You are here2012 SKINS Writers Workshop
2012 SKINS Writers Workshop
2012 SKINS Writers workshop in collaboration with FOX Audience Strategy, the American Indian Writers Committee at the Writers Guild of America, West, and FINAL DRAFT. We had great speakers and guests from several studios, networks and entertainment organizations. Our SKINS PITCH PIT was a great success thanks to our awesome pitch receivers. Thanks to FOX Development, CBS Development, NBC Development, USA, SYFY, Universal Cable Television, Artists International and Carole Kirschner for participating in the PIT! Our writers benefited from the information, advice, and overall experience. Thanks again to all of our sponsors.
SCHEDULE AND PARTICIPANT BIOS
Director of Diversity, Writers Guild of America, West
Prior to coming to the WGAW, Myers was head of development for feature films, television series, and telefilms at Maya Pictures, a production company dedicated to the American Latino market. Before that, she was vice president for movies and miniseries at Fox Television Studios, where she developed and supervised productions of movies and miniseries for Fox, FX, and other networks, including Deliberate Intent, Little Richard, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, and Ali. Myers also served as vice president of program development at Turner Network (TNT) and produced numerous films, including Jacob for TNT, a film version of Stephen Sondheim's Passion, and telemovies for NBC, CBS, and Lifetime.
Myers launched her career in New York as associate producer on Saturday Night Live's film unit, producing original short films for several seasons of the hit late-night comedy show.
LA SKINS FEST Founder & Director
Ian Skorodin graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and began his directing career with an award winning feature film, entitled TUSHKA, based on the murder of a Native American activist’s family. After premiering at Sundance in 1998, TUSHKA went on to win Best Feature at the Arizona International Film Festival and the Spirit Award at the First Nations Film Festival in Chicago. In 2000, TUSHKA was distributed to DirecTV for domestic television distribution.
Skorodin moved into animation and is currently directing CRAZY IND’N, a stop motion animation series. CRAZY IND’N went on to screen in England, Finland and was distributed to Aboriginal People’s Television Network in Canada, DishNetwork in the United States and will soon be on Finnish Television. Skorodin’s additional television work includes, WALKING ON TURTLE ISLAND, a television pilot that premiered at the 2009 Ashland International Film Festival.
10:10 FOX AUDIENCE STRATEGY INTRODUCTION
On behalf of the Fox Group, Audience Strategy develops and implements transformative strategies to catalyze a cultural shift in the industry, embracing a multi-pronged approach of working from the inside-out to drive behavioral change and outside-in to advocate for diverse perspectives, and to engage all audiences in our multi-cultural world.
Chris Bythewood, Manager, Audience Strategy at Fox Group
The Audience Strategy department develops and implements transformative strategies to catalyze a cultural shift in the industry. As Manager, Chris works very closely with the Fox Development and Current departments in finding talent to staff and/ or develop. In addition, Chris also helped to create and manage the Fox Writers Intensive(FWI) and Fox Residency Program (FRP).
After graduating from the American Film Institute(AFI) in 2004, Chris wrote and produced a short film which travelled the country in numerous film festivals. He eventually landed at Fox Broadcasting Company working as Coordinator in the Alternative Programming department, but that was short lived as two weeks later he was offered a job as behind the scenes and EPK Videographer on the Fox Searchlight film “Secret Life of Bees”. Due to the Writer’s Strike, Chris took a position as Coordinator in Broadcast Standards and Practices returning to Fox Broadcasting Company. A year and a half later, Chris moved back into production as Writer’s Assistant on the Shawn Ryan show “The Chicago Code”. After the shows cancelling, Chris was asked back to Fox by Nicole Bernard, SVP of Audience Strategy to help create, form and find initiatives and talent which will assist the creative departments in finding new and/ or diverse voices for the Fox.
10:30-12pm Pitch Presentation - Writers Boot Camp
Writers Boot camp gives a presentation on pitching in the film and television industry. Writers Boot Camp is an education for writers of all levels and for anyone who will be working with scripts or with writers. WBC offer programs for writers with long-term goals of fully developing their potential and their film, TV or web projects to industry level, as well as quick first-draft courses for writers and artists only focused on an initial stage of development and an early understanding of the writing process.
Robert Morgan Fisher, Associate Director, Writers Boot Camp
Robert has written for radio, TV, and has had several screenplays optioned by DreamWorks, New Regency and Paramount. He's won many awards including the PublishingOnline Great North American Fiction Prize, the New Century Writer Award and the Washington State Film Office Competition. His short fiction has appeared in print and online literary publications.
He's written numerous award-winning story songs, including four albums with fellow neo-narrative singer/songwriter Darryl Purpose. He's been with Writers Boot Camp for 12 years and uses the WBC Tools in ALL his writing.
12pm – 1pm SKINS PITCH PIT
This portion of the workshop features pitching to creative executives and building relationships with studios.
Manager, Drama Development, FOX Broadcasting Company
Marcus serves as Manager, Drama Development for Fox Broadcasting Company. In this role, Blakely manages the development of scripted programming in the drama area, working with writers and producers on projects for the broadcast network.
