SPECIAL: Lisa Alden Intro to Power of the Pitch

Informative introduction to Lisa Alden’s “Power of the Pitch” workshops – learn how to pitch your original TV pilot from somebody who has sold every one in the room! Even if you plan on writing it on spec, learning how to pitch it will exponentially develop your project and save you months of writing wasted drafts.

Are you in LA this Saturday, April 19, 2014? Sign up for the 2-day Power of the Pitch seminar ASAP! The second day will be May 4th. Pay only $245 if you register by tonight, April 15th. After that the price is $275. Get the details on Lisa’s blog: lisaaldenme.tumblr.com

About Lisa: after a successful career as a movie executive (New Line, Universal, Fox) Lisa joined the second season writing staff of “entourage.” After staying there for four amazing years, she moved on to a short-lived NBC show “Lipstick Jungle.” It was during the WGA strike (that interrupted that show) that she made the decision toto start writing her own pilots. In the last few years, she has sold every show that she’s pitched – to Fox21, HBO, MTV and ABC Family. As she continues to pursue her created by” dream, she enjoys teaching other writers how to create their own original pilots and develop the confidence to pitch them. Lisa teaches TV writing in the Professional Program at UCLA, and teaches her successful “Power of the Pitch” workshops at various locations around Los Angeles. She also works one on one with writers in both mediums of television and screenwriting. If you live in West Hollywood and see a tall skinny girl with four crazy dogs and an Urth Cafe coffee cup walking around, that’s probably her. Happy Writing!

Follow Lisa on Twitter: @LisaAlden3

Bookmark Lisa’s blog: lisaaldenme.tumblr.com

You can also watch this podcast in full HD on YouTube!

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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com 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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now, what?

Evaluation and Goal Setting for Writers

 

INTRODUCTION

I believe in goals. But like a sea voyage, just starting out in the right direction is not enough. Initially, all of our energy is aimed correctly, and therefore propels us toward our goal. Invariably, however, our course is slowly but steadily altered. It might be because of slight undetected currents and wind shifts, navigating to avoid dangers, and even rest breaks, but soon we can be traveling on a totally different path.

When we are not pointed in the right direction, we have to expel a tremendous amount of energy to make the same amount of progress. We will even pride ourselves on the amount of energy exerted, though we are getting further and further away from our desired destination.

Though new year resolutions are slighted, it is important to use this time to regroup, assess what direction we want to be headed in, and make sure we’re pointed as closely to it as possible. It’s a time not only to make course corrections, but to assess why we went off course, and what we can do to prevent it the next time. Even better, we should set up systems that ensure we keep as close as possible to our path, set shorter term targets, and initiate some kind of accountability.

 

A CASE STUDY

Early in my television career, I was lucky to land editing work for 60 consecutive episodes of a documentary series. However, the show was hit with numerous problems. After my first season, the executive producers had a nasty partnership breakup. The following season, the remaining EP died suddenly! The show continued with the director as the executive producer, but it was finally cancelled halfway through the next season.

I was supporting a young family of four at the time, and got nervous about continuing in this topsy turvy freelance work. I was offered a steady job as vice president of post-production for a corporate video production company, and took it. My thinking was that I could spend time training, broaden my skills and reliably support my family, and just get back into television when the right opportunity came.

Four years later, I was miserable. I had gotten WAY off course. I thrive on doing creative work that impacts people in a positive way, and that did not describe the work I was doing. The longer I was away from it, the more miserable I became.

REGROUPING

So I regrouped. I took a couple of large sheets of paper. On one sheet, I broke down every area of my personal and professional life, and examined strengths, weaknesses, and needs for each area. On the other, I visually mapped out my career. For each of my skills and the possible areas of work, I assigned multiple ratings: 1) what was my level of experience, and 2) what was the desirability.

I realized pretty quickly that my energies were being put into all the wrong things, and that I was no closer to my desired areas of work than I had been 4 years before. I also discovered that even the TV work I had been doing before was not where I wanted to be. Since the age of 14, my dream had been to work as a writer in Hollywood. I had put that on a shelf, but realized that I absolutely had to revive that dream.

