Meet your Screenwriting Mentors

Screenwriters World boasts a who’s who roster of Hollywood luminaries looking to share ideas, discover new talent and advance the television and movie Industry for themselves and fellow writers just like you. This is your chance to get real-world information you can use to improve your screenwriting and learn to sell a screenplay, with advice and true stories from successful professionals in all facets of the entertainment biz.

Our full speaker line-up is in the works, and we know you’ll be eager to network and learn from the working screenwriters, Industry execs and experts lined up by The Writers Store. Sign up for our e-newsletter to get updates on every new A-lister that’s added to the schedule in the coming weeks!

See below our confirmed 2014 Speakers... stay tuned, more updates COMING SOON!

Daniel Abrams (Moderator) [More Info]
Producer
Daniel Lawrence Abrams has produced hundreds of hours of Reality Television. Starting at E! Entertainment Television, Abrams was a writer/producer for E!'s MYSTERIES & SCANDALS documentary series. He subsequently produced the WORLD SERIES OF POKER (where he was the first producer to introduce "running statistics" graphics to illustrate which player had the advantage). He also produced the first season of the WORLD POKER TOUR for the Travel Channel.


While working for Riptown Media / Bodog (the online gaming website), Abrams executive produced, wrote & directed the reality webisode series entitled BIF NAKED BRIDE which went on to be named an Official Honoree in the 2008 WEBBY AWARDS.

Abrams was the Executive Producer of the Endemol Digital Studios' branded-entertainment webisode series THE SMART SHOW. In the past few years, Abrams produced 1000 WAYS TO LIE (airing on SpikeTV), SWAMP MURDERS (airing on Investigation Discovery Channel), and ROCCO'S DINNER PARTY (airing on Bravo). He was recently the Supervising Producer of the second season of THE WRITERS ROOM (airing on SundanceTV).

Abrams has been a member of the Producers Guild of America for over a decade and was elected to a 3-year term on the PGA's AP Council Board of Delegates. Abrams has also written a half-dozen industry articles for the PGA's periodicals & website.


 
Michael Ajakwe Jr. [More Info]
Creator/Writer/Director/Producer
Since 1993, this first-generation Nigerian-American has worked in the theatre with renowned performers like Emmy-winner Glynn Turman, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Debbie Allen, Ted Lange, Phil Morris, Robert Ri’chard, Hill Harper, Niecy Nash, Tommy Hicks, Tracee Ellis Ross, Art Evans, Gary Sturgis, James Pickens, Tatyana Ali, Marc Coppage, Estelle Harris, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Lee Garlington, Robert Pine, Shayla Rivera, Gary Anthony Williams, Ralph Carter, Deniece Williams, Charles Dutton and Oscar winner Mo’Nique.
As a tv and film writer, he’s worked with Martin Lawrence, Greg Kinnear, Sherman Hemsley, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell, Charles Barkley, Marc Curry, Tracey Morgan, Tia & Tamera Mowry, Kadeem Hardisson, Kelita Smith, Brandy, Diondre Whitfield, Ali Landry, Kelly Perrine, Tim Reid, Tommy Davidson, Ernest Thomas, Richard Lawson, Jackee, Steve Harvey, Steve Trevino, Valery Ortiz, Eve, Paul Winfield, and 3-time Oscar nominee Djimon Honsou. As a live events show writer, he’s written for Anthony Anderson, Kimberly Elise, Jo Marie Payton, L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti, ex-L.A. Police Chief Bernard Parks, NAACP National President Benjamin Todd Jealous, Jason Alexander, Ben Stiller, and the NAACP Theater Awards (’04-08). He’s also developed TV and/or film projects for Russell Simmons, Dr. Dre, Bret Ratner, Kim Fields, Reuben Cannon, Norman Howard (nephew of The Three Stooges), Beverly Todd, Vidal Sassoon, ex-NBA great Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Natalie Cole. Mike has written and directed 9 plays and produced 16 that have garnered 27 NAACP Theater Award Nominations, winning 5. He is a two-time NAACP Award-winning Playwright/Producer (Company Policy/Ted Lange’s Four Queens, No Trump!), two-time NAACP Award Nominated Director (If You Don’t Believe, Body Language), an Emmy Award-winning TV producer (E! Network’s Talk Soup), an award-winning filmmaker (Happy Anniversary, Punk!) and a trailblazing web tv creator (Ajakwetv.com’s Who...)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mike graduated from Inglewood’s Morningside High and attended the University of Redlands on an academic scholarship. He earned degrees in English and Political Science and was named Most Outstanding Senior of his graduating class. He paid his way through college working in a movie theater, and covering news and sports for Redland’s Magazine, the Redlands Daily Facts and the Riverside Press Enterprise.

In 2000, the release of Company Policy made Mike the first African-American to have a play published in the 21st Century. In 2001, South Central Stories: Double or Nothin’, The Ride, Happy Anniversary Punk! – a collection of three acclaimed one-act plays – was published. His plays have been excerpted in Best Men’s Monologues, Best Women’s Monologue, Best Stage Scenes, and Outstanding Monologs and Scenes of the 90s. He’s written and/or produced TV shows like Soul Food, The Parkers, Martin, Moesha, Between Brothers, The Brothers Garcia, Built To Last, Sister Sister, Entertainment Tonight, Talk Soup, Steve Harvey’s Big Time, and Eve. Mike has sold TV pilots to Paramount TV (The Second Family), Warner Bros. TV (Alley Cats) and LATV/American Latino Syndication (Trevino). In 2002, Rat Entertainment (Bret Ratner) and Artisan Pictures hired him to write his first film, Crip. He’s also written films on Major League Baseball free agency messiah Curt Flood, NBA substance abuse success story John Lucas, and the only Black quarterback to win the Super Bowl Doug Williams.

From 2000-03 and in ‘09, he was the TV Professor for the Bill & Camille Cosby-sponsored Guy Alexander Hanks/Marvin H. Miller TV & Screenwriting Fellowship Program at USC. Fellows Mike has mentored have gone on to write for shows like Girlfriends, One On One, The Division, My Wife & Kids, The Proud Family, ER, The District, Eve, Little Bill, Kingpin and Lincoln Heights.

In ‘03, he wrote an essay for the “Power & Respect” chapter of the best-selling anthology Souls Of My Brothers. Also in ‘03, Mike, Jamie Foxx Show creator Bentley Evans and legendary actress/choreographer Debbie Allen traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to develop the sitcom, Journal Feliz (The Good News), for Picante Entertainment. In ’05, Mike co-created a second sitcom, Mano A Mano (Brother To Brother) for Picante that ran on Brazilian tv for an entire season. In ‘04, Mike and Picante co-produced Rocket Science & Salsa: The Shayla Rivera Story at the Zephyr Theater in Hollywood. The sold-out, one-woman show about a Puerto Rican rocket scientist who gave up working for NASA to become a comic was co-written by Mike and Rivera, directed by Debbie Allen, and nominated for two NAACP Theater Awards. In 2002, Mike channelled Motown legends Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in You’re All I Need To Get By that starred Prince protégé Ta’Mar and attracted everyone from Lakers legend Norm Nixon to Britney Spears. Mike next wrote, directed and produced If You Don’t Believe: A Love Story (Featuring the Songs of Deniece Williams) that starred ex-Fresh Prince of Bel-Air regular Tatyana Ali. Co-produced with iconic songbird Deniece Williams, the play received 8 NAACP Theater Award Nominations (including Best Director), winning for Best Musical Director (Scott Allen). Next came Body Language (Featuring the Songs of Patti LaBelle). Originally produced in Los Angeles in 2005, it later ran at the 1800-seat Warner Theater in Washington D.C. in 2006. It received 7 NAACP Theater Award Nominations (including Best Director), winning again for Best Musical Director (Matilda Haywood) and Best Choreographer (Madonna Grimes).

