO Canada’s “Call Me Fitz,” starring Jason Priestley, begins airing in the US in April. Watch for it on DirecTV!

Follow Matt on Twitter: @mattmaclennan

This episode also features our new sponsor the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, and a highlight video from the Toronto Ink Drinks event attended by Gray on March 18th.

Don’t forget your homework: To buy the excellent TV Writer’s Workbook, by Emmy-nominated writer Ellen Sandler, and send your questions for the author to by March 30th, as Gray will be interviewing her on April 1st.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

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Hosted by Gray Jones, the TV Writer Podcast is devoted to interviews with working TV writers. It is brought to you by Script magazine and, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

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Gray Jones

Graham “Gray” Jones is a reality/lifestyle TV editor/writer located in Los Angeles. Originally from Canada, he has an honors Screenwriting BFA from York University, where he graduated with distinction in 1994. He currently produces and hosts the "TV Writer Podcast" in partnership with Script Magazine. Formerly, he produced one of the world’s leading TV-themed podcasts, "Chuck vs. the Podcast," about NBC’s Chuck.