|Joe Aaron [More Info]|
JOE AARON is the writer / producer / director of the feature film CRAZY JONES, which ran on the Showtime Network, and was winner of many awards including Audience Choice Best Feature at Cinequest International Film Festival.
He worked in television many years as a promotions and segment writer for HBO, Cinemax, Comedy Central and E!
He is best known as the co-creator of DISNEY'S DOUG; and is co-author of children's book "Doug's Big Shoe Disaster."
Joe is featured in two documentaries; DREAMS ON SPEC and AUTISM THE MUSICAL. His current project is GUTTERSNIPES. For more information go to: www.guttersnipesfilm.com.
Joe is a screenwriting graduate of the American Film Institute, and currently resides in Los Angles
|Daniel Abrams (Moderator) [More Info]|
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]|
Los Angeles Web Series Festival
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]|
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]|
On the Page
Pilar Alessandra is the 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 and just produced The Choking Game.
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.
|Chris Avellone [More Info]|
Creative Director and Co-Owner
Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.
Creative Director and co-owner of Obsidian Entertainment, Chris started his career at Interplay's Black Isle Studios division. There, he worked on Planescape: Torment (Lead Designer), Fallout 2, the Icewind Dale series, Dark Alliance, and Baldur’s Gate 3 and Fallout 3 (both cancelled).
At Obsidian, Chris has worked on Knights of the Old Republic II (Lead Designer), Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer, the Aliens RPG, Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas, and FNV DLC: Dead Money, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road. He just finished working on inXile’s Wasteland 2 and the FTL: Advanced Edition and is currently doing joint work on Obsidian’s Kickstarter: Pillars of Eternity and inXile’s Torment: Tides of Numenera.
|Brad Bell [More Info]|
Brad Bell and Jane Espenson are the creators, producers and writers of the award-winning online sitcom Husbands. Bell, who also stars in Husbands, has worked as Consulting Producer on VH1's Pop-Up Video and produced his own short form comedic videos on YouTube. Espenson is known for her work as a writer/producer on shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, The O.C.,Gilmore Girls, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones and ABC's Once Upon A Time among others. The duo also co-wrote the Husbands comic book and continue to collaborate.
|Amy Berg [More Info]|
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.
|Richard Botto [More Info]|
Richard Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (stage32.com), the worlds largest social media site and educational hub for film, television and theater creatives featuring over 300,000 members from every country on the planet. Botto is also a repped screenwriter (David Greenblatt/Greenlit Creative), actor, voice actor and producer (Another Happy Day). A film based on his screenplay, The End Game, is currently in development. Botto is also writing a book on crowdsourcing for Focal Press which will be released in 2015.
|Billy Boyle [More Info]|
Bill Boyle is an award winning screenwriter, UCLA Extensions Instructor and has been rated by Creative Screenwriting Magazine among the top 10% of script analysis and consultants. He has been involved in the film industry in both Canada and the U.S. for over 25 years as a writer, director, agent, producer, story editor, and mentor.
|Charles Bush [More Info]|
Founder, President ad CEO
Great Road Capital
Film Finance expert Chuck Bush founded Great Road Capital in 2006 and has 20 years of film finance, corporate finance and strategic consulting experience. Mr. Bush created GRC to fill the need in the film and television market for smart business advisors who can lead companies from inception to a successful exit that maximizes returns to investors while allowing creative individuals to realize their vision.
|Nkechi Okor Carroll [More Info]|
Raised in four countries and fluent in two languages, Nkechi spent her formative years living in the Cote D’Ivoire and England, where she was a member of the Oxford Youth Theatre. Her short films have been featured in film festivals on multiple continents, including North America, Africa and Europe. With a Masters degree in International Economics from New York University,
Nkechi worked as a Senior Trader/Analyst at the prestigious Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Driven by her passion for writing, Nkechi embarked on bringing her experiences at the Federal Reserve to the small screen. It was that original drama pilot, THE FED, that landed Nkechi her first TV writing job. Nkechi previously worked as a staff writer on THE FINDER, starring Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan. She is currently a writer/co-producer on BONES on Fox.
|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 Development for the Screenwriting Department.
|Pen Densham [More Info]|
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).
|Kevin Deters [More Info]|
Award Winning Writer/Director
Disney Animation Studios
Kevin Deters joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1996, working in the Clean-Up Animation and Story Departments on such projects as Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, and Chicken Little.
