All speakers and events are based on permitting schedules and subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.
Kirk Ellis won two Emmys, a Golden Globe, a WGA Award, a Peabody and the Humanitas Prize for his work on the HBO miniseries “John Adams.” The miniseries won a record breaking 13 Emmys in total, as well as four Golden Globe awards. Previously, Ellis received an Emmy nomination and won the WGA Award and Humanitas Prize for the ABC miniseries “Anne Frank,” which he wrote and co-produced. Miniseries on which he has served as writer and producer, including “Into the West,” and “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadow” have received more than 50 Emmy nominations.
Upcoming feature projects include a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette for director Jean-Francois Richet (“Mesrine”) and Oscar-nominated Why Not Productions, and “Flying Tigers,” a story of the famed WWII fighter pilots, for Fox and New Regency. For HBO, Ellis is writing “The Day the Laughter Stopped,” an account of the Fatty Arbuckle trials of the 1920s, set to star Eric Stonestreet and to be directed by Barry Levinson.
His collaboration with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks brought Ellis the Western Writers of America’s Golden Spur Award for Best Drama Script for “Hell on Wheels,” an episode of the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated TNT/DreamWorks miniseries “Into the West,” on which Ellis served as supervising producer and writer. He also received the Wrangler Award for Best Television Feature from the National Western Heritage Museum for his work on the miniseries.
A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema and Television, Ellis began his professional career as a film critic for The Hollywood Reporter, and at age 24 served as the magazine’s international editor. In 1992 he formed Shadow Catcher Productions, an independent production banner under which Ellis develops his own indie features and documentaries. A co-governor of the writers’ branch of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Ellis also serves as chairman of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Arts Commission. He is a former board member of the Western Writers of America, and sits on the advisory board of James River Writers.
JIM UHLS wrote “Fight Club,” with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, directed by David Fincher; “Jumper,” directed by Doug Limon; and the NBC television film, “Semper Fi,” produced by Steven Spielberg. He is currently working with Shane Black on a new big screen adaptation of “The Destroyer” novel series for Chuck Roven and Steve Chasman, as well as an original screenplay, “Manly.” With Gamecentric Media, Jim is developing an online social game, “Quantum.” A playwright as well, Jim has had his play, “The Relative Importance of Jeri” produced in New York, as well as numbers plays produced in Los Angeles, including “Collections of a Long-Distance Garbageman.”
Jim has studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the actors Estelle Parsons and David Suchet, playwright Robert Montgomery, and composer Bob Merrill. He was an original member of the Actors Gang when it was founded at UCLA. Jim founded the Writer’s and Actor’s Lab, a scene workshop for original material. He also created, with Aleks Horvat, a new, similar workshop, Safehouse, which meets at The Office.
RICK JAFFA, a native of DeSoto, Texas, earned his BA in History from Southern Methodist University and his MBA from the University of Southern California.
Jaffa began his entertainment career in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency. He advanced through the ranks to become executive assistant to legendary agent Stan Kamen, then head of the Motion Picture Department. Jaffa was subsequently promoted to agent, representing writers and directors. In that capacity, he helped package films as diverse as “Robocop” and “The Trip to Bountiful”.
After a short stint as a studio executive, Jaffa co-wrote his first screenplay, “Hellbent and Back,” which sold to Hollywood Pictures.
Jaffa’s first collaboration with his wife and partner, Amanda Silver, resulted in “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle,” which Silver scripted and Jaffa executive produced.
“Eye for an Eye” was Jaffa and Silver’s first screenwriting collaboration. It was followed by “The Relic” a few years later.
The couple most recently wrote and produced “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” at 20th Century Fox.
The couple lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with their son Joe and their daughter, Franki.
AMANDA SILVER was raised in New York City and earned a BA in History from Yale University. She was an executive assistant at Tri-Star and Paramount Pictures before enrolling at University of Southern California’s School of Cinema Television, where she received an MFA in Screenwriting.
“The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” was Silver’s thesis script at USC. It was followed by an Ace Award-winning episode of the Showtime series “Fallen Angels,” entitled “Murder Obliquely.”
“Eye for an Eye” was Silver’s second collaboration with husband and partner, Rick Jaffa. It was soon followed by “The Relic”.
The couple most recently wrote and produced “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” at 20th Century Fox.
Silver’s major writing influence is her grandfather, screenwriter Sidney Buchman, who wrote several classics, including “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”.
The couple resides in Pacific Palisades, California, with their son, Joe, and their daughter Franki.
ALVARO RODRIGUEZ began his writing career in the sixth grade with a short story that likely would have gotten him referred for counseling and intervention in a post-Columbine America. Luckily, it was written in 1982. He is the co-writer of Robert Rodriguez’s SHORTS (Warner Brothers, 2009) and MACHETE (Fox, 2010), and the writer of the vampire western FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER (Dimension, 2000) for executive producer Quentin Tarantino. He is a University of Texas graduate, a past contributor to The Austin Chronicle, and a featured author in an upcoming anthology of Austin writers. He is repped by Mark Holder of Zero Gravity Management.
Kent Alterman is Head of Original Programming and Development for COMEDY CENTRAL. Based in the network’s Los Angeles office, Alterman is responsible for the development and day-to-day operations of all original programming on COMEDY CENTRAL. In addition, Alterman manages the COMEDY CENTRAL talent and events staff, who identify and develop the next generation of comedy stars and produce the channel’s special event programs including the Emmy®-nominated “COMEDY CENTRAL Roast” franchise, the star-studded NIGHT OF TOO MANY STARS Autism benefit, The Comedy Awards, as well as the network’s stand-up series and specials. He also oversees the network’s enterprises group, which includes touring, DVD’s and Comedy Central Records.
Alterman, who previously was the head of COMEDY CENTRAL’s New York development office until his departure in 2001, oversaw development and production on such series as “Strangers with Candy” with Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris; UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE with Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh; and VIVA VARIETY which was created by and starred Thomas Lennon, Michael Ian Black and Kerri Kenney-Silver.
Prior to re-joining Comedy Central, Alterman had an overall feature film producing and directing deal with Fox Film Studios, as well as producing and directing projects in development at New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., Lionsgate Films and 20th Television Studio. Prior to that, Alterman directed and executive produced New Line’s feature film, SEMI-PRO, starring Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson and Andre Benjamin. A veteran development executive, he was with New Line from 2001 to 2006 where he oversaw a diverse slate of projects including, ELF, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and LITTLE CHILDREN. Early in his career, he worked with Michael Moore as a writer, director and executive producer on the Emmy-award winning series, TV NATION.