In 2007, he adapted his one-act play, Happy Anniversary, Punk! into a movie that he produced and directed. In just its second film festival, the 23-minute courtroom drama about Black-on-Black crime won the Jury Prize AND Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Mid-Atlantic Black Film Festival in Norfolk, Virginia.

Invited to Africa for three weeks in 2008 to teach screenwriting workshops to Nigerian filmmakers, he was commissioned by Pascal Atuma Productions to write the noir thriller No More Bloodshed – a film starring Taraji P. Henson, Tommy Ford, Jason George, Deniece Williams and Mark Christopher Lawrence. Mike closed out 2008 with a Beacon of Light Award from the City of Inglewood, California—the town where he grew up—as it celebrated its Centennial. The other two honorees were Oscar-nominated director John Singleton and legendary gospel duo Mary Mary.

In 2009, Mike was reunited with his Martin roots when he performed punch up writing duties on the Martin Lawrence/Bentley Evans/Jeff Franklin-produced sitcom Love That Girl starring Tatyana Ali and Phil Morris. Mike was also a punch up writer on the new T.D. Jakes-produced comedy One Love starring Sherman Hemsley, Carl Payne, Marc Curry, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Kym Whitley and Jackee. Mike also created an original comedy series for the Internet. Who… is the first series to launch his new web channel—www.Ajakwetv.com. In March 2010, Mike started the world’s first all-web series festival when he succeeded in launching the Los Angeles Web Series Festival at the Stage 52 Theater in Los Angles (www.lawebfest.com).


 
Lisa Alden [More Info]
TV Writer/Instructor
Sally Dog Productions
After a successful career as a movie  executive (New Line, Universal, Fox) Lisa joined the second season writing staff of “entourage.” After staying there for four amazing years, she moved on to a short-lived NBC show “Lipstick Jungle.”  It was during the WGA strike (that interrupted that show) that she made the decision to start writing her own pilots. In the last few years, she has sold every show that she’s pitched - to Fox21, HBO, MTV and ABC Family. As she continues to pursue her "created by” dream, she enjoys teaching other writers how to create their own original pilots and develop the confidence to pitch them.
Lisa teaches TV writing in the Professional Program at UCLA, and teaches her successful “Power of the Pitch” workshops at various locations around Los Angeles. She also works one on one with writers in both mediums of television and screenwriting.  If you live in West Hollywood and see a tall skinny girl with four crazy dogs and an Urth Cafe coffee cup walking around, that’s probably her. Happy Writing!
 
Pilar Alessandra [More Info]
Director/Author
On the Page
Pilar Alessandra is director of the Los Angeles writers’ studio On the Page®, host of the popular “On the Page” Podcast and author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter.”  Pilar has read and analyzed thousands of scripts for companies such as DreamWorks, ImageMovers, Radar Pictures and the Robert Evans Company. 
Her students and clients are working writers and producers who have written for The Walking Dead,Lost, House of Lies, Nip Tuck and Family Guy.  They’ve sold features and pitches to Warner Bros, DreamWorks, Disney and Sony and have won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship and Austin Screenwriting Competition.  Pilar has traveled the world teaching and has trained writers at ABC/Disney, CBS, Nickelodeon, the Los Angeles Film School and more.  Pilar was named “The Script Whisperer” by Script Magazine and, in 2011 was one of LA Weekly's top 100 people. For more on Pilar go to www.onthepage.tv
 
Ruth Atkinson [More Info]
Script Consultant/Story Editor
Ruth Atkinson is a Los Angeles-based script consultant and story editor with over 20 years of experience in the film/television business.
Ruth has story edited and consulted on many films distributed internationally including Jonas Chernick’s My Awkward Sexual Adventure, multi-award winning short Lil Toyko Reporter, The Perfect Family starring Kathleen Turner, celebrated indie The People I’ve Slept With, Genie-nominated Who Loves the Sun starring Molly Parker and Adam Scott, and the New Zealand hit Predicament starring Jemaine Clement. Ruth also evaluates submissions to the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Screenwriting Lab and is a screenwriting instructor for Project Involve, Film Independent’s (FIND) signature diversity program where she helps develop short film scripts which are produced and showcased at the Los Angeles Film Festival. She is available for story editing, script consulting and screenwriting workshops and can be reached at www.ruthatkinson.com.
 
Marilyn R. Atlas [More Info]
Marilyn Atlas Management
An award-winning producer and personal manager, Marilyn R. Atlas is equally at home in the worlds of film, television, and live theater. Among her credits as film producer are Real Women Have Curves for HBO, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, A Certain Desire, starring Sam Waterston, and Echoes, which won the Gold Award at the Texas International Film Festival.
In addition to producing a variety of programming for the cable/ pay TV market, Atlas has served as a production consultant on the film Call Me. She was also involved as a producer in the development of the MOW Nightwalker and Playing for Keeps.

In live theater, Atlas co-produced the West Coast premiere of the musical “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” by Ashman and Menken (the writers of both “Enchanted” and “Tangled”). She also co-produced the award-winning play “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday,” which was made into a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Peter Gallagher. Her additional credits as a producer in live theater include “Today’s Special” and “As I Sing.”

Earlier in her career, Atlas served as casting director for feature films, including John Frankenheimer’s The Equals and The Whiz. She is a founding member of Women in Film’s Luminas Committee which supports the portrayal of women in non-stereotypical roles in film and television. Along with director and actress Dorothy Lyman, Atlas founded ADT, a director’s theatre, and served on its advisory board.

Atlas is a member of NALIP, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. She has spoken at their Writers’ and Producers’ retreats, the DGA-sponsored LA Asian Film Festival, as well as various other symposia for the Sherman Oaks Experimental College. Speaking at events such as Santa Fe Screenwriters Conference and Richard Krevolin’s USC Screenwriting Retreat, Atlas has covered such topics as: “Creating for the Actor: Carving Memorable, Inhabitable Characters” and “The Ever-Evolving Marketplace: What’s Hot, Why and for How Long…” She has also taught several actor workshops on creating “Multiple Viewpoints – One Core” for actors as well as “Acting and Auditioning for Producers.” Additionally, she was a guest lecturer in the Bill Cosby Writing Program at USC, where she also teaches a class on creating three-dimensional, non-stereotypical characters. She has spoken at the Texas Bar Association and was a guest lecturer at Whittier Law School.
Marilyn has been a guest at various colleges, including Skyline, Stephens, and at the University of Texas – San Antonio’s Adalante Latino Film Festival. She has served as the professional-in-residence (in theater and film) at Ball State University, and was the speaker at the International Writer’s Conference at Hollins University (2010). She structured an intensive course at Skyline College in San Francisco covering the inception, development and promotion of a script in “The Business of Screenwriting: The Idea – and its Execution.” She has also been a guest at UCLA and USC, where she teaches a summer course on creating non-stereotypical three-dimensional characters for writers and actors.
 
Atlas has been in development on pilots for Showtime and ABC Family.
 
In addition to Atlas’ film/TV credits, she has sold (first time) novels Chasing the Jaguar to HarperCollins, Hungry Woman in Paris to Grand Central Publishing, and the Ave Maria Bed & Breakfast to Hachette Publishing.