Kevin made his directorial debut with the 2007 animated short, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater, starring Goofy. Along with directing partner Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Kevin went on to write and direct Walt Disney Animation Studio’s first-ever Holiday Special for ABC television, the Emmy Award winning Prep & Landing.
The duo followed up that success with the short Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa (which won them a second Emmy Award), the short film The Ballad of Nessie, and a second holiday special, Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice. Kevin and Stevie are currently in development of their first feature film. As directors, they contribute to the studio’s Story Trust, a roundtable discussion of films in progress led by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation.
An Illinois native, Kevin attended the University of Illinois, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies. He worked in architecture in Chicago before transitioning into animation. Kevin currently resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Sara and their three sons. In his free time he enjoys drawing, soccer, comic books, and playing with his kids.
|Pam Dixon [More Info]|
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]|
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.
|Josh Dove [More Info]|
Josh Dove currently works for the two literary partners at management/production company Haven Entertainment. He previously worked at The Gersh Agency, and for manager/producer Todd Hoffman. An avid fan of sci fi / horror / thrillers, he is always on the lookout for fresh and high-concept voices in the genre realm
|Douglas J. Eboch (Moderator) [More Info]|
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]|
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.
|Jane Espenson [More Info]|
Brad Bell and Jane Espenson are the creators, producers and writers of the award-winning online sitcom Husbands. Bell, who also stars in Husbands, has worked as Consulting Producer on VH1's Pop-Up Video and produced his own short form comedic videos on YouTube. Espenson is known for her work as a writer/producer on shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, The O.C.,Gilmore Girls, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones and ABC's Once Upon A Time among others. The duo also co-wrote the Husbands comic book and continue to collaborate.
|Adam Finer [More Info]|
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.
|Mickey Fisher [More Info]|
Mickey Fisher is a writer and producer, known for Extant (2014), The King of Iron Town (2004) and Summer Nuts (2006).
Extant is a science fiction television dramatic series created by Mickey and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The story revolves around astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) who returns home to her family inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space during her mission.
On August 7, 2013, CBS announced that it had placed a 13-episode straight-to-series order, bypassing the traditional pilot stage.
|D.C. (Dorothy) Fontana [More Info]|
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.
|Zac Frognowski [More Info]|
|Kyle Gabriel [More Info]|
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Kyle Gabriel has spent the last five years at Walt Disney Animation Studios where he has worked on films such as Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and the upcoming Big Hero 6. He studied film and business at Boston University.
|Michael Gara [More Info]|
Vice President of Development
Michael Gara is Vice President of Development at Endemol USA. Michael began his career in New York at NBC Sports and Barbra Streisand’s Barwood Films. He then moved to Los Angeles where he worked on scripted sitcoms, including writing credits for NBC’s Just Shoot Me. In 2002, Michael went over to the Dark Side – reality TV. He worked as a Story Producer on series for MTV, CBS, Fox, Discovery and the first year of Bravo's Real Housewives of Orange County, the season that launched the franchise.
Michael then moved to Original Productions, helping grow Thom Beers' brand of testosterone TV by developing and showrunning truTV's Black Gold and getting Ax Men off the ground for History. Michael's other showrunner and Supervising Producer credits include NBC’s The Marriage Ref as well as Geek Love and Cheer Perfection for TLC. In 2012, Michael joined Endemol USA where he has developed multiple cable projects including MTV's new series Virgin Territory as well as network game shows, foreign formats and talk shows for syndication.
|Anthony Grieco [More Info]|
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]|
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 Extension Writers’ Program 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.