Dan Angel, an Emmy, Peabody and WGA award-winning writer and producer has been creating and supervising quality film and television production for over twenty years. His broad range of experience includes an extensive background in many genres from Horror and Science Fiction to branded family entertainment in all formats. He has been responsible for some of the biggest successes in both family series and long form movies over the past two decades. Mr. Angel joined The Hatchery, a family entertainment production company, as a partner in June 2003, where he has produced and developed a number of television programs in both live action and animation. Newly appointed as the company’s Chief Creative Officer, Mr. Angel is responsible for managing all project development, sales and production. Mr. Angel has been Executive Producing two new hit shows for the new family network, The Hub. The first show is another scary series from the master of kid’s thrillers, R.L. Stine. Mr. Angel is producing and writing 40 episodes of this new anthology, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour Series with partner Billy Brown. The Haunting Hour launched in January 2011 and has been a ratings leader for The Hub for its entire run. The Hub has picked up the series for a third season. The Haunting Hour has received a number of awards including the coveted Parent’s Choice Award in Television and honors from the Television Critics Association and CableFAX for Best Family Series. The second series Mr. Angel is Executive Producing for the Hub is an animated comedy, Dan VS. The Hatchery has partnered with Film Roman, the studio behind The Simpsons and King of the Hill to deliver a high quality animated comedy series to The Hub’s primetime lineup. Dan VS. is a 44 episode commitment which launched in January 2011 and began airing its second season November 2011. Dan VS. has also been a ratings leader on The Hub. In 2012, both have been renewed for a third season. In 2009 Mr. Angel Executive Produced CHRISTMAS IN CANAAN starring Billy Ray Cyrus. CHRISTMAS IN CANAAN was Hallmark Channel’s event Christmas movie for 2009 and it premiered with record breaking ratings, leading The Hallmark Channel to their highest rated week in network history. It also received a number of awards and honors. The sequel, CHRISTMAS COMES HOME TO CANAAN, has just been completed and will air December 17th on the Hallmark Channel. In 2009 Mr. Angel was also responsible for the inspirational film GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY. He served as the Executive Producer on this event movie for TNT. It stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kimberly Elise and was directed by Thomas Carter. Gifted Hands had its worldwide premiere on TNT on February 7th 2009 and won the night, beating out all network and cable programming. Gifted Hands was nominated for a number of honors including a Humanitas Prize, A Critics Choice for Best Picture and has won a number of awards including Best Picture Made for Television at the Image Awards. It continues to sell well on DVD. Currently Mr. Angel is developing a number of family projects including a scripted family show based on the popular Great Brain book series and Spooksville, based on the best selling Chris Pike books. The Great Brain and Spooksville are slated for launch in fall 2012. In 2007 Mr. Angel wrote and produced the first in The Hatchery’s series of Direct to DVD movies based on R.L. Stine’s Haunting Hour and Nightmare Hour books, in partnership with Universal Home Video. R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It premiered on The Cartoon Network to record ratings in September of 2007 and earned him a WGA writing award nomination for Best Writing in Children’s Long form. The Halloween DVD continues to sell well around the world. In 2004 Mr. Angel did double duty producing 130 episodes of the game show Balderdash and 13 episodes of the swashbuckling adventure Young Blades, both for the PAX network under a deal with NBC. He also served as writer and creator of both shows. Over the last four years Mr. Angel has also been responsible for the development of a number of properties including Scrooge the Musical, a remake of the Albert Finney classic for CBS and a Mini Series for Lifetime, Ruby, based on the popular teen girl book series V.C. Andrews. Other projects in development include: R. L. Stine’s Rotten School, American Chillers, and a 12 part limited mini series based on The Disciples. Mr. Angel has also worked closely with American Greetings to help develop a number of their brands into television series. Those properties include Twisted Whiskers, Sushi Pack, Mariyoku Yummy, and THE CARE BEARS MOVIE 2007 . Twisted Whiskers and Maiyoku Yummy launched on The Hub and are a major part of their family block. Among his other noteworthy accomplishments, Mr. Angel secured the movie rights to the inspiring story of Bill Porter after seeing an interview on ABC’s “20/20”. The culmination of a four-year effort by Mr. Angel, during which he gathered a top-notch creative team of talent including actor William H. Macy, Kyra Sedgewick and Helen Mirren, was the production of a two-hour movie event based on Porter’s life entitled Door to Door. Mr. Angel served as Executive Producer of the movie, which he had sold to TNT and Johnson and Johnson. In 2003 Door to Door was not only one of the most watched, but also one of the most honored movies of all time including AFI, Peabody, Emmy and Critics Choice honors. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences nominated Door to Door with more nominations than any other program that year, twelve, and it won six prime time Emmy Awards, the most of any program for that year, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie; Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries Movie or Dramatic Special; and Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special. The six Emmy wins for Door to Door made it the most-ever garnered for a single program for TNT. Previously, from 1995 through 1998, Mr. Angel won recognition when he produced, co-wrote and co-story edited the number one hit show, Goosebumps for FOX Kids Network, winning the WGA Award for Best Children’s Writing, and a Gemini nomination for Best Children’s Series. TV Guide picked Goosebumps two years in a row as one of the best kid’s shows on television. Goosebumps continues to be successful being one of the highest rated series on The Hub network. From 1997 to1998, Mr. Angel and his partner, Billy Brown, served as Story Editor/Writers on the FOX TV hit, The X-Files. 1998 was the only year the writing staff of this popular series took home a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Writing. Mr. Angel also served as Supervising Producer, in 1998, on Animorphs, a television series adaptation of the hit book series for Scholastic Productions and Nickelodeon. From 1999 through 2001, Mr. Angel had an overall writing/producing deal with The Jim Henson Company where, with his writing partner, he developed and supervised a variety of projects including Brats of the Lost Nebula, which aired on the WB Network and was selected as one of the ten best new children’s programs by TV Guide for 1999. In 2001, Mr. Angel created two primetime series, The Fearing Mind for the Jim Henson Company and the FOX Family cable channel and Night Visions for Warner Brothers and FOX TV Network. Night Visions was reprised in 2003 on the Sci-Fi Channel for a number of years and in 2008 was reprised again by Chiller TV. In 2002, Mr. Angel served as Executive Producer and co-writer with Billy Brown for a two-hour original script for the revival of the Battlestar Galactica series as part of a development deal with Studio USA. Also in 2002, Mr. Angel created, wrote and Executive Produced a drama pilot for the WB television network called Shadow Walkers. Among Mr. Angel’s other credits are: Creator, Writer, Executive Producer of the Ace-Award Nominated John Carpenter Presents: Body Bags for Showtime, and Supervising Writer of Foxboro Entertainment’s National Lampoon’s Ahead of Its Time. Previously Mr. Angel helmed production for several companies including the cable network FIT TV, Body by Jake, Tamilee Webb and Palmer/Cablevision of Southern California. Mr. Angel is a graduate of the UCLA Film School; he lives with his wife and three children in the Los Angeles suburb of Toluca Lake.
Producer/Casting Director Erica Arvold is producing the kids television series Ralph’s World: Time Machine Guitar for Grammy Nominee Ralph Covert and is the casting director/associate producer for WISH YOU WELL, a feature film written by novelist David Baldacci. She served as Virginia Casting Director (w/Anne Chapman) for Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN, cast the Hallmark indie feature LAKE EFFECTS, and produced as well as cast the indie psychological thriller HOUSE HUNTING. For over 20 years, Erica has contributed & participated in the casting of over 100 films and 75 television projects. Select films include BACKDRAFT, RUDY, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, MAD CITY, THE HORSE WHISPERER, RUNAWAY BRIDE, SEE THIS MOVIE, GODS AND MONSTERS, MY DINNER WITH JIMI, IN HER SHOES, and CHARLOTTE’S WEB. Select television credits include the series PROVIDENCE, FRASIER, WINGS, THE UNTOUCHABLES, POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN, television movies AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NY, MARCH IN WINDY CITY and THE DARKLING. Select theatre credits include the 1st National Tour of Angels in America and Forever Plaid. Erica has been based in Chicago, Los Angeles, and now Charlottesville, Virginia where she jumps back and forth between coasts. In addition to feature films and television, Erica produces commercials (she produced the DNC’s winning national commercial I DESERVE HEALTHCARE), industrials (Procter & Gamble, Corpedia, CFA Institute) and web content for businesses of all sizes. Erica is the founder and Chair of CVPA, a non-profit organization as well as ACA, which provide continuing education to film professionals. Erica is grateful to the many writers and filmmakers who have invited her to collaborate on their projects! www.arvold.com
John August’s screenwriting credits include 2012′s Frankenweenie, along with Go, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, and both Charlie’s Angels movies. His feature directing debut, The Nines, premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. For television, he created the short-lived series “D.C.” for The WB, along with pilots for Fox and ABC. He has developed two apps of interest to screenwriters: FDX Reader for iPhone/iPad, and Bronson Watermarker for Macintosh. John is a frequent advisor to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. He also maintains two websites aimed at budding screenwriters, johnaugust.com and screenwriting.io.
Elizabeth Avellán is the Co-Owner and Vice President of Troublemaker Studios and President of EYA Productions. In addition to producing family and genre films that have collectively grossed over a billion dollars, she has played a primary role in developing Austin, Texas as a thriving film community.
Avellán began her producing career when she co-founded Los Hooligans Productions in 1991 with Robert Rodriguez as the two began their feature film project, EL MARIACHI. Made for just $7,000, EL MARIACHI, was the winner of the 1993 Audience Awards at the Sundance and Deauville Film Festivals. Her next project was co-producing the film’s 1995 sequel DESPERADO, written and directed by Rodriguez, starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. She followed up with co-producing FROM DUSK TILL DAWN written by Quentin Tarantino, directed by Rodriguez, starring Tarantino, George Clooney and Harvey Keitel as well as its successful home entertainment sequels: FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2: TEXAS BLOOD MONEY and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 3: THE HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER. She also produced THE FACULTY, written by Kevin Williamson, directed by Rodriguez and starring Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett.
In 2000, Avellán and Rodriguez founded Troublemaker Studios, their Austin, Texas based production company. Troublemaker includes a world-renowned visual effects studio as well as music and publishing arms. The first feature made at Troublemaker was the 2001 hit SPY KIDS, which grossed $112 million domestically. Directed by Rodriguez, the family film starred Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara.
