083 – Creator/Showrunner Hilary Winston (Bad Teacher, Community)

Hilary Winston is the creator and showrunner of Bad Teacher, which premieres April 24 at 9:30 pm on CBS! Gray Jones caught up with her a few days before the premiere.

In the interview, Hilary has great tips on career development and networking, as well as writing, pitching, and selling pilots. She also has a fascinating personal story… how she started as an intern at the White House in the Clinton administration and ended up writing comedy in Hollywood… how even after writing scripts on a writing staff, becoming an assistant for several years was the best thing for her career.

Hilary’s official bio:

Hilary Winston is an author and writer/producer of television and film. Prior to developing and executive producing Bad Teacher, Winston wrote for network and cable television series, including the Emmy Award-winning comedy My Name is Earl, Happy Endings, and Community.

Winston expanded into novel writing and is the author of a dating memoir, My Boyfriend Wrote a Book about Me, which she adapted as a movie for Paramount Studios. Also, she pens a monthly column for Playboy Magazine.

Winston began her writing career by getting people coffee at various places like National Public Radio and Hollywood Squares. She can now proudly say someone else gets her coffee. Unfortunately, she doesn’t like coffee.

Winston grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. Currently, she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and her cats, Lolly and Gordon.

Make sure to watch Bad Teacher Thursdays at 9:30 pm on CBS!

Follow Hilary on Twitter: @hilarywinston

You can also 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.

 
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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.

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.

068 – Jamie Livingston (TV Writer Chat Pilot Program)

TV Writer Chat is launching a new FREE pilot writing program, and today’s interview with screenwriter/novelist Jamie Livingston tells you all you need to know!

Jamie Livingston is a great example of how you are never too busy to write! Aside from working full time at the restaurant she owns with her husband, she has a successful jewelry business, publishes a mystery novel series under the pen-name Jamie Lee Scott, attends conferences, made a short film, and wrote several screenplays… and that was just 2012! On the novel front, her ‘The Gotcha Detective Agency’ mysteries include ‘Let Us Prey,’ ‘Textual Relations,’ ‘Death of a Sales Rep,’ ‘What a Meth’ and ‘Whine and Dine.’

Her short script, No One Knows, was produced this summer and will hit the film festivals in 2013. You can watch the trailer HERE.

She currently writes feature films and TV dramedy, and is a co-founder of both ScriptChat and TV Writer Chat. She is also the former president of the Romance Writers of America’s screenwriting chapter, Script Scene.

In today’s interview, Gray and Jamie go over all the details about the TV Writer Chat’s new FREE pilot writing program, as well as explaining about Scriptchat and TV Writer Chat, and some important fundamentals about how to write for TV. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter ASAP and join the chat on Sunday night at 6:30pm, as the program is already underway! CLICK HERE for an easy link to the chat room (Twitter account required).

Website: www.jamielivingston.com or www.jamieleescott.com
Twitter: @Jamie_LD
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jamie.JLD

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.

067 – LaMont Ferrell (Let’s Stay Together, Reed Between the Lines)

Acting, directing, writing, producing, teaching, stand-up comedy… LaMont Ferrell wears a lot of hats!

Originally from Philadelphia, LaMont Ferrell has been entertaining audiences for many years. He has performed for a variety of ages and ethnicities across the US, and around the world. A local magazine describes his act as, “Energetic, creative and original, but most of all just plain funny.”

After winning the 1996 Comic Relief Comedy Festival’s “Funniest New Comic” Award, he took his comedic writing talents to TV, and started writing for various sitcoms such as BET’s ‘Nothin’ But a Woman,’ the WB’s ‘The Parent ’Hood‘ and UPN’s ‘Moesha.’ He won The Media Projects 2000 Shine Award for a Moesha episode he co-wrote.

LaMont is a busy pilot writer, having had sales to the Fox Network, TBS, and the UPN Network. He also works in motion picture writing, having been hired to punch up the movie, ‘The Cookout,’ and is in pre-production for ‘Family Business,’ a film based on the true story of his family’s restaurant business in Philadelphia.

In 2003, LaMont formed his own production company, Just Jokes Entertainment, and produced and directed three volumes of his own stand-up comedy DVD series. ‘LaMont Ferrell’s Just Jokes Comedy Tour’ features himself, several national known comedians and hilarious skits. The DVD is available online at www.justjokesentertainment.com, Netflix.com and various media outlets around the country.

He is currently a writer for BET’s series ‘Reed Between the Lines‘ and ‘Let’s Stay Together.’ Also, you’ve might have seen him in his recurring role on the hit NBC show, ‘The Office.’

In his interview, LaMont discusses how to train your observational skills, being a “clean” comic, and being an entrepreneur in today’s market.

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.