She is currently developing the feature Perfekt Kill and the cable movie Brides’ March for Lifetime Television, and a limited television series. Atlas previously produced the musical version of “Real Women Have Curves” in Los Angeles in 2009. Atlas is now partnering with Broadway producer Chris Bensinger for the musical version of “Real Women.” She is also featured in the book Write Now! from Penguin/Tarcher Publishing, released January 2011. In 2012 she will be developing the forthcoming YA novel by bestselling author Diana Lopez (Scholastic, Spring 2012) for a television movie, as well as co-producing the play “Detained in the Desert” in San Antonio for the fall of 2012.


 
Greg Beal [More Info]
Program Director
Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
Since 1989, Greg has administered the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.  Greg knows what kinds of stories catch reader's eyes, what a good first page looks like, what a good second page look like and what it feels like to read a truly great script.
 
Amy Berg [More Info]
TV Writer/Producer
Amy Berg is a writer/producer/geek hyphenate. She's written for numerous television shows including Person of Interest (CBS), Eureka (Syfy), Leverage (TNT), and The 4400 (USA) and is the creator of the popular digital series, Caper. She's currently attached to several television projects she can't yet name lest she lose contact with vital appendages. Berg has scripted kiddie comedy, soap operas, period pieces, crime dramas, science fiction and has also dabbled in comic books. She plainly needs to focus. Until then, you can find her @bergopolis on Twitter.
 
Jeanne Bowerman [More Info]
FIlm Producer/Screenwriter/Script Magazine Editor
Implicit Production, LLC/F+W Media, Inc
Jeanne Bowerman is the Editor and Online Community Manager for ScriptMag.com.  She also has a regular column on the site Balls of Steel. When she isn’t sharing her war stories in her column, she teaches screenwriting webinars for the Writers Store. A graduate of Cornell University, she’s written several spec scripts, including an Expo Screenplay Competition Finalist script —the adaption of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon.
Jeanne is one of the founders of ScriptChat, a Twitter screenwriting chat, where screenwriters come together to learn. She is also the president of Implicit Productions, LLC. 

 
Paul Chitlik [More Info]
Screenwriter/Producer/Director
Screenwriter/producer/director Paul Chitlik has written for all the major networks and studios.  He was story editor for "The New Twilight Zone," and staff writer for Showtime's "Brothers."  He has written features for Rysher Entertainment, NuImage, Promark, and others.  He received a WGA award nomination for his work on "The Twilight Zone," a GLAAD Media Award nomination, and won a Genesis Award for a Showtime movie. 
He has taught screenwriting at UCLA; ESCAC, the film school of the University of Barcelona; UNIACC in Santiago, Chile; and EICTV, the film school of Cuba.  He currently is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  He consults for the government of Chile’s film development process.  He has presented workshops and consulted for ScreenWest, Australia; ScreenAustralia and the Australian Writers Guild.  His book, Rewrite, A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in Your Screenplay is now in its second edition.  (Rewrite) His e-books and The New Twilight Zone scripts are available from www.Digitalfabulists.com.  He is currently adapting his play, “The Wedding Dress,” for a summer 2013 production for Landsmen Associates.

 

 
Nunzio DeFilippis [More Info]
Director of Curriculum Devlopment for the Screenwriting Department
New York Film Academy - Los Angeles Campus
Nunzio DeFilippis is a writer who has worked in television, film, comic books and video games. He has an MFA in Screenwriting from USC, where he was a Disney Pictures Fellow and had his thesis script optioned by Hollywood Pictures.

Along with his wife/writing partner, Christina Weir, DeFilippis has worked on the writing staff of HBOs ARLISS for two seasons, and has worked on Disney's KIM POSSIBLE. They have developed an animated series with Disney, a TV-movie with Oxygen, and features with Process Media and Humble Journey Films.


Their comic work has also made the jump into film and television development. FRENEMY OF THE STATE, written with Rashida Jones, was optioned by Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Their series of graphic novels, THE AMY DEVLIN MYSTERIES, is in development for a TV series at E!

Other comic properties they have created include THREE STRIKES, AVALON CHRONICLES, MARIA’S WEDDING, PLAY BALL and BAD MEDICINE. They have created four manga series, including AMAZING AGENT LUNA, one of the longest running Original English Manga series printed. And they have done numerous superhero books, including NEW X-MEN, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, and BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL. They also wrote the comic tie in for the film JUMPER and a comic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. Their work has been included three times on the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Great Graphic Novel List for Teens and has made the Amelia Bloomer Project’s List of Feminist Literature.

They wrote a video game for Sony developed for Jet Li, and are at work on their next video game project. In addition, Weir & DeFilippis have started work on their first novel.

DeFilippis has taught screenwriting and comic book writing at UCLA Extension and Loyola Marymount University. He’s taught at the New York Film Academy since 2010 and is now Director of Curriculum Devlopment for the Screenwriting Department.


 
Pen Densham [More Info]
Producer/Director/Writer
Pen Densham rode into the movie business on a live alligator at age 4. Twice Oscar nominated Densham, is co-founder of Trilogy Entertainment Group.  - Pen’s big break? Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner. Pen is a Producer on 2013 submarine feature, Phantom starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny, along with 16 other features. He wrote and directed Moll Flanders starring Morgan Freeman and Robin Wright. Houdini starring Johnathon Schaech, Mark Ruffalo and Emile Hirsch. Pen personally revived The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone series to US television, which he executive produced with his Trilogy partners. Pen's best selling book on creative screenwriting entitled ‘Riding the Alligator’ has been lauded by Hollywood's leaders and major film educators. (Ridingthealligator.com).

 
Pam Dixon [More Info]
Casting Director
Pam Dixon Casting
Pam was hired by CBS Television and quickly became Assistant to the Head of Casting. She left CBS to become VP of casting for ABC Television. Another promotion made her Senior VP of Casting for the ABC Television Network where she oversaw casting for all series, mini-series, TV movies and soaps. Pam left ABC to become Production VP for Paramount Pictures. For the last several years, Pam has been a casting executive and casting director for Feature Films. She has been fortunate to work with many talent directors such as Robert Altman, Alan Rudolph, Martin Campbell, and Andy Fleming.
 
Jennifer Dornbush [More Info]
Consultant/Instructor/Author
Jennifer Dornbush is a diverse writer who uses her unique forensic background to pen crime fiction and comedy for TV and film.  Several of her crime scripts have placed in the Nichols, Austin, and NBC’s Writers on the Verge. Her half-hour, comedy, Home Bodies, received a Humanitas’ New Voices Award.


Her new book, Forensic Speak, published by Michael Wiese Productions, is a north star to creating authentic crime dramas.  She regularly leads seminars on forensics and fiction for The Writers Store, Great American Pitchfest, Crime Writers Weekend, Sisters in Crime, Act One, Scriptwriters Network, Romance Writers of America, and American Christian Fiction Writers. Her Forensic Speak Newsletter provides writers with current forensic tips and developments.

Jennifer has also worked on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm; Paramount’s, The Dictator; ABC’s Mixology; and Fox’s upcoming Let’s Be Cops.  She teaches screenwriting at Azusa Pacific University and Act One.  Her children’s book, Picadilly Children’s Ballet (2011) and its positive message have reached thousands of kids in schools from California to Florida.  In 2014, Jennifer was the keynote speaker at the Arizona Young Author’s Convention.



