Zackary Adler has amassed a fervent cult following in British film’s gritty underbelly of crime drama through the record-breaking success of recently released films Rise of the Krays as well as its sequel The Fall of the Krays – both broke sales records across UK distribution platforms with Rise Of The Krays smashing all records to become the highest selling UK DVD in the last five years. Adler’s raw and authentic style within the British gangster film genre has earned him a laudable reputation with audiences around the world. Adler then directed the third installment and prequel to the Rise of the Foot soldier franchise, a smash hit with record-breaking VOD sales by Signature Entertainment in Q4 2017.
American and British in nationality, Adler was born in New York but moved to London four years ago where he now lives with his wife, Mary Kerr.
In June 2016 Lionsgate released Adler’s Casual Encounters which was also released by Signature Entertainment in the UK: An irreverently funny, independent comedy about online dating starring Taran Killam, Brooklyn Decker and David Arquette. This was followed swiftly by Gravitas Ventures’ multiplatform October release of his thriller about a series of horrifying murders American Romance, starring John Savage, Daveigh Chase and Nolan Funk. Both more than live up to Adler’s early promise and signal him as a talent to watch.
Adler caught the industry’s eye from an early age. Interning and working in production companies from the age of 15, his early influences were David Fincher, Charlie Chaplin and Francis Ford Coppola. After graduating from Bard College and moving to New York where he began directing music videos, he secured employment at Akiva Goldsman’s Warner Bros based production company Weed Road Pictures where he wrote and directed his first short film The Cookie Story. It premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and won Best Comedic Short Award at Film Fest New Haven where it was also picked up for distribution and broadcast on HBO.
Adler went on to write and direct another short film, Something In Between, starring Keram Malicki-Sanchez, April Grace and Brittany Murphy which screened in competition as an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
His debut feature film, I’m Reed Fish, starring Jay Baruchel, Alexis Bledel, Schuyler Fisk and an extraordinary ensemble cast was picked up by ContentFilm International during its opening night at Tribeca Film Festival. It was released in the US by Red Envelope and Screen Media theatrically. His second feature film Familiar Strangers, a bright and laugh out loud comedy about life and family, stars Shawn Hatosy, DJ Qualls, Nikki Reed and a stellar ensemble cast. Shot on location in Virginia the film is being distributed by Phase 4 Films and can be seen on Showtime, Netflix, Itunes and other mainstream distribution platforms.
Adler Executive Produced 2018 football thriller, Final Score, starring Pierce Brosnan and Dave Bautista, Alexandra Dinu and Julian Cheung.
Arcana Studios Inc. is a Canadian entertainment company started by Sean Patrick O’Reilly in 2004. Arcana began as a graphic novel publishing studio and is now Canada’s biggest comics publisher, with over 300 titles in our library. In 2010, we opened our animation division, and we’ve since produced works such as The Clockwork Girl, Kagagi: The Raven and Pixies. Our current production is Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, the first of a trilogy based on our comic series of the same name.
J.J. went to college in Santa Barbara where he received his B.S. in Business and Economics and
started working in Commercial Real Estate. He then decided to become a screenwriter. His
parents were super stoked with that decision.
The product of an India-born Brit and a Yankee Naval officer, J.J. grew up on family stories of far
flung adventure and excitement. One grandfather was a test pilot for the American airforce after
WWII, the other was a hunter-for-hire in India, killing man-eating tigers for the British Railway.
And this is where J.J. got it – that itch, that need for excitement and for storytelling – it was in his
blood. And it’s why Real Estate nearly killed his soul.
Now J.J. lives and writes in Los Angeles where that very same need inspires his work and play.
Whether it’s surfing the outer reef passes of Samoa, dirt biking the beaches of Nicaragua in search
of isolated waves, sharing a beer with American ex-pats in Central America, or hosting the 2011
award winning travel/adventure show, Clean Break, it all about finding his next story and the
characters who will inspire it.
Most recently, J.J.’s script Vanishing Point won the 2017 We Screenplay competition for hour-long
pilot. In addition, his TV pilot Shelter won the 2017 Final Draft Big Break competition for hour-long pilot.
He also finds talking about himself in the third person quite unsettling.
TAWNYA BHATTACHARYA & ALI LAVENTHOL are a diverse, female writing team. T&A were most recently Producers on the Freeform series “Famous in Love”. Prior to that, they were staffed on the Sony/NBC series, ‘The Night Shift’, the TNT/ABCS Series, ‘Perception’, ‘The Client List’, and the USA series, ‘Fairly Legal’. Tawnya & Ali are graduates of the of the NBC Writers of the Verge Program, and the FOX Writer’s Initiative Program.
Milla Bell-Hart hails from small-town Maine, where she survived three days alone in the woods in a misguided teenaged attempt to find herself. Hippy shit thankfully in the rear view mirror, she graduated Wesleyan University in 2010, then bopped around LA grip and electrical departments and taught film production to wealthy high school students. Now she’s a writer on NBC’s THE NIGHT SHIFT, having worked her way up from EP assistant on the pilot. Along the way she script coordinated TRANSPARENT and served as a writers’ assistant on THE NIGHT SHIFT and GORTIMER GIBBON’S LIFE ON NORMAL STREET. Her favorite movie is Die Hard and her favorite person is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
A native Floridian, by way of New York, Marissa Berlin is a television writer and former dancer/choreographer. A published writer at the age of fourteen, she studied Telecommunication Production at the University of Florida and choreographed professionally, before accepting a spot in the ABC Studios Production Associates Program. Before becoming a full-time TV writer, Marissa wrote, produced and directed two dramatic works for stages in the Los Angeles area. Her television writing credits include Baby Daddy (Freeform), Kirby Buckets (Disney XD), and Trolls (Dreamworks/Netflix). Most recently, Marissa sold a pilot pitch to Freeform called Flighty. Produced by Dan Berendsen, Alloy Entertainment and Warner Horizon Television, the project is currently in active development. She’s represented by Heroes and Villains Entertainment and ICM Partners.
Jeremy Bernstein is a television writer/producer, whose credits include TNT’s Leverage and The Librarians. He has also written feature films, comic books, and video games—including such hit games as Dead Space 2 and Pretty in Pink.
That’s right. Dead Space 2 and Pretty in Pink.
It’s been an eclectic career.
Jeremy holds Masters Degrees in both Biochemistry and Screenwriting. His first job in high school was theater-camp counselor; his first job in LA was teaching calculus. He once made a video game about Congressional Redistricting. He has been a consultant for both the National Counter-Terrorism Center and Walt Disney Imagineering (but not at the same time). He’s been invited to guest lecture in China and at the Hallmark Corporation. Once, he spent two years in the pharmaceutical industry looking for a cure for Hepetitis C. For the last ten years, he has been one twisted ankle short of a black belt in Tae Kwan Do.
Jeremy lives with his wife and two kids. He has been writing stories since he was eight years old. He’s much better at it now.
Founded in 2004 by writer Brian Phillipson and animator Phil Phillipson, Bliss On Tap Publishing is an independent producer and publisher of original comic books and graphic novels spanning a wide variety of genres and targeted audiences with worldwide distribution in both print and digital mediums. Properties are developed both in-house (e.g., “Future Proof”) and sourced from third-parties (e.g., “I Play The Bad Guy”). Since its inception, Bliss on Tap has established a reputation as a producer and publisher of premium comic book and graphic novel content with taut and engaging narrative structures and the highest quality artwork.
Critically acclaimed titles include: God the Dyslexic Dog, Future Proof, I Play the Bad Guy, Monster Candy, Andie and the Alien and the forthcoming graphic novel Ohgrr Soup.
“[Bliss on Tap] comes with a serious animation pedigree.”
– The Wall Street Journal
Greg and his family left the Bronx for Texas. He went on to write his 5th grade musical which he soon learned in Texas was enough to get you beat up for all of 6th and much of 7th grade. Later he worked at The BBC – London, studied the Renaissance under Bella Mirabella in Florence, Greek Drama under Olga Taxidou in Athens, graduated with honors from NYU, then was named Playwright in Residence at The Library of Alexandria [Egypt].
OFF-BWAY: Gorgonzola (Book/Lyrics – Best Book, Best Lyrics and Best Musical), Atomic (Book/Lyrics, World-Premiere in Sydney, Winner – Best Musical, Australia), Us & Them (Houston), Three (Clurman Theatre, Sam French Prize finalist), premiere at City Theatre’s Best American Shorts Festival – Miami. He co-created A Derbyshire Pub Quiz for The Royal Geographical Society’s Annual Conference, produced The Speakeasy: a site-specific immersive 1930s show currently celebrating a year running in San Francisco. His new play Raul Julia is Dead… He’s Been Dead had a initial reading at Sonnet Rep (NYC) and workshop at Flint Reperatory Theatre’s inaugural season. He was recently invited to the legendary BMI Advanced Workshop (Chorus Line, Ragtime, Avenue Q), and his musical The Talented Mr. Ripley (Book & Lyrics) recently presented a Broadway workshop in NYC and was selected by Stephen Schwartz for this year’s ASCAP Workshop.
TV: The Grierson Awards (BBC), Lie to Me (Fox), Three Rivers (CBS), Transformers, a musical episode of My Little Pony, Homeland (SHO), and the logic quiz show Million Dollar Mind Game (Merv Griffin). Pilots: Real [For EP: Philip Seymour Hoffman], cult-series Squad 85 [EP: Justin Lin, Google]. He wrote/directed the film …or Die (Best short – HBO Film Festival) and wrote songs for the musical film Jihadi Street. He was selected for Fox’s Diversity Writing Program, The LA/Tel Aviv Television Masterclass, and to write for CBS’s Diversity Showcase. He is most recently sold his debut novel The Academy for Adaptive press, hitting shelves in 2018.
When Dave left his hometown of Orlando for the University of Florida to major in Microbiology, he had the lofty goal of one day becoming a geneticist who could use the information being gathered in the Human Genome Project to cure all hereditary diseases afflicting mankind by manipulating our DNA. Instead he graduated wanting to write sitcoms.
In 2008, Dave was accepted into the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop, which helped him get staffed on the Kelsey Grammer show “Hank” for ABC. Then he went on to write for the Disney Channel sitcom “Jessie,” TBS’s “Ground Floor,” and TV Land’s “The Soul Man.”
Currently, he’s expanding beyond the writers’ room and breaking into development. Dave hopes to create one of those classic sitcoms that audiences carry with them for a lifetime. But the truth is, he probably needs at least three of those series to make up for the fact he’s not in a lab somewhere curing diabetes, anemia, or hemophilia. Or at the very least… color blindness.
Lia Bozonelis just served as Head Writer on the first season of SORRY NOT SORRY, a feminist sketch comedy series produced by DiGa Studios for Go90. She has previously developed and packaged film and television projects with Atlas Entertainment, Flower Films, and Momentum Entertainment.
In addition to her own writing, Lia works as a story consultant for Netflix, helping build their slate of original sub-$10mm films. She has previously worked as a story consultant for Ridley Scott’s company Scott Free and George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, and as a reader for HBO, Odd Lot, Anonymous Content and New Line Cinema.
Lia also served as a staff writer for FORTUNE magazine, covering hard news across the globe, including the Fortune Global 500 in Delhi, India. Her international experience includes living and working on three continents and speaking four languages. Raised Greek Orthodox in New Jersey, Lia now volunteers regularly at the LA Greek Film Festival, where she combines her love of entertainment with her love of ouzo. Opa!