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
SEX AND THE CITY, HBO
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]|
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Bachelor’s degree (double) in economics and film production from University of California San Diego.
|Karl Iglesias [More Info]|
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]|
L.A. FOR HIRE
Wendy Kram is a respected producer working with hundreds of writers through consultations and studio and network deals. She has developed and produced projects with Oscar-winning talent for Walt Disney Studios, Universal, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, ABC, CBS, NBC, USA, HBO, Showtime, and Lifetime networks.
Credits include "Mad Money" with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes, "Making Mr. Right" with Dean Cain for Lifetime; and the award-winning miniseries "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal for CBS". She is responsible for closing high six-figure deals for her clients and is currently producing, selling and packaging projects with Anonymous Content, Out of the Blue Entertainment, and CAA, among others.
Wendy is also the founder of L.A. FOR HIRE, a consulting company for international screenwriters, filmmakers, and production companies seeking development expertise and Hollywood connections to sell their projects.
Creative Screenwriting Magazine ranks her as one of the industry's "Best Script Consultants" with expertise in marketing. She has conducted workshops at Harvard University, NYU Tisch School of Film & Television, The New York Film Academy, Inktip Writers Summit, and The Omega Institute.
|Pete Letz [More Info]|
Cousin Pete Productions and Management
Pete Letz founded Cousin Pete Productions and Management in January 2012 as a platform to manage clients and produce projects in high-quality, character-driven 'genre' fare - Action, Thriller, Horror, Fantasy and Sci-Fi - with a particular emphasis on material that appeals to a global market, is flexible enough to be done either inside or outside the studio system, and allows for a transmedia approach, building expansive worlds that can translate across TV, Film, Web, Comics and Video Games.
Before forming Cousin Pete Productions and Management, Pete Letz was a development executive for director Steve Carr (PAUL BLART: MALL COP, DADDY DAY CARE) packaging and developing comedy projects in Film and TV. Prior to his work with Steve, Pete cut his teeth at RKO Pictures where he assisted in the creation of a horror-thriller slate of both original projects and those based on the historic RKO library. Pete received his Bachelor's Degree in Film from Wesleyan University.
|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]|
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]|
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.
|Tim Meltreger [More Info]|
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]|
For over two decades Patricia Meyer has written screenplays for the major motion picture studios and television networks, including two true crime features for Martin Scorsese, and one for Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Films. Seven of her eight studio script sales – all of which were pitches – are adaptations of true stories. She sold her first one-hour drama series pilot to CBS and is developing several new series projects, as well.
Meyer launched her producing career with the Emmy-nominated ABC miniseries, The Women of Brewster Place, starring Oprah Winfrey, which won an Image Award for Outstanding Miniseries. Meyer went on to executive-produce seven movies for network television with Von Zerneck/Sertner Films. She also executive-produced the 20th Century Fox release, This Is My Life, which marked Nora Ephron's directorial debut.
Meyer made her directorial debut with her short film "The List," a seven-time film festival selection. Recently, her play, Turnaround, was included in the Hothouse reading series at the Pasadena Playhouse as well as the Blank Theatre.
Meyer just finished 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’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. For better or for worse, Meyer is a third generation screenwriter and producer. She is thrilled to call herself a first generation teacher.
|Victor Miller [More Info]|
Emmy Award Winning Screenwriter
Friday the 13th
Best known for his original screenplay for the very first FRIDAY THE 13th, Miller penned the screenplays for A STRANGER IS WATCHING, MANNY’S ORPHANS and HERE COME THE TIGERS for Sean Cunningham.
He spent the next 25 years as an associate Headwriter or Associate Head Writer for ALL MY CHILDREN, GENERAL HOSPITAL, THE GUIDING LIGHT, ONE LIFE TO LIVE and ANOTHER WORLD, collecting 3 Emmys along the way.
Most recently Miller has worked in tandem with fellow writers creating 3 scary screenplays looking for homes: EDEN FALLS, ROCK-PAPER-DEAD and OUTERBRIDGE.