During the past decade, Avellán has produced a dozen films. ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO the third film in the EL MARIACHI trilogy starred Banderas, Hayek and Johnny Depp. The successful SK sequels,SPY KIDS 2: ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS and SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER brought back the original cast and the latter introduced kids to a new dimension of moviemaking with its innovative 3-D technology. Following that, she produced the ground-breaking, critically acclaimed SIN CITY, adapted from three of the popular graphic novels in Frank Miller’s SIN CITY series. It was co-directed by Rodriguez and Miller with an all-star ensemble cast including Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba and Benicio Del Toro. That same year, she also did THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL in 3-D, based on a story idea by her then-seven year-old son, Racer Rodriguez that Robert Rodriguez directed starring George Lopez and a then-unknown Taylor Lautner. GRINDHOUSE, an ode to the exploitation double features of the 1970s, was directed by Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The family film SHORTS, starred James Spader, John Cryer, her son Rebel Rodriguez and featured several of her children. Most recently, she produced the action-thrillers, PREDATORS, starring Adrien Brody and directed by Nimród Antal and MACHETE, starring Danny Trejo, who has appeared in almost all of her films.
Avellán has also executive produced several projects. Most recently she served as EP on BLACKTINO, a film directed by her son, Aaron Burns, that world premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. She also executive produced “Secuestro Express,” a topical Venezuelan narrative about the dangerous trend of “express” kidnappings in her home country, directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, starring Mia Maestro and Rubén Blades. She also served as EP on the documentaries THE TRUTH IN TERMS OF BEAUTY about photographer Herman Leonard and “In and Out of Focus” about balancing motherhood and a career in the film industry.
Currently, Avellán just wrapped Troublemaker’s fourth installment of the Spy Kids series, SPY KIDS 4: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD, directed by Rodriguez, starring Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale with newcomers Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook. SK4 was released on August 19, 2011. Through her EYA Productions banner, she produced the recently wrapped holiday feature film, WHEN ANGELS SING, directed by Tim McCanlies, starring Harry Connick Jr., Willie Nelson and Connie Britton. Avellán was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where her grandfather, Gonzalo Veloz, was the pioneer of commercial television. At the age of thirteen, she moved to Houston, Texas with her family and later graduated from Rice University. She is on the board of several organizations, including the University of Texas College of Communication Advisory Board, Capital Area Statues, which commissions unique statues for the capital city; the Texas Book Festival and the Austin Film Society. The mother of six children, Avellán resides in Austin, Texas.
One of the most sought-after writers of animation and comics of the last decade, Adam Beechen’s first animated feature script, Dino-Time, arrives in theaters in December of 2012. Most recently Executive Producer for the Hub’s hit pre-school series, The Adventures of Chuck and Friends, Adam has worked as Story Editor on such animated series as The Pink Panther and Pals, Edgar and Ellen and Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi. Adam has also written multiple episodes for such acclaimed series as Ben Ten, Ben Ten: Alien Force, Teen Titans,Secret Saturdays, The Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Batman (for which he received an Emmy nomination) Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, X-Men: Evolution, Little Bill, Jackie Chan Adventures, Static Shock and Mucha Lucha, as well as the live-action kids’ series Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, Out There, and The Famous Jett Jackson. In comics, Adam serves as writer of the New York Times Best-Selling DC Comic Batman Beyond, He has also been the regular writer on such popular titles as Teen Titans, Robin, Batgirl, W.I.L.D.C.A.T.S., Justice League Unlimited, Countdown to Adventure, his creator-owned Killapalooza miniseries, and DC’s major “event” comic, Countdown to Final Crisis. Adam’s original graphic novel Hench garnered rave reviews by Entertainment Weekly, Publisher’s Weekly and Variety, and he is the author of another graphic novel,Dugout. Adam has written more than twenty children’s books for Simon and Schuster, as well as an original young adult novel, What I Did On My Hypergalactic Interstellar Summer Vacation. Adam has branched into the field of video-game writing, developing the story for and scripting Monster Labs, a Wii-Platform game released by Eidos in 2008, and Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi: Kaz-Napped for the Nintendo DS. In addition to his Emmy nomination, Adam has been honored with selection to the prestigious Warner Brothers Comedy Writers Workshop, and a Postgraduate Fellowship from the James A. Michener Texas Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. Adam is also an accomplished playwright, with stagings of his one-act and short plays in both New York and Los Angeles.
Alec Berg’s television credits include Seinfeld where he was a writer and executive producer, and Curb Your Enthusiasm where he currently serves as a writer, executive producer and director.
His feature film work includes writing the screenplays for The Cat in the Hat (which was made into a terrible film) and Eurotrip (which he produced and co-directed and is excellent.) He is currently writing and producing “The Dictator” for Sacha Baron Cohen. He has also done extensive rewriting, having worked on films for Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Will Smith, Ivan Reitman and Robert Zemeckis.
Alec has been nominated for numerous Emmy awards, a WGA Award, a DGA award and a Razzie (yes, for The Cat in the Hat, it’s that bad.)
Richard Bever: Los Angeles-based producer and co-president of Chill Films. Richard is the former Head of Development and Production at Andrew Lauren Productions, which produced the Oscar-nominated film THE SQUID AND THE WHALE during his tenure. Among his producing credits are IN MEMORY OF MY FATHER, AUDREY, AGAINST THE CURRENT (Sundance 2009), and the award-winning documentary WISH ME AWAY (Grand Jury Prize winner LAFF 2011). Richard is currently packaging: the horror project ADVERSE REACTION to be directed by Dean Alioto; the crime drama OUR LADY OF JACKSON HEIGHTS to be directed by veteran actor Brian Cox and starring Kiefer Sutherland; the thriller REDPLOYED to be directed by David A. Armstrong; and the comedy SUCH GOOD PEOPLE to be directed by Stewart Wade. Richard will be in production this September with the teen comedy G.B.F. to be directed by Darren Stein (JAWBREAKER) and he is also currently filming the documentary REBELS OF THE THIRD AGE.
An agent in the Lit Department at Paradigm, David represents a myriad of important motion picture and television writers, directors and producers in the business.
David’s impressive client roster is only a testament to his ambition, commitment and sensibility. His notable client list includes David Guggenheim, writer of Universal’s SAFEHOUSE and upcoming SAFEHOUSE 2; Ken Marino, writer/producer of Universal’s WANDERLUST, writer of Universal’s ROLE MODELS, and writer/executive producer/star of Yahoo!’s hit online comedy series, BURNING LOVE; Maria Maggenti, writer of ABC’s upcoming PARK AND LEX; Carter Blanchard, writer of Dreamworks’ upcoming GLIMMER; John Swetnam, writer of EVIDENCE and New Line Cinema’s tornado disaster flick, BLACK SKY; and Ransom Riggs, writer/co-executive producer of the upcoming supernatural horror thriller BLACK RIVER, to be produced by Black Forest Film Group, and writer of #1 New York Times Best Seller MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, the supernatural fantasy adventure that sold to 20th Century Fox for seven figures; Tim Burton will direct and Peter Chernin will produce. David most recently closed a seven-figure deal with Universal Pictures for BLACK BOX, a script by client David Guggenheim that attracted several serious bids including DreamWorks and Warner Bros.
David began his career as an assistant at Jerry Bruckheimer Films. He then spent a year under the tutelage of producer Rob Fried, learning about development and production, after which he worked for William Morris Agency’s Senior VP Lee Rosenberg for two years. His next position was at Endeavor for partners Ari Greenburg & Rick Rosen. At the age of 26, David was listed as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s NEXT GENERATION TOP 35 UNDER 35 people in the business, one of the youngest ever to receive the honor. Always seeking new challenges, David moved on to be a Creative Executive at RKO Pictures, where he set up and produced the film SHADE. Boxerbaum then returned to the agency world where, for 4 years, he ran Metropolitan Talent Agency’s Television and Motion Picture Lit Department before moving to APA, where he became the only agent to represent not only feature writers and directors, but also show runners and television staff writers.
David is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Christine Boylan is a television writer/producer currently working on the hit ABC series Once Upon A Time.
Her previous television work includes Castle, Off the Map (ABC) and three seasons of the heist and con drama Leverage (TNT).
Christine also writes stage plays and short stories ( Hoss at Popcorn Fiction) and has written comic books for DC, Marvel, Boom, Tokyopop and NBC, including two Heroes comics and two Star Trek manga.
She won the TV drama spec award at the Austin Film Festival in 2004 with a Six Feet Under spec called “The Strike.” Twitter: @kitmoxie.
Michael Brandt and Derek Haas are the force behind such engaging, fast-paced, kinetic screenplays as the blockbuster hit Wanted and the critically acclaimed 3:10 To Yuma.
The pair has expanded into television with their first series, Chicago Fire, about a group of firemen and paramedics in Chicago. Brandt and Haas created the show and are serving as executive producers on the Dick Wolf-produced series. The show stars Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eamonn Walker, Monica Raymund, and Lauren German, and will premiere on NBC on October 10 2012.
Brandt and Haas first met at Baylor University in 1989, where they attended both undergrad and graduate school. At Baylor, Brandt received an MA in Film and Haas graduated with an MA in English Literature. The duo started writing screenplays together in the mid 1990s.