Olivia Briggs is a writer on a mission, and that mission is adventure. Once a little girl who wanted to do anything and everything, Briggs soon discovered that the only way to achieve her lofty goal was through the written word. So far, she’s managed to become a knife fighter, a rodeo bull, a black belt, a subway rat, and perhaps most elusive, a moderate republican, just to name a few. But the possibilities are vast and the checklist ever growing, which keeps this make-believe jack-of-all-trades cranking out story.
Briggs holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts as well as a B.A. in theatre arts from Oberlin College. She has won the Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award as well as the Flint Film Festival’s Best Screenplay Award, and was most recently was a finalist in the Austin Film Festival’s AMC one-hour pilot division. Her original play, “Ronnie’s Cabinet” was produced in New York City, receiving the Thespis Theatre Festival’s Best Original Play Award, and “Bottles on the Water, A Night of Short Plays from Abroad”, co-written by Briggs, received its off-off Broadway premiere and is available in paperback.
John Paul Bullock III (Paul) is a television and film writer/producer originally from Richmond, Virginia. He’s sold pilots to AMC and SUPER DELUXE, written on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and Lifetime’s “Devious Maids,” served as Associate Producer on SYFY’s “Defiance,” and worked on many other shows.
Paul is a frequent contributor to Under the Radar magazine and was Music Supervisor of indie feature Two Shadows. He co-founded boutique record labels Mean Beard Recordings and Beranimal, and is 1/3 of retro media collective Homicide: Life on the Streets.
He lives in Los Angeles.
Jennifer Cacicio is a Boston-born, LA-based writer who specializes in female-driven crime dramas for both TV and film, largely due to the fact that she was the daughter of a prominent drug dealer and spent most of her childhood surrounded by cops, criminals, lawyers, and prison guards. She’s worked on cable dramas such as SHOOTER (USA) and DAMIEN (A&E) and currently has a feature is in development with Five All in the Fifth Entertainment. She’s represented by Heroes and Villains Entertainment and UTA.
Graham Funke and Stonerokk are known in the thriving nightlife community as The Captains of Industry. They are well-known for pushing the boundaries of which songs are acceptable for play in America’s nightclubs, delivering skilled and eclectic shows nightly, and possessing entertaining A-type personality traits with opinionated worldviews, which has made them favorites amongst their peers, employers, and corporate and celebrity clients.
They are outspoken on the deteriorating condition of the concept of the DJ, as the market is flooded with wannabes and “celebrity DJs” who, with the help of a media arena currently interested in DJs as content, have tarnished the revered vocation in hopes of gaining some attention; Graham Funke and Stonerokk exist to restore the luster to the term DJ, using fun and skill and knowledge…by any means necessary.
They have garnered a ton of press in this capacity — in the realm of Maxim, Boston Globe, OK!, People, and such — and recently appeared on Fox News Channel. As the DJ becomes the “new” rock star, the Captains of Industry offer entertainment and expertise, the performance expertly contoured to any occasion, drawing upon the experience of DJing for tens of thousands each month, between their gigs at Hollywood’s newest tabloid-friendly hot-spots to their high-profile Las Vegas residencies at the Palms Casino Resort to the 300+ shows they complete each year.
The Captains of Industry will dispel all misconceptions and reshape your opinion about the intricate roll the DJ plays in the success of an evening.
Harry is a writer, director, and stop-motion animator who strives to tell character driven stories using classic handmade techniques. He has helmed projects for Netflix, Adult Swim, Warner Bros, DC Comics, Disney, and many others. He co-created the Annie-nominated web series Friendship All-Stars with L/Studio and Stoopid Buddy and recently directed Netflix’s first stop-motion series, Buddy Thunderstruck. His short film Bygone Behemoth premiered at SXSW and went on to screen at dozens of festivals internationally, picking up several awards along the way.
Other notable credits include Robot Chicken, WWE Slam City, Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole, and commercial collaborations with PES. He is currently in production on a pulpy live-action/stop-motion hybrid film called Steel Cut Oats and a comic book series about the seedy underbelly of theme parks.
STAN CHERVIN was nominated for an Academy Award, a WGA Award, and a Golden Globe for
his adaption of Michael Lewis’s Moneyball, which won the Critics’ Choice award and New York
Film Critics award for Best Screenplay. Moneyball was also nominated for Best Picture, Best
Actor and was included on over 100 critics’ Top Ten lists.
After earning B.A.’s in English and Dramatic Art at Berkeley, his career began in New York non-
profit theatres The New Dramatists and The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.
Returning to L.A., he was a Staff Reader, Story Editor, and Director of Creative Affairs at TriStar
Pictures before becoming a full-time screenwriter when he adapted the W.P. Kinsella story, The
Dixon Cornbelt League, for the studio. In addition to Moneyball, he has written the film
biographies P.T. Barnum (for Sasha Baron Cohen to star), J-Mac, and Ramona Pierson for Sony.
He adapted The Catcher Was A Spy, about baseball player-turned-spy Moe Berg, for George
Clooney at Warners where he also wrote Around the World in 80 Days. He wrote Quantum
Hoops, the story of Cal Tech’s winless basketball team, for producers Ben Stiller and Stuart
Cornfeld at Disney, and Sarge, about the oldest American player ever drafted by the NBA for
Gidden Media and Macro.
For television, he wrote the movie Extreme Team (starring Chris Pratt) for ABC where he also
wrote a series pilot Courthouse (with John Eisendrath) and the bio pic Abbott and Costello. He
wrote a one-hour police drama 7th Precinct for actor/producer Samuel L. Jackson at Fox. For
Showtime, he wrote When Dean Met Jerry…. about Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
Working as a team with Annie Mumolo, Oscar-nominated co-writer of Bridesmaids, they have
adapted the novel Auntie Mame for Tilda Swinton to star, and wrote the live-action Clifford, The
Big Red Dog for Paramount.
His most recent script is Carlin, the authorized film biography of legendary stand-up comedian
After majoring in Computer Science at Morehouse College, Leon worked on Wall Street as a Technology Project Manager in Asset Management at a major private bank. The repetitive, mundane work of corporate America drove him to a quarter-life crisis, where he discovered his passion for screenwriting. Since then he has gone on to achieve such accolades as winning Best Feature in the 2016 WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Contest with a “powerful action script where the only thing that overshadows the insanity of the set pieces is the heart.” The judges “were blown away by the originality” and the writing was described as “fusing energy and passion to create a uniquely raw and cutting story.” These traits – original, energetic, passionate, and raw – are foundational to all of Leon’s scripts. Both a drama and comedy writer, Leon was selected to participate in the prestigious 2017 CBS Entertainment Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. He is also an alumnus of Upright Citizens Brigade. His most recent work is set up at No Label Productions and Great Lake Pictures, production companies founded by former NBA star Baron Davis and rapper Big Sean respectively.
Mirella is an award-winning writer. She was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Prize for her television pilot “Seven Eternities,” and invited to the Film Independent Episodic Labs as a fellow, supported by Netflix and the Sloan Foundation. Her feature screenplay made the “It List” of the best unproduced scripts at the Canadian Film Festival. Mirella has written, directed and produced films, most recently the short “Lady Electric,” a character-driven drama. Mirella enjoyed two and a half years in New York City where she completed her MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, focusing on playwriting, television and film writing. She has worked for producers in television and off-broadway theatre in NY and LA. She hails from Toronto, where she had a previous life as a journalist and television news producer. Her writing has been published in international newswires, newspaper and magazines.
Marissa Jo Cerar is a film and television writer that grew up in a family of eight adopted kids, five her parents adopted from foster care – at once. That fateful decision has provided her with endless material, and life as the only brown girl in rural Illinois, population 1600, was unique, to say the least, because she only saw people who looked like her on television and in the movies.
After writing a handful of award-winning scripts, her project CONVERSION was selected for the Hit List and the Black List in 2012, and Marissa Jo was included on the Young and Hungry List the following year. CONVERSION sold to indie financiers KperiodMedia in 2014.
Marissa Jo is an executive story editor on the critically acclaimed television show THE FOSTERS, and she’s currently wrapping up her third season writing on the show. She was hired by Relativity Media to adapt her passion project, the New York Times best selling novel The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, and her most recent feature assignment is a rewrite of the race drama, BURDEN, produced by Academy Award nominated producer Robbie Brenner.
Carla was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and fled east to New York where she stumbled into the performance collaborative, Peeling where she wrote and performed autobiographically-based performance art with them for several years in basement bookstores and galleries around the city. In ensuing years, her plays were workshopped and produced nationally at the Lark Playwright’s Workshop, The O’Neill Playwrights Conference, South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Theater Group and Ma-Yi Theatre Company among others. She was also Artistic Director of Asian American Theatre company 2g for three seasons and is a proud member of The Kilroys and New Dramatists. Carla wrote for season two of Graceland and was on the Tracking Board’s 2014 Young and Hungry List. She’s come back home and now resides in Hollywood, CA.
Joey Clift is a writer, performer and registered member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe who has written on Wabbit and Lego Ninjago: Decoded for Cartoon Network and OMG, Swamp Talk With Shrek and Donkey and What They Got Right for DreamWorks. A web series episode he co wrote for the Fine Brothers was nominated for a 2017 Streamy Award in the Immersive category. The A.V. Club called him an “Internet troublemaker extraordinaire” after he hijacked an official Garfield Twitter Q and A in 2016 and his podcast 25 Minutes of Silence was named a podcast of the week by Splitsider. More importantly, he is the admin of the LA Underground Cat Network, an 8000 member strong Facebook group for Los Angeles comedians to share pictures of their cats.He recently released a satire book about Native American representation in media called “The American Indian Ready to Wear Catalog 2018” which was illustrated by Janet Myer who is his actual mom (how cute). It’s available for purchase via Red Cat Press. Find his work at http://www.joeyclift.com/.
Originally from upstate NY, CHRIS COATS moved to Los Angeles after attending college in Santa Barbara and began working extensively in film and television industry. In 2012, he joined the roster of The Masses, a production company started by the late Heath Ledger. With The Masses, Chris directed numerous music videos which were featured on acclaimed music websites such as Pitchfork, The Fader, and Filter. In the branded arena, he’s created content for burlesque superstar, Dita Von Teese, the design-duo The Haas Brothers, and lifestyle brands such as Adidas, Elle and Esquire among others. In 2015, Chris edited Dogwalker, a short film by director Kimberly Sherman which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. His own short film, Good Boy, recently had its west coast premiere in June 2017 at NewFilmmakers LA LGBT film showcase. Currently, Chris is developing his first feature, The Sleepwalker’s Travel Guide, to shoot in the summer of 2018.
Creature & Sweeney are a writing duo hailing from the Los Angeles South Bay and Las Vegas. They have written projects for various production entities in film, television, and other media, including Columbia Pictures, Canal+, Vivendi, MTV, and Electronic Arts. Their spec script THE MAYOR OF SHARK CITY, based on the making of Steven Spielberg’s JAWS, landed on the 2013 Black List of best, unproduced screenplays. The pair are currently hard at work writing the feature film project SANCTUARY for Silver Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
Barbara is the writer of the hit thriller The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez. Her romantic comedy, Anything For Love, starring Erika Christensen, was aired as Hallmark’s Valentine’s Day movie event. Most recently, Barbara sold her original one-hour legal drama Reversible Error to NBC/Universal.
Barbara was hired by Fox 2000 to write The Jury and by Screen Gems to rewrite the The Perfect Guy, starring Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy. She was also hired by LD Entertainment to develop and write the upcoming television series Hard Time.
