014 – TV/Feature Writer Matt MacLennan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Matt on Twitter: @mattmaclennan

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

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

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

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

Special – Ink Drinks Toronto (HD)

In episode 012, writer-producer Karen Walton told us about the online group she founded, called “Ink Canada,” and their “Ink Drinks” events. This week, Gray had the opportunity to bring a video camera to Ink Drinks Toronto. It was a blast, and Gray has put together a special mini-episode highlighting the event.

Follow Karen Walton on Twitter: @inkcanada

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.

012 – TV/Feature Writer Karen Walton

Best known as the writer of the original cult horror film, Ginger Snaps, award-winning writer-producer Karen Walton has developed original and adapted film projects in almost every genre with top producers in Canada, the UK and the American studio system for almost twenty years.

The episode starts with… homework! For the first time, Gray assigns a book to read – The TV Writer’s Workbook, by Emmy-nominated writer Ellen Sandler – as he’ll be talking to Ellen on April 1st, and wants to solicit informed questions about her book.

Then on to the interview with Karen Walton…

After graduating from the Canadian Film Centre, Karen wrote a critically acclaimed independent horror film, Ginger Snaps, that has become a cult hit, and is listed by many critics on their all-time top 10 lists of high school horror films.

This film led to many years of assignment writing, and Karen shares the differences between writing an independent feature versus feature development in the studio system.

Karen has also written critically acclaimed TV movies, including the Gemini-winning The Many Trials of One Jane Doe, and she talks about the challenges of adapting true events, writing socially and morally conscious material, and writing a movie within the confines of the television format.

Karen has also been busy in series television, including freelance episodes of CBC’s Straight Up and CTV’s The Eleventh Hour, being a executive story editor on Showtime’s Queer as Folk, and just recently, she has started as a writer-supervising producer on season 4 of CTV’s Flashpoint, which airs on CBS in the US.

But wait, there’s more… Karen is the executive producer of the successful web series for tweens, Ruby Skye P.I.; has an original paranormal series currently optioned; is an active member of the Writer’s Guild of America – West, Canada, and Quebec’s SARTEC; and if that’s not enough… is the founder and current editor of the online writer’s community Ink Canada.

Follow Karen Walton on Twitter: @inkcanada

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.