 
Douglas J. Eboch [More Info]
Screenwriter/Author
Douglas Eboch is a screenwriter and director who wrote the original screenplay for the movie “Sweet Home Alabama” starring Reese Witherspoon. He recently co-wrote the book “The Hollywood Pitching Bible: A Practical Guide to Pitching Movies and Television” with producer Ken Aguado. In addition to his work in film, Doug wrote the videogame “Nightmare Cove” and the children’s play “Sleepover at the Stables.” The Scriptwriter’s Network awarded Doug the Carl Sautter Screenwriting Award for Best New Voice in Feature Films.
He has a BA in Film Production and an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.  He currently teaches screenwriting and pitching at Art Center College of Design and screenwriting workshops for the Singapore Media Academy. He writes the popular screenwriting blog, letsschmooze.blogspot.com


 
Rob Edwards [More Info]
Screenwriter/Instructor
Rob Edwards has written two Oscar Nominated films (TREASURE PLANET and THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG) for Disney. He also has an Emmy nomination for his work on “In Living Color” and has written for “The Fresh Prince”, “In Living Color” and “Studio 60” among others.
Rob’s next film, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SANTA CLAUS is scheduled to be in theaters next Christmas. He’s currently writing two movies for Reginald Hudlin, the Academy Award Nominated producer of DJANGO UNCHAINED.


Rob’s full bio can be found on his Wiki page and his filmography is on IMDB. His website robedwards.net is hard at work eradicating bad screenwriting forever.

Rob is originally from Detroit and currently lives in Beverly Hills with his wife and two sons.


 
Rona Edwards [More Info]
Producer/Author/Asst. Professor/Film-TV Consultant
A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, RONA EDWARDS was VP of Creative Affairs for Emmy-winner John Larroquette, Academy Award-winner Michael Phillips, & Emmy-winning Producer Fern Field before becoming an indie producer. Producing Credits & Experience include: Killer Hair, Hostile Makeover, Blind Trust (Lifetime), One Special Victory (NBC), The Companion (USA/SCI FI CHANNEL), I Know What You Did (ABC), Out Of Sync (VH1) Der Morder Meiner Mutter (Sat.1), Selling Sex in Heaven (CBC). She has served as a film consultant and story editor for numerous film commissions and production companies worldwide including Film Victoria, Screen Queensland, Stewart-Hall Productions, Enjoy Entertainment in Australia and Pilgrim Pictures in Singapore.


Edwards has had projects made and/or in development with many of the major networks and studios including a script deal at ABC, movies at CBS, ABC, NBC, Hearst Entertainment, VH1, HBO, Phoenix Pictures, Edward R. Pressman, Lifetime, Motor City Films, Warner Bros., Alan Landsberg Productions, The David Wolper Organization, Lifetime, Incendo Media, All Girl Productions and Wilshire Court, to name a few.

With Monika Skerbelis, a former VP at Universal Pictures, she wrote the critically acclaimed book, I Liked It, Didn’t Love It (Screenplay Development From The Inside Out!), the quintessential book on the development process now in its 2nd edition, and The Complete Filmmakers Guide to Film Festivals (Your All Access Pass to Launching Your Film on the Festival Circuit), which are used as textbooks at various universities worldwide.  Edwards and Skerbelis are also the founders of ESE Film Workshops Online, a series of global online classes that teach the ins and outs of the film industry. Classes include: Creating a Production Company, Maneuvering Film Festivals, Screenplay Development from the Inside Out, Finding & Developing New Ideas, Starting a Film Festival, Basic Screenwriting from the Inside Out, Basic Screenplay Format with more classes being added every year. (www.ESEntertainment.net)

In addition, Edwards is Assistant Professor at Chapman University Singapore’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, teaching Creative Producing & Development, Screenwriting, Transmedia Producing for Creative Producers, Producing for TV & more, and is currently developing several books, true-life stories, animation and fictional tales into feature films and television projects.  


 
Adam Finer [More Info]
Producer
New York Film Academy - Los Angeles Campus
Adam B. Finer has spent much of his career gaining an understanding of the inner workings of the entertainment industry.  As an executive, literary manager, producer and consultant, Mr. Finer has been involved with studio films, independent feature films, television shows, Internet programming and many other areas of the entertainment and new technology fields.

 
Starting his career at Universal Pictures, Mr. Finer worked as Director of Market Research, working on the marketing campaigns for some of the studio’s biggest hits, including: “Erin Brockovich,” “American Pie 2,” “Notting Hill,” “The Mummy,” “The Grinch,” “The Fast and the Furious,” and many more.  He also served as Chair of Universal Studios Market Research Council, where he was involved in research for Universal Studios’ Recreation Group, including studies on Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Escape in Orlando, and Port Aventura in Spain.
 
In October 2001, Mr. Finer co-founded Arpil Entertainment, a literary management and production company whose clients have been hired to work on projects at Fox, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., MGM, the SciFi Channel and for many independent companies.   
 
Mr. Finer Produced the short film "twenty," Executive Produced the short film “Ghost in Mind,” was an Associate Producer on the feature film "Jane White is Sick and Twisted," and Produced the feature films “War of the Worlds: The Next Wave,” “The Day The Earth Stopped,” and the SyFy Channel Original Movie “Megafault.”   He is currently in development on several projects, including “Everything Is Going To Be Alright,” “A Magnificent Death From A Shattered Hand,” the Web Series “EcoDivas” and several Transmedia projects.     
 
As a consultant, Mr. Finer has provided his entertainment, technology, marketing, business, branding and research expertise to a broad spectrum of industries, including Fortune 500 Companies, Internet and computer companies, motion picture studios, film, television and video game production companies, home video companies, public relations companies, advertising agencies, theme parks, automobile manufacturers, Real Estate investors and theater companies.   In addition to large companies, Mr. Finer has worked with individual filmmakers, designers, coaches, producers, writers, comic book creators and small companies to advise and guide their careers and business choices.  Mr. Finer has also consulted on emerging technologies and the new media landscape; working on projects relating to High Definition Television, Blu-Ray, Mobile technologies, 3-D, Social Media and Social Networking, Digital Publishing, and much more.   
 
Mr. Finer is a respected and sought after Entertainment Industry expert who regularly speaks on topics including Marketing, Screenwriting, Representation, Social Media, Motion Picture Development and Production, the New Media Landscape, and Transmedia.  Mr. Finer has been a panelist and lecturer at UCLA, Columbia College, Sherwood Oaks College, Cal State Long Beach, the Screenwriters Expo, Screenwriter’s World, Story Expo, the Great American Pitch Fest, Fade In Magazine’s pitch market and San Diego Comic Con.  Mr. Finer was an Advisor to Cleveland High School’s Art Academy and is an Adjunct Professor and Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles Campus.



 
D.C. Fontana [More Info]
Screenwriter
D.C. Fontana has written numerous produced scripts for such television series as STAR TREK, DALLAS, THE WALTONS, STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, LONESOME DOVE, BABYLON 5, STAR TREK-THE NEXT GENERATION, and STAR TREK-DS9.  In addition to one-hour dramas, she has written for children's live action series and for animated series; and she has served as Story Editor on four television series and Associate Producer on two series.  She is a published novelist.  Since 1998, she has been a Senior Lecturer, teaching film and television writing at the American Film Institute.

 
Anthony Grieco [More Info]
Story Specialist
The Writers Store
Anthony Grieco is a Story Specialist at The Writers Store, an instructor at Writers University and an emerging Hollywood screenwriter and script consultant. He has a bachelor's degree in Film and English from the University of Toronto and has studied at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York. Anthony has completed nine feature film scripts, with two optioned and one recently sold.
 