Their first produced work, Universal’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, amassed over $236 million worldwide. In September 2007, Brandt and Haas wrote the number one box office film, the remake 3:10 To Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, directed by James Mangold. Brandt and Haas’s adaptation of Wanted starred James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie grossed $339 million worldwide.
In 2011 Brandt made his directorial debut with his and Haas’s original screenplay The Double, starring Richard Gere, Topher Grace and Martin Sheen. A spy-thriller, the film was shot on location in Detroit and Washington DC, and centers on a retired CIA officer who must team with a young FBI agent to catch a Soviet assassin.
Haas is the author of the best-selling Silver Bear trilogy novels, published by Pegasus Books. The third book, Dark Men, came out in 2011. Mulholland Books will publish his newest novel, The Right Hand, in November 2012. The spy-thriller focuses on an elite operative who operates above the government, executing the most covert of black ops. Haas is the creator and editor of the website popcornfiction.com, that weekly publishes genre short fiction from top screenwriters and authors.
Aline Brosh McKenna’s most recent film was the 2011 Christmas release WE BOUGHT A ZOO, for which she shares credit with the movie’s director, Cameron Crowe. Also, in 2011 McKenna wrote the adaptation of the novel I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, directed by Doug McGrath.
In 2006, Aline’s screen adaptation of the novel THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA received nominations for the WGA, BAFTA and Scripter Awards. Her other movies include MORNING GLORY and 27 DRESSES.
Currently, Aline is adapting the graphic novel RUST for 20th Century Fox and co-writing a script with Simon Kinberg for JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Paramount.
Billy Brown, an Emmy, Peabody and WGA award-winning writer and producer has been creating, writing and supervising quality film and television production for twenty-nine years, although it seems like thirty.
In 2007, along with longtime collaborator Dan Angel, Billy wrote and produced the first in a series of Direct to DVD movies in partnership with Universal Home Video and The Hatchery Entertainment: R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It, premiered on The Cartoon Network to record ratings in September of 2007 and earned him a WGA writing award nomination for Best Writing in Children’s Long form. The Halloween DVD continues to sell well around the world.
Billy began his writing career as a staff writer of Saturday Night Live in 1980-1981. The twists and turns of show business pulled Mr. Brown away from comedy and into the genre of suspense, thriller and horror when he co-created and wrote the Ace-Award Nominated John Carpenter Presents Body Bags for Showtime.
Next, Billy became the head writer for the number one hit show, Goosebumps for FOX Kids Network, winning the WGA Award for Best Children’s Teleplay.
From 1997 to 1998, Billy served as Story Editor/Writer on The X-Files.
In 2001, Mr. Brown created two primetime series, The Fearing Mind for the Jim Henson Company and the FOX Family cable channel and Night Visions for Warner Brothers and FOX TV Network. Night Visions was reprised in 2003 on the Sci-Fi Channel for a number of years and in 2008 was reprised again by Chiller TV.
Among his other noteworthy accomplishments, Billy – again with Dan Angel -executive-produced the movie DOOR TO DOOR, starring William H. Macy and Helen Mirren. In 2003 Door to Door was not only one of the most watched but also one of the most honored television movies of all time garnering AFI, Peabody, Emmy and Critics Choice honors.
For the past three years, Billy has been the Executive Producer of R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour – the Series, which is broadcast on The Hub Network. The Haunting Hour has been a recipient of a Parents Choice Award, and has also chalked up a Critics Choice nomination for Best Youth Television Series. The series is now in production on its third season.
Billy lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Debra, and his two sons, Nemo and Elias.
Bryan Brucks runs the literary department at Luber Roklin Entertainment, a management-production company that represents actors, writers, and directors. Its clients work in film and television, and range from up-and-comers to established stars. Luber Roklin also produces films, with credits such as BRIDE WARS, EVAN ALMIGHTY, UNTITLED, LOVE LIES BLEEDING, INTO THE BLUE, and the upcoming PAWN SHOP CHRONICLES.
Mr. Brucks was previously the owner of BRUCKS ENTERTAINMENT a diversified management and production company that he founded in 2005. As a producer, Mr. Brucks is in post on two films: NOT SAFE FOR WORK directed by Joe Johnston for Universal Films/Blumhouse and KILL FOR ME for Sony/Stage Six. As a producer,he has several films in development, including, HOMECOMING at Screen Gems with Will Packer producing; BOY SCOUTS VS. ZOMBIES at Paramount; THE RISING at Millenium; MAN AT ARMS at Echo Lake; and MISSING LINK at Walt Disney Pictures.
As a company, Luber Roklin represents such talent as Paul Walker, Cam Gigandet, Stephen Moyer, Sean Astin, Shane West and Naturi Naughton. They represent directors such as Walt Becker, Rupert Wainwright and several Emmy nominees on the TV side.
Before joining Luber Roklin, Mr. Brucks was an executive at Universal Studios based production company, Larger Than Life Entertainment (Gary Ross and Jane Sindell) where he worked on various films including SEABISCUIT. Mr. Brucks is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
Scott Z. Burns a is writer, director and producer. His writing credits include CONTAGION, THE INFORMANT and THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. His original screenplay BITTER PILL will begin production this spring, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Scott also produced the Academy Award-winning documentary AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, which premiered at Sundance.
Bob Byington is an award-winning independent American film director,screenwriter and actor living in Austin, Texas. He is most noted for his films RSO (Registered Sex Offender) (2008) and HARMONY AND ME (2009). His latest film, SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME (2012), just won The Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival. It will be released in March, 2013 by Tribeca Film.
Noah Buschel is currently gearing up for production on the neo-noir GLASS CHIN starring Corey Stoll; and MU, based on Maura O’Halloran’s “Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint,” with Jena Malone attached.
His most recent feature film, THE MISSING PERSON, starred Oscar-nominee Michael Shannon, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It was distributed by Strand Releasing to critical acclaim. The film was named in over seven Best Film Lists of 2009 and Buschel was nominated for a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director.
Noah previously wrote and directed NEAL CASSADY, starring Tate Donovan and Oscar-nominee Amy Ryan, which was released by IFC Films; and BRINGING RAIN, starring Adrian Grenier and Paz de la Huerta, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Buschel was born in Philadelphia in 1978, and grew up in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Noah went to the Friends Seminary school in Manhattan but didn’t graduate from high school. He spent some time as a contributing editor for Tricycle Magazine and still writes for Hammer to Nail. He was ordained a Zen priest in 2002 by Sensei Pat Enkyo O’Hara.
Kell Cahoon works in television as a writer/producer. His credits include The Larry Sanders Show, Newsradio, Just Shoot Me, King Of The Hill, Method and Red, and Psych. He lives with his wife and two sons in Austin and commutes to LA every week.
Chris is a 2004 graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he earned a BFA in Writing for the Screen & Television. His feature script PIANO TOES was a semifinalist at the 2010 Austin Film Festival. He has worked with his rugged and extremely competent writing partner Christopher Rogers since August of that year; their original one-hour pilot script was acquired by AMC, and their original feature script OFF THE GRID has been acquired by Indian Paintbrush. Cantwell & Rogers have also been hired to write SHADOW RUNNERS for Sony and a currently-untitled feature project for Bad Robot and Paramount.
The best and scariest thing that ever happened to Chris in LA was when he worked at Brentano’s Bookstore in Century City (now defunct) and patron Don Adams, late star of GET SMART, told him “all my friends are dead.” A Texas native, Chris lives in LA with his wife and dog and all of his friends aren’t dead yet.
Raised in four countries and fluent in two languages, Nkechi spent her formative years living in the Cote D’Ivoire and England, where she was a member of the Oxford Youth Theatre. Her short films have been featured in film festivals on multiple continents, including North America, Africa and Europe. Her short, APARTMENT A, aired nationally on ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS affiliates as part of Badami TV’s African American Short Films Showcase. With a Masters degree in International Economics from New YorkUniversity, Nkechi worked as a Senior Trader/Analyst at the prestigious Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Driven by her passion for writing, Nkechi embarked on bringing her experiences at the Federal Reserve to the small screen. Her original drama pilot, THE FED, follows five young Federal Reserve Fellows whose first day in the program coincides with the collapse of one of the U.S. largest banks. THE FED was a 2011 Austin Film Festival teleplay finalist. Nkechi previously worked as a staff writer on THE FINDER, starring Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan. She is currently A story editor on BONES on Fox.
Ernest Cline is a screenwriter and bestselling novelist. His 2009 film FANBOYS, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon. His first novel, Ready Player One, was published in August of 2011 and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. The film rights to Ready Player One were purchased by Warner Bros, with Ernie attached to write the screenplay. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with his family and a large collection of classic video games.