Barbara holds an M.F.A. in screenwriting from UCLA and a J.D. from Northwestern University. Prior to becoming a screenwriter, she spent a decade as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted violent crimes such as murder-for-hire, prison murder, arson, racketeering, kidnapping, and bank robbery. She has taught criminal procedure at the FBI Headquarters in Quantico and advanced trial advocacy at the U.S Department of Justice.
Robert D. Doty is a native-born Texan and television writer. His suburban Houston upbringing seemed completely normal until he learned that growing up in the second largest megachurch in the country was decidedly abnormal to just about everyone else. He does not know why he loves stories so much, but by the time he graduated from the multi-disciplinary honors program at the University of Texas, he decided to pursue his dreams in Hollywood and… promptly found himself living in a Koreatown hostel.
Robert has come a long way since then and landed his first staff writing job on CW’s Reign – at which point his devoutly practical parents finally stopped emailing him Law School applications. In addition to stories of any kind, he loves thunderstorms, audiobooks, and the dog he’ll get as soon as he can afford a back yard.
Olivia Dufault’s plays include Year of the Rooster (New York Times Critics’ Pick), The Tomb of King Tot (New York Times Critics’ Pick), The Messenger, and For Want of a Horse. Her plays have been performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood, Clubbed Thumb, and the Flea Theatre, amongst others. She is the recipient of the Lark’s 2017 Venturous Playwrights Fellowship, the 2015 Playwrights of New York Fellowship, the 2013 David Colicchio Emerging Playwright Award, the 2010 Lipkin Playwriting Award, and the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Harle Adair Damann Playwriting Award. She is a member of New Dramatists, the LCT Writers in Residence, and the Youngblood Playwriting Group.
In television, she has worked as a staff writer, and then story editor, for the first two seasons of AMC’s Preacher. She is also working with AMC and Gran Via Productions on adapting Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book The Private Eye. Her pilot, Sandyism, co-written with Kate Thulin, is currently set up at Amazon Studios, to be produced by Likely Story.
In film, she is currently adapting Charles Burn’s comic book Burn Again for the director Bong Joon-ho, to be produced by Amazon Studios. Her film The True Adventures of Wolfboy, directed by Martin Krejci and produced by K Period Media, is set to start filming this fall.
Scott has been reading comics ever since he could make out what the words meant in the speech balloons. Growing up, Batman and Robin weren’t just characters, they were pals. His addiction to writing combined with his passion for comics is what fuels his creativity.
During his time in Los Angeles, Scott built up a portfolio of spec scripts while doing screenplay coverage for Oscar-winning producer Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer, Lord of the Rings trilogy). He published his first comic with Arcana Studios in 2010, the futuristic Cryozone. Shortly after, he moved to New York City to train at Marvel Comics as an editorial intern working on such series as Ultimate Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Avengers Academy, Black Panther, and many more. Following this, he worked in publicity for comics while continuing to write freelance on the side including penning issues of Archie. His current project is a sci-fi series based on the upcoming futuristic thriller Narcopolis from Altitude Films, which will expand the movie’s universe into comics.
An Air Force brat, Scott has lived in three countries and nine states but currently resides in Los Angeles.
His current project is a sci-fi series published by Heavy Metal and based on the upcoming futuristic thriller Narcopolis from IFC Midnight, which expand the movie’s universe into comics.
Dan Erickson is a Los Angeles-based writer for film and television, originally from Olympia, Washington. In 2016, his hourlong pilot, Severance, became the first TV script ever included on the annual Bloodlist. He has worked in series development for Super Deluxe, and written for Spike’s Lip Sync Battle Pre-Show. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Dan received a BA in English from Western Washington University and a Masters in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School. Dan’s work skews darkly acerbic, often marrying affectionate character comedy and grim existential horror.
Named one of the Top 10 New Directors by The Focus Pull Film Journal, Isaac is a showrunner and director of both television and film. Recent television work includes “You Can Do Better” on truTV, “Not Safe with Nikki Glaser” on Comedy Central, “Triumph’s Election Special” for Hulu/Funny or Die, as well as shows for VICE, VICELAND, Fusion, and IFC. Isaac has directed two feature films: the documentary “Life on the Line,” available on Amazon, and the scripted comedy “Sex Ed,” which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature Film at the Portland Film Festival. “Sex Ed” premiered theatrically in 2014 and is now available on Netflix. Isaac’s “30 for 30” short film, “AC Green: Iron Virgin,” was an official selection at the 2016 TriBeCa Film Festival. Isaac is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he received the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Award,as well as the American Film Institute Conservatory
NAACP-nominated writer/director/producer Rhonda Freeman-Baraka made her foray into film with the 2008 production of “Pastor Brown,” a family drama that has been touted as a classic and uplifting take on the prodigal son story. Directed by Rockmond Dunbar, “Pastor Brown” features an all-star cast, including Dunbar, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Nicole Ari Parker, Keith David, Ernie Hudson, Tasha Smith, Michael Beach, Tisha Campbell- Martin and Michael B. Jordan.
“Pastor Brown” won rave reviews and garnered wide viewership during its premiere on Lifetime TV in February 2013 and went on to garner six Black Reel nominations, including Outstanding Screenplay (Adapted or Original), TV Movie or Mini-series.
Ms. Freeman-Baraka followed up “Pastor Brown” with a series of releases for UP TV including “Trinity Goodheart” (Eric Benet, James Hong and Erica Gluck), “Saving Westbrook High” (Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Loretta Devine, GregAlan Williams), “My Dad’s A Soccer Mom” (Lester Speight, Wendy Raquel-Robinson, Skai Jackson), “Marry Me For Christmas,” “Marry Us For Christmas,” “A Baby For Christmas,” and “Merry Christmas, Baby” (all of which starred GregAlan Williams, Malinda Williams, Victoria Rowell and Brad James).
In 2014 Ms. Freeman-Baraka was tapped by TV One to craft an updated version of the Book of Job. The result was the heart-wrenching “To Hell And Back” (Ernie Hudson and Vanessa Bell Calloway). She followed up with the Book of Ruth adaptation “For the Love of Ruth” (Denise Boutte, Gary Dourdan, Loretta Devine and James Pickens Jr).
A series of TV One projects followed. Among them, the two-part holiday series, “Royal Family Holiday” and “Royal Family Christmas,” the top-rated unsung biopic “Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story,” the critically-acclaimed adaption of Reshonda Tate Billingsley’s “The Secret She Kept,” and the fantasy-laced “Christmas Swap.”
She has also penned two projects for the INSP network, “Heritage Falls,” which she co-wrote with Shea Sizemore and Gary Wheeler and “Christmas on the Coast.” Ms. Freeman-Baraka made her entry into episodic television with two episodes of Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners,” one of which was the highest rated episode in the history of the series. Her directing credits include UP TV’s “A Baby for Christmas” and “Merry Christmas Baby,” and TV One’s “Downsized,” starring Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe.
Her most recent project was the controversial and critically-acclaimed “Bobbi Kristina” biopic, based on the life of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of music icons Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.
This year’s productions include “Coins for Christmas” and the hit docuseries “Uncensored” (both for TV One), the fifth installment in UP TV’s popular Chandler family Christmas franchise (which she wrote and directed) and Lifetime’s “Edge of Faith,” a joint development venture with actress/director/producer Kim Fields.
When one’s father has three Academy Awards, who better to consult if contemplating a career path in entertainment? Graham’s dad (Alex Funke, ASC) did what most dads do and encouraged him to try his hand at something a little less heartbreaking; Graham, in kind, did what most sons do and ignored that fatherly advice, studying film at USF and UCLA, and appearing in a slew of national TV commercials. Having spent the last decade as a touring DJ, performing at marquee venues around the world, his writing style emerged from the chaos of life on the road, authoring several music-related pieces for various publications, and culminating in 2013 with an EDM-themed script sale to New Regency. Most of his words are composed in hotel rooms and airport lounges from city-to-city, which he finds to be a much richer source of inspiration than sitting in some cluttered office, as it relates to the tales of criminal enterprise, political misbehavior, and sociological eccentricities that interest him.
DIANA GETTINGER and MONICA HEWES co-wrote, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed digital series EX-BEST, which Vogue wrote, “?combines the comedic absurdity of Broad City with the stylish production value? of High Maintenance.” Currently, the pair is developing two new comedy pilots with Thank You Brain! and A Stern Talking To Productions, as well as an hour-long dark comedy with Solar Drive Productions.
Monica is a Canadian-American writer and actress whose TV credits include Showtime’s MASTERS OF SEX, FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL and TNT’s TRANSPORTER. A graduate of USC’s School of International Relations, she speaks Polish, French and Russian. She was once approached by the CIA, but she’s not allowed to talk about it. She dabbles in watercolors and follows the plight of the orangutans of Borneo. After attending Cornell and Columbia,
Diana worked as an associate-editor at Vogue, Allure and Marie-Claire. She then left her career in publishing to commit herself to her love of film and storytelling. Born and raised in New York City, she traded skyscrapers for the palm trees of Los Angeles but can usually be found in a movie theater, avoiding the sun.
LA native and writer/director Juston Gordon-Montgomery was raised on a strange mix of Saturday morning cartoons¨Disney movies¨hood dramas¨and prime-time sitcoms. This seemingly random assortment of influences has coalesced to form a unique sensibility and voice that drives him to tell genre comedies with off-center perspectives. He has worked in feature and television animation for 5+ years at Disney, Pixar, Sony, Jim Henson and more. Currently he is directing at Stoopid buddy and developing projects with Warner Brothers.
Oliver Grigsby is an international mutt. Born in England, raised in Australia and educated in Boston, he eventually settled in Los Angeles to become a writer. He has written episodes of NBC’s HEROES and CW’s NIKITA. In addition, Oliver has extensive experience in new media content; writing & editing the Heroes Graphic Novel series, and co-writing the web series Slow Burn starring Dawn Olivieri and Robert Knepper, which won a 2010 Mobile Excellence Award. Oliver has also written online content for USA’s IN PLAIN SIGHT, Activision’s World Series of Poker video game series, and the popular webcomic Penny Arcade.
Oliver graduated from Boston College in 2004 with a degree in English and a minor in Film Studies. He understands the rules of cricket but finds it difficult to choose which country to root for. The Olympics are a whole other beast. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, an American, and their two dogs, both mutts.
Cheryl Guerriero was born and raised in New Jersey by two dysfunctional loving parents and an older sister who once threw a pair of scissors at her head. Guerriero, an athlete since the age of 7, went on to college where she became a National Lacrosse Champion. Upon graduating, her mother insisted she get a job at Prudential Life Insurance company which was a five-minute drive from their home and get married. Guerriero promptly moved to New York City and came out as a writer and a lesbian.
After Guerriero received her first check for writing, her parents got off her back about getting a real job. They did suggest she speak to Father Bob about beinggay because they knew someone who was gay and then wasn’t gay after speaking with Father Bob. Guerriero declined the offer and moved in with her girlfriend who she routinely tortured by making her read everything she wrote.
Guerriero’s writing has won numerous awards, but her proudest moment to datewas when she was sitting in a Chicago movie theater watching her first produced film, National Lampoon’s Pledge This! Making it even more special was the fact thatGuerriero, voted “funniest” in high school, had written the screenplay with abest friend who had been voted “most likely to succeed.” The movie was neitherfunny, nor successful.
Guerriero continued on her way receiving various writing assignments and optioning new original material. One original screenplay, Hunting Season, made it from the page to the screen. The second time proved to be a lot better than the first. Hunting Season, a mystery thriller, has aired on HBO/Cinemax, Lifetime and numerous TV channels around the globe.