So I put together an aggressive plan. To realize my dream, I would need to get back into television, and to work on higher profile shows, especially those with a US audience. I would have to pay off my substantial debts and raise a fair amount of capital. I would need to build a strong network, both in Toronto and Los Angeles, and especially in the world of scripted television. I would need to learn everything I could about screenwriting, and TV writing in particular.

THE POWER OF A PLAN

5 years later, I am stunned at all that has happened. I now have editing and/or writing credits on 180 TV episodes and 40 webisodes, 154 of which were in the last 5 years. Shows I edited have been nominated for and have won Gemini awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Emmys. My podcast for NBC’s Chuck, boasting over 160 interviews with the cast, crew, and writers of the show, was ranked the world’s #1 TV-themed podcast for 40 consecutive months, and saw me featured on CNN and in the Toronto Star. My TV Writer Podcast has interviewed almost 70 writers, authors, show runners and show creators from Hollywood, Canada, and the UK. I’ve developed a strong network of TV professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere. My debts have been completely paid off. And within a few months, I will be moving my family to Los Angeles! I owe ALL of this to that one planning session.

COURSE CORRECTIONS

All of this may sound very impressive. Nevertheless, I have discovered that in many ways I am again off course, and need a significant course correction. It is time for some scary decisions!

Though color grading represents 30% of my income, I am giving it up after the end of my current series. Extra-curricular activities like shooting stock footage, YouTube demos, and podcasting need to take a backseat to my writing. Though reality TV editing is supporting my family, my top priority now is to make a transition to writing full-time, as soon as possible.

So it’s time for a new plan!

 

MAKING A NEW PLAN – TOOLS

There are a number of blogs and resources that can help you make a plan for yourself. Nothing beats a time of quiet reflection, paper, and pen. But beyond that, here are some practicals that I am using this year:

 
Don’t Break The Chain!

The Writers Store had a great article a couple of years ago (CLICK HERE) about the secret of Jerry’s Seinfeld’s success — he had a calendar where he recorded every day he wrote, and made sure that the chain of days was never broken. I designed a more user-friendly version of the calendar, and updated it for 2013:

DOWNLOAD 2013 DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN CALENDAR HERE

 
1, 2, 7, 14

Go Into The Story (an excellent writing blog by Scott Myers) featured a simple but excellent method of planning your writing time. Read about it HERE.

Of course, you will need to modify it if you’re focusing on TV writing. Since TV shows and scripts are shorter, I might suggest reading one pilot and one episode script per week, and watch 4 TV episodes in a week. So for a budding TV writer, it might be “2, 4, 7, 14.”

You may be motivated differently, but I am most effective when I have accountability, so I have decided to log my viewing and reading this year. If you like, you can use my log sheets:

Screenplay reading (PDF)
Teleplay reading (PDF)
Movies watched (PDF)
TV shows watched (PDF)
Books read (PDF)
Weekly Summary Page (PDF)
All forms (Excel)

 
TV Writer Chat Pilot Writing Program

The weekly Sunday night TV Writer Chat has been an awesome resource, and you would do well to attend every Sunday night at 6:30pm PST! CLICK HERE for a list of upcoming chat topics, and CLICK HERE for an easy link to the chat room (I suggest you bookmark that page).

Even better, it is kicking into overdrive this year, with an aggressive pilot writing program. Write a new pilot by June!

Don’t miss it! CLICK HERE for more details.

 
Find a Mentor!

Kam Miller wrote an excellent series of blog posts recently on the tremendous power of mentors. CLICK HERE for Part 1, CLICK HERE for Part 2, and CLICK HERE for Part 3!