Emma Coats worked as a story artist at Pixar for 5 years, spending the majority of her time on BRAVE. Emma is known for her popular “22 Pixar Story Tips”, collected from her experiences while working in the story department, which have been quoted and widely distributed across the web, including in the “Wall Street Journal” and “Washington Post”.
She also writes and directs live-action films, and has recently left Pixar and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue opportunities in the field of live-action.
You can follow her on Twitter: @lawnrocket.
Etan Cohen is one of the most sought after comedic minds in the business. His film credits include TROPIC THUNDER, MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA, MEN IN BLACK 3, and the recently announced GHOSTBUSTERS III. Cohen is attached to direct BOY SCOUTS VS ZOMBIES for Paramount Pictures, which will mark his feature film directorial debut. Cohen also developed and writes a satirical column for The New York Times Magazine entitled “First Draft of History”.
Mary Coleman is the Senior Development Executive at Pixar Animation Studios.
She joined Pixar in 1999 to create the Development department. Coleman was
recruited from San Francisco’s Magic Theater because Pixar recognized that
her work developing world premiers of new plays would translate well to
their style of creating stories. Coleman works closely with Pixar’s
directors from concept through final draft. She helps them articulate their
vision, prepares them for pitches, matches them with writers, provides
research to deepen the story world, and gives feedback on outlines,
treatments, and screenplay drafts.
Hal Croasmun is the President of ScreenwritingU. In 2000, Hal began the process of interviewing over 500 Hollywood producers, 120 agents, and 50 top screenwriters to design screenwriting programs that focus on breaking into the industry and building a career.
Hal’s specialty is helping writers break into the industry. In the last few years, Hal has helped over 150 screenwriters make deals (option, sale, produced, writing assignment, or get representation) while heading up a professional writers group at ScreenwritingU.com.
With his work at the center of a number of highly-anticipated projects, Evan Daugherty is quickly establishing himself as a screenwriter to watch. Daugherty’s SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN has wrapped production for Universal Studios and is set for a summer 2012 release. Daugherty wrote the film as a college student at NYU almost eight years ago, and in 2010, his screenplay created a bidding war and became one of the biggest studio spec sales in years. A twist on the classic tale, Daugherty’s adaptation brings to light the mysterious Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who is called upon by the Queen (Charlize Theron) to kill Snow White (Kristen Stewart). In Daugherty’s tale, the Huntsman teaches Snow White to become a warrior, and together they set off on a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen. Currently in post-production is Daugherty’s independent action thriller KILLING SEASON, formerly SHARPNEL, with director Mark Steven Johnson, starring John Travolta and Robert De Niro. The gritty character-driven thriller tells the story of two veterans of the Bosnian War — one American, one Serbian — who clash in the remote wilderness where they fight to settle an old score in a cat-and-mouse game with battles both physical and psychological. The film is slated to begin shooting before the end of the year. He is presently penning the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling young adult book, Divergent. Produced by Summit Entertainment, DIVERGENT is set in a dystopian future in which society is divided into five factions based on personality traits: honesty, bravery, intelligence, selflessness, and kindness. The story focuses on a 16-year-old girl who leaves her family to join a rival faction which changes her life forever. Born in New York, Daugherty grew up in Dallas, Texas in constant creative pursuit. He attended film school at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied filmmaking before settling on screenwriting. Daugherty won the 2008 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with Shrapnel, which garnered him recognition in the industry. SHARPNEL and SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMEN, both made the “Black List” in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
You’ve seen a tragic tale like Brian’s before. Starting out on the streets of South Dakota and Texas, he wrote anything anyone asked him to just for another hit of Courier 12… articles, plays (a couple award-winning one-acts), industrials, video games, a few comics. Then a smooth-talking stranger told him he could get paid for it, but he had to sell his soul to Los Angeles. His first time was writing for Stan Lee (the guy who created X-Men & Spiderman) for his internet company, Stan Lee Media. He sold a few no-budget features, but after selling a pilot to Fox, he found a new drug… TV. He did anything to keep the high going… starting out onFirst Monday then CSI:Miami, where he chased the dragon for the last 7 years. Now, he’s a burnt-out husk, so he’s turned to hustling his own series and features to hook the next generation, including a book for Boom! Studios. His alma mater, the University of Texas, has disowned him.”
Pen Densham, co-founder of Trilogy Entertainment Group, considers himself a triple-hyphenate: a writer – producer – & director. He and his partner John Watson have been Oscar Nominated twice, have produced 15 features and over 300 hours of television. He writes for both TV and feature films and is personally responsible for reviving ‘The Outer Limits’ and ‘The Twilight Zone’ series to television, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, etc. His personal favorite is Moll Flanders, which he wrote and directed, starring Robin Wright and Morgan Freeman. This year he is one of the producers on PHANTOM – written and directed by Todd Robinson, starring David Duchovny and Ed Harris. Pen also teaches as an adjunct professor at USC Film School. His inspiring book on screenplay writing for publisher Michael Wiese ”Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing …And not getting eaten” - has been embraced by both filmmakers like Ron Howard, Paul Haggis, Jeff Bridges, Robin Wright etc and educators at Film schools like USC, UCLA, Sarah Lawrence.
Lindsay Doran has worked in the movie business for more than 30 years as a studio executive and as a producer. She has served as the President and COO of United Artists Pictures and as the President of Sydney Pollack’s Mirage Productions. She currently divides her time between her producing duties and her work as “The Script Whisperer™” — anonymous consultation on high priority script development.
Lindsay’s first film credit was as Executive in Charge of Production on the mock-documentary THIS IS SPINAL TAP. She later became the Executive Producer on two films directed by Sydney Pollack, THE FIRM and SABRINA. As a Producer, her credits include DEAD AGAIN, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, NANNY MCPHEE, STRANGER THAN FICTION, and NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS (aka NANNY MCPHEE AND THE BIG BANG).
As an executive, Lindsay worked on dozens of films including THE SURE THING, STAND BY ME, PRETTY IN PINK, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES, FIELDS OF DREAMS, THE NAKED GUN, PET SEMATARY, GHOST, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, and two James Bond films – THIS WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and TOMORROW NEVER DIES.
She is the winner of numerous awards including the Golden Globe Best Picture award and the British Academy Award for Best Film, both for SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.
Lindsay tries to be guided by the Three Rules of Drama, found in an ancient text, as the basis for what motion picture entertainment ought to be:
#1 It must be arresting and amusing to the drunk.
#2 It must address the question, “How should we live?”
#3 It must address the question, “How does the universe work?”
Larry Doyle’s first novel, I Love You, Beth Cooper won the 2008 Thurber Award for Humor Writing. He wrote the screenplay for the subsequent film, released in 2009. His second novel, Go, Mutants! was released in 2010; he is adapting that book for Imagine Entertainment and Universal. Deliriously Happy, a collection of short humor pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere, was released in 2011.
Doyle was a writer and producer of The Simpsons for four years. He also wrote the films DUPLEX and LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION. More, mostly reliable information is available at larrydoyle.com.
Timothy Dowling was born in Boston and few up in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Southern California where he studied Theatre and Humanities. After college and working as an actor in such films as THE BEAUTICIAN AND THE BEAST, DOCTOR BENNY and TERMINATOR 3 Tim wrote and acted in the short films GEORGE LUCAS IN LOVE and EVIL HILL. George Lucas in Love won numerous awards and film festivals around the world. And was the best selling short of all time, topping the Amazon.com video sales chart for several months. On screen Tim has co written the feature films ROLE MODELS starting Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott. JUST GO WITH IT starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman and THIS MEANS WAR starring Reece Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. In addition he has done uncredited work on several other films and written the scripts OUTSOURCED and COXBLOCKER which were included on the prestigious BLACK LIST. As well as the in development films ANOTHER MIDNIGHT RUN starting Robert DeNiro and UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT starring Will Smith and Denzel Washington. He is currently writing a film called PIXELS for Adam Sandler and director Seth Gordon.
Michael B. Druxman is a veteran Hollywood screenwriter whose credits include CHEYENNE WARRIOR with Kelly Preston; DILLINGER AND CAPONE starring Martin Sheen and F. Murray Abraham; and THE DOORWAY with Roy Scheider, which he also directed.
He is also a prolific playwright, his one-person play, Jolson, having had numerous productions around the country. Other produced stage credits include one-person plays about Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Spencer Tracy and Orson Welles.
Additionally, Mr. Druxman is the author of thirteen other published books, including several nonfiction works about Hollywood, its movies, and the people who make them (e.g., Basil Rathbone: His Life and His Films, Make It Again, Sam: A Survey of Movie Remakes, One Good Film Deserves Another: A Survey of Movie Sequels, Merv [Griffin] and The Musical: From Broadway to Hollywood).