Guerriero jumped into the publishing world when she reverse-adapted one of her screenplays into a women’s fiction suspense novel. Red Adept Publishing picked up the rights and will release the debut novel in the spring of 2017.
In addition, Guerriero made a documentary about her parents, Father Bob and being gay. That documentary ended up in the hands of Oprah Winfrey who invited Guerriero and her family onto the show as guests to discuss it. It was one of the season’s highest rated segments.
When Guerriero isn’t writing, tweeting or feeding her gullet, she can be found playing dodgeball all over Los Angeles.
Bryce is a screenwriter who was a semi-finalist in the 2009 and 2011 Nicholl Fellowships.
Ever since he was young he’s loved both writing and film, selling short stories for twenty-five
cents a pop to unsuspecting family members. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo,
with a degree in Political Sci… Sorry, so sorry – He just fell asleep for a moment reminiscing
on the curriculum. He’s awake again – There, he mostly wrote screenplays and crafted stories
in class, instead of doing the work assigned which could explain his (extremely) terrible GPA
and poor general prospects for his life after college. He became a bartender in Minneapolis, a
construction project manager in Stockton, and a freelance writer for odd (and demeaning)
jobs throughout the Internet. But, through it all, he kept writing screenplays because that’s
what he loved and aspired to do. His first feature film, Reprisal, comes out August of 2018 – It
stars Bruce Willis, Frank Grillo, Johnathon Schaech, and Olivia Culpo.
Denise was born in Tehran to political activist parents who fled to Berlin, Germany, after the Islamic revolution. Raised by a single mom in a housing project, she soon discovered that writing helped her get through tough times and dedicated herself to the craft.
Against her family’s wishes, she dropped out of pre-med and moved to Los Angeles, where she enrolled in the UCLA TV Writers’ Program. There, she placed first in their annual competition and gained representation.
She is currently Co-Producer on true crime series MANHUNT (Netflix/Charter) and has previously written for several TV shows, including military action series THE BRAVE (NBC), sci-fi series THE EXPANSE (Amazon) and the video game SHADOW OF MORDOR.
Inspired by her own journey, Denise gravitates towards stories about outsiders who take on the system and, subsequently, find their true purpose in life.
She’s fluent in English, German and Farsi.
Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. His plays have been featured at Victory Gardens Ignition Festival, Theater503 in London, Great Plains Theater Conference, The Kennedy Center, Lesser America, SPACE on Ryder Farm, UMASS Amherst, and Fault Line Theater Company. He is a member of The Working Farm at SPACE, a two-time finalist for the O’Neill Theater Conference, and a semi-finalist for The Relentless Award.
His poetry and essays have been featured at Huffington Post, Upworthy, Button Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly (nominated “Best of the Net”), BOAAT, Rattle (Longlist for Rattle Poetry Prize), Winter Tangerine, and The Adroit Journal, amongst others. Dave has competed and performed spoken word across the country, and is the 2015 Rustbelt Poetry Slam champion, the 2017 Pittsburgh Grand Slam Champion, 2014 Denver 40 Oz. Slam champion.
He has received commissions and awards from Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cave Canem, Callaloo, Yale University, UC San Diego, The Kennedy Center, and New Haven Arts and Humanities Co-Op High School.
Dave graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Theater Studies and is a second year MFA student in Playwriting at UC San Diego.
Roslyn Hart is a New York based writer, performer and producer. She was named one of the 50 Funniest New Yorkers by Time Out New York and was recently hired to write and direct Amber Rose’s live touring show, “In Bed with Amber Rose.” Her uninhibited performance style, subversive material and brilliant improvisation has earned her audience praise and rave critical reviews. Roslyn has been featured by The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New York Post, The Village Voice, NEXT Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and New York 1. She was a guest star on the hit HBO show, Bored To Death and is known for throwing epic parties in her Central Park West apartment and traveling masquerades through the streets of NYC.
Her book NEVER SLEEP ALONE has been published in North America, Japan, Germany and The Czech Republic.
Chuck Hayward was born and raised in the entertainment Mecca that is Wilmington, Delaware. Tired of being the only black person in the entire state, Chuck got the hell out of there to attend Syracuse University’s prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. At Syracuse he majored in Television, Radio and Film and wrote and directed his well-received senior thesis film, Withdrawal.
Upon graduating, Chuck moved to Los Angeles where began working as an assistant to the Vice President of Spirit Dance Entertainment (headed by actor, Forest Whitaker). From there he went on to assist producer Robert Teitel at State Street pictures, working on the Fox Searchlight Film, Roll Bounce. Deciding it was time to get closer to his true passion, writing, Chuck left the feature world and worked as an assistant on the CW Network’s pilot MILF & Cookies, then to the CW’s hit show Everybody Hates Chris. During downtime from Chris, Chuck worked as an assistant to director, John Schultz on the Fox feature film They Came From Upstairs, and as a script coordinator for writer/actor/director Jada Pinkett-Smith on the project Human Contract. Today, Chuck is assisting Doug Ellin, executive producer, of the hit HBO comedy (and favorite TV show of President Obama), Entourage.
Throughout his rigorous employment in the industry, Chuck has managed to write both TV and feature projects that are garnering attention for him. He was recently hired to rewrite a comedy feature project for his former employers, State Street Pictures entitled, Market Phish. In addition he has written the comedies Potluck (based on his college misadventures) and The Socialite, with collaborator Dana Scanlon. On the small screen, Chuck has written a hilarious spec episode of the FX Network series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia as well as an irreverent scripted version of the HBO reality series Hard Knocks revolving around summer training camp for the Kansas City Chiefs. He has also written two original pilots: Sleep Away, about the wild and sexy exploits of teen and twenty-something counselors at a residential summer camp and 667 Hampton Street, a comedic look at a man returning home after ten years of captivity and finding that the perfect family he started has evolved into mostly intolerable assholes. He has also assembled a wildly funny sketch packet further displaying his twisted sense of humor.
Annie Hendy is the writer and star of “The Catholic Girl’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity.” The play first premiered at The Hudson Guild Theatre in Los Angeles. It next next traveled to the 2006 Cincinnati Fringe Festival, where it was chosen as both the Audience and Critic’s “Pick of the Fringe.” In addition it was nominated for two Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. Catholic Girls then performed at the Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for a run in January 2007 In January 2008 Catholic Girls opened at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles for an extended twelve week run and sold out performances. Catholic Girls was most recently produced by Gary Marshall at the Falcon Theatre February 2011 in Los Angeles.
Annie wrote the TV pilot “The George Clooney Manifesto” for FOX and 2OTH CENTURY FOX, produced by director Mark Waters. SUPERGRAVITY optioned her film “Always a Bridesmaid” written by Annie & Adam Aresty. She most recently wrote the film adaptation for Rachel Rennee Russell’s New York Times Bestselling Series “Dork Diaries” for LIONSGATE and SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT.
Annie grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where she received a B.F.A in Dramatic Performance and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Raised in the hills of Kentucky by a proud pack of gun toting wolves who were as romantic as they were tough, John Hensley developed a tenacious love of both adventure and storytelling at an early age. From Harold and Maude, to Alien, to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to Romeo and Juliet, John’s mother made sure that he was immersed in worlds that reached far beyond his own. From horseback riding, to hunting, to outdoor living, to developing a love for the written word, John’s father made sure he was primed to attack the world in front of him. Looking back, it seems inevitable that he would feel the pull of something greater and set out the moment he turned eighteen to wrangle horses in the mountains of Wyoming, and see what life on the road was all about. Satisfied with the cowboy lifestyle, but wanting more from life, it was off to New York (via too many twists and turns for a cute bio) to write plays. However, before he could become the next Sam Shepard, he started to get acting work on numerous television series and films. Though this quickly became his credited profession, he used his experiences on set to further develop his skillset as a complete storyteller. New York led to Los Angeles, where he has continued to work and reside ever since. A father, a husband, and every bit still a member of the pack that raised him, Hensley can be found most days sitting behind the computer screen working his fingers, or aboard his motorcycle, somewhere in the southern California mountains. Regardless of where you find him though, you can be damned sure that he’s welcoming the adventure to unfold, and for the story to be told.
That last sentence rhymed, by the way… you’re welcome.
Lorem Dipsum bio needed.VIEW ON COMIXOLOGY
J. HOLTHAM is a screenwriter, retired playwright and blogger. TV credits: PITCH (Fox), MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER (Freeform). He was a 2016 Humanitas New Voices Fellow. His screenplay Killers Anonymous was a finalist for the 2014 PAGE Screenwriting Award and the 2014 Final Draft Big Break Contest, as well as a finalist for the Writers Store’s Industry Insider Contest. His screenplay Hunter Lake was featured on The Black List website and was a semi-finalist for the 2015 Blue Cat Screenplay Contest. His writing on theatre, film, TV and culture has appeared in American Theatre, at the culture blog Parabasis, on Thrillist and Slate. He is a proud product of public education.
Katelyn Howes is an LA based award-winning writer and Emmy nominated documentarian. Her recent feature documentary TRANSFORMATION, about a group of at-risk and homeless transgender youth, premiered on MTV and received an Emmy nomination. An Atlanta native and alum of NYU, Katelyn’s projects have been recognized by BAFTA, the DGA, the WGA, Sundance, The BloodList, and Austin Film Festival. She has produced documentaries for PBS, Sony Pictures Classics, Showtime, A&E, MTV, and ESPN. Katelyn strives to tell stories that fight injustices, combat uninformed bias, and upend the status quo. She is represented by Gersh.
Andrew Hyatt is the award-winning writer/director of Paul, Apostle of Christ, Full of Grace, The Last Light, and The Frozen. Hyatt’s passion is in the creation of content that is deeply personal, seeking to tell stories that delve deeper into the drama of the human condition. Exploring good and evil, truth and beauty. Paul, Apostle of Christ was released by Sony Pictures and Affirm Films in 2018, starring Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner. The film was made for a modest budget of $5m and has grossed over $26.5m worldwide at the box office. Hyatt’s screenplay for the film was also novelized by New York Times bestselling author Angela Hunt and published by Bethany House Publishers. Hyatt’s film Full of Grace is the first film in history to focus on the final days of Mary of Nazareth. Released by Cinedigm in January of 2016, the film has been screened all around the world and praised for its unique insight into the humanity of often generically portrayed Biblical figures. Hyatt has been credited with paving the way towards a new genre of films termed “Sacred Art House”.
Hyatt has appeared in numerous national magazines, radio programs, and panels to discuss his approach on filmmaking. Full of Grace was the winner of ‘Best Screenplay’ at the 2015 John Paul II International Film Festival, and the winner of ‘Best Film’ at the 2016 Gabriel Awards. For Paul, Apostle of Christ, Hyatt was awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the National Catholic Museum of Art in Washington, DC and the film was nominated for ‘Most Inspirational Film’ at the 2018 GMA Dove Awards and ‘Most Inspiring Film’ at the 2019 MovieGuide Awards. Hyatt has also been selected to receive a prestigious Christopher Award in the Feature Film category at the 70th Annual Christopher Awards in 2019.
Hyatt began his filmmaking career in a variety of executive and creative roles and has been involved in feature films ranging in budget sizes from $150k to $150M along with numerous short form content and commercials. With Crystal Sky Pictures, Hyatt oversaw the development of several films including Neil Marshall’s Doomsday and as head of development for Mpower Pictures, Hyatt was instrumental in the development and production of multiple films including The Stoning of Soraya M. (winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival and winner of ‘Best Feature’ at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival).