Prior to joining FBC, Blakely served as Director, Digital Development at Sony Pictures Television and developed Original Series; notably Webby finalist BACKWASH (Created by Josh Malina) & HELD UP (Directed by Steve Carr) He also was a member of the development team that launched an award winning slate of cable series including JUSTIFIED for FX, BREAKING BAD for AMC, DROP DEAD DIVA for Lifetime, HAWTHORNE, FRANKLIN AND BASH for TNT, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS for USA Network and DAMAGES which is seen exclusively on Direct TV
Prior to joining Sony Pictures Television, Blakely produced the Emmy Nominated Broadband series SAM HAS 7 FRIENDS and is a graduate of the Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.
Fifteen years as a Hollywood executive honed Carole's remarkable ability to recognize and nurture talent. Using her inside knowledge of the business, she co-created three innovative training programs and is a sought after entertainment industry speaker. A former vice president of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and comedy development exec at CBS, she hired, trained, and worked with hundreds of writers, directors, and producers. As an executive, she had the privilege to be involved in the development of several award winning television series, including Murphy Brown, Designing Women, Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures, Reboot and La Femme Nikita.
Launching the WGA Showrunner Training Program, CBS Writers Mentoring Program, and the Assistant Training Program for Television, Carole is dedicated to helping creative professionals make it to the next level - whether they’re breaking into Hollywood or becoming the next major power player.
Through her consulting practice, Hollywood GamePlan, she gives individuals the tools they need to succeed in Hollywood and leads popular pitching and networking seminars. She’s proud to have helped launch the careers of scores of more than one hundred talented professionals and looks forward to helping many more.
Director of Development - Syfy Channel
Julie Ann Crommett
Diversity Associate, NBC Entertainment & Universal Television
Julie Ann is responsible for executing behind-the-camera diversity initiatives including the NBC Director Fellowship Program. She also coordinates diverse behind-the-camera staffing, formulates & implements new initiatives, tracks diverse talent and development & coordinates digital outreach for all our behind-the-camera diversity programs.
Previously, she was an NBCU Entertainment Associate at Universal Cable Productions in both current programming & development and originally joined NBCU as a Coordinator of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives. Julie Ann hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico & Atlanta, GA and graduated with a degree in English & American Literature from Harvard University.
Literary Agent, Artists International
Matt Horwitz got his start at literary management company Sleeping Giant Entertainment in 2006. At Sleeping Giant, Matt began working closely with award-winning writers and directors such as James Manos Jr. (Creator of DEXTER), Jon Amiel (ENTRAPMENT, THE CORE, THE SINGING DETECTIVE) and Victor Salva (JEEPERS CREEPERS I & II, POWDER), while serving as the executive assistant to President Dave Brown. Concurrently, Matt assisted the CEO of Night & Day Pictures (WAITRESS), allowing him to participate in both the representation and physical production side of filmmaking.
Upon moving to Artist International in 2010, Matt was promoted to manager and started building his client roster including LaToya Morgan (currently in the exclusive Warner Bros Writers Workshop), Jen Klein (CLONE WARS, BRATZ, TODD WORLD), Guy Moshe (BUNRAKU, HOLLY), Michael Davis (SHOOT’EM UP), and the Zenescope Entertainment comic book company among others.
Matt is currently producing and packaging the feature film THE BOY WITH THE MOUSTACHE, written by client Stephen Guerrieri with Tim Cox directing. Missi Pyle (THE ARTIST) is attached to play one of the leads.
Vice President Current Programs, CBS Entertainment
Jeanne Mau was promoted to Vice President, Current Programs, CBS Entertainment in August 2009, reporting to David Brownfield, Senior Vice President, Current Programs, CBS Entertainment.
In her position, Mau oversees the creative direction of the CBS series NCIS, CSI: MIAMI, TWO AND A HALF MEN and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. She also oversees the CBS Diversity Writer's Initiative and Director's Initiative, part of the Network's on-going Diversity Institute designed to provide participants with access to key network decision makers in front of and behind the camera.
From 2007-2009, Mau was Director, Current Programs, working on the comedies "Yes, Dear," "Still Standing" and "The King of Queens" as well as dramas “Cold Case,” “Close to Home” and "Judging Amy."
She started at CBS in 2000 as assistant to then current department head David Stapf (now president, CBS Television Studios) and was made a coordinator in the department in 2003.
Mau began her career in the motion picture marketing department at Paramount Pictures.
Director of Development, Universal Cable Productions
Vice President, Diversity & Communications, CBS Entertainment
A native of Los Angeles, Tiffany N. Smith-Anoa'i has over 15 years of experience as a creative and dedicated communications professional. Over the years, Smith-Anoa'i has successfully promoted a wide variety of projects from celebrities to high profile brands. Her creative writing skills, tenacious media outreach and exceptional attention to detail has put Smith-Anoa'i on the fast track.
Smith-Anoa'i joined CBS Entertainment as a Senior Publicist for primetime series in 2000. Since then she has been promoted to Director of Publicity, Entertainment Communications for primetime series, movies and specials. Most recently, Smith-Anoa'i was promoted to Vice President, Diversity & Communications. In this position, she is directly responsible for the development and execution of communications strategies for diversity initiatives and programs across the entire company. She also manages the internship and mentorship program for CBS' West Coast Communications office.