Andrew Guerdat [More Info]
TV Writer/Producer
Andrew Guerdat is a TV writer/producer whose credits include “Head Of The Class,” “9 to 5,” “Sister, Sister,” “Boy Meets World,” “Empty Nest,” and “Herman’s Head,” which he co-created.  His films and MOWs include “Fourth Story,” “Dance ‘Til Dawn” and “Ask Max,” and he has sold screenplays to Disney, MGM, Fox, among others.
He has written for many animated series, including the new “George Of The Jungle,” “Higglytown Heroes,” “Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5,” “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West,” “Wild Grinders” and many other -- and way worse -- shows.  His play “Red Remembers” recently premiered at the Berkshire Theater Festival.  As a private script consultant, his many clients have included TRC Media and the Korean Film Council.  He teaches screen and television writing at Pepperdine University and UCLA Extension.  
 
Matthew Harrison [More Info]
Feature Film Director
UCLA Writers Extension Instructor
Matt Harrison’s feature film KICKED IN THE HEAD was Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, released theatrically by Universal and premiered as an official selection at Cannes. His network and cable television directing credits include SEX AND THE CITY for HBO. Matt’s feature film RHYTHM THIEF won a JURY PRIZE at the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL.


Matt recently completed his new comedy MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD and is now preparing his sixth feature film MENTIROSA.  He has served on film festival juries around the world including Gijon International Film Festival, AFI Fest and Slamdance Film Festival.

The production division of Harrison’s company Film Crash recently produced Nick Flavin’s CLOSE FRIENDS and Ben Rodkin’s BIG HEART CITY starring Seymour Cassel (LIFE AQUATIC) and Shawn Andrews (DAZED AND CONFUSED). Mr. Harrison Executive Produced.
Matt currently teaches film at UCLA Extension and has taught graduate film at CalArts. He has lectured at New York University Tisch, AFI, São Paulo School of Film, Brazil, Syracuse University and The New School For Social Research.

Harrison won a full scholarship at the Cooper Union School of Art where he completed his BFA. He completed post-graduate studies at NYU.
Matt is a Feature Film Director member in good standing with the Directors Guild of America, sponsored by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

Feature Films
2012     MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD, feature film Manhattan Film Festival
2006     THE DEEP AND DREAMLESS SLEEP, feature Avignon Film Festival
1997    KICKED IN THE HEAD, feature, Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, theatrically released by Universal. World Premiere Cannes Film Festival
1995    RHYTHM THIEF, feature, JURY PRIZE SUNDANCE, theatrical release
1993    SPARE ME, feature and first prize TOURNAGE AWARD Avignon Film Festival

Television
SEX AND THE CITY, HBO
POPULAR, Disney
DEAD LAST, Warner Brothers

Feature Films Executive Produced by Matt Harrison
BIG HEART CITY  Vanguard Cinema
BOX HEAD REVOLUTION  Film Crash

 
Donald Hewitt [More Info]
Screenwriter
Donald H Hewitt has been an award winning screenwriter for over 12 years who's credit's include the Oscar-winning animated film, Spirited Away and Oscar-nominated Howl's Moving Castle. He has completed projects at Pixar, Miramax. Working Title, Disney, New Line, Fox Animation, and ABC Family.


Awards:
•    Winner of a Christopher Award for best film for SPIRITED AWAY.
•    Winner of a Nebula Award for best script for HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE.
•    Nominated for Saturn Award for best writing for SPIRITED AWAY.
•    Nominated for a Nebula Award for best script for SPIRITED AWAY.
•    Nominated for an Annie Award for best writing animated feature for HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE.

Teaching experience:
•    UCLA extension – Intro to screenwriting
•    Singapore Media Academy – Instructor for intensive screenwriting course.
•    Austin Film Festival – led seminars entitled, “The Truth About Agents and Managers” and “How I Broke into the Business.”
•    Art Center Pasadena – taught a class on how to pitch and critiqued student pitches.
•    Loyola Marymount University – listened to and critiqued MFA student pitches.
•    Fusion Film and Theater – listened to and critiqued student pitches.

Education:
•    Bachelor’s degree (double) in economics and film production from University of California San Diego.


 
Karl Iglesias [More Info]
Screenwriter/Script Doctor/Consultant/Instructor
UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Karl Iglesias teaches at UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program, where he received the Outstanding Screenwriting Instructor award in 2010, and online at Screenwriters University.
He is a screenwriter and sought-after script doctor and consultant, specializing in the reader’s emotional response to the page, and the author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Writing For Emotional Impact and The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters. He is also a contributor to Now Write! Screenwriting and the upcoming UCLA book Cut to the Chase, to be released on August 6, 2013. He can be reached through his website at karliglesias.com

 
Wendy Kram [More Info]
Producer/Owner
L.A. FOR HIRE
Wendy Kram is a producer and the owner of L.A. FOR HIRE, a consulting company for screenwriters, filmmakers and production companies, assisting them in developing, packaging and selling their projects. Creative Screenwriting Magazine ranks Wendy as one of the top 3 consultants in the industry with expertise in marketing. Under her guidance, she has been responsible for selling and producing projects and securing high six-figure deals for her clients. For more information about Wendy’s services, success stories and how she may be able to help you advance your projects and careers, please visit www.la4hire.com.
 
Mark Kratter [More Info]
CEO
Emergence Entertainment
Mark Kratter is a Producer and Writer with a number of feature credits. He graduated with a BA and MA in English from Stanford University before transitioning into Venture Capital financing and securities trading. In 2004, he founded Emergence Entertainment as an all-purpose entertainment company (www.emergenceentertainment.com).


In addition to his previous Producing credits, Mark has a number of projects in development,  including the PGA ProShow-winning project, THE GROWING SEASON and a fully-financed $5M feature film based on a Nicholl-winning script which is scheduled for production in Louisiana in March.

As a screenwriter, Mark has optioned and sold a number of screenplays in addition to writing numerous scripts-for-hire. He completed a political conspiracy thriller for Clark Peterson (MONSTER with Charlize Theron), is developing a high concept buddy comedy with Broken Road (ANGER MANAGEMENT), and adapted Jim Starlin and Daina Grazuinas’ novel, “Thinning The Predators,” for one of the producers of the SIN CITY franchise. His last spec was picked up by Radar Pictures (who produced THE LAST SAMURAI with Tom Cruise), who attached themselves to finance and produce it on a $20M budget. Stephen L’Heureux and Louis Leterrier (who directed CLASH OF THE TITANS and THE INCREDIBLE HULK) are currently lead producers on the project. He also just completed writing STEREOVISION for Steve Jones, who recently landed Al Pacino a number of awards for “You Don’t Know Jack.” STEREOVISON has secured a commitment for financing on a $25M budget and is out to name directors now.

Emergence also continues its expansion into unscripted programming. Its first four reality shows found name partners with Gurney Productions ("Duck Dynasty"), Ross Jacobson of Giant Pirates (who helped create "Project Runway" and "Top Chef"), Eyeworks ("Hardcore Pawn") and Ben Silverman. Its latest original series sold after a protracted bidding war between Harvey Weinstein and the former Co-Head of NBC Universal in a rare straight-to-series order from Discovery (http://dsc.discovery.com/).

Mark is repped by William Morris Endeavor (www.wma.com) and Kenneth Keller (www.kksrr.com).


 
Eric Loya [More Info]
Web Series Writer/Producer
Eric Loya began writing web series in 2009 with the roommate comedy Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy. After a successful first season, he contributed to several other series such as The Travis Richey Sketch Show and The Best Friend. But his highest-profile series to date is Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time, which is based on Community's show-within-a-show Inspector Spacetime. Eric lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
 
Bill Lundy [More Info]
Screenwriter/Script Consultant
Bill Lundy has written two highly-rated original films for SyFy, Silent Warnings and Alien Siege, sold stories to Star Trek: Voyager, and has optioned several sci-fi, fantasy and horror projects.  He was Chairman of the non-profit Scriptwriters Network from 1997-2004, and currently serves on their board as Chairman Emeritus.  A top script consultant and teacher known as “The Log Line Doctor,” he’s done seminars for Screenwriting Expo, Sherwood Oaks College, the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Scriptwriters Network, Scriptwriters Showcase, Flash Forward, and The Writers Store.  He’s also contributed to books such as "The 60-Second Pitch" by Michael Hauge, "Q&A: The Working Screenwriter" by Jim Vines, and "Now Write: Screenwriting".  His latest projects are the fantasy action spec The Vamurai Prophecy and a sci-fi epic titled Infinity’s End.
 