Hyatt’s previous films include The Frozen, starring Brit Morgan (True Blood) and Noah Segan (Brick, Looper). The film was acquired by Arc Entertainment/ Ketchup Entertainment and was released in December 2012. Hyatt then went on to write/direct the mind-bending psychological thriller, The Last Light, starring Ed Quinn (Eureka), Jeff Fahey (Lawnmower Man, Machete) and Edward Furlong (Terminator 2, American History X). The film was the winner of the ‘Best Thriller Feature’ at the 2013 Shriekfest Film Festival and was acquired and released by Gravitas Ventures in 2014.
Hyatt is an alum of Loyola Marymount University. He is represented by Heroes and Villains Entertainment and Peter C. Sample at Jackoway Tyerman
Philippe Iujvidin is a Los Angeles native, having lived in and around the city his entire life — a claim that only he, Angelyne, and Dick Sargent can legally make (totally true; look it up). His parents were born in Argentina and moved to L.A. the day after they got married, in search of a better life for themselves, although he’s not really sure — he never really asked. Philippe was most recently a writer and producer for FXX’s critically-acclaimed You’re The Worst, having been with the show for the entirety of its 62-episode run. Philippe is a passionate sneakerhead, inventor of the word “foodie,” and totally made that last thing up.
Georgia Jeffries is a writer/producer of Emmy-winning drama and an author of contemporary fiction. Focusing on multi-dimensional characters who transcend cultural stereotypes, her critically acclaimed work – “devastating, standing ovation television” according to the L.A. Times – continues to contribute to the cutting edge. The first individual woman screenwriter to earn the WGA Award for Episodic Drama, Jeffries received the honor for her very first produced teleplay. She cracked the glass ceiling on the ground-breaking female-driven Cagney & Lacey and China Beach, the Peabody Award winner for its powerful depiction of the Vietnam War. After serving as a series showrunner, she created a dozen pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC and Showtime then went on to write and/or executive produce cable films for HBO, Showtime, USA and Lifetime, including the adaptation of the New York Times Notable Book, Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine, a 40-year family saga inspired by the aftermath of the Emmett Till tragedy. She has been honored with multiple Writers Guild Awards, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, the Humanitas Prize and the 2009-10 Women’s International Film & Television Showcase Screenwriter of the Year Award for her body of work. She is currently completing a novel based on her HBO teleplay, The Good Soldier, for Adaptive Books, the hardcover imprint of Adaptive Studios, producers of Project Greenlight (HBO) and Coin Heist (Netflix). She is also developing a mini-series based on the New York Times best-seller, ¬72 Hour Hold.
Munirah Safiyah Jones is a vivacious creative, born and raised in Memphis, TN. One of 10 children born to a factory worker father and an award-winning stage actress mother, Munirah has always had a talent for comedic writing, crafting compelling stories and willing a suspension of disbelief from an audience. She began exploring filmmaking as a teen, helming everything from short films to music videos, and went on to work in television news while attending the University of Memphis, where she earned her Bachelors in Communications with a concentration in Film and Video. She developed an explosive online presence with her animated viral video: “Dating in 2018 – How Men Communicate” – which she wrote, animated and voiced – and is quickly gaining an intrigued audience through her combination of live-action and animated short videos. She currently serves as Sr. Production Specialist for a billion-dollar financial services company based in New York, where she creates engaging videos for e-Learning courses, conferences, social media and the web.
As an only child in the rural mountains near Taos, New Mexico, Michael grew up creating stories and sharing them with the sagebrush. His love for drama was cultivated further at the North Carolina School for the Arts where he studied classical theatre. After a brief career as a stage actor, Michael came to realize that his true passion lies in the creation and exploration of characters’ stories rather than in the performance of them.
Since that time, Michael has endeavored to soak up as many stories as possible. He has taught English in Spain, spent two years on an Ambulance as an EMT, tended too many bars, and currently subsidizes his writing as a boutique wine broker.
He completed his studies at USC Film School, graduating ‘with distinction’ from the MFA program in Writing for Film and Television. Michael has worked for a number of production companies both re-writing existing material and creating original works to meet specific production needs. He recently completed his first TV Pilot and is hoping to establish a lasting career in both mediums.
A native of Wayland, Massachusetts, Michael Kaplan wrote plays and musicals throughout high school and at Princeton University, where he attended college. Upon graduation he moved to New York where a number of his plays received productions and staged readings, primarily at The Ensemble Studio Theatre, where he is a member.
For the past twenty-plus years, he has lived in Los Angeles, working as a television writer and producer on a total of twelve different prime time shows for ABC, NBC, FOX and UPN, including “Herman’s Head,” “Girlfriends” and two of television’s most respected comedies, “Roseanne,” and “Frasier.” For his work on the latter, he received an Emmy award, as a member of the producing staff, for Outstanding Comedy Series.
For the past seven years he has created shows and served as showrunner for the Disney Channel and Disney XD, starting with “I’m in the Band” on XD and followed by “Dog with a Blog” on Disney Channel. As Executive Producer of the latter, he has received three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Children’s Program.
He is the author of five children’s books published by Dial Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Penguin) . They are: “Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake,” “Betty Bunny Wants Everything,” “Betty Bunny Didn’t Do it,” “Betty Bunny Wants a Goal,” and “Betty Bunny Loves Easter.”
Zack Kaplan grew up as a Jewish fish-out-of-water in the Baptist Bible Belt of North Florida. There, he found a love of all things movies, TV, comics and video games. Storytelling came naturally, and he followed that passion by studying theatrical playwriting at GWU. He ultimately earned a Masters in Screenwriting from USC.
Afterwards, he lived for a year in the Philippines, teaching screenwriting/film at the International Academy of Film & TV and writing film and TV projects for Bigfoot Entertainment. Upon returning stateside, he spent his days helping students prep their college apps and his nights dealing poker at Hollywood Park Casino.
Then, his feature film spec THE GREAT TRAIN ADVENTURE with writing partner Graham Funke hit the town as a hot spec and a Final Draft Big Break finalist. He went on to collaborated on the feature film adaptation of the 1980s hit anime show THE MYSTERIOUS CITIES OF GOLD with director Raphael Benoliel and industry-renowned story consultant Michael Hauge. Currently, Zack is fulfilling a life-long dream and writing his first comic book, ECLIPSE, a sci-fi thriller with Top Comic Productions. He is also pitching TV projects with TV writing partner Graham Funke. Zack loves world-building concepts that connect to universal human dilemmas and explore thoughtful commentary on society.
He is also a new father.
Luke is an Executive Producer and Showrunner on Pop’s half-hour comedy series, “Hot Date,” and the Executive Producer and Head of Development at Electus’s comedy studio, Big Breakfast. He is also the Creator and Executive Producer of “I Want My Phone Back,” a comedy game show on Facebook’s Watch platform that Paste Magazine named one of the best digital series of 2016, and a Consulting Producer on Disney’s “Bizaardvark,” and truTV’s upcoming animated series “Adam Ruins Everthing, ReAnimated History.” His first feature, “Connected,” is currently in development with Chris and Paul Weitz’s Depth of Field.
Ryan King grew up in Austin and Round Rock, TX, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and daughter. His screenplay Black Flies, based on the novel by Shannon Burke about his experiences as a paramedic in 1990’s Harlem, was selected for the 2018 Black List and will go into production in the summer of 2019. He’s also developing a noir/mystery/sci-fi series for AMC based on the Blown Away comics by Alyssa Varner. As a playwright, he’s been a member of the Ars Nova Playgroup, the Primary Stages Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Working Farm @ SPACE on Ryder Farm, and the Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group. His plays have been developed by Cape Cod Theatre Project (twice), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Naked Angels, Rattlestick Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Colt Coeur, Primary Stages, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ars Nova, Theater of NOTE, Tofte Lake Emerging Artists Program, and Ground Up Productions, and his short play Antares Returning was produced as part of Fit Club’s 2017 Spring Fling festival and nominated for Best Short Play by the NY Innovative Theatre Awards. As an actor, he has appeared regionally and Off-Broadway at theaters including the Atlantic Theater Company, Second Stage, Clubbed Thumb, PS 122, HERE Arts Center, Barrington Stage, Hartford Stage, Studio Theater, and the Huntington Theater. Education: Yale School of Drama and the University of Texas at Austin.
Phinneas Kiyomura is a screenwriter, playwright, actor, director and painter and grew up in various parts of Southern California. Before he was officially writing he placed third in Klasky Csupo’s Script Writing Competition. Since then, he has had plays produced at various theatres in Los Angeles and taken part in Film Independent’s Screenwriters Lab (2006). LA Weekly has called his work, “tough, and cruelly funny… with an honesty that might be called full frontal“ and VARIETY called him “an impressively original voice“.
He loves the Sopranos, the plays of Harold Pinter, the movies of Woody Allen, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Mike Nichols, and Robert Altman, and the ghosts of Ghostbusters (he would give anything to work with Bill Murray). He lives in Los Angeles with his actor/chef wife and their future president daughter.
Grant Kolton is a Writer, Director, and animator primarily working in traditional 2d animation. His work includes projects for Pepsi, Bleacher Report, Snoop Dogg, Cage The Elephant, My Morning Jacket, and more. Grant’s recent animated short “By the Name of Boston” played at over 20 festivals internationally where it picked up a few awards and nominations, it continues to screen on various best of fest touring circuits across Europe and the US. His new short “City Dwellers” was co-produced by Sony Pictures Animation and Frederator and will premiere Fall of 2017 on Cartoon Hangover as a part of their “Go! Cartoons” collection. Grant is currently serving as Chief Animator for Circa News where he writes, animates, directs, and sometimes voices original satirical/pop culture shorts on a monthly basis. To view some of his work visit www.grantkolton.com
Eva Konstantopoulos recently adapted her horror novella HUSH into a feature which was financed by Catalyst Global Media and filmed in Scotland, directed by Olaf de Fleur. It is currently in post-production. She also wrote, directed and produced an award-winning short film, RE/COLLECTION, that premiered at the Sun Valley Film Festival in March 2017. Eva‘s fiction has been published in Staccato Fiction, The Salt River Review, 322 Review, and SLAB, among others, and she received an Equivocality Writer’s Travel Scholarship to Thailand for her latest novella, East of Nowhere. Most recently, Eva has written freelance episodes of Disney Junior’s hit shows Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins.
Jen Lance and Max Lance are a husband-and-wife writing team who won the Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting with their feature, THE QUEEN OF SLEAZE. Two years earlier, they reached the finals of the fellowship with a different script, BEST FUNERAL EVER.
Jen is a dual Canadian-American writer, actress and dancer who grew up performing in the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Originally from Victoria, B.C. and Seattle, WA, Jen’s theater credits include appearances in The New York Fringe Festival, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Los Angeles Theater Ensemble and L.A. Opera. She has been recognized in NPR, Backstage and L.A. Weekly. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Reel Film Festival, Park City Film Festival and can be seen on Netflix.
Max’s collection of bad date stories, CRAZY GIRLS, was an Amazon bestseller. His pilot, LET’S GO BUFFALO, was a finalist for the PAGE screenplay competition. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Hollywood Reporter and ABC’s 20/20, and he created the web series, High School Summary, with his brother. He also worked in production and development for 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Montecito Picture Company.
Max and Jen met as volunteers with Young Storytellers, a non-profit that teaches screenwriting to 5th grade students. They are avid travelers, hikers, and worthy board game opponents who have recently welcomed the arrival of their first daughter.
Tracie Laymon studied Film at the University of Texas, interned for Richard Linklater’s Detour Filmproduction, and worked as a photojournalist for Time Warner.
