085 – Comic-Con San Diego 2014 – How to Write a TV Pilot

Couldn’t make it to Gray’s ‘How To Write a TV Pilot’ panel at Comic-Con this year? No problem! Here is the complete video, including Q & A.

CONTEST/EXTRAS LINK: http://tvwriterpodcast.com/pilot

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!

PANELISTS:

Jen Grisanti (@JenGrisanti) – Story/Career Consultant, Author (Story Line: Finding the Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit)

William Rabkin (@WritingThePilot) – TV Writer, Author (Writing the Pilot, Successful Television Writing)

Bill Taub (@BillyTaub) – TV Writer, Author (Automatic Pilot)

Carole Kirschner (@Carole_POTL) – Director, WGA Show Runner Training Program, Author (Hollywood Game Plan)

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.

084 – Francis Tapon (The Unseen Africa Documentary Pilot)

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!

A little more about Francis:

Francis is a world-renowned author and world traveler, author of The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us and Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America.

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

Follow Francis on Twitter: @ftapon

Francis’s blog and website: francistapon.com

The Unseen Africa website: theunseenafrica.com

You can watch this podcast in full 720p 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.

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.

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.

057 – Horror Icon Adam Green (Hatchet, Holliston)

His horror films have broken records, and his his current FearNet series was renewed almost immediately out of the gate. This week we meet hard-working producer-writer-actor-director-showrunner Adam Green!

After graduating from Hofstra University in New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Film Production, Adam Green made his first feature “Coffee & Donuts” for $400, by borrowing equipment and using friends and volunteers for the cast and crew.

What really put Adam on the map, though, was “Hatchet.” An old school horror film, Hatchet went viral, broke records for distributor Anchor Bay, and spawned two sequels. Adam has tales to tell about the scares behind the scenes, dealing with the ratings board and getting it released.

Adam’s “ArieScope Pictures,” which he had founded in 1997 with director of photography Will Barratt, was able to build on the success of Hatchet, and has produced a string of successful independent movies, including “Grace,” “Frozen,” and “Spiral.”

But Adam has an incredibly strong work ethic, and wasn’t content with just features. He re-developed his feature “Coffee & Donuts” for television, and sold it as the sitcom “Holliston” to FearNet. It launched to incredible success, and was almost immediately renewed for a second season. Adam not only runs the show, but directs and stars in it as well.

Adam is currently in production on “Hatchet 3,” and is also developing several other features, including “Killer Pizza,” and “Digging Up the Marrow.”

Follow Adam on Twitter: @Adam_Fn_Green.

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.

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.

 
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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.

050 – Kyle Killen (Awake, Lone Star)

Four years ago, Kyle Killen faced an ultimatum from his pregnant wife: sell something, or call it quits on this “hobby.” Fast forward to the present: Kyle has sold two features that have gone into production, and sold two pilots that have gone to series. One of those pilots is NBC’s Awake, which has wowed critics and audiences alike.

Kyle Killen was raised in a small Texas town, but grew up loving movies. He moved to Los Angeles to attend USC film school, but after a series of odd jobs and internships didn’t pan out, he packed his bags and moved back to Texas.

Despite following one of his USC professors’ seemingly counterproductive advice to “quit writing if he could,” Kyle found he couldn’t shake the writing bug. Whenever he tried a new job, he ended up writing about it, and so decided to give Hollywood one more shot.

The only complication: Kyle’s wife was pregnant with twins, and gave him an ultimatum, for sell a script within the next 9 months, or change careers to something more stable. Around 9 months later, Kyla sold the critically acclaimed feature “The Beaver,” which ended up going into production with Jodie Foster as director, and starring Foster and Mel Gibson!

Kyle was on the map, and followed it up by selling the pilot “Lone Star” to Fox, who took it to series, but pulled the plug when the ratings didn’t pan out. They believed in his storytelling, however, and asked him to sign a 2 year overall deal, and come up with a new series.

That series was “Awake,” which just launched Thursday nights on NBC. Critics are calling it the best pilot of this season! If you haven’t had a chance, watch the pilot online, and tune in on Thursday night for the exciting second episode.

Kyla also sold another feature, “Scenic Route,” which is currently in production.

Follow Kyle on Twitter: @killen8

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.

034 – Sheri Elwood (Call Me Fitz, Defying Gravity)

Within 7 years of graduating from film school, Sheri Elwood had not only created her own successful TV series, but had written and directed a feature film starring Kirsten Dunst and Lynn Redgrave. Fast forward to the present: her current series, Call Me Fitz, which was inspired by her own family, has just won 7 Gemini Awards.

After graduating from Ryerson University’s Film Program in Toronto, Sheri Elwood was awarded the National Apprenticeship Award from the Academy of Canadian Film and Television. This launched her to many seasons of comedy writing for networks such as Disney, Fox, The Family Channel and YTV. By 1999, she had created her own series for tweens, “I Was a Sixth Grade Alien,” which went two full seasons.

In the off season, Sheri wrote and directed a Gemini nominated short film, “Eb and Flo,” and her first feature film, the romantic teen drama, “Deeply,” starring Lynn Redgrave, Kirsten Dunst and Brent Carver. Deeply premiered to a 4-star review at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was also nominated for four Genie Awards.

Elwood teamed with Lionsgate TV to create the comedy series “Beta Males” for the CW Network, and also wrote for the 1-hr ABC/CTV drama “Defying Gravity” for Fox Television Studios with creator James Parriott (Grey’s Anatomy).

Fulfilling a dream to capture the spirit of her loving and unique family on TV, Elwood created the edgy cable series “Call Me Fitz,” starring Jason Priestly, for TMN/Movie Central. They have just begun shooting season 3, with Elwood writing, directing and showrunning. You can catch Call Me Fitz on HBO Canada, or in the US on Netflix or DirecTV.

Elwood has just signed a blind development deal with Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

Sheri splits her time between Los Angeles and Nova Scotia where she and her family spend time at their century old schoolhouse and love to ring the bell.

Follow Sheri on Twitter: @elwoodink

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.

007 – V Showrunner Scott Rosenbaum

What if you were called in to run a show that had just aired its first four episodes, and was put on hold? That happened to former Chuck writer/co-executive producer Scott Rosenbaum, and it he accepted the challenge!

It wasn’t easy, but Scott steered the show ‘V’ into new waters, and it has gotten stronger and stronger ever since.

You’ll be fascinated to hear how Scott lost his writing staff due to production delays, and had to deliver the last two episodes and the pitch for season 2 by himself, with just the studio as a sounding board!

Hear also how he selected the season 2 writing staff, his advice for writing spec scripts, how to properly prepare for a staffing interview, and how a chance meeting ended up securing an actor for one of the most important new characters in season 2.

We also include an interview Gray had with Scott back in March 2010, just before his first ‘V’ episodes started to air. In this interview he shares his career path, from how he got started as a writer to his work on Chuck, including insight on why “bottle episodes” often end up being the strongest.

Make sure you watch ‘V’ on ABC, Tuesdays at 9pm, as its exciting second season begins January 4th.

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.