Have you ever thought of a perfect idea for a TV series? Find out how to write it! Gray Jones (Host, TV Writer Podcast, Partner of Script Magazine) moderates a discussion and Q&A with powerhouse panelists Jen Grisanti (Writing Instructor, NBC’s Writers on the Verge), William Rabkin (Author, Writing the Pilot), Bill Taub (Author, Automatic Pilot), and Carole Kirschner (Director of the WGA Show Runner Training Program). Get that idea from your brain to the screen!
Author, Harvard MBA grad and world-renowned backpacker Francis Tapon is on a 4-year journey to all 54 African countries. How can he turn this into a 4-season TV series? By going a non-traditional route, of course!
The TV landscape continues to divide into thousands of channels, and it seems there’s a new online distribution player every month. More channels means less advertising per channel, and budgets are shrinking. Higher budget shows may be in trouble, but there’s a veritable gold rush for independent producers who can produce great content more cheaply. The challenge is that the funding models are different, and very few have a handle on the best strategy to stay ahead of this rapidly changing field.
Francis Tapon, a successful author and world traveler, has a promising idea for an episodic documentary series. But like Corinna Mendis, who shot her own scripted pilot, Francis has decided to forego the traditional pitch process and produce a full pilot himself, assisted by a Kickstarter campaign for part of the budget.
Will he be successful? Is this a viable path to getting your own reality or documentary series off the ground? Find out on this week’s podcast!
He walked across America four times: he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and in 2007, became the first to do a round-trip on the Continental Divide Trail. In 2009, he was one of the finalists for the California Outdoors Hall of Fame, which “features nominees who are world-renowned for their skills and who have helped inspire thousands of others to take part in the great outdoors.”
Though he speaks several languages due to his South American and French ancestry, Francis hails from San Francisco.
More info on The Unseen Africa Kickstarter campaign: CLICK HERE
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!
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!
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.