Norman Lesperance is a Canadian-American screenwriter and director. Lesperance is best known for his screenwriting work on the upcoming feature film MORTAL (currently in post-production), directed by Andre Ovredal and produced by Brian Kavanaugh-Jones. He also recently adapted the novel CHILDREN OF PARANOIA for CBS Films.
Lesperance has won several screenwriting awards and has been optioned multiple times — including his screenplay, THE HALLOWEEN STORY — which was picked up by eOne Entertainment. Lesperance is an award-winning filmmaker as well. His first feature, the indie psychological thriller DOOR TO THE OTHER SIDE (2017), was released on VOD and DVD through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. He also penned and produced the indie crime thriller LOOKING FOR LIONS, which was nominated for best feature at the Austin Film Festival in 2014.
He has worked extensively in the development process with several producers and executives from eOne to Mandalay Pictures to Broken Road Productions, covering a wide range of genres from horror to action to fantasy and science fiction. He is at his best when creating worlds. They can be worlds for children discovering themselves through their fantasies or they can be worlds for adults trying to make sense of injustices they witness or experience in their lives.
Lesperance studied cinema at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara where he developed a love for storytelling through both motion and still images. Along with his success in film, his photos have won awards in a variety of art shows and competitions. Lesperance also has a passion for travel. He loves to see new worlds as much as he loves creating them.
Jennifer is an accomplished playwright whose honors include the Stanley Drama Award, Showtime’s Tony Cox Award, the Fund for New American Plays Award, PEN West Finalist (twice) and the Charlotte Woolard Award for Most Promising New Voice in American Theatre from the Kennedy Center. Jennifer was also shortlisted (top ten) for the Pulitzer prize for Drama for her play THERE OR HERE, which is currently under option for a London premiere. Her film and TV projects include an animated feature for Disney as well as pilots and television movies for ABC, NBC, Freeform, Lifetime and MTV. Jennifer received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently teaches a course in playwriting at USC.
Michael Markowitz is an Emmy-nominated TV and film writer, as well as a dedicated Xboxist. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Theatre Program, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He appeared (so briefly) in the films THE FLAMINGO KID and LAST RESORT. Then Mike moved back to Chicago, and was studying and performing at Chicago’s famed Second City Training Center when his writing caught the attention of Paramount’s Jeff Reno & Ron Osborn, who brought him back to L.A. (first class!) to be a staff writer on “Duckman.” By the end of the show’s 70-episode run Mike was one of the showrunners.
Mike continued on at Paramount, where he wrote and produced television shows like “Becker” — in fact exactly like “Becker” — and then developed pilots for BGE and Sony. The sale of his spec screenplay HORRIBLE BOSSES launched his screenwriting career and earned him an American Comedy Award nomination. For the last few years he has been developing TV, film and interactive projects with Bad Robot, and he is currently co-executive producer of the CBS show “Friends With Better Lives.”
Maggie Marr began her entertainment career as a motion picture literary agent at ICM. In 2005 her book Hollywood Girls Club sold in a major two book deal to Random House. In 2007 Hollywood Girls Club arrived on shelves to rave reviews and was followed in 2008 by Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club. Maggie also wrote the spec pilots Daughters and Sexology. She just completed her two latest manuscripts: In The Heart of Tulsa and her first young adult novel Time Out Tate Springer. The Apology Expert, a romantic comedy written with her co-writer Mike McCafferty is currently out to Rachel McAdams.
Maggie has her law degree and before moving to Los Angeles she was first a guardian-ad-litem for abused children in Cook County and then a prosecutor in domestic violence. Maggie is married and has two daughters.
Fun Fact: Liz was conceived in a trailer park!
Gregg is a film and television writer/producer… And supermodel (sans the supermodel part). An Air Force Brat living overseas in his youth (which he still totally exudes btw), Gregg’s student films reflected his adept instincts for IP — “The Third Encounter” and “Charlie’s Angels in High School” among them. (And let’s not pretend that last one couldn’t totally fly today.) Along with Gregg’s early action (“Epicenter”) and horror projects (“Puppet Master Number Something-Or-Other”), Gregg also indulged in feel-good romps (yes, *romps*) with a sharp edge. And sometimes a softer edge. Gregg’s Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, “A Heavenly Christmas,” premiered to the highest ratings for an original movie in the history of the Hallmark Channel. Formerly weighing in at over 450 pounds (excess weight he lost the old fashioned way — through diet and exercise), Gregg has made multiple appearances on the “Today” show and is the author of the books “Weightless” and “Just Stop Eating So Much.” He is also a featured blogger for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post.
Elle McLeland is a writer from Amarillo, Texas (the place with the big steak). Her work is comedy, at least she thinks so, and frequently focuses on female-led stories, transgender and queer perspectives on family, and tales rooted in absurdism. She studied classical music and broadcast news at the University of North Texas, then lived between Singapore and New York for two years while earning her MFA in writing from NYU Tisch. She’s an occasional stand-up comic, an avid reader, and a casual bassoonist.
Elle moved to Los Angeles after grad school. In addition to tutoring rich children, delivering junk mail, and writing fake Yelp reviews, she worked various jobs on The Catch (ABC), SMILF (Showtime), and Transparent (Amazon) to pay the bills and buy groceries twice a year.
Elle’s currently a staff writer on Transparent, where she gets to eat candy, write about her feelings, and cry all day. It’s a dream come true.
Author, screenwriter and video game designer Jordan Mechner has created games including Prince of Persia, Karateka, and The Last Express.
In 2010, Jordan became the first game creator to adapt his own work as a feature film screenwriter with Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It is the highest-grossing video game-based movie to date. Prince of Persia is now a global franchise with graphic novels, toys, LEGO sets, and over 20 million video games sold.
Most recently, Jordan wrote the New York Times best-selling, Eisner award-nominated graphic novel Templar, illustrated by LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland.
Jordan wrote and directed the documentary film Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story, awarded Best Short Documentary of 2003 by the IDA and short-listed for an Academy Award nomination. He has published his game development journals from the 1980s as a book, The Making of Prince of Persia. More at http://jordanmechner.com.
Justin Michael is a comedian, writer / director, and voice actor.
He’s written / directed for Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Funny or Die, Audible and Above Average. He co-created the Annie nominated stop-motion series Friendship All-Stars of Friendship with L Studio and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, as well as the short Monster Island
Recent acting credits include Season 2 of The UCB Show, Netflix’s Buddy Thunderstruck, Amazon’s Danger & Eggs, and Adult Swim’s upcoming OMG! Earth. You can see him every Friday night at UCB Franklin with the improv group Winslow and in his science-fiction sketch show with Jace Armstrong, Fear the Hypercube.
Recent acting credits include Season 2 of The UCB Show, Netflix’s Buddy Thunderstruck, Amazon’s Danger & Eggs, and Adult Swim’s upcoming OMG! Earth. You can see him every Friday night at UCB Franklin with the improv group Winslow and in his science-fiction sketch show with Jace Armstrong, Fear the Hypercube.
Recent acting credits include Season 2 of The UCB Show, Netflix’s Buddy Thunderstruck, Amazon’s Danger & Eggs, and Adult Swim’s upcoming OMG! Earth. You can see him every Friday night at UCB Franklin with the improv group Winslow and in his science-fiction sketch show with Jace Armstrong, Fear the Hypercube.
Hailing from New York and Connecticut, Bob and Todd met freshman year of high school as two awkward, crackly-voiced pimpled teens. In a strategic move not to get beat up or picked on, they forged a friendship that would span over two decades. Along the way, Bob helped Todd write a short screenplay to submit as an application to film school, they took a few film classes together, and a garage band was even formed. That band would only play one show at a high school graduation party to an audience of three (including Todd’s mom). Sadly the band broke up, but t-shirts and mix-tapes are still for sale.
Todd moved to LA in 2001, and worked in story development at places such as Universal Pictures, Seed Entertainment (Hugh Jackman), and Madhouse Studios. Bob, on the other hand, decided to pursue a career in corporate sales where he made a lot more money than Todd. But something was missing… a creative something. Having moved to Southern California, Bob approached Todd, and with Bob’s relentless persistence, they finally decided to pick up where they left off. The two now work as a writing team with a focus on action-driven material, and represented by management firm, Heroes and Villains Entertainment.
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.
John Bailey Owen has written Disney XD, Cartoon Network, and Warner Brothers. Outside of television, he’s the author of kids series for Scholastic and best-selling parodies of the Hunger Games and Twilight. He contributes humor to the New Yorker and was an editor of the Harvard Lampoon.
Hye Yun is an actor, writer, filmmaker, who has written and performed in several short films and created 2 seasons of the award winning web series HEY YUN. When not making videos, she is clowning around town or acting in other people’s films. Park’s new web series BKPI (produced by Super Deluxe) is a dramedy about 3 women vigilante investigators in Brooklyn.
Christopher Oscar Peña is a writer originally from California, now residing in Harlem and LA. Selected plays: a cautionary tail, maelstrom, icarus burns, alone above a raging sea, TINY PEOPLE (or it gets better), and awe/struck. His work has been developed or seen at the Goodman Theater, Public Theater, Two River Theater, INTAR, Ontological Hysteric Incubator, Playwrights Realm, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Old Vic, Theater For a New City, Orchard Project, Naked Angels, The Flea Theater and New York Theatre Workshop, among many others. He’s the creator and co-star of the webseries 80/20, which was selected for the 2015 Outfest Los Angeles Web Series: In With the New Out, was an Official Selection for the 2013 New Media Film Festival, and won the 2013 Outstanding Achievement in writing from LAWEBFEST. His play, a cautionary tail had its world premiere at the Flea Theater in Tribeca where it sold out every performance in advance and was twice extended. A two time Sundance Institute Theater Fellow (2015 Theater Lab Fellow with awe/struck, 2014 UCross Fellow), he has also held fellowships with the Lark Play Development Center (2014 Playwrights Workshop Fellow, 2012-2013 Van Lier Fellow) was a recipient of the Latino Playwrights Award (Kennedy Center), an NYTW Emerging Artist Fellow, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, and was a part of the US/UK Exchange (Old Vic New Voices). His work is published through NoPassport Press and Smith and Kraus. Currently, he is working on commissions from the Goodman Theater, The Clarence Brown Theatre and Yale Rep. He’s a proud member of New Dramatists, an Artistic Patriot at Merrimack Rep, was named one of “The 1st Annual Future Broadway Power List” by Backstage, and was a writer on the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe nominated, debut season of the CW show, Jane the Virgin. He teaches playwriting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is represented by Heroes and Villains and CAA. B.A. UC Santa Barbara – M.F.A. NYU/Tisch
Will Penick graduated with a BFA from Carnegie Mellon Acting school then moved to New York where he worked as a professional actor for six years. After one winter too many and wanting to give himself a bad back and spare-tire, Will began to write. He decided to move to Los Angeles and started working with his old friend but now second wife, Chris Sey, and together they have sold and developed projects for both film and television. Their first spec script, “Drury Lane,” was bought by MGM for the re-tooling of the comedy horror film, “Motel Hell.” Other film credits and developments include: “Wireless,” with Intrepid Pictures and Rogue Entertainment, “Secrets in the Walls” and “Line of Sight,” for the Lifetime Television Network, “It’s Christmas, Carol!” for the Hallmark Channel. In 2012, they sold the pitch, “Legal Code” to Liftetime with ABC Studios producing. Their spec, “Hellfest,” recently sold to CBS Films with Neil Marshall (The Descent) attached to direct.
