082 – Amy Berg (Caper, Eureka)

The TV Writer Podcast is back, better than ever! Host Gray Jones has moved permanently to LA, and the podcast now features exclusive in-person video interviews with Hollywood TV writers and producers. This week’s fun episode is with Amy Berg, co-creator of the new web series Caper, and producer/writer for Person of Interest, Eureka, Leverage, and The 4400.

Amy Berg is a self-confessed power nerd, and her office proves it! Gray & Amy have fun geeking out over her collection of sci fi figurines, before getting down to business.

What gutsy move fresh out of college landed her a meeting with Joss Whedon?

How did a failed interview lead to her first staff TV writing job, at 22 years old?

How was it a good thing that she lost out on a job to Jane Espenson?

How did a spec script from the point of view of a dog kick her career into high gear?

What’s her advice about “gimmick” scripts?

And how did she end up creating a web series after so many years producing television?

Speaking about Caper, check out new episodes every Wednesday, plus lots of bonus content at Geek and Sundry!

Follow Amy on Twitter: @bergopolis

In other news… you can now watch this podcast in full 1080p 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.

081 – Jeffrey Lieber (Lost, Tuck Everlasting, Necessary Roughness)

Co-creator of Lost… creator of Miami Medical… writer of Tuck Everlasting… showrunner of Necessary Roughness… what more do we need to say? You’re sure to love this week’s interview with feature & TV writer Jeffrey Lieber!

One day in 1986, after blowing up a glass beaker in a lab in high school, Jeffrey Lieber’s science teacher, Dr. Nagoi, turned to him and said, “Jeffrey… you be an actor… you be a writer… maybe have a family… but please, dear God, don’t be a chemist.” And it was those words that launched a journey that has ended up with Mr. Lieber becoming a screenwriter, showrunner, blogger, father and husband. Every day, while pursuing his passions, Mr. Lieber takes a moment to stop and thank Dr. Nagoi for his sage advice.

In our first video interview from a backyard, Jeffrey has many humorous anecdotes about his efforts to secure an agent, writing Tuck Everlasting, developing Lost, creating Miami Medical, showrunning Necessary Roughness, and his path between all these projects. He also has great advice about breaking in, and how to get noticed.

Follow Jeffrey on Twitter: @JeffLieber

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.

080 – UK Writers James Whitehouse & Hannah George

In the UK, TV pilots get “optioned” the same way feature scripts do in the US! Learn about this and many other fascinating differences between writing in the UK, the US, and Canada, in Gray’s fun interview with UK writing team James Whitehouse and Hannah George.

James Whitehouse and Hannah George started working together nearly four years ago.

Since then, they have worked for the BBC, writing six episodes of the award-winning new CBBC children’s drama series ‘Wolfblood,’ which has since been acquired by Disney for international release. They have also written on Nickleodeon’s hit series ‘The House of Anubis.’

They have a had several of their own scripts optioned in genres as diverse as children’s sci-fi, and adult sitcom, and drama. They are currently in development with several companies for these, and writing on CBBC comedy show ‘The Slammer.’

In this fun interview, they tell what you should look for in a writing partner, and describe many fascinating differences about writing in the UK versus writing in Hollywood or Canada, including optioning TV specs, writing without a full time writers room, and much more!

They are represented by Harriet Pennington-Legh at Troika.

Follow James on Twitter: @JMJWhitehouse

Follow Hannah on Twitter: @HannahMGeorge

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.

079 – Aaron Ginsburg (The Finder, The Good Guys)

Think there’s only one way to break in? You won’t after watching this interview with Aaron Ginsburg! He could win a prize for the most outrageous way of breaking in.

Aaron Ginsburg is a writer/producer who has worked in television, film and video games for over a decade. Along with his longtime writing partner, Wade McIntyre, he was recently a Co-Producer on NBC’s DO NO HARM, he wrote the next installment in the popular family comedy HOME ALONE franchise (HOME ALONE: THE HOLIDAY HEIST), and he is currently co-writing a new comic for SKYBOUND (The Walking Dead) entitled CLONE.

Ginsburg & McIntyre have also written for FOX’s quirky comedies THE FINDER and THE GOOD GUYS, and Ginsburg spent three months in Bogotá, Colombia producing USA Network’s BURN NOTICE prequel feature, THE FALL OF SAM AXE. Their comedy short, A NINJA PAID HALF MY RENT, was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival several years ago and where it went on to be featured at dozens of other festivals (including HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, SXSW and the LA Film Festival). Ginsburg & McIntyre sold the 1/2 hour single-camera comedy CROWDED APARTMENT to SPIKE TV, and wrote the dark indie thriller INSIGHT (starring Justified’s Natalie Zea, Chuck’s Adam Baldwin, and Christopher Lloyd) which was released in over 40 theaters and is currently streaming on Netflix.

