Like many writing teams in Hollywood, Ben & Melissa Oren met on JDate and then didn’t talk to each other for six months… when they were set up on a blind date. They fell in love, then got married, and then, finally, after much consternation, began to write together. Amazingly enough, they are both still alive.
Together, they have written for shows including Alloy Entertainment’s digital series, First Day, and they wrote a freelance episode of State Of Georgia for ABC Family/ABC Studios. They have also developed comedies for studios including Warner Brothers and Fremantle Media, and sketch material for Awesomeness TV. Most recently, Melissa and Ben have been in development on projects with Bunim/Murray Productions, and with Jeffrey Kramer at Juniper Place Productions, a pod at CBS. Their short film, The Best Friend, which they co-wrote and Melissa directed, has been accepted to numerous festivals and it won the Audience Choice Award at the Brooklyn Girl Film Festival.
Ben grew up on Long Island, graduated from Dartmouth College, and afterwards spent two summers writing for the local newspaper in Fire Island, NY. He covered drag shows and erosion issues and was eventually sued for $20 million by a water taxi company. At that point, Ben was ready for something less stressful, so he moved to Los Angeles to write for film and television. Since then, he has written for MTV’s The Andy Milonakis Show, Crank Yankers, Rob and Big, and Global Television’s Bob and Doug. He consulted for the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards, MTV’s DJ & The Fro, and MTV’s MegaDrive. He has also produced on such unscripted show as The Briefcase for CBS, The Bachelor specials for ABC, Make Me A Millionaire Inventor for CNBC, and The Partner, also for CNBC.
Melissa’s career has its origins in theater. She grew up in Highland Park, IL, and attended Emory University, where she fell in love with writing and directing plays. In an effort to translate her knowledge of theater to screen, she moved to Los Angeles where she has spent several years working in television as a writer/director. Earlier this year, she was accepted to a TV directing program run by WeForShe, an organization advocating for women in media, where she is being mentored by Tamra Davis. She has shadowed multiple directors on shows including Happy Endings, Work It and Modern Family for ABC; No Tomorrow for CW; and Life In Pieces for CBS. Melissa has been working in the digital space and recently directed a series for Parents.com.