091 – Khanisha Foster (“How I Wrote That” Podcast)

This week, Gray Jones interviews Khanisha Foster, host of the Stephen’s College M.F.A program’s “How I Wrote That” podcast, which features Hollywood’s most successful working female writers discussing their journey and current projects.

Khanisha Foster is a mixed race actress, writer, teaching artist, the Associate Artistic Director of 2nd Story and a TCG’s Young Leader of Color. She is currently enrolled in the M.F.A program and touring with her Solo Show “Actor of Color.”

Follow Khanisha on Twitter: @KhanishaFoster.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – 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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

072 – Jeremy Smith & Matt Venables (Continuum)

Writing teams are popular in Hollywood, as they can give shows more bang for their buck. But are they popular in Canada? Find out as we meet Jeremy Smith and Matt Venables, a Vancouver-based writing team currently staffed on Continuum.


Born in Barrie, Ontario and living in Vancouver, Jeremy Smith graduated the Victoria Motion Picture School in 2000 and has been in the film industry ever since, thoroughly learning all aspects of production working as a Producer’s and Executive’s assistant on television series and feature films.

During the first season of Continuum, Jeremy was a Story Editor and co-wrote his first credited hour drama with fellow writer Jonathan Lloyd Walker. He also acted as the Creative director for the Continuum Transmedia Campaign.

Jeremy’s Twitter: @CaptainPunch

Matthew Venables’ love of music lead him to the world of film. Bands like Suicidal Tendencies and Public Enemy’s socially conscious lyrics inspired him to write poetry and song lyrics. After graduating from Victoria Motion Picture School in 1999, he moved to Vancouver and started directing music videos with fellow filmmakers Jeremy Smith and Troy Sitter under the “The Lollypop Kids” moniker. He has spent the past decade working on various TV series and Films learning the trade and crafting his art. After spending a year with the writing team of Continuum, Matthew’s writing talent earned him his first credited script assignment.

Matt’s Twitter: @palithean

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – 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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

TV Writer Podcast Summer Contest 2011!

2011 Summer Contest

TV WRITER PODCAST SUMMER CONTEST 2011

The contest is now closed… thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to all who won! The full list of winners is at the bottom of this page.

GRAND PRIZES:

Jen Grisanti Pitch Consulting Package (worth $250)
Final Draft Software (worth $249)
Ellen Sandler Career Strategy Consulting Session (worth $100)

WEEKLY & INSTANT PRIZES:

– Pilar Alessandra instructional DVD (worth $30)
– Book “Small Screen, Big Picture” by Chad Gervich (worth $11)
– 3 Script Magazine subscriptions (worth $25 each)
– more could be added!

HOW TO ENTER:

JEN GRISANTI GRAND PRIZE: FIND NEW TV WRITERS FOR TWITTER DATABASE
– Every new submission or correction to TV Writer Twitter Database was a new entry in the draw for the Jen Grisanti grand prize.

– Thanks to several entrants, 163 new writers were added to the TV Writer Twitter Database, bringing the total to a whopping 887!

FINAL DRAFT SOFTWARE GRAND PRIZE: SUBMIT QUESTIONS FOR PODCAST
– The challenge was to check out the schedule of upcoming interviewees on the podcast site, and submit questions for the interviews. Every interviewee question submitted gave an entry in the draw for the Final Draft software grand prize (plus 2 bonus entries if the question was actually read on the podcast).

ELLEN SANDLER GRAND PRIZE: “LIKE” THE FACEBOOK GROUP
– To win the Ellen Sandler grand prize, all you had to do was “Like” the TV Writer Podcast Facebook group — the winner was chosen at random from all the Facebook group members at the end of the contest.

WEEKLY PRIZES:
– Weekly challenges/prizes were announced at TV Writer Chat Sundays (6:30-7:30pm PST). For more details on how to be a part of the chats, go to tvwriterchat.com.

ELIGIBILITY & CONDITIONS:
– You may win more than one prize.
– Anyone is eligible, except for Gray Jones, employees of Script Magazine, and employees of Final Draft.
– Prize winners will be contacted by email. If there is no response by August 31st, a second email will be sent. If there is no response by September 7th, the prize will be defaulted and the person in 2nd position in the draw or challenge will win the prize.

SPECIAL THANKS:
– Special thanks to Jen Grisanti, Ellen Sandler, Pilar Alessandra, Chad Gervich, Final Draft Inc., and Script Magazine for donating prizes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information, email Gray Jones at mail@tvwriterpodcast.com.

==========================================

LIST OF WINNERS:

JEN GRISANTI GRAND PRIZE (FIND NEW TV WRITERS FOR TWITTER DATABASE)
PRIZE AWARDED: Jen Grisanti Pitch Consulting Package (worth $250)
WINNER: Eva Taylor

FINAL DRAFT SOFTWARE GRAND PRIZE (SUBMIT QUESTIONS FOR PODCAST)
PRIZE AWARDED: Final Draft Software (worth $249)
WINNER: Lauren B.