 
Podcast Resources

All of the TV Writer Podcast interviewees have offered invaluable tips and wisdom, but a few of the episodes stand out as great career resources that will help you plan your year:

Hollywood game plan – 054, Carol Kirschner
Strategies for breaking in – 014, Matt MacLennan
Social media strategies – 019 & 020
Pilot writing – 049, William Rabkin
Shooting a spec pilot – 032, Rob Thomas
Web series writing – 047, Ross Brown
Getting a manager – 066, Jenny Frankfurt
Reality TV – 051, Troy Devolld
Wisdom from the trenches – 053, Sterling Anderson
Pitching – 065, Stephanie Palmer
The myth of “breaking in” – 063, Bob DeRosa
Comedy writing – 005, Rob Kutner
Comedy writing – 029, Sheldon Bull
Comedy writing – 046, John Vorhaus

And more:
016, Ellen Sandler
021, Chad Gervich
026, Jen Grisanti
041, Pilar Alessandra
048, Manager Brandy Rivers

 
Book Resources

One of the best ways to stay on course and optimize your energies is to make it a priority to read books on writing and the business of writing.

Some of the most helpful books I’ve read are:

The TV Writer’s Workbook
Hollywood Game Plan
Beyond Screenwriting
Writing Without Fear: 15 Steps
Writing the Pilot
Elephant Bucks
Small Screen, Big Picture
Save the Cat!
The Comic Toolbox
Good In A Room
On Writing

You can browse all of the books on my shelf, most with my comments, by CLICKING HERE.

 
Screenplay Resources

It takes less than an hour to read a one-hour TV script, and half that for a comedy. How can we aspire to a career in TV writing without reading teleplays? Novelists read dozens of books per year; we need to be continually reading scripts.

CLICK HERE for an amazing repository of free TV scripts, including pilots and bibles!

There are links on the sidebar for other script sources.

 

ABOVE ALL ELSE, GET YOUR BUTT IN THE CHAIR!

It is said that every day, esteemed novelist Jonathan Swift would have his servant lead him to his writing chair and literally tie him to it. He understood that the only time writing would happen was when he was in that chair. In his book, On Writing, Stephen King shares in great detail how he approaches his writing environment. If great writers like these need to be aggressive about the logistics to get themselves writing, it’s a good bet we do too.

Determine how you will free yourself from distractions (including turning off the internet and the phone), then set appointments for some private time between you and your chair daily. Keep those appointments, and the writing will happen!

I wish you a very successful writing year in 2013, and great progress toward your career destinations!

——

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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

How the Panasonic GH3 Democratizes Filmmaking

ORDER GH3 HERE (now shipping!): AmazonAdoramaBH Photo

When I interviewed NoFilmSchool founder Ryan Koo in episode 033, we discussed how the $3500 Canon 5D Mark II and other DSLR cameras like it were democratizing filmmaking, by putting true cinematic tools in the hands of the people, at prices the average Joe could afford. Feature films are now being shot entirely on a camera you can buy at a big box store — even the recent ParaNorman was shot entirely on Canon 5D cameras.

This is a stark difference to the landscape of 20 years ago, when I attended film school. Then, the main reason you spent $60,000 or more to attend such a program was that it was the only way you could access the expensive equipment to make broadcast quality television or cinematic quality films. This remained true until about 4 years ago, when an almost accidental addition of HD video to the full frame Canon 5D Mark II created a revolution.

Since the advent of the groundbreaking Canon 5D Mark II, there has been an onslaught of video-capable DSLR cameras. However, as more and more wannabe filmmakers and existing productions have put these cameras to the test, we have discovered shortcomings of the DSLR as a true production tool.

On many cameras, there is no way to control audio levels. And how can you monitor the audio, when there is no headphone output? Most of Canon’s offerings (including the 5D) had heat problems, and limited to 12 minutes of continuous recording before they would overheat. There are issues of moire on certain types of objects (like bricks), rolling shutter creates wobbly effects when the camera is moved quickly or an object (like a subway train) moves quickly in the field of view, limited data rates in the codecs, low resolution HDMI output not suitable for monitoring or recording externally, poor ergonomics, lack of time code, and other issues. Many of these shortcomings have even created an industry of support gear, trying to bridge the gap between the DSLR and tried and tested pro camcorders and film cameras.