He has written two novels, Nobody Drowns in Mineral Lake and Shadow Watcher, plus the humorous revisionist history, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: From the Secret Files of Harry Pennypacker, and Family Secret, a non-fiction book co-authored with Warren Hull, which reveals the true facts behind the 1947 murder of mobster “Bugsy” Siegel in Beverly Hills.
An acknowledged Hollywood historian, he has also written television documentaries and has been interviewed for various retrospective featurettes that have accompanied DVD releases of classic films (e.g. THE MALTESE FALCON, etc.)
Mr. Druxman is a former Hollywood publicist of 35 years experience who has represented many film and television stars, as well as noted directors, producers and composers. One of his Academy Award campaigns is often mentioned in books dealing with Oscar’s history.
He has taught various dramatic writing and film appreciation courses in an adult university and is the author of How to Write a Story…Any Story: The Art of Storytelling, which has been used as a text in several colleges.
A native of Seattle who graduated from Garfield High School and the University of Washington, Mr. Druxman moved with his wife, Sandy, from Los Angeles to Austin, TX in 2009.
His memoir, My Forty-Five Years in Hollywood and How I Escaped Alive, is published by Bear Manor Media (bearmanormedia.com).
Jay Wade Edwards is a Television Producer and Editor, most notably for the Adult Swim animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which recently celebrated its 100th episode. He served as Supervising Editor and Producer on AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE: FILM FOR THEATERS, as well as produced extra content for all eight ATHF DVD releases, along with other Adult Swim DVDs, including Squidbillies. Jay is the writer, director and editor of STOMP! SHOUT! SCREAM!, a 35 mm, rock n roll/monster/beach party film. It premiered at the 2006 Austin Film Festival and went on to screen at over thirty film festivals, winning Best-of Awards at The Toofy Film Festival (Colorado), The Magnolia Independent Film Festival (Mississippi) and The Sweet Onion Film Festival (Washington). A theatrical run by Monogram Releasing followed in 2009. In the same year, the film was re-packaged for release on DVD as MONSTER BEACH PARTY A GO GO by Indican Pictures.
Screenwriter, novelist and performer Owen Egerton is author of several books, including The Book of Harold, the Illegitimate Son of God, which was recently optioned for development as a television series. He and his writing partners sold the Blacklisted screenplay Bobbie Sue to Warner Brothers in 2008. He is currently set to direct his own horror screenplay, Follow, in 2013.
Federman & Scaia began writing together after meeting as Production Assistants on The West Wing. Winning the Austin Film Festival in 2003 for their spec of that show, their lives were never the same. They quickly landed an agent and were staffed as writers on Judging Amy. Since then, they’ve worked on such shows as Jericho, Warehouse 13 and Human Target. Additionally, they’ve developed a few pilots along the way for FOX, CBS and Showtime. Recently, Matthew and Stephen have segued into writing feature films, specifically, a reboot of the ZORRO franchise for Sony and an adaptation of the comic Y: THE LAST MAN, for New Line.
Their writing has consistently centered on the merging of character and premise, the effect of history on the present and, whenever possible, things blowing up. Matthew received his degree from PaceUniversity. Stephen graduated fromEmersonCollege. Their mothers are very proud.
Paul Feig is a multi-talented creator, working successfully as a filmmaker, writer, director, and author. Feig recently released BRIDEMAIDS, his fourth feature as director and producer. The Universal film stars Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, and Jon Hamm, and opened in May 2011 to rave reviews and has grossed over $283m worldwide.
He is a three-time EMMY nominated writer/director and DGA Award winner, best known for creating the beloved series Freaks and Geeks and serving as director and co-executive producer of The Office.
Feig created the acclaimed series Freaks and Geeks, which Time listed as one of the 100 Greatest Shows of All Time and launched the careers of Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segel. He was nominated for two comedy writing Emmy Awards, one for the pilot episode and one for the series finale, which he also directed.
Feig went on to write and direct the film I Am David, based on the Danish book of the same name by Anne Holm, and is the uplifting story about an 11-year-old boy who escapes from a Bulgarian labor camp. Feig’s third feature was the 2006 Warner Bros. family-comedy UNACCOMPANIED MINORS, which was based on an episode of Ira Glass’ This American Life.
Feig has directed multiple episodes of the television series Arrested Development, The Office, Nurse Jackie, Bored to Death, Weeds, 30 Rock, and Mad Men. He has served as a co-executive producer on both The Office and Nurse Jackie. In 2008, his work on The Office earned him an EMMY nomination for Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series for the hour long episode Goodbye, Toby and in January of 2009, he won the DGA award for Direction in a Comedy Series for the episode Dinner Party. Feig recently directed the hour long episode “Goodbye, Michael,” Steve Carell’s last episode.
Feig’s early stand-up career soon led to a successful career as a character actor, appearing as a series regular on the television series Dirty Dancing, Good Sports, The Jackie Thomas Show, The Louie Show, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He also appeared in such films as Paul Maslansky’s SKI PATROL, Disney’s HEAVEWEIGHTS, and Tom Hanks’ THAT THING YOU DO. After leaving the series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Feig wrote, produced and directed his first independent feature film, LIFE SOLD SEPARATELY.
In addition to his film and television work, Feig is the author of two comedic memoirs released by Random House, Kick Me – Adventures in Adolescence and Superstud, Or How I Became a 24 Year Old Virgin, the latter becoming a New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller. He is also the author of two young-adult science fiction novels, Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut! and Ignatius MacFarland: Frequency Freak Out!, both published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers. Feig’s short story, My Parents Give My Bedroom to a Biker, is in the young adult humor collection Guys Read: Funny Business from Walden Pond Press.
A graduate of the University of Southern California Film School, Feig was a winner of the school’s Jack Oakie Award for Comedy in Film. After USC, Feig worked as a script reader for Taxi Driver producer Michael Phillips until he went on “The $25,000 Pyramid” and won $29,000. “I always was an over-achiever,” he jokes.
Bruce Feirstein is a screenwriter and journalist who lives in Los Angeles. He has written, or co-written three James Bond movies (GOLDEN EYE, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) along with five James Bond video games. (Everything or Nothing, From Russia With Love, Bloodstone,GoldenEye Reloaded, and the upcoming 007 Legends, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Bond franchise.) He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine, and was previously a columnist at the New York Observer. Before that, he wrote editorials for the New York Times, was an editor at Spy magazine, worked briefly on Saturday Night Live, and was nominated for a Cable Ace Award for his HBO one-act play The Best Legs In Eighth Grade. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, New York Magazine,The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. His first book, Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, was an international best seller. From 2005 to 2010, he was based in Beijing, serving as the Executive Director of the IDG China Media fund, writing and producing Mandarin-language films for the Chinese domestic market. The films he produced there include the award-winning HONG HE (English: RED RIVER, a tragic love story about the aftermath of the Vietnam war on the border between China and Vietnam), and HUTONG DAYS, (a light-hearted drama about the emerging middle class in Beijing.) He is currently developing a TV series with E-One entertainment, and writing a spy film for Screen Gems.
Evan E. Fitzmaurice practices corporate and entertainment law at Selman Munson & Lerner P.C. in Austin, Texas. Fitzmaurice served as the Director of the Texas Film Commission from December 16, 2010 to June 29, 2012. Prior to that appointment, Fitzmaurice practiced law in Los Angeles at the entertainment law firm of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris and Klein P.C. While representing the firm’s writer, director, actor and producer clients, Fitzmaurice focused on film, television and digital production company financings and related transactions. In addition, he has practiced transactional law at the international firm of K&L Gates LLP in Los Angeles and Dallas, and in the Dallas office of Locke Lord LLP. He is a member of the State bars of Texas and California, and a past member of the Beverly Hills and Dallas Bar associations. Fitzmaurice co-produced the 2007 independent documentary, A LAWYER WALKS INTO A BAR, which premiered at the 2007 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 AFI Dallas International Film Festival and appeared at several other film festivals. A Dallas native, Fitzmaurice received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1999.
Eric Friend has worked as a sound designer, engineer, composer and musician for the past 20 years. He has worked on feature films for 20th Century Fox, MTV, Disney, Miramax, and New Line Cinema. He also worked for 13 years as Mike Judgeʼs in-house recording engineer for Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill. In 2011, Eric was a guest lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, and continues to work on student films.
Eric is the owner of Friendo Sound in Austin TX, a 5.1 audio mixing facility that specializes in sound for film, television, and the web. He is currently working on projects for Marvel, Sesame Street, MTV and several Austin independent feature films and documentaries including the remake of Slacker 2011. As a musician, Eric has composed music for television, feature films, shorts and documentaries. He performed live and toured with the band Spoon for 3 years, and currently plays with The Reivers.
Michael Fry has been a professional cartoonist and writer for over 25 years. He has produced four internationally syndicated comic strips including the current Over the Hedge (writer with T Lewis illustrating) for Universal Press Syndicate. Over the Hedge runs in over 130 newspapers worldwide.