Chris graduated a long time ago from Stanford University with a B.A. in Art History for some unknown reason. After writing half-a-dozen cruddy screenplays, he partnered with a friend of a friend of a friend, Will Penick. For the past seven years, Chris and Will have been writing together with the hopes of one day getting along. Their first joint effort, Drury Lane, was a comedy-horror movie purchased by MGM. Since then they’ve with Intrepid Pictures, Rogue, Valhalla Entertainment, and other production entities. Their spec, Hellfest, recently sold to CBS Films with horror-master Neil Marshall (The Descent) attached to direct.
Chris and Will have had two made-for-TV movies produced: Secrets in the Walls, for LMN, and It’s Christmas, Carol! for the Hallmark Channel. In 2012, they sold a pitch called Legal Code to Liftetime with ABC Studios producing and Robbie Duncan McNeil (EP Chuck) attached to Direct. They are currently repped by RBK.
Chris moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2012 with his incredible wife and three young boys and will never move again. In fact he feels so at home in L.A., he’s convinced he was actually born here, abducted as a baby and then transported to Philadelphia where he spent his youth being raised by misanthropes.
An award-winning director, writer, and producer, Marcus is currently the Vice President of Worldwide Creative Content for Paramount Pictures. He has spent over a decade creating genre projects and commercials for leading production companies and advertising firms, and working with superstars ranging from Common and John Legend to Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise. Marcus’ clients include Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Dreamworks Animation, Nickelodeon Films, EA Games, MTV Networks, ESPN, Comedy Central, Vevo, and A&E Network. His work has screened everywhere from Good Morning America to the Super Bowl, been viewed more than 200 million times online, and won numerous Key Art Awards for excellence in entertainment marketing.
In addition to his short-form work, Marcus has written the action-thriller feature films INTERPOL (The Weinstein Company) and SMALL GODS (Distilled Media/Voltage Pictures), and is attached to direct the horror feature RAGER (Meta Films). He is also the creator of the comic book series DESCENDANT (Image Comics), ALBERT EINSTEIN: TIME MASON (Tiny Donkey), RAZOR SHARP (After Hours Press) and the upcoming graphic novel CHROMA.
A Texas native, Marcus graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a degree in film production. His portfolio of work can be found here: https://vimeo.com/marcusperry
Duane began his career in production as a television commercial PA for Mattel Toys in 1995. He then transitioned to market research viabilities as a tape operator and soon began directing. Working with brands while in the early stages of product development he gained invaluable experience as he learned on set how to best film toys to highlight features. From there he branched out further into the toy industry and began writing, producing, and directing sizzles for companies including Spinmaster, Jakks Pacific, and MGA Entertainment.
In 2006 he combined his toy experience and passion for storytelling to collaborate with Renegade 83 and create an original pilot for Comedy Central called “Hollywood Angels”. A parody poking fun at the absurdity of celebrity, “Hollywood Angels” required creating original celebrity dolls specifically for the show. Duane oversaw all aspects of production including set and doll design, and acted as writer, producer, director, VO talent, and hand model.
Known for their success in unscripted programming, Duane created and developed several unscripted projects during his time working with Renegade 83. He soon created original concepts that lead to development deals with other notable unscripted television production companies including Relativity Real/The Jay & Tony Show (Gigolos), Eyeworks/3Ball (Splash), Mindcrime (Pimp My Ride), and Irwin Entertainment (Celebrity Rehab).
It was also around this time that he ventured into children’s entertainment and co-created an original concept including artwork and character design for an animated TV show called “P.I. Pottomus”. This led to meetings with Disney and ultimately a development deal with Warner Brothers Animation.
Duane continues to create scripted and unscripted TV concepts. He has also written several feature spec scripts that have led to writing assignments and continues to work in the toy industry as a television commercial director for brands including WWE, Batman v Superman, Justice League Action, Nintendo, Cars 3, and Max Cliff Climber.
In 2018, Nicolas’ feature screenplay, El Camino, won Final Draft’s Big Break diversity category and was a top 8 finalist (among 7,000) for the overall prize. His screenplays have also reached: the finals of the Alfred P. Sloan Grant, the semifinals of the Humanitas Carol Mendelsohn Drama Fellowship, and the semifinals of the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, among others.
His short film, Beyond Goldenhill, which he wrote and directed, premiered at the Weyauwega International Film Festival in 2015 to strong reviews.
Alston Ramsay was a speechwriter in Washington, D.C., prior to moving to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking. He has written for and been a senior advisor to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, General David Petraeus, and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. In those roles, he traveled to more than three dozen countries on behalf of the U.S. government and spent a year in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he ran the commanding general’s writing team at the peak of the war. Following that, he earned an M.B.A. from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and worked in management consulting and as a sales and marketing executive at a start-up.
His feature-length film Midnighters, which he wrote and produced, premiered at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival and was recently released by IFC. It currently holds a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
When he’s not busy looking for new script ideas to write and produce, Alston is taking landscape photos in the dead of night, perfecting his award-winning chili recipe, and obsessively hitting refresh on UNC basketball forums.
JULIUS RAMSAY is a director of many critically-acclaimed TV series, and most recently directed an episode of Syfy’s epic new series KRYPTON for David Goyer’s Phantom Four and Warner Horizon. In June, he’ll direct an episode of The Purge for Blumhouse and NBC Universal for USA. He made his feature film directorial debut in 2018 with MIDNIGHTERS, a taut, complex psychological thriller set on New Year’s Eve that premiered to rave reviews at the Los Angeles Film Festival and won the Ravenna Film Festival. MIDNIGHTERS was distributed by IFC in 2018 and currently holds a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Previously, Julius directed multiple episodes of THE WALKING DEAD, the highest rated series in the history of basic cable. He also directed episodes of OUTCAST for Cinemax and SCREAM for The Weinstein Co & MTV. Julius has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy awards for his work as an editor on such groundbreaking series as ALIAS and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
David Reed grew up without cable, but still turned out all right. After completing nearly half of a computer science degree, he realized that programming computers is way less interesting than watching them turn evil and murder people on television. With that in mind, he set off with his then-girlfriend for Los Angeles, where he got his break working on Battlestar Galactica, subsequently writing the comic book miniseries Battlestar Galactica: Final Five. Since then, he has branched out from robot mayhem to general mayhem, writing the Syfy Original Movies Lake Placid 3, Lake Placid: The Final Chapter, and The Boogeyman, along with the stories for the Supernatural episodes “Hammer of the Gods,” and “You Can’t Handle the Truth,” several Supernatural tie-in novels, and the feature adaptation of the video game Company of Heroes for Sony/THQ.
HI, I’M RANSOM, and I like to tell stories. Sometimes I tell them with words, sometimes with pictures, often with both. I grew up on a farm on the Eastern shore of Maryland and also in a little house by the beach in Englewood, Florida where I got very tan and swam every day until I became half fish. I started writing stories when I was young, on an old typewriter that jammed and longhand on legal pads. When I was a little older I got a camera for Christmas and became obsessed with photography, and when I was a little older still my friends and I came into possession of a half-broken video camera and began to make our own movies, starring ourselves, using our bedrooms and backyards for sets. I have loved writing stories and taking photographs and making movies ever since, and have endeavored to do all three. AFTER HIGH SCHOOL I WENT TO KENYON COLLEGE, a very pretty and quite old by American standards college in rural Ohio, where I studied literature and got a degree in English. Then I fulfilled a long-held dream and went to film school at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I’d been making films since the backyard-masterpiece days of my childhood, but at USC I learned how to make them bigger and better and shiny-looking. I graduated with what I thought was a pretty slick thesis film under my arm and went out into the world to conquer the film festival circuit and then Hollywood — or at least that was the plan, though it didn’t quite work out that way. I spent a few years writing scripts and taking meetings and getting not very far, trying any way I could to get noticed. All the while I was writing: for five years I had a gig as a daily blogger for mentalfloss.com, and I also wrote for their magazine, contributed to a few books they published through Harpercollins, and wrote for a couple of other publications here and there, as well.
ALL OF WHICH TURNED INTO AN OPPORTUNITY to do some work for a small publisher who knew my editors at mentalfloss. That was Quirk Books, who asked me if I was interested in writing a book about Sherlock Holmes for them. I jumped at the opportunity. That was The Sherlock Holmes Handbook. Next came Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, born out of my love for vintage photography and bizarro stories, and I never looked back. I still love movies and I still make short films (here are some recent ones) and one day I will make a feature — when the time and the material are right. These days, though, I’m loving being a novelist, a photo collector, and an occasional short filmmaker. I live in Los Angeles with my wife, the lovely and talented Tahereh Mafi — who is also a writer, and if you haven’t read her lovely and exciting Shatter Me books you’re missing out — and we type and travel and drink tea together and it’s really quite wonderful.
Whenever someone asked him the inevitable question, “So where are you from?” Enio always had the same thought: “It’s complicated.”
In America, where he was born, he was known as “the Brazilian kid”. In Brazil, where his parents had immigrated from, he was “the gringo”. In his hometown of Glencoe, he was “the neighborhood goy”. In Syracuse, where he went to college, he was “Jewish, right?” In film school, his classmates called him “frat-boy”. In the frat house, he was “the arty one”. And while his mother claimed she was descended from a long line of Lebanese nomads, his father sent him off to find his Italian famiglia, who affectionately dubbed him “Enio Antonio Rigolin Da Venezia.”
For an American-Italian-Lebanese kid raised in a Jewish neighborhood by Brazilian Catholics, pursuing a career in anything but the movies made about as much sense as identifying himself with just one culture.
Growing up on the fringes gave Enio two options: He could turn inward and go crazy… or look outward and write down every crazy-ass thing he saw.Thankfully, he chose the latter.
J. EDWARD Ritchie is a screenwriter/novelist specializing in world creation and action epics. A fan of all things genre from films to comics to video games, his work explores the intricate, primal balance between good and evil. He is dedicated to writing stories that embody the fantastical and uncompromising entertainment that has inspired his career.
Fall from Grace, his debut novel, tells the cosmic tragedy of the war in Heaven. Two brothers, Michael and Satanail, are thrust to opposite sides of Creation’s first conflict that cleaves a deadly schism between the family of angels. But beneath the harrowing brutality and loss of warfare is an universal message of hope and brotherhood. He currently resides in Cape Cod, MA with his wife and dog.
Since beginning her writing career in 2014, Rosalind wrote LIONESS, which attracted Reed Morano to direct and Ellen Page to star, BARBARIAN, and original screenplay which made the 2016 Black List and has Atlas Entertainment attached to produce with Miguel Sapochnik attached to direct, and the limited series BASS, set up at Dimension Television with David Oyelowo attached to star and Anthony Hemingway attached to direct.
In 2017, she adapted the WWII novel HELL FROM THE HEAVENS for Hollywood Gang, which has Mel Gibson attached to direct and Mark Wahlberg attached to star. The film is slated to begin production in early 2019. She also wrote BARBIE AND RUTH for Bold Films with Reese Witherspoon attached to star, as well as TRAIL OF TEARS for Oscar nominated producer Robbie Brenner, and BLACK SAM, for Casey Affleck.
Rosalind grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and headed east after high school, graduating from Emerson College with a degree in writing and literature with an emphasis on historical nonfiction. She is a former world champion in the sport of equestrian vaulting, a combination of dance, theater and acrobatics on horseback, and holds the most team World Championship medals of any American female.
Joel owes his breakthrough to the cute towhead above, which came none too soon as the duo were living in a converted laundry room when Disney saw a movie in this father-son drama.
Hired to script his challenging paternal tale, Joel went on to direct the movie (NAILED) starring Harvey Keitel as his dad.