The 5D Mark III came out… and has not been impressing. It is certainly improved over the Mark II, but like all Canons the video is soft, more like a 720p image that is blown up to 1080p than true 1080p. The Nikon D800 has impressive video quality, but can not record externally at full resolution while also recording internally. Neither of these can record true 1080/60p slow motion. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera offers great promise, but has had production delays, and very few people have actually used one.

Also, at $3000-3500 for body alone, these tools may be great for the professional filmmaker, but are not true democratization, as they are not priced within the range of the consumer, or even most prosumers (especially when you factor in another $2,000-$5,000 for lenses and support gear).

The little engine that could, the small Panasonic GH2, shocked the world when it was chosen in Zacuto’s blind camera shootout by the majority of those polled, including esteemed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. This $700 camera beat the $60,000 RED and $90,000 Alexa cameras, because of its ability to be hacked to provide a better codec and higher bit rates.

However, hacking the GH2 is not an ideal solution for most people, particularly because it can disable certain functions, and can even cause the camera to “lock up” (like a computer crash) at random times, forcing you to remove the battery and re-insert it even to turn the camera off.

Enter the Panasonic GH3, just announced at Photokina in September…

ORDER GH3 HERE (now shipping!): AmazonAdoramaBH Photo

Why am I so excited about this camera?

As the title of this post indicates, why do I feel this camera democratizes filmmaking?

At $1,299, the GH3 is less than half of the cost of a Canon 5D Mark III, Nikon D800, or Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It has all the advantages of a hacked GH2, but without the hacking. It has a better-than-broadcast quality codec and bit rate, true SMPTE time code, true 1080/60p slow motion, headphone output, uncompressed full resolution HDMI output, WiFi and Bluetooth built in (for remote viewing and remote control of the camera by any iOS or Android device), new more robust weather-sealed body, and much more. It has a built-in intervalometer, which means you can shoot time-lapse videos even higher than 4K resolution with no extra gear! Even set up these time-lapses wirelessly, which is incredibly handy for awkward locations, like a wilderness blind or construction time-lapse.

Did I mention less than half the cost? Because broadcast TV specs mandate a minimum data rate of 50 Mbits (higher than all AVCHD cameras and most Canons), the GH3 is actually the cheapest truly broadcast quality camera on the market! (Note: in Europe, broadcast standards are actually 100 Mbit minimum, but you could overcome this easily by using an external recorder like the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle or Atomos Ninja).

Another HUGE way this camera can save you time & money in a professional environment — no time-consuming import stage! The GH3 can record to standard editable Quicktime files, which gives it a leg up over most DSLR cameras. Don’t spend hours waiting for your computer to convert the files to an editable format, and don’t incur costly labor charges (plus workstation rental) for an assistant to do this for you! This is not a small deal — over the course of a TV season, this would not only pay back the whole cost of the camera and lenses, but save/make you extra money besides! [UPDATED Oct. 17, 2012]

As a mirrorless micro four thirds camera, lenses from almost any manufacturer can be used on the GH3 via inexpensive adapters, making it a truly universal camera. Though it is not full frame, very “fast” (wide aperture) lenses are available which give it the desired filmic shallow depth of field. It has the advantage of focus pulling over WiFi, incredible low light performance, fast focus tracking while shooting video, in-camera timelapse control, and much more.

Philip Bloom worked with TRON director Bruce Logan, ASC do to a remarkable GH3 launch film called “Genesis,” much of which was shot with available light only, even at night! If possible, download the original 1080p file from Vimeo and view in full screen to get a true handle of what this camera is capable of.

Panasonic GH3 launch film: Genesis from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Also watch the Behind The Scenes video (shot on a non-hacked GH2), for their impressions after working with the prototype GH3 camera:

Panasonic GH3: Behind the scenes from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Shooting webisodes? Indie short films? Stop motion animation? Feature films? Commercials? YouTube videos? Podcasts? School projects? No matter the application, this hybrid camera is bound to truly democratize filmmaking, in a way that many other cameras have tried and failed.