Prior to joining CBS, Smith-Anoa'i served as Vice President for Agnes Huff Communications Group, a full service public relations, marketing and crisis management agency.
During her tenure at Image Public Relations, Smith-Anoa'i was responsible for all aspects of publicity and promotions, including the development of press materials and arranging of high profile celebrity appearances. Smith-Anoa'i organized global press efforts for "Sinbad's Soul Music Festival," the single largest music event to host groups from one of America's most significant music eras, the 1970's.
Prior to her work at Image Public Relations, Smith-Anoa'i worked for NIKE, Inc. where she launched their NIKETOWN stores in, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
In her community, she is actively involved in several charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Smith-Anoa'i is an honors graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Director Of Development, USA Network
1pm-1:30pm FILM INDEPENDENT PRESENTATION
Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.
Evan Ward-Henninger, Membership Manager, Film Independent
Evan Ward-Henninger manages all aspects of Membership at Film Independent including customer service, Independent Spirit Awards voting, campaigns/promotions, and public outreach. Evan received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University in 2000. He began his professional career as an intern at MGM shingle David Ladd Films during his senior year in college, where he learned the basics of script coverage. This lead to work as a freelance script reader with the American Accolades Screenwriting Competition, Academy Writers Clinic, Vintage Entertainment, and Torque Entertainment.
Evan pursued his passion for screenwriting to Film Independent where he was accepted into the 2004 cycle of Project: Involve. Through this program he mentored with Writer/Director Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me, Eve’s Bayou).
Stacey Parshall Jensen, Screenwriter, Project Involve Recipient
Stacey Parshall Jensen's stories focus on dramatic tension and dynamic relationships of the flawed who find their strength, heal their wounds, and triumph. Parshall Jensen is Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara American Indian, French Canadian, and Black. She holds an MFA in Screenwriting from USC SCA, and is a very proud 2011 Film Independent Project:Involve Fellow. She began writing in Minneapolis, MN, where she worked in theater as a playwright, program coordinator, and artistic director of a youth mentoring theatre program, while completing her first MFA in Creative Writing.
1:30 PM – 2PM FINAL DRAFT OVERVIEW
This is a brief overview of Final Draft. For the last 20 years, nearly every film and television show has been scripted with Final Draft software. Final Draft software is the #1-selling scriptwriting program for screenwriters, TV writers, playwrights, and writers of new media and is also the industry standard for scriptwriting.
2PM – 3PM WRAP UP
Working Writers Guild members discuss the next step after pitching your projects and how to maximize meetings with executives, agents, and producers.
Gary Goldstein, Writer
GARY GOLDSTEIN wrote the indie feature Politics of Love, a romantic comedy set in the weeks leading up to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. The movie was released theatrically last summer and is now running regularly on both Showtime and The Movie Channel.
He also wrote the recent Hallmark Channel telefilms The Wish List, a romantic comedy which starred Jennifer Esposito and David Sutcliffe; and The Cabin, a family comedy with Lea Thompson.
Also for Hallmark, Gary’s original screenplay Hitched for the Holidays will be shot this winter to air Christmas, 2012; and his rewrite of the country-music romantic comedy Strawberry Summer, is slated for production this spring. He has rewritten other telefilms for Hallmark as well as for ABC Family Channel.
In addition, he has sold or optioned a number of original screenplays to various studios, production companies, and independent producers; has a string of episodic TV credits and has sold half-hour comedy pilots to both NBC and Warner Bros Television.
On the L.A. stage, Gary has been represented with the comedies Just Men, at Hollywood’s Stella Adler Theatre; and Parental Discretion and Three Grooms and a Bride, which both enjoyed long runs at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. His family drama Curtain Call premiered in November ‘08 at Carmel, CA’s Pacific Repertory Theatre, where it was selected as the winner of PacRep’s 2007 Hyperion Playwriting Competition.
Gary is also a freelance film reviewer and entertainment feature writer for the Los Angeles Times.
Peter Saji, Writer
Hailing from the Washington, DC area, Peter Saji is gainfully employed on ABC's Cougar Town. In addition to being an Executive Story Editor, he has shaken Courteney Cox's hand on several occasions.
Previously, Saji was a staff writer for the critically acclaimed hit, “Cavemen” on ABC. There, he contributed what showrunner Mike Schiff described as, “The defining joke of the pilot,” and “formidable body odor.”
Even more previously, Saji founded what eventually became the largest HipHop battle on the East Coast. Genesis 2:002 was even judged by the Neptunes and featured on NPR.
Later, Saji went on to tour with the Mobile Skatepark Series where he not only coordinated events all over the country, but also hosted and produced the HipHop/Lifestyle Sports segments that aired weekly on Fox Sportsnet. Sixteen paternity suits are still pending.
When Saji isn’t writing, he enjoys performing spoken word poetry, snowboarding and taking out his aggression via Muay Thai kickboxing. Ask to see his shins.