Of himself, Victor Miller says, “Turning out five hours of drama a week for 25 years has taught me craft, craft and more craft. It also taught me how to share the process.”
|Adam Moore [More Info]|
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]|
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
|Rebecca Norris (Moderator) [More Info]|
Script Magazine Contributor/Writer/Filmmaker
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]|
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]|
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.
|Mitchell Peck [More Info]|
Hollywood Embassy/Peck Entertainment
Mitchell Peck produced three Hollywood studio movies - BIO-DOME (MGM), PRIEST (Sony) and CROOKED ARROWS (20th C Fox) - all based on screenplays that he developed with first-time, unrepresented screenwriters.
Early in his career as a producer, he realized that the high-profile scripts were getting sent from the top literary agencies directly to Hollywood's biggest producers. Therefore, Mitchell had to adopt a different strategy if he wanted to find original scripts to produce. He began looking outside of the Hollywood system and reading the work of aspiring screenwriters. Mitchell relied on my good taste to identify great stories, and on his development skills to shape these stores into professional screenplays. The strategy worked.
|Dinah Perez Esq. [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.
|William Rabkin [More Info]|
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]|
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]|
|David Reynolds [More Info]|
Dave began his writing career in 1993 as one of the original writers on NBC’s, Late Night With Conan O’Brien. In 1995, after over 400 shows, he moved to Los Angeles to work on Tarzan for Disney. There he met with a little-known animation studio named Pixar (Toy Story would be released later that year). He was hired to help develop their second feature, A Bug’s Life.
For the next six years, he worked on (almost) every Disney or Pixar animated movie in production. Including writing the screenplay for The Emperor’s New Groove as well as co-writing Finding Nemo.
He was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for Nemo, as well as a BAFTA for New Groove.
|Travis Richey [More Info]|
Web Series Writer/Producer
|David Rodwin [More Info]|
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.
|Edward Saxon [More Info]|
Academy Award Winning Producer
Edward Saxon Productions
Academy Award-winning® producer Edward Saxon has been producing feature films for 25 years. As principal of his production company, he has developed and produced pictures with Fox, Universal, Warner Brothers, Columbia, Paramount, and Disney as well as working with numerous independent financiers, including a multi year pact with Participant Productions. Combined, Saxon’s films have grossed over $700m at the box office worldwide and garnered twelve Academy Awards®. He won his Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs which swept Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture at the Academy Awards®, one of only three films in history to do so.
He also produced Philadelphia, which won two Academy Awards®, including Best Actor (Tom Hanks); Adaptation, which was nominated for 4 Academy Awards®; and the Academy Award-nominated® documentary Mandela.
Currently Saxon is producing Elsa & Fred starring Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and directed by Academy Award-nominee® Michael Radford. In 2011, Mr. Saxon was a producer on Enlightened, the acclaimed HBO comedy series, which earned a Golden Globe for Laura Dern. He produced Our Family Wedding at Fox Searchlight in 2010, and Away We Go at Focus Features in 2009. Select past credits include: That Thing You Do, Ulee's Gold, Devil in a Blue Dress, Beloved, Fast Food Nation, Married to the Mob, Something Wild, and Miami Blues. Saxon has numerous projects in development with major talent. Saxon is the first producer to work with Amazon Studios, a division of Amazon.com, as the company launches their feature film division. Saxon was a founding Advisory Board member of the Independent Film Channel. He is a mentor for the Sundance Institute, Producer's Guild, the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at USC, and McGill University.
In addition to producing, Saxon has lectured at many of the nation’s top film schools, including NYU, USC, and UCLA.
Throughout his career, Saxon has worked with many of the industry’s most legendary stars, directors and screenwriters.
|Laurie Scheer [More Info]|
Laurie Scheer, media goddess, is a former vice president of programming for WE: Women's Entertainment. She has worked as an assistant, d-girl, and producer for ABC, Viacom, Showtime, and AMC-Cablevision developing and producing all types of content from network and cable series to movies-of-the-week to short films for video games.