In the gaming world, Ginsburg & McIntyre wrote the script for Activsion’s mega-hit videogame, CALL OF DUTY 2: BIG RED ONE which won the prestigious award for Outstanding Achievement in Story and Character Development from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. For the past 7+ years, Ginsburg has directed LA’s hit stage show, THE THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR at Largo at the Coronet.

Follow Aaron on Twitter: @DrLawyercop

Transcript from Aaron’s guest chat on the TV Writer Chat: CLICK HERE

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.

078 – Tawnya Bhattacharya (Script Anatomy, The Client List)

Tawnya Bhattacharya has worked as a TV writer, feature writer, teacher, and consultant, and has great tips to share on both writing and developing your career!

Tawnya Bhattacharya currently writes for the hit TV series, THE CLIENT LIST on Lifetime, along with her writing partner, Ali Laventhol.  The team previously worked on USA’s FAIRLY LEGAL and are repped by ICM Partners and Rain Management Group.  Before that, their NURSE JACKIE spec got them into the NBC Writers on the Verge fellowship program.  The duo are currently in development with Battleplan on their original pilot.

Tawnya’s solo work includes several optioned features and writing assignments.  She was one of a handful selected for the Fox Writers Initiative in 2009, where she optioned her original pilot to Fox.  

Bhattacharya taught screenwriting at Writers Boot Camp in 2005 to 2009 where she helped hundreds of writers at various levels create and develop their screenplay projects through courses and script consultations.  In 2010, she launched Script Anatomy: a company designed to help screen and television writers reach their personal writing goals and elevate their storytelling through private script consultation, group feature and television writing classes and workshops.

WEBSITE: scriptanatomy.com

Follow Tawnya on Twitter: @ScriptAnatomy

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.

077 – Own Your Career – Sterling Anderson (Sterling Writers Group)

Sterling Anderson is back! In an interview that is sure to change the path of your career, Sterling relates in great depth how and why some artists fail, and others succeed. This one is not just for writers!

No stranger to the podcast (interviewed in episode 053), Sterling Anderson is back for a full video in-person interview, to give us a much deeper look at his great career wisdom. He shares many tips from his second writing book, Writing Without Fear, 15 Steps Towards Becoming a Successful (Artist) Writer. If you haven’t read his books, you will want to after this interview!

In particular, Sterling shares about deconstructing the various forms of self sabotage, and what winning habits you can replace them with. The lessons are practical for any artist, or anyone with a dream!

Sterling also discusses his new script consulting / mentoring company, Sterling Writers Group, and has some strong words to say about why it’s important to do your homework when choosing a script consultant or mentor.

For more info:

– Watch Sterling’s first podcast interview: PODCAST 053
– Visit Sterling’s personal website: sterlingandersonwriter.com
– Visit the Sterling Writers Group website: sterlingwritersgroup.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.

076 – Mark Verheiden (Hemlock Grove, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville)

Are you a sci fi fan? Then you are certain to love this week’s interview with Mark Verheiden, EP of Hemlock Grove on Netflix! Mark is a veteran of sci fi in several forms: TV, features, and comics.

Mark Verheiden is an executive producer of the Netflix original series “Hemlock Grove.” His previous television work includes writing and producing the Peabody Award winning “Battlestar Galactica,” as well as “Falling Skies,” “Heroes” and “Smallville,” among others.

In the feature film world, Verheiden made his mark writing the #1 box-office feature films “Timecop” and “The Mask.”

His audience extends to the comic book world, as he has written more than 125 books for DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics, including “Superman,” “Superman/Batman,” “Aliens” and “Predator.”

Verheiden grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he was an active member of the comic book fan community while studying film. He is a lifelong science fiction fan, which has served him well in his twenty-five year career in film, television and comics.

Twitter: @MarkVerheiden

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.

075 – Former Development Exec Scott Manville (TV Writers Vault)

This week we meet Scott Manville… an entrepreneur who used his experience as the former Head of TV Development for Merv Griffin Entertainment, to create the unique Television Writers Vault, a resource that connects writers with top producers and network executives.

With 15 years of professional experience in TV program development, Scott Manville is the Founder and President of the Television Writers Vault (tvwritersvault.com), an online marketplace used by top producers and network executives sourcing new show concepts and stories for TV.

As the former Head of TV Development for Merv Griffin Entertainment, his hands-on experience within that development and pitching process inspired this groundbreaking service for the protection and promotion of new concepts and formats being pitched to Industry buyers.