In addition to writing Over the Hedge, Fry is also writing and illustrating the middle grade novel series The Odd Squad for Disney-Hyperion. “The Odd Squad: Bully Bait” is set to launch on February 12, 2013. A second book will be published in Fall 2013.
Over the Hedge was released May 19, 2006 as a CGI animated feature produced by DreamWorks Animation with the lead voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling and Steve Carell. Tim Johnson (Antz) and Karey Kirkpatrick (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) direct with Bonnie Arnold (Toy Story, Tarzan) producing and Jim Cox (Ferngully) co-executive, producing. Fry (with Lewis) was a creative consultant. The film grossed $336 million dollars in worldside box office.
The OVER THE HEDGE feature was previously in development at Fox Family films where Fry (with Lewis) co-wrote the original screenplay.
Fry was also a co-founder of RingTales, a new media company that animated print comics for all digital media. RingTales produced short (15-30 second) ad-supported animations for the web, mobile and portable digital devices. Ringtalesanimated Dilbert, The New Yorker cartoons, Over the Hedge, Pearls Before Swine and many other popular properties. Since March ’07 RingTales produced over 1000 cartoons that have garnered over 260 million views.
Fry also executive produced the prime-time animated series Committed based on his previously syndicated strip of the same name. Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin provided lead voices. The show debuted in Canada in March 2001 on CTV. In the US, Committed debuted on the WE: Women’s Entertainment network in October 2002. Committed was nominated for Outstanding Series for All Audience at the 2001 Cartoons on the Bay Television Animation Awards.
Fry made his directorial debut with the live-action (with animation) short, NEW SOUL starring comedian Larry Miller in December 2011. NEW SOUL is presently in post-production and set to be completed later in 2012.
Fry lives on a small ranch near Austin, Texas with his wife, Kim, dog Jack and do and a dozen or so unnamed shrub-eating cows.
Chet Garner is the creator, writer, and host of The Daytripper on PBS. After practicing law for 3 years, Chet decided to follow his passions and share his genuine love for all things Texas with viewers who don’t often realize the beauty in their own backyards. So, with a video camera in one hand and a plate of BBQ in the other, Chet and a small crew set out to travel Texas. What followed was a crash course on travel, filmmaking, marketing, and doing whatever it takes to create a TV show and get the word out all across Texas. But the hard work has paid off as “The Daytripper” is now a statewide Emmy-Award winning travel show that Chet plans to make until he is forced to travel to places only reachable by motorized scooter. When not traveling Texas Chet is at home with his wife and 2 children – although he’s usually got them on the road too.
Award-winning filmmaker Mick Garris began writing fiction at the age of twelve. By the time he was in high school, he was writing music and film journalism for various local and national publications, and during college, edited and published his own pop culture magazine. He spent seven years as lead vocalist with the acclaimed tongue-in-cheek progressive art-rock band, HORSEFEATHERS.
His first movie business job was as a receptionist for George Lucas’s Star Wars Corporation, where he worked his way up to running the remote-controlled R2-D2 robot at personal appearances, including that year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Garris hosted and produced “The Fantasy Film Festival” for nearly three years on Los Angeles television, and later began work in film publicity at Avco Embassy and Universal Pictures. It was there that he created “Making of…” documentaries for various feature films.
Steven Spielberg hired Garris as story editor on the AMAZING STORIES series for NBC, where he wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 44 episodes. Since then, he has written or co-authored several feature films (*BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED, THE FLY II, HOCUS POCUS, CRITTERS 2, RIDING THE BULLET) and teleplays (AMAZING STORIES, QUICKSILVER HIGHWAY, VIRTUAL OBSESSION, THE OTHERS, DESPERATION, NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES, MASTERS OF HORROR), as well as directing and producing in many media: cable (PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, MASTERS OF HORROR), features (CRITTERS 2, SLEEPWALKERS, RIDING THE BULLET), television films (QUICKSILVER HIGHWAY, VIRTUAL OBSESSION, DESPERATION), series pilots (THE OTHERS, LOST IN OZ), and network miniseries (THE STAND, THE SHINING, STEVE MARTINI’S THE JUDGE).
He created and Executive Produced the MASTERS OF HORROR series, an anthology series of one-hour horror films written and directed by the most famous names in the fear-film genre: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, George Romero, John Landis, Dario Argento, and several others. He also created the NBC spin-off, FEAR ITSELF.
He is currently in production on a 4-hour miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, BAG OF BONES, which he is directing as well as executive producing for A&E.
A LIFE IN THE CINEMA, his first book, is a collection of short stories and a screenplay based on one of the included stories, achieved widespread critical acclaim, and his short fiction has been published in numerous books and magazines. His second book, DEVELOPMENT HELL, is his first novel. Two novellas, SNOW SHADOWS and TYLER’S FIRST ACT are being published in 2012.
Mick is also Creator and on-camera host for FEARnet’s interview series, POST MORTEM WITH MICK GARRIS.
Garris lives in Studio City, California, with his wife, Cynthia, an actress, musician, composer and muse.
Eric Geadelmann is an award winning filmmaker and media & technology entrepreneur who founded Crowfly Pictures Entertainment and its predecessor, the media holding company 821 Entertainment Group. A recent Austin transplant, Eric entered the filmed entertainment sector in 2003 with his critically acclaimed debut film, “The Dance – The Billy Roth Story,” that was executive produced by Nicolas Cage. The success of this feature documentary and its subsequent development as a scripted project for Universal Pictures, with Eric attached to produce, prompted the launch of Nashville-based 821 Entertainment Group.
From 2005 through 2010, Eric and his team built 821 into a diversified media enterprise with divisions in motion picture and television development and production, music, digital media and communications. Highlights included Grammy and Oscar nominations for projects the company participated in, first of their kind digital media endeavors with Universal Music and Warner Music, partnerships with NBC Universal, AMD Digital Entertainment, Nicolas Cage/Saturn Films and Universal Pictures. Clients included Miramax, Reveille, Warner Bros, Atlantic Records and Viacom.
On the project level, Eric is developing, producing and/or executive producing a slate of films including the adaptation of John Grisham’s best-seller “The Testament,” a Hank Williams biopic and an inspirational sports pic based on the lives of Maria Pepe and Jackie Mitchell. Most recently, Eric wrote, directed and produced the award winning and critically acclaimed documentary “Dave,” that will be released in 2013. A scripted feature inspired by the documentary Dave is being developed by Academy Award winning producer Mark Johnson, Oscar nominated Mike Tollin, and screenwriter Neil Tolkin; that Eric is attached to direct.
A Baylor University graduate, Eric is a former international management consultant and technologist who previously co founded a healthcare technology company that pioneered web-based applications of advanced artificial intelligence for disease prediction modeling. The company successfully merged with the world’s largest disease management company in 2001.
Audrey Gordon is a literary manager at Oasis Media Group, a Los Angeles-based management and production company founded by David Lonner. Under Oasis’ banner, Gordon represents television and film writers. She started her career in the Television department at Creative Artists Agency after graduating from Tulane University in New Orleans. In addition, Audrey is a mentor at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program and a former president of Junior Hollywood Radio Television Society. She is proud of her Texas roots and thrilled to be a part of AFF this year.
Pamela Gray is the screenwriter of CONVICTION, which won Best Picture at the Boston Film Festival and had gala premieres at the 2010 Toronto and London Film Festivals. CONVICTION star Hilary Swank earned a SAG nomination for Best Actress, and co-star Sam Rockwell earned a Critics Choice nomination. The film received a National Board of Review “Freedom of Expression Award” and a nomination for an NAACP Image Award. Pamela’s other credits include MUSIC OF THE HEART, which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination, and A WALK ON THE MOON, produced by Dustin Hoffman, starring Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen, and rated #9 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the “50 Sexiest Movies of All Time.” Pamela has written screenplays for Warner Bros., New Line, Miramax, Disney, Paramount and Universal, and pilot scripts for CBS and ABC. Meryl Streep is attached to star in Pamela’s adaptation of the bestseller Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Variety named Pamela one of “Ten Screenwriters to Watch.”
Screenwriter Michael Green got his start as a Staff Writer on HBO’s Sex in The City. He has since gone on to be a writer and producer for Smallville, Everwood, Jack & Bobby, Heroes, among others, as well as creator/showrunner of Kings and The River.
Parke Gregg won his first Summit, Addy and Telly awards as IBM Tivoli’s Manager of New Media, and later in 1999, he launched Pointsphere, a new media consulting firm. He was the Post Production Supervisor on the CNBC television series American Made and Associate Producer for the Emmy Award winning PBS documentary series The State of Tomorrow.