As a professional speaker, she has appeared at NAB, NATPE, GAPF, Screenwriters' World, Reel Screen, WIFV, FTX West and the Willamette Writers Conference. She has served as a judge for numerous screenplay competitions, film festivals, the International Emmys and she is on the Advisory Board for the Ebell of Los Angeles Playwright Prize 2015. Her current interest is in exploring ways to preserve good storytelling within the 21st century transmedia marketplace, and sharing her new book The Writer's Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre (Michael Wiese Productions, 2014) with writers in-person, online, and worldwide.
|Marc Sheffler [More Info]|
Loyola Marymount University
When Marc Sheffler was approaching his eighth birthday, his father asked him what he
wanted. Without hesitation, Marc asked his dad for The Three Stooges -- and his dad got
them, hiring the famous slapstick threesome to perform at his party in front of him and
his very lucky guests. That afternoon The Stooges brought Marc on stage with them as
part of their act and made him the “Fourth Stooge”. That’s the where, when, and how
Marc Sheffler got bitten by the bug.
About ten years later, Marc began his professional career as a stage actor in Off-
Broadway theater. His best-known film role is that of the teenage “Junior Stillo” in Wes
Craven’s first film, the Grindhouse, granddaddy classic “Last House on the Left” (1972).
Several times a year, Sheffler is asked to appear at Horror film conventions with other
Last House cast members.
After “Last House”, Sheffler decided to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, writing and
producing. He has appeared at the Improv, the Comedy Store on Sunset, and his name is
inscribed on the Comedy Store Wall of Fame along with contemporaries Jay Leno, Robin
Williams, David Letterman and Billy Crystal.
His writing and producing credits include "Sister, Sister", "Harry and the Hendersons",
"Who's the Boss", and "Charles in Charge" to name but a few. He's also been involved
with many pilots, made for TV movies, and television specials, including "The Little
Shop of Horrors" pilot, "The Happy Days Reunion Show" and "The Best of the
Hollywood Palace" specials. He also worked with Mel Blanc, the voice of Warner Bros.
cartoons, as the writer of How Bugs Bunny Won The West (1978).
Some of the well known Executive Producers Sheffler has worked with are: Norman
Lear, (Sandford and Son) George Schlatter, (If She Dies She Dies), Don Mischer (The
People’s Choice Awards), Steven Speilberg (Harry And The Hendersons, and Garry
Marshall (Happy Days Reunion Special).
In 2002, Sheffler turned his attention to feature films and with Marlon Parry, produced
David DeFalco’s controversial “CHAOS”. In 2006, he co-wrote and produced another
horror film, GIRLS GONE DEAD. After over 30 years of writing and producing, he is
In July of 2010, Marc supervised the writing of the pilot and second episode for “Oh
Telon” a ½ hour situation at EICTV, in San Antonio de los Banos , Cuba. The show was
greenlit and in October of 2010, Marc made television history, when became the first
person ever to Executive Produce a sitcom in Cuba.
In January of 2011, Marc joined the faculty of Loyola Marymount University’s
prestigious School of Film and Television, where he teaches writing comedy for the
screen and TV.
|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]|
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
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.
|Richie Solomon (Moderator) [More Info]|
Richie Solomon has appeared on numerous talk shows, including The Tonight Show and Larry King Live. He has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times and even inspired a classic episode of Seinfeld.
Solomon graduated SUNY Binghamton with a degree in cinema. He loved learning so much he decided to apply to graduate school. After being rejected by the same universities that refused Steven Spielberg, he thought to himself, “What the hell do they know anyway,” and moved out to L.A. to create his own education.
Alas, Solomon's wisdom proved true, as he quickly learned skills that were missing from even the top film schools’ curricula. He learned how to order and carry more than 50 drinks from Starbucks and to get them back to the studio while still hot and without a spill. He learned which producers liked shredded Parmesan on their Caesar salads and which ones didn’t. And most important of all, he learned how to work long hours for little pay and still show up each morning with a smile.