Back in his days of development, Scott worked on writing pitches and formats that were produced as “Click” (game show, which was Ryan Seacrest’s first TV hosting gig), “Men Are From Mars,” “Good Samaritan,” and other in-house projects for Griffin.

The Television Writers Vault is the first industry website to bring new TV show “ideas” from everyday people outside the industry, to production and global broadcast on major networks, such as A&E, Discovery Channel, SyFy, OLN, and other international outlets. Scott is also a professional pitch writer, offering services for writers and creators developing reality-based concepts for television.

Scott also created www.creatorsvault.com and www.castmyreality.com… Check them out!

For more info and great resources, visit www.tvwritersvault.com and www.scottmanville.com.

Twitter: @tvwritersvault or @ScottManville

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.

074 – Beau Willimon (House of Cards)

From never being on a TV staff, to becoming the creator and showrunner of “House of Cards,” Netflix’s original foray into dramatic television and the corrupted world of politics… this week’s interview with screenwriter, painter, and playwright Beau Willimon is sure to inspire you!

Beau Willimon is a screenwriter, playwright, producer and most recently, an executive producer, showrunner and creator of Netflix’s original series “House of Cards,” a wicked one-hour drama, from Media Rights Capital, that slithers behind the curtain of power, sex, ambition, love, greed and corruption in modern Washington D.C.

His play “Farragut North,” became the basis for the motion picture screenplay “Ides of March,” which he co-wrote with George Clooney and Grant Heslov. “Ides of March” earned Willimon Academy Award®, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, and it won The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Award for Best Screenplay.

Other plays include “Lower Ninth” (Flea Theater, 2008; UK premiere, Donmar Warehouse, 2010), and “Spirit Control” (Manhattan Theatre Club, 2010). Subsequent productions of his plays have been mounted across the U.S. and overseas. Willimon was a recipient of the Lila Acheson Wallace Juilliard Playwriting Fellowship, named 2008 Playwright-in-Residence at the Donmar Warehouse, and he is a two-time winner of the Lincoln Center Le Comte du Nouy Award. Current theater commissions include works for the National Theatre of Great Britain, South Coast Rep, and the Flea Theater.

His most recent play, “The Parisian Woman,” premieres at South Coast Repertory in the spring and will star Dana Delany, Steven Culp, Linda Gehringer and Rebecca Mozo. The play was inspired by Henri Becque’s “La Parisienne.”

Recently Willimon co-founded Westward Productions, a film and television production company, with co-founder Jordan Tappis. Among Westward Production’s current projects is the forthcoming “Wally and Andre Shoot Ibsen” – a film adaption of Ibsen’s play “Master Builder” developed by Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, directed by Jonathan Demme. Willimon is an Executive Producer on the film. Other projects in development include a documentary about adventure traveler Karl Bushby’s quest to circumnavigate the globe on foot over the course of two decades, and a documentary about Westerly Windina, a transgender Australian woman formerly known as legendary pro-surfer Peter Drouyn.

In addition to his career as a writer and producer, Willimon served on a number of political campaigns, including Chuck Schumer’s 1998 senate race, Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senate race and Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential race.

Willimon graduated with a B.A. from Columbia University in 1999 and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in 2003. A St. Louis native, he now resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Beau’s Twitter: @BeauWillimon

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.

073 – Shooting Your Own TV Pilot – Corinna Mendis

The odds of a pilot script being sold and produced are incredibly small. What if you absolutely must see your story come to life? This week we meet Corinna Mendis, who despite having no film schooling or previous experience, independently produced and shot her own spec pilot!
Click image to play video; more details are below.

Corinna Mendis, a native New Yorker, grew up wanting to become an actress. When her parents threatened to cut her off, she put creative pursuits on a shelf, and dug herself in to university studies. Two bachelor’s degrees and two Master’s degrees later, she found she couldn’t stop writing, especially about the trials and tribulations of the homeless population at a homeless center she volunteered at in Long Island, New York.

She pursued books, classes, seminars, and any resource she could find, to learn about the television writing process, including classes with Larry Brody, author of Television Writing from the Inside Out.

Rather than try to sell her pilot in script form, Corinna decided to produce it herself! With Larry’s encouragement and support, she spent $25,000 of her own money to produce “Not In My Neighborhood,” a single camera half hour TV pilot shot in the same homeless shelter where she volunteered.

Corinna learned a tremendous amount in the process… so much so, that she encourages anyone who is currently thinking about film school to consider instead following in her footsteps, and learning through doing.

The entire pilot “Not In My Neighborhood” is available online: CLICK HERE

Or, you can see a trailer for it here: CLICK HERE

Corinna’s Twitter: @CorinnaMendis

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.