Bonnie MacBird [More Info]
Instructor
UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Bonnie MacBird was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Stanford University where she earned a BA in Music and an MA in Film,  Her long Hollywood career includes feature film development exec at Universal, the original screenplay for the movie TRON, three Emmy Awards for documentary writing/producing, eleven Cine Golden Eagles for scripted and documentary work, numerous produced plays and musicals, and theatre credits as an actor and director.
ART IN THE BLOOD, her Sherlock Holmes novel, written in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle will be published this year.  In addition to her work in entertainment, Bonnie is an accomplished watercolorist.  She teaches “Screenwriting on the Write Side of the Brain” at UCLA Extension, a course which develops creativity based on multiple art forms while honing the very specific techniques of screenwriting.  She is a regular speaker on writing, creativity, and Sherlock Holmes.  She lives in Los Angeles, with frequent trips to London.
 
Daniel Manus [More Info]
CEO and Script Consultant
No BullScript Consulting
Danny Manus is one of the most in-demand script consultants as CEO of No BullScript Consulting (www.nobullscript.net) and author of “No B.S. for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective.” He was ranked one of the Top 15 “Cream of the Crop” script consultants in CS Magazine in 2010.
He was previously the Director of Development for Clifford Werber Productions (Cinderella Story, Sydney White), where he sold “To Oz” to United Artists. He was also Development Consultant for Eclectic Pictures (Lovelace) and the DOD at Sandstorm Films (The Covenant, 8MM2), which had a first look deal at Screen Gems. He is attached to produce several projects independently, is a columnist for ScriptMag, a judge three years running for the PAGE Awards, and teaches seminars and workshops across the country. You can follow him on Twitter @DannyManus.
 
Tim Meltreger [More Info]
Writer/Producer
Psych
Tim Meltreger is a writer/producer, most recently writing for USA Network's long-running comedy/mystery PSYCH. He is also the co-author of 'Psych's Guide to Crimefighting for the Totally Unqualified' published by Grand Central Publishing.
 
Patty Meyer [More Info]
Screenwriter/Instructor
Meyer begins her tenth year as Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute Conservatory. She also serves as the Screenwriting discipline's Administrative Coordinator and co-produces the Screenwriters Showcase, an annual pitchfest. Prior to that, she was on tenure-track in the film program at Chapman University. After receiving a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University, Meyer earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from Boston University.


Meyer segued to a diverse career as a motion picture and television screenwriter and producer. With her passion for dark comedic true crime stories, she has written numerous screenplays for Martin Scorsese, Harry and Mary Jane Ufland, Brillstein-Grey and Robert De Niro's Tribeca Productions, among others. She has also written projects for the networks, including a one-hour drama series pilot, movie, and a miniseries, all for CBS. Meyer's first production, the ABC miniseries THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE starred Oprah Winfrey and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Miniseries in 1989. Throughout the 1990s, she developed and executive produced multiple network movies in her deal with Von Zerneck/Sertner Films. She made her directorial debut in 2004, with THE LIST, a short tragic-comedy, which screened at seven major film festivals, including Cannes' short film corner. Recently, her play, TURNAROUND, enjoyed a HotHouse series reading at the Pasadena Playhouse and will be staged this year. Her family comedy and period thriller are under option and being packaged for production in the coming year. Meyer's maternal grandfather, Nathan J. Blumberg, was President and CEO of Universal Pictures from 1939 to 1960. Her father, Stanley Meyer, was partnered with Jack Webb in Mark VII Productions and produced the pioneering police drama Dragnet along with several motion pictures for Warner Bros. Meyer is a third generation screenwriter and producer, and she is thrilled to call herself a first generation teacher
 
Adam Moore [More Info]
Associate Chair/Screenwriter
New York Film Academy’s MFA Screenwriting Department - Los Angeles
Adam Moore is a screenwriter, video game writer, comic book writer, non-scripted story producer, and screenwriting instructor.  He received his BFA in Dramatic Writing and Cinema Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory (MFA Screenwriting), where he received the Richard Levinson Award for artistic excellence.

Along with his writing partner, fellow AFI alum Kevin Abrams, Adam has co-developed film and television projects for Dark Horse Entertainment, Spyglass Entertainment, Red Wagon Entertainment, State Street Pictures, Sparkler Entertainment, Relativity Media, FilmNation Entertainment, Silver Pictures, Landscape Entertainment and LBI Entertainment; as well as video game projects for Ubisoft, Digital Embryo, Codemasters UK, and IBM / Walt Disney World EPCOT Center.

Adam was one of several writers who worked on RATCHET AND CLANK: TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION, Insomniac Games’ blockbuster next-gen follow up to its highly successful PlayStation franchise.  He is the co-creator of VENDOR, a critically-acclaimed graphic novel published by Viper Comics, currently being adapted for a variety of platforms across the “omnimedia” landscape (games, graphic novels, television and film).

Currently, Adam is the lead writer of INTENSELIFE, a forthcoming iOS/Android story-driven exercise game.

Before beginning his writing career, Adam was a story analyst for Scott Rudin Productions, and a creative advertising assistant at Dimension Films.  

Adam Moore is the Associate Chair of the Screenwriting Department at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles Campus.  He also serves on the faculty of Long Beach State’s Film and Electronic Arts Department, and is a Senior Lecturer at the American Film Institute Conservatory.


 
Mario Moreno [More Info]
Story Specialist
The Writers Store
Mario O. Moreno is a Story Specialist for The Writers Store by day, and a budding screenwriter by night. Since earning a bachelor's degree in Film from Miami International University, where he won an Outstanding Filmmaker Award, Mario has written numerous feature film scripts, been an Academy Nicholl Fellowships Quarterfinalist and Final Draft's Big Break Semifinalist, co-authored The Pocket Screenwriting Guide: 120 Tips for Getting to FADE OUT, and has pitched executives at Paramount, Warner Brothers, Fox, Disney, Universal and Sony. He also coached the first 3 winners of the Industry Insider Contest, including Tyler Marceca, whose "The Disciple Program" was acquired by Universal in a bidding war. Follow Mario on Twitter @MarioOMoreno37
 
Nancy Nigrosh [More Info]
Instructor
UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Nancy Nigrosh has an MFA in Film & TV (Screenwriting) from UCLA, and an MA in Education from Antioch University. She serves as a Judge for UCLA’s Masters’ Screenwriting Competition and is an Instructor onsite and online for UCLA Extension's Writers’ Program. She is a former talent and literary agent at Innovative Artists and Gersh Agency, and has represented many award winning writers and directors for film and television, including Academy Award-winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Stuart Beattie (Collateral, Pirates of the Caribbean), Amanda Brown (Legally Blonde), and Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), among many others. Her company, Literary Business http://literary-business.com, serves fiction and non fiction authors to develop p-books and ebooks, as well as advising screenwriters. She serves on several boards including BookWorks, the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation, and American University Preparatory School.
 