They are selling like hotcakes, so be sure to order now! A portion of your order will help to support the podcast, and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below, as I already have one in my possession.

ORDER GH3 HERE (now shipping!): AmazonAdoramaBH Photo

SPECIAL MINI-AMAZON STORE WITH LENSES AND ACCESSORIES FOR GH2 AND GH3: CLICK HERE





053 – Sterling Anderson (Beyond Screenwriting, The Unit)

Sterling Anderson is an award-winning screenwriter, TV writer, and author. His newest book, Beyond Screenwriting, goes where no other industry book goes… into the trenches of today’s writer in Hollywood.

Sterling Anderson has written for some of the most popular network television shows, such as ‘The Unit‘ on CBS, as well as NBC’s ‘Medium‘ and ‘Heist.’ His teleplay ‘The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn,’ written for CBS and starring Sidney Poitier, received an Emmy nomination and won an Image Award. Sterling’s extensive resume also includes screenplays written for Lions Gate, Disney, HBO, TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures.

A graduate in English from St. Mary’s College, the accomplished writer also spent five years teaching screenwriting courses as an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Sterling’s first book, ‘Does He Cheat?,’ is a hair-raising, controversial expose on infidelity. He has written three books on writing, ‘Writing Without Fear’ (2010), ‘Beyond Screenwriting‘ (on Kindle and in paperback), and ‘Writing Without Fear: 15 Steps Toward Becoming a Successful (Artist) Writer‘ (on Kindle only). The author often guest lectures and panels on screenwriting at film schools and festivals across the country.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sterling spent his early childhood in Tuskegee, Alabama, before moving to Davis, California. He writes from Los Angeles today. His talents span far outside the world of writing. Sterling has a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and was an award-winning winemaker in Napa Valley.

Follow Sterling on Twitter: @byondscrnwrting

Visit Sterling’s website: sterlingandersonwriter.com

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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

052 – Daniel Knauf (Carnivale, Bxx: Haunted)

For Daniel Knauf, his first TV staff gig wasn’t until his forties, when he sold ‘Carnivàle‘ to HBO… and he’s still breaking barriers today, as he launches a new cutting-edge online experience.

Today (March 23rd, 2012) is the launch of Bxx: Haunted! Register for your invitation at http://www.bxxweb.com.

To celebrate this innovative new storytelling concept, Gray has an interview with its creator, Daniel Knauf. Daniel is best known for TV show he created, HBO’S Carnivàle.

You’ll love his amazing story!

Follow Daniel on Twitter: @Daniel_Knauf

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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

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

—————–

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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

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 LA, 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! 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.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

027 – Eric Haywood (Soul Food, Relative Stranger, Empire)

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 this 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

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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.

 
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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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.

026 – Jen Grisanti (author & story career consultant)

Jen Grisanti is a story career consultant, independent producer, writing instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the new books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells.

Jen spent 12 years under the mentorship of Aaron Spelling, eventually running Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Jen was promoted to VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, where she covered such shows as Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends. While at CBS/Paramount, she served as a mentor in the CBS Diversity Program, which seeks out and nurtures young writers and directors.

In January 2008, Jen launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. By drawing on her 12-year experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers & showrunners, Jen personally guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches, and focus their careers. Since launching, Jen has worked with over 300 writers working in television, features and novels. In the first 3 years, already 20 of her clients have staffed as writers on television shows and two have sold pilots that went to series. In 2008, Jen was hired to be the Writing Instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge.

Her brand is Developing From Within. Her company hosts Storywise Seminars and Teleseminars as a way to get this message out. In addition to her books, she has CDs and workbooks, and also has an excellent Storywise Podcast Series available on iTunes and her website.

Visit her website at jengrisanticonsultancy.com.

Follow Jen on Twitter: @ JenGrisanti

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 www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

 
Subscribe: iTunes (Video)iTunes (Audio)PodBean (Audio)
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 Scriptmag.com, the leading source for scriptwriting information in print and on the web.