ELLEN SANDLER GRAND PRIZE (“LIKE” THE FACEBOOK GROUP)
PRIZE AWARDED: Ellen Sandler Career Strategy Consulting Session (worth $100)
WINNER: Cortney Matz

TWITTER DATABASE RUNNER-UP (SUBMITTED MOST WRITERS)
PRIZE AWARDED: Pilar Alessandra instructional DVD (worth $30)
WINNER: Sarah Newman

WEEK 1 WEEKLY PRIZE (July 17-23) === CLOSED:
CHALLENGE WAS: What is the total number of free TV scripts, pilots, and TV bibles at the massive Lee Thomson script archive? (Answer: 1637)
PRIZE AWARDED: 1 year Script Magazine subscription, including free access to 7 years of digital back issues!
WINNER: Steph Cheng

WEEK 2 WEEKLY PRIZE (July 24-30): === CLOSED:
CHALLENGE WAS: Find least expensive book on Gray’s Bookshelf at the TV Writer Podcast Amazon Mini-Store (Answer: “The 101 Habits Of Highly Successful Screenwriters” by Karl Iglesias, at $9.38).
PRIZE AWARDED: 1 year Script Magazine subscription, including free access to 7 years of digital back issues!
WINNER: Derek Moreno

WEEK 3 WEEKLY PRIZE (July 31-August 6): === CLOSED:
CHALLENGE WAS: Count the number of resource links on the TV Writer Podcast website sidebar (Answer: 91).
PRIZE AWARDED: 1 year Script Magazine subscription, including free access to 7 years of digital back issues!
WINNER: Michael T. Burgess

WEEK 4 WEEKLY PRIZE (August 7-13): === CLOSED:
CHALLENGE WAS: Contribute new resource links for the TV Writer Podcast website sidebar.
PRIZE AWARDED: Chad Gervich’s excellent book, “Small Screen, Big Picture.”
WINNER: Sarah Newman

WEEK 5 WEEKLY PRIZE (August 14-20): === CLOSED:
CHALLENGE WAS: Go to the new “DSLR” page on the TV Writer Podcast website. On that page, find the answer to this question: which external DSLR website is home to the fabulous DSLR Cinematography Guide?
PRIZE AWARDED: Paperback copy of William Rabkin’s excellent book, “Writing the Pilot” (when it ships).

WINNER: Lauren B.

INSTANT PRIZE 1 (July 19) === CLOSED:
CHALLENGE WAS: First to answer where screenwriter Thomas Lennon is from (Answer: Chicago).
PRIZE AWARDED: Free registration for webinar with Hollywood screenwriters Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, sponsored by Final Draft, Inc.
WINNER: Steph Cheng

INSTANT PRIZE 2 (July 26) === CLOSED:
CHALLENGE WAS: First to answer which has been the most viewed TV Writer Podcast to date (Answer: Jen Grisanti podcast).
PRIZE AWARDED: Paperback copy of William Rabkin’s excellent book, “Writing the Pilot.”
WINNER: Melissa McCready

028 – Tamiko Brooks (8 Simple Rules, Half & Half)

Writer Tamiko Brooks grew up in Detroit, but knew from an early age she wanted to work in the entertainment industry. She was not only the first Nickelodeon live action fellow, but was also accepted to the Disney/ABC writing fellowship.


Tamiko Brooks earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago. After graduation, she headed west to L.A., and got a job as an assistant on the TV sitcom, Moesha. Under the mentorship of some of the writers, Tamiko began writing spec sitcoms and ultimately received her first writing credit in 1999 with an episode of Moesha.

Soon after, Tamiko was accepted to the first year of the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship, along with former podcast interviewee Courtney Lilly. She was relocated to Orlando, FL to work on the Nick sitcom, Taina.

After that, she became an ABC/Disney writing fellow. As a result, she was placed on the sitcom, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The head writer was so impressed with her that he hired her on staff, and she was with the show for two seasons until its cancellation.

Tamiko was then hired as a writer on Half & Half. Additionally, Tamiko has written freelance assignments for The Proud Family and the daytime drama One Life to Live.

You’ll learn a lot from Tamiko about navigating the industry, and dealing with the ups and downs and cyclical nature of TV schedules.

Make sure you take part in the TV Writer Chat this Sunday night, as it will feature the launch of the first TV Writer Podcast contest, with some amazing prizes! Get the details about the chat at tvwriterchat.com.

Follow Tamiko on Twitter: @TamikoBrooks

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – 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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

027 – Eric Haywood (Soul Food, Relative Stranger)

Writer-director Eric Haywood started out as a successful Atlanta-based music video director, but since moving to Los Angeles has written for cable and network television, has written a TV movie, and has written and directed many short films. You’ll love hearing how he has approached every step of his interesting journey through the industry!


Eric was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He began his career as a music video director while still enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in filmmaking. After relocating to Atlanta, Eric went on to direct and produce videos featuring such artists as Usher, Cee-Lo Green, Outkast, New Edition, Ice-T, Tupac Shakur, and legendary Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins. His video for Bay Area rapper E-40’s song “Sprinkle Me” was selected by MTV and XXL Magazine as the #10 Greatest West-Coast Rap Video of All Time.

Eric then turned his focus to writing, and moved to Los Angeles, where he landed jobs as a writer on all five seasons of Showtime’s Soul Food: The Series, and NBC’s police drama Hawaii. Along the way, he has periodically returned to his filmmaking roots, writing and directing three short films (Staring at the Sun, Intersection, and Nick of Time), each of which has screened at a number of film festivals around the country.

Most recently, Eric wrote the Hallmark Channel Original Movie Relative Stranger, starring Eriq LaSalle and directed by Charles Burnett. After premiering in the spring of 2009, the film garnered three NAACP Image Award nominations and a Best Supporting Actress Emmy® nomination for Cicely Tyson.

Follow Eric on Twitter: @Eric_Haywood

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – 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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.