Rebecca Norris (Moderator) [More Info]
Script Magazine Contributor/Writer/Filmmaker
Freebird Entertainment
Rebecca Norris is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, and owner of the production company Freebird Entertainment. A passionate advocate for writers creating their own work to further their careers, she actively participates in the web space as a web series creator and blogger.  Her web series, Split, was recently nominated for an Indie Series Award, was a Quarter-Finalist in the NexTV Web Series Competition, and was an Official Selection of LAWEBFEST.
Her last film, On Becoming A Man, screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and 12 other festivals, taking home the Best Comedy Short award at the IFS Film Festival and Best Short at the Athens Jewish Film Festival.  She writes a bi-weekly column for Script Magazine, Writers on the Web, which features how-to articles and interviews to empower and inspire writers to produce their writing. Along with co-writer/producer Kevin Resnick, she is in pre-production on her first feature film, Cloudy With A Chance Of Sunshine, shooting this May.

 
Margaret Oberman [More Info]
Instructor/Writer/Producer
UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Emmy nominated television writer-producer; WGA member whose credits include Saturday Night Live, Army Wives, and the Eddie Murphy Special. Mrs. Oberman is the co-creator of the BBC series Too Much Sun and has sold numerous pilots to ABC, CBS, HBO, and Nick at Nite. Her screenplays include Troop Beverly Hills and The Man, featuring Samuel L. Jackson
 
Palak Patel [More Info]
Producer
Roth Films
PALAK PATEL is President of Production at Roth Films.  Patel is an Executive Producer on Disney’s “Maleficent”, “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and “Million Dollar Arm”.  Patel also served as Executive Producer on Universal’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” as well as the upcoming Warner Bros. film “In The Heart of the Sea” which is in post-production, directed by Ron Howard.
  Patel is also a producer on the film “Sabotage”.  Patel oversees and supervises all film projects in development and production at Roth Films.  Other projects in development that Patel is developing and producing include the New York Times bestselling books “The School For Good And Evil”, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”, and “Red Rising” which Marc Forster is attached to direct for Universal.  

Patel was a production executive at Paula Weinstein's Spring Creek Productions. Patel worked closely with Weinstein helping to oversee “Monster-In-Law,” “Rumor Has It,” “Looney Tunes,” “Envy,” “Blood Diamond” and “Recount.”

Prior to joining Spring Creek, Patel was West Coast Story Editor at Focus Features working closely with Russell Schwartz, Scott Greenstein, Donna Gigliotti, and others. While at Focus, Patel worked closely with senior executives on “Traffic,” “Gosford Park,” “Nurse Betty,” “Deliver Us from Eva,” “Possession,” “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” “The Man Who Wasn't There” and assisted the acquisitions department on In “The Mood for Love,” “Monsoon Wedding” and “Wet Hot American Summer.”

Patel started out in the business as an intern/assistant on “The Sixth Sense” in his hometown of Philadelphia. After moving to Los Angeles, he worked as a development assistant at Paul Schiff Productions.


 
Dinah Perez [More Info]
Dinah Perez Law
Dinah Perez, Esq. has been in the practice of entertainment law since 1996.  She has represented and negotiated option/purchase,  work-for-hire, employment agreements, and literary agent/manager agreements for feature, television and new media writers.
 
Kelly Perine (Scheduled to Appear) [More Info]
Actor
Kelly Perine is an American television actor and a comedian. Perine attended Lake Forest Academy near Chicago, Illinois, where he studied stage acting. He spent his undergraduate years at Pomona College in Claremont, California. After graduating, he studied at the University of California, Irvine where he continued his studies in Fine Arts.


Perine began his career performing as a stand-up comedian at various comedy clubs in the United States. He has appeared in many television commercials, and has had bit parts in numerous sitcoms, including 21 Jump Street, Seinfeld, The Drew Carey Show, Coach, Mad About You, Living Single, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Malcolm & Eddie, The Steve Harvey Show, The Hughleys, How I Met Your Mother, True Jackson, VP, Austin & Ally and The Bernie Mac Show. Perine had regular roles in the sitcoms Between Brothers where he played Dustin "Dusty" Q. Canyon, The Parent 'Hood where he played Kelly Peterson, and One on One which he portrayed Duane Odell Knox, from seasons 1 to 4, and has made appearances in numerous independent films like Convincing Clooney where he played the role of Disco. He starred in the MyNetworkTV comedy Under One Roof where he played Winston Hill.
 
William Rabkin [More Info]
Screenwriter/Producer
William Rabkin has written and/or produced more than 300 hours of dramatic television. He served as showrunner on the long-running Dick Van Dyke mystery series “Diagnosis Murder” and on the action-adventure spectacle “Martial Law.” His many writing and producing credits include “The Glades,” “Monk,” “Psych, “Nero Wolfe,” “Missing,” “Spenser: For Hire,” “seaQuest 2032,” “Hunter” and “The Cosby Mysteries”. He has also written a dozen network TV pilots. His work has been nominated twice for the Edgar Award for best television episode by the Mystery Writers of America.
 
Josh Raymond [More Info]
Story Producer
495 Productions
Josh Raymond is currently a post-production story producer at 495 Productions with credits on MTV’s Jersey Shore and Snooki & Jwoww while presently producing episodes of Tattoo Nightmares for Spike TV.  In addition to aired TV series he has spent three years working in development of new shows for the company. While attending film school, he majored in writing and producing for scripted television and interned in the writer’s room for the first season of Criminal Minds.
Though he works in the field, his main duties include building rough cuts of episodes to hand off to editors and then overseeing their completion throughout the entire notes process. Having come from the world of writing and scripted content, he lends a unique perspective to the story building of unscripted, reality television.
 
Calix Lewis Reneau [More Info]
Calix8 Productions
 
Travis Richey [More Info]
Web Series Writer/Producer
 
David Rodwin [More Info]
Writer/Producer
David Rodwin is a writer/producer living in Venice, CA. After studying writing and music composition at Princeton, Juilliard and Northwestern, David created 9 operas, musicals and monologues presented by dozens of venues from The Public Theatre to the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. The LA Times has called his work “Dazzling” and The San Francisco Bay Guardian declared his writing "Inspiring”. David is a regular at The Moth StorySlam and has just finished his first book, Spalding & Me, a memoir about the month he spent living at an arts colony with his mentor Spalding Gray shortly before he committed suicide.
Somewhere in between all that, David produced 57 short films with his former NY-based production company RIPFest (half of them movie musicals) four of which he also wrote.

Recently, David ’s been developing feature films including the indie drama Crackwhore Pornstar Love, the coming-of-age story The Jetty, the modern movie musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland Alice: Descent into Decadence and the biopic Benstein in Palestine about Leonard Bernstein’s seminal tour of the Holy Land during Israel’s 1948 War for Independence.
 
Matt Sims [More Info]
Senior Vice President
Ryan Seacrest Productions
Matt Sims is the SVP Development, Unscripted Programming with Ryan Seacrest Productions. He formerly served as VP for the company. Sims is currently working with SVP Development Jason Salarnis on several projects for networks such as NBC, Fox, CW, Esquire, MTV, FYI, among others. Sims reports to EVP Unscripted Programming Izzie Pick Ashcroft. Previously, Sims was the Director of Development at TLC. During his tenure there he developed projects including Cheer Nation Perfection and the wedding format Something Borrowed Something New. Before that Sims was Director of Development as well as a freelance producer for Authentic Entertainment, working on shows including Toddlers & Tiaras.
 
Monika Skerbelis [More Info]
Author/Producer/Instructor/Consultant
ESE Film Workshops Online
Monika Skerbelis is a former studio executive and co-author of the critically acclaimed books, “I Liked It, Didn’t Love It: Screenplay Development from the Inside Out” and "The Complete Filmmaker's Guide to Film Festivals: Your All Access Pass to Launching Your Film on the Festival Circuit. She is the programming director for The American Pavilion's Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival and Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. She also co-produced “Killer Hair” and “Hostile Makeover” for Lifetime.


Ms. Skerbelis is a former Vice President of Creative and Executive Story Editor for Universal Pictures story department where she spent ten years overseeing the story department and developing a number of screenplays including "Black Dog" starring Patrick Swayze. In addition to her duties at Universal, she scoured film festivals and screenwriting competitions in search of new filmmakers. Prior to Universal, she was Story Editor for 20th Century Fox. She began her career as an assistant in the Story Department for Paramount Pictures. She co-produced the feature-length mockumentary, "Quest for the Yeti," directed by Victoria Arch. Ms. Skerbelis directed the short film, "Reel Footage: The Secret Lives of Shoes" that screened at the 2008 Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival. She was associate producer on two movies "Killer Hair" and "Hostile Makeover" based on the “Crimes of Fashion” novels by Ellen Byerrum for the Lifetime Movie Network. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America. With Rona Edwards, she teaches, "Introduction to Feature Film Development," at UCLA Extension on the campus and online, and “Story Development Process in the Entertainment Industry” online for Riverside Community College. She also taught “Basic Screenwriting Fundamentals” on campus at Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. She serves on the jury for numerous screenwriting competitions and has guest lectured at film schools, film commissions, film festivals and film organizations across the country.

With Rona Edwards, she formed Edwards Skerbelis Entertainment (ESE) and ESE Film Workshops Online (www.ESEntertainment.net) an online Film School offering 4 to 6 week classes on "Creating a Production Company," "Maneuvering Film Festivals," "Finding & Developing New Ideas" and "Feature Film Development." ESE is also developing several projects for both feature and television. In addition, via consultations, ESE assists writers and filmmakers in developing their screenplays and pitches with development notes and general career advice.


 
Lindsay Sloane [More Info]
Senior Vice President
TriStar Productions
Lindsay Sloane is an SVP at TriStar Productions, where she runs the television department.  Previously at Doug Liman and David Bartis’ company, Hypnotic, Sloane developed a number of projects and served as co-executive producer on USA Network’s COVERT AFFAIRS. Before that, Sloane co-ran the drama department at Fox and was a VP at USA Network, where she developed PSYCH. Sloane got her start as an executive working for producer Mark Johnson at Gran Via Productions.
 
Chris Sparling [More Info]
Screenwriter
Chris Sparling is from Providence, Rhode Island.  He wrote the 2010 film BURIED, for which he won "Best Original Screenplay" from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, as well as a Goya Award in the same category. His Black List script, ATM, was produced by Gold Circle Films and released by IFC in 2012.  Chris's feature directing debut, the supernatural thriller THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE, will be released in 2014.  His most recent script, SEA OF TREES, is slated to begin production in late 2014, starring Matthew McConaughey and directed by Gus Van Sant.

 
Michael Tabb [More Info]
WGA Screenwriter
Michael Tabb is currently writing his second consecutive screenplay for Universal Studios.  Other recent collaborations to develop potential film projects have been with: fellow writers Evan Spiliotopoulos (projects in pre-production include WANTED 2, HERCULES starring Dwayne Johnson), Jonathan Hensleigh (ARMAGEDDON, THE ROCK), Producers Branko Lustig (SCHINDLER’S LIST, GLADIATOR, BLACK HAWK DOWN), Sean Daniel (THE MUMMY franchise, TOMBSTONE), Director Thor Freudenthal (DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS), and production companies Imagine Entertainment (DA VINCI COADE, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, APOLLO 13) and Mandeville Films (THE FIGHTER, MONK).
 
 
In the last few years, Tabb finished a director's draft of his original script THE UNCATCHABLE COWGIRL BANDITS OF NOTTINGHAM, TEXAS on which he has been the only writer for Producers Paul Schiff (YOUNG GUNS, RUSHMORE, MONA LISA SMILE) and Intrepid Pictures (THE STRANGERS), with attachments Leighton Meester (GOSSIP GIRL) and Amber Heard (RUM DIARY).  Before that, he adapted Robert E. Howard’s short story VULTURES for Paradox Entertainment (the CONAN remake, currently BUCK ROGERS remake) and the best-selling Russian sci-fi adventure novel THE KNIGHTS OF THE FORTY ISLANDS by Sergey Lukyanenko (the newly translated book from the author of the NIGHT WATCH series) for Run Entertainment, Ltd.
 
Tabb has also developed projects for Disney Feature Animation, The Canton Company at Warner Brothers, Producer Lawrence Bender, comic book icon Stan Lee, Directors including Mike Newell, and actor/producer Dustin Hoffman.
 
To give back, Tabb has lectured on screenwriting at San Diego’s Writers Conference and in classrooms at FSU, UCLA and USC invited by friends, instructors and associates.  He teaches an online master class on script editing at Full Sail University.  He has spoken on and moderated web-casts and industry panels for local film festivals, film schools including NYU alumni, and the Writers’ Guild of America, West.  He is a WGAW member, serves on their Writer’s Education Committee & New Members’ Committee (running the mentor program), assists the Writers’ Guild Foundation Community Outreach Program by guest instructing on his craft to underprivileged youths.  He also originated the column in Ingénue Magazine about the business of screenwriting entitled “Script Notes”.

Michael was raised behind the Orange Curtain (The OC), does business under the banner of his company Burning Tree Films, Inc., and is a co-founder of the scripted web-series site made for Hollywood professionals, www.strike.tv.  His education includes two years as a USC undergrad, a B.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and graduated from UCLA’s School of Film and Television, professional screenwriting program.  His pet project is to direct his fun, coming of age feature film screenplay A MISFITS’ CHRISTMAS, which just won top prize in the screenplay competition at the 2011 New Mexico International Film Festival.


 
Shawn Tolleson [More Info]
Entertainment Career Coach
Strategy Coaching
Shawn Tolleson is the premiere entertainment career coach for industry professionals of all disciplines. She worked for eight years in production on commercials, music videos and high fashion stills shoots.  She rose quickly up the production ladder from PA to producer, working on over 120 projects including music videos for the Rolling Stones and the Dandy Warhols, and commercials for Coke, BMW and Kellogg’s.  High fashion shoots include Calvin Klien, Jones New York, W Magazine, Vogue, and Italian Vogue, with Claudia Schiffer, Brooke Shields, Jennifer Aniston and Gwen Stefani, to name just a few.


Along the way, she was writing and pitching.  She sold a romantic comedy pitch to Warner Bros., and as an unknown writer, developing material for a single camera TV comedy, attached an established director, agency, production company, studio, showrunner, and pitched all the way up to network.

She was a runner up for the ABC/DGA Episodic Directing Fellowship (top 5 from over 500), is an alumnus of the Sundance Producer’s Lab, and was a finalist for the Film Independent Writer’s Lab and Director’s Lab and the AFI Directing Workshop for Women.  Her screenplay Saturn Returns recently won the Best Screenplay Award at the Mountain Film Festival.  She is currently packaging the film with one of the stars of Grey’s Anatomy.
 
Jake Wagner [More Info]
Head of Management
Benderspink
Jake Wagner began studying screenwriting and film while a student at the University of Michigan.  After graduation, he came straight out to Los Angeles, and has been working in entertainment ever since.  He began his career as a manager at Energy Entertainment, and is currently head of management at Benderspink.  Jake enjoys working with writers, who have fresh, original stories to tell.  Writers who are not afraid to put in the hard work that it takes to mold an idea into a screenplay that can sell and get produced.