It was another Disney flick, FULL COURT MIRACLE, which airs every Christmas, that earned Joel WGA and Humanitas nominations for Best Screenplay.
This determined dad, an Ironman Triathlon finisher, has gone on to sell scripts to nearly every studio, including UNDEFEATED to Universal, LIBERTY to Fox 2000, ANATOMY OF A MISFIT to Paramount, WILL to Screen Gems, LADY IN THE LOCKER ROOM to CBS Films, CURVE to MGM and MIAMI’S DOLPHIN to Disney.
Joel’s script THE LIBRARIAN attracted Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden to star, and the film enjoyed a recent theatrical run, critic Rex Reed praising his screenplay as “touching.”
On the TV end, Joel teamed with Don Cheadle to sell the series MARCH TO MADNESS to F/X.
The Queens, New York native began his writing career as a sportswriter for newspapers including The Washington Post before switching to hard news, earning an Associated Press Award as a cops and courts reporter.
A proud University of Virginia grad, Joel is prouder of his “Heir” Jordan’s stellar high school basketball career and academic scholarship to college.
David Singer is a filmmaker, writer, composer and musician based in Chicago. His debut short Advantage: Weinberg was selected for the prestigious Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival and received prizes at major festivals across the US. He is currently in post production on his first feature, Imperfections, starring Virginia Kull, Zach McGowan, Ed Begley, Jr., and Marilu Henner.
David is also a celebrated musician and composer, having scored projects including Broadway’s August: Osage County (winner of five Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize) and last year’s critically acclaimed revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd. His five solo LPs have found their way onto the Albums of the Year lists of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, No Depression, Huffington Post, and the prestigious Village Voice “Pazz & Jop” poll. Greg Kot of NPR’s Sound Opinions describes David as “one of the city’s most evolved pop craftsmen of the last decade.”
Currently serving as Story Editor for Season 2 of Nat Geo’s Emmy-Nominated anthology series GENIUS, Stephanie recently completed work on Season 1 of Amazon’s epic fantasy series CARNIVAL ROW. She’s also set to create and Executive Produce the television series adaptation of Linda Sargent’s feminist sci-fi classic, THE SHORE OF WOMEN, for SuperDeluxe, and is adapting Amber Smith’s critically heralded New York Times Bestselling novel THE WAY I USED TO BE for Film Roman as part of their Just Think slate of films. Stephanie got her start in television in 2007, when her branded, mixed-media series IRIS EXPANDING sold to The CW, and she has since written pilots for Fox Television Studios, CBS Television Studios and Legendary Television as well as developing original and adapted series with companies like Atlas, Avalon, Occupant, and Jaffe/Braunstein, for networks including USA, Showtime and ABC Family (now Freeform). Additional credits include the web series CHALET GIRLS for Michael Eisner’s Vuguru and a 2016 feature film adaptation of National Book Award Finalist Laurie Halse Anderson’s acclaimed novel THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY.
Angela is a comedy writer, performer and marketing/social media director based in New York City. She wrote jokes for season 5 of TruTV’s show Billy on the Street and is a story producer on the upcoming Seriously TV show starring comedian Scott Rogowsky. As a marketing director she’s done everything from plan a prom for privileged preschoolers to promoting a band comprised solely of singing gynecologists. She studied sketch comedy at the Peoples Improv Theater. Her training in the first ever Murderfist workshop, “How To Make A Million Dollars Doing Sketch Comedy,” is where she learned the recipe for fake blood, combined with a childhood love of The Carol Burnett Show, results in what some might call a unique comedic sensibility. Previous relationships, disappointments, and makeouts include: a fisherman, a part-time professor, a production assistant, a state park employee, an accountant, a veterinarian, the guy that played Jesus in her high school production of Godspell, several stand-ups, and one guy who identified as a “revolutionary.” She’s been told on Tinder that she’s “not naughty enough,” which she agrees is accurate.
Chelsea Stardust has been a horror fan since the age of 10 when her father showed her George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Tod Browning’s Dracula. When she wasn’t racing sled dogs in the snowy Midwest, Chelsea consumed all the cinema she could get her hands on. In high school she attended night classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she assisted filmmaker Robert Banks Jr. in shooting Super 8 experimental horror films. Robert also introduced her to films like Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes.
After high school, Chelsea attended Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College School of Film program where she focused on Directing. Upon graduating, Chelsea moved to sunny Los Angeles to pursue her filmmaking dreams. After working for comedy legends Ivan Reitman and Judd Apatow, Chelsea found her horror home at Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, Whiplash) where she served as the executive assistant to Jason Blum for several years.
In 2010 Chelsea completed a horror-themed photography series titled MISFITS AND MURDERERS, which can be found on her website (http://chelseastardust.com).
In 2012 Chelsea independently produced the horror film Ritual, which Lionsgate’s After Dark Films purchased for distribution. It can be found on DVD and all digital platforms. Chelsea most recently released two short films on Crypt TV and is currently putting the finishing touches on a gore-soaked photography series titled Bye Bye Mr. Goodbar. She is repped by United Talent Agency and Heroes and Villains Entertainment.
Since the start of his film career at George Lucas’ famed SKYWALKER RANCH, Peter S has had a front row seat to the crafting of Hollywood blockbusters by the modern masters of cinema. While sitting through what he calls “a decade of dailies” with the likes of James Cameron and George Lucas, he studied each director’s approach to storytelling. Peter contributed as an artist and technician to the legendary franchises of HARRY POTTER, SHREK, STAR WARS and ICE AGE, but it was not until his time on AVATAR that he felt he was ready to leave the trenches of digital production, for the challenges of writing and directing. A string of award-winning short films followed, including the festival favourites, COLOURBLEED and OUR LADY OF LOURDES, showcasing his ability to blend emotional story-telling with arresting imagery. As a first generation Pole, raised in Chicago, Peter balances the DIY spirit of American filmmaking, with the intellect and restraint more characteristic of European cinema. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is managing director of Light + Mathematics, a film and animation production company.
Matthew Thompson is a television writer and producer whose credits include “My Name is Earl”, “Raising Hope” and “Graves”. In addition to writing professionally for ten years, he’s also worked as a script consultant, helping to improve dozens of pilots and spec scripts. In his spare time he’s a college professor, an Emmy-nominated songwriter, and a “Best Dad” nominated father. He also often writes about himself in third person.
Kate is a bi-costal writer/performer. Writing credits: GREEN EGGS AND HAM (Netflix) CORPORATE (Comedy Central). Her pilot SANDYISM, which she co-wrote with Olivia Dufault (PREACHER), is being produced by Likely Story. Her pilot GENIUS GIRLS is being produced by Red Hour and in development at TBS.
As an actor, Kate will appear in THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOY w/ John Turturro (K. Period Media), CORPORATE, HIGH MAINTENANCE w/ Hannibal Buress (HBO). Recent theater: WOLF IN THE RIVER (written and directed by Adam Rapp, at the Flea Theater). Kate is also a frequent actor at The Lark, and has acted in and developed work at Playwrights Horizons, Vineyard Theater, HERE Arts, TheaterworksUSA, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
In addition to Heroes and Villains Entertainment, she is also repped by UTA.
ALSO, she draws monsters. These can be found at:
Jackie Tranchida is a food nerd, roaming gnome and host of the Grill Iron on the Cooking Channel. The James Beard-nominated show blends the tailgating traditions at some of the country’s biggest college football schools with the slow food and soul of their local chefs.
Her culinary zeal began young. Growing up with a Jewish mother and an Italian father, someone was always telling her she needed to eat. It’s her no filter, girl next door, try anything once approach to food and life that make her a standout.
After graduating from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Jax made Chicago her home. The two time Emmy Award-winning personality began her career on the Windy City’s daily entertainment show “Metromix,” then she hit New York to host 1st Look on NBC, and finally moved West to Los Angeles to launch AXStv, anchoring six hours of live television… in heels.
Work has taken her from cattle auctions in South Dakota and cabbage fields in South Korea, to a mountaintop market at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. These days you’ll find her traveling the country for another season of Tastemade’s Grill Iron and chatting with the likes of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz for Spotlight on Spike TV.
With your seatback gently reclined, you may have seen Jax hosting Delta’s Cabin Pressure Cookoff for Food & Wine… or caught her lifestyle adventures in the back of an NYC taxi. She has also worked for Yahoo, CBS.com, Travel & Leisure, WEtv, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Better Show, MTV, Better Homes & Gardens. And if you look closely, you’ll find her in a few episodes of FX’s Louie.
A native of South Florida… Jackie now lives, bakes, dances and dines in Silverlake, Los Angeles.
Born and raised in San Diego, California, Norm Vance has been writing for television and film for over twenty years. He’s written on Robert Townsend’s “The Parent ‘Hood, Moesha and Girlfriends. His first produced feature film was, Roll Bounce for Fox Searchlight, followed by Beauty Shop for MGM and Pride for Lionsgate. Norman has done many successful feature re-writes and polishes over the years and has also sold quite a few television pilots – both comedy and drama. Aside being a husband and a father of three, Norman is also a Head High School Varsity Baseball Coach, having had much success in High School and College as a pitcher.
Daryn Wakasa is a Los Angeles native, 4th generation Japanese American. His storytelling lives in the liminal space, between — design, animation and film, gaman (keep your troubles to yourself) and NWA’s “Express Yourself”, the model minority myth and the Japanese American incarceration camps, the spirit world and physical… between Japanese and American.
As a multi-disciplinary filmmaker, Daryn has 15+ years of experience in the film, commercial, and new media industries —
His award-winning short films: “Seppuku” (2017), “Giri” (2014), and “A Lost Generation” (2010) have screened in film festivals and theaters across the country. His film “Seppuku” was distributed through Comcast’s On-Demand platform in October 2017.
With studios Mirada (co-founded by Guillermo del Toro) and Elastic (founded by Angus Wall), Daryn directed everything like: Jack Daniel’s commercials, in-episode content for Discovery Channel’s “Cooper’s Treasure”, UCLA’s Every/One Interactive Molecule, and projection content for “Disney on Ice (2018)”. Daryn was the Art Director for the Pacific Rim (2013) prologue sequence and Katy Perry’s Roar music video. Through various creative studios, Daryn has also worked with: Team Downey, Riot Games, Chevy, Google, and IBM. Daryn has also led the design and animation teams on Tad Nakamura’s award-winning films: “Pilgrimage”, “A Song for Ourselves”, “Life on Four Strings”, and “Mele Murals”.
Daryn is currently working with Full Spectrum Features as the director of their “Resistance and Resettlement” project, which will complete in 2020.
Brian Watkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and screenwriter. He is a New Dramatists resident playwright, and a Juilliard Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program fellow. Watkins’ plays include Wyoming (Lesser America), My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer (NY Times & Time Out NY Critics’ Pick; The Flea Theater), Into The Earth With You, Juke, A Scavenge (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and High Plains (UK premiere at Underbelly, Edinburgh; Coho Theatre, Portland). His work has been seen and developed at New York Theatre Workshop, Labyrinth Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Flea Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Lesser America, Edinburgh Fringe, Intar, Brave New World Rep, Horse Trade Theater, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, The Drama League, Creede Repertory Theatre, Local Theatre Co, Wild Claw, Route 66, and Coho Theatre, among others. He is currently nominated for the Stavis Playwriting Award, and is the recipient of a Jerome Foundation/Tofte Lake Emerging Artist Fellowship, a Sundance Lab finalist, an O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist, a Princess Grace Playwriting Award finalist, a recipient of the John Osborne Award for the Performing Arts, and a Heideman Award finalist. His work is published by Broadway Play Publishing. He is originally from Colorado.