In 2007, with partners Allison Turrell and Lyman Hardy, he formed Stuck On On, an audio and visual post production company, where he is the lead colorist and editor. His long-format work has screened at Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Sydney, SXSW, Toronto, Fantastic Fest, Austin, and Los Angeles Film Festivals.
Parke’s projects include Take Shelter, Up to Speed, Where Soldiers Come From, Boneboys, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Zero Charisma, The Taiwan Oyster, Restive, Blacktino, The Big Bends, The Eyes of Me,and The Happy Poet.
MATTHEW GROSS (Producer, Writer and Director) is president of his film and television production company, Gross Entertainment which has an overall deal with ABC Studios through 2014. He is the Executive Producer of the current ABC series Body of Proof, starring Dana Delany. Prior to Body of Proof, Gross served as Executive Producer for two seasons of the television series Dirty Sexy Money starring Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland and Lucy Liu as well as the critically acclaimed and award-winning action series Day Break for ABC, starring Taye Diggs. While at ABC Studios, Gross Entertainment also developed and produced the television pilots Twenty Questions, Neighbors, and See Kate Run. On the feature side, Gross produced the motion pictures FIRED UP!, JOE SOMEBODY and the Golden Globe nominated Beatles musical ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. He also received an Oscar nomination for his live-action short film BRONX CHEERS. Gross is currently developing the live stage musical of the Oscar wining film, THE STING.
Gross is the former President of production for Kopelson Entertainment and Kopelson Telemedia. During his tenure, the company produced DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, A PERFECT MURDER, U.S. MARSHALS, MAD CITY, MURDER AT 1600, DON’T SAY A WORD and TWISTED. On the TV side, Gross developed and produced the series The Fugitive and Thieves. Prior to working with Kopelson, Gross was the Executive Vice-President of Wilshire Court Productions, a division of Paramount Television where he developed and produced more than 75 films for USA Network and various other networks. Gross received his M.F. A. from the American Film Institute and graduated from UCLA with a major in Economics. Matthew Gross resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
JAMES V. HART (J.V.) was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and grew up in Ft. Worth Texas on Drive-In Movies and Saturday Matinees. Soon after graduating from SMU in Dallas, he began producing films in the 1970’s. His first feature film, SUMMER RUN, opened the USA film festival at SMU in Dallas Texas.
Hart settled in New York City with his wife, son and daughter, and began his screenwriting career. His writing/producing credits include; HOOK, directed by Steven Spielberg based on an idea by Hart’s then 6 year old Son, Jake, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, directed by Brian Henson, and CONTACT, directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Other writing/producing credits include:
MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENTSEIN, TUCK EVERLASTING, SAHARA JACK AND THE BEANSTALK: THE REAL STORY, LARA CROFT: TOMBRAIDER – THE CRADLE OF LIFE, and AUGUST RUSH
Hart’s first novel, CAPT. HOOK – ADVENTURES OF A NOTORIOUS YOUTH, about the early days of James Hook at Eton before his adventures with Peter Pan, was published by Laura Geringer Books for Harper Collins and was named “Top Ten Young Adult Books” in 2006 by the American Library Association.
Hart is currently in production on the animated feature, THE LEGEND OF THE LEAFMEN [EPIC], with children’s book illustrator and home town friend, SMU graduate, William Joyce, and director-animator Chris Wedge, who created ICE AGE and ROBOTS with Joyce for release in 2013.
TV projects include DEAN KOONTZ’S FRANKENSTEIN for Lions Gate and Turner, with Hart collaborating with his son, Jake; and THE REPUBLIC OF PIRATES, AKA CROSSBONES, for NBC with Texas born writing partner, Amanda Welles.
STEELSKIN is his new project at Fox for Actor/Director, Andy Serkis, and August Rush producer, Richard Lewis.
“Go with Gravity” is Hart’s primary mantra for the writing life.
Never Grow Up! Never Give Up!
Noah Hawley is an American film and television producer, screenwriter, composer, and author. He wrote and produced the television series Bones (2005-present) and also created The Unusuals (2009) and My Generation (2010). Hawley also wrote the screenplay for the film LIES AND ALIBIS(2006) starring Steve Coogan and Rebecca Romijn. Noah is the author of three novels including A Conspiracy of Tall Men, Other People’s Weddings and The Punch. He has a fourth novel, The Good Father, coming out spring 2012. Noah began writing as a release from his job at the Legal Aid Society back in New York where he worked with abused and neglected juveniles. He then moved to San Francisco and met critically acclaimed author Po Bronson who invited him to join “The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto” an organization where writers, filmmakers and storytellers practice their craft.
Showtime declared Pat Hazell one of the five funniest people in America. His 25 years of experience as a writer, producer and performer have made him a go-to guy for new American theater.
Pat Hazell is one of the original writers for NBC’s Seinfeld, a Tonight Show veteran, a critically acclaimed playwright and a contributing commentator to National Public Radio. He is recognized for his genuinely funny Americana humor and his salute to pop culture.
As a playwright, Pat’s first endeavor Bunk Bed Brothers, co-written with Matt Goldman, was critically acclaimed and later optioned by Columbia Pictures. Bunk Bed Brothers gained the attention of the TV industry and was filmed as the sit-com, American Pie, for NBC.
Hazell’s signature work, The Wonder Bread Years, a grand salute to the baby-boomer generation aired on PBS, where they referred to Hazell as “America’s foremost pop culture anthropologist.” Currently, the live theatrical tour of The Wonder Bread Years is enjoying rave reviews across the US.
His television writing credits include Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, My Life In 3D and Showtime’s Aspen Comedy Special.
As the Chief Creative Officer of Sweetwood Productions, he is exclusively responsible for producing and directing the national tours of Bunk Bed Brothers, Cocktails with Larry Miller, The Wonder Bread Years, Nashville Backstage, A Kodachrome Christmas and Brian McDonald’s Invisible Ink. Pat is in currently in development on a musical adaptation of his original play Grounded For Life. However, his greatest accomplishment is being the father of two of the brightest shining stars in the universe, Tucker and Keaton.
As the Chief Creative Officer of Sweetwood Productions, he is exclusively responsible for producing and directing the national tours of Bunk Bed Brothers, Cocktails with Larry Miller, The Wonder Bread Years, Nashville Backstage, A Kodachrome Christmas and Brian McDonald’s Invisible Ink. Pat is in currently in development on a musical adaptation of his original play Grounded For Life. However, his greatest accomplishment is being the father of two of the brightest shining stars in the universe, Tucker and Keaton.
Eric Heisserer broke into the business in 2005 with a spec script based on his online epistolary story, “The Dionaea House.” Since then he’s written for three produced films and numerous others languishing in development. This year he took the leap as a first-time director for a script he wrote, based on the short story “Hours” (at popcornfiction.com). The movie is a marked departure from the horror fare of his recent credits, funded outside the studio system. By the time the Austin Film Festival begins, Eric will either be the proud father of a new movie, or a broken man.
Brin is in the process of directing the metaphysical love story IN YOUR EYES, written and executive produced by Joss Whedon for his micro-studio Bellwhether Pictures. It stars Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Mark Feuerstein, Jennifer Grey, and Steve Howey.
Brin wrote WON’T BACK DOWN, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Oscar Issac, Holly Hunter, Ving Rhames, and Rosie Perez, inspired by true events happening in America’s public school system and released by Fox/Walden Media.
Brin wrote BATTLE OF THE YEAR: THE DREAM TEAM for Screen Gems/Sony Pictures, a film about America’s attempt to regain its rightful throne in the International B-Boy Championships. The picture stars Josh Holloway, Josh Peck, Chris Brown, and Laz Alonso, and is set for a January 25, 2013 release.
Hill recently adapted the much-acclaimed young adult novel Ball Don’t Lie and directed it as an independent feature. The ensemble stars Nick Cannon, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo, Rosanna Arquette, Emile de Ravin and streetball sensation Grayson “The Professor” Boucher among others — it is awaiting its finalized release date in early 2013.
Brin’s short work includes THE ECOLOGY OF LOVE, an intoxicating film staring music and fashion icon Pharrell, and his moody MORNING BREATH: A BROOKLYN LOVE STORY. They have captured a number of prestigious top awards at international festivals including a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
In addition to recent work, Brin has written and/or directed projects for HBO Films, Miramax Films, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Dimension Films, ESPN, AND1, MTV, Nike, Visa, Details, Powerade, Bombay Gin, Warner Brothers, Spike-TV, Intel, Jean Paul Da’mage Jeans, Toyota, the NBA, the NFL, Kia, Nissan, Cadillac, Red Bull, and The History Channel among others.
His profile journalism can be found in various publications.
A former college basketball player, Brin still holds out hope that people recognize him as a sharpshooting two-guard on the hoops court, but he’s dubious.
ERICH HOEBER has worked