Solomon soaked in and applied his newfound knowledge to building a résumé in film and television production. He has worked alongside such screen legends as Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, and Bob Goldthwait. (OK, so “Bobcat” might not be a screen legend but he was engaged to Nikki Cox, which makes him some kind of legend.)
Solomon has developed projects for companies such as Fox Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Fox Television, MTV Networks, and GSD&M. He received three Emmy nominations for his work on the interactive series Stranger Adventures.
And as for the endeavor which garnered all the aforementioned media attention, next to Cosmo Kramer, Solomon is arguably the most celebrated seat-filler that has ever filled a seat. His whirlwind reputation at the craft began after Paula Poundstone interviewed him on The 45th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. He has since retired from that profession, deciding when it came to seating on his bottom -- it was best to go out on top.
|Chris Sparling [More Info]|
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.
|Ted Sullivan [More Info]|
Television and Film Writer/Producer
Ted Sullivan is a writer and co-producer of ABC’s REVENGE, entering his third season on the show. He is also co-writing the original graphic novel REVENGE: THE SECRET ORIGIN OF EMILY THORNE for MARVEL COMICS, which will be released concurrently with start of the drama's 4th season. Previously, Ted wrote for TNT’s RIZZOLI & ISLES and USA’s LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT.
He began his career in daytime serials, writing for the long running productions of ONE LIFE TO LIVE and AS THE WORLD TURNS, where he received an Emmy and Writer’s Guild nomination. He later transitioned into producing, editing and directing commercials, which included campaigns for Holiday Inn Express, Pontiac, and Microsoft. He has also been an adjunct professor of screenwriting at his alma mater the University of Southern California Film School.
|Shawn Tolleson [More Info]|
Entertainment Career Coach
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.
|Jeanne Veillette Bowerman (Moderator) [More Info]|
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Script Magazine Editor
Implicit Productions, LLC/F+W Media
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman is the Editor and Online Community Manager for ScriptMag.com with a weekly column to keep screenwriters motivated to succeed.
She’s written several spec scripts, including the adaption of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon, which is currently in development. Jeanne is one of the founders of ScriptChat, a Twitter screenwriting chat, where screenwriters come together to learn, and the president of Implicit Productions, LLC.
|Jake Wagner [More Info]|
Head of Management
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.
|Joan Wai [More Info]|
Academy Nicholl Fellowhips
Joan Wai is Program Manager of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. She is also a writer and worked previously as a script consultant, and judged various screenwriting competitions including the Academy Nicholl Fellowships, Sundance Workshops, and Writer’s Digest. Joan earned her screenwriting degree from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
|Seth Winston [More Info]|
Seth Winston is a veteran of the short-film format. In 1991, Seth won an Academy Award in Best Live Action Short for “Session Man,” which he wrote, produced and directed. When Seth isn’t writing, he shares his knowledge with students at Columbia College Hollywood.
|Danielle Woodrow [More Info]|
Perfect Storm Entertainment
Danielle Woodrow runs the television arm of "Perfect Storm Entertainment" - director Justin Lin's international production company. Their first series Scorpion will premiere on CBS in September. Woodrow came to Perfect Storm after a year-long travel sabbatical where she lived in remote cabins and jungle huts. Before her walkabout, she served as SVP of Current Series at FX Networks where she oversaw shows including Sons of Anarchy, Justified and Archer.
|Micah Wright [More Info]|
Writer (videogames, film, television, animation, graphic novels & comics)
Micah Wright is a writer who has worked in videogames, film, television, animation, graphic novels & comics. He has also released three books of political commentary & graphics.
After 9/11, Micah became interested in the work of WWI and WWII poster artists, and the patriotic messages they extolled. This interest eventually led to his anti-war posters. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Sunday Guardian (UK), The Progressive, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and the Fox News Channel, much to their chagrin.
Micah aspires to be a better person, and hope one day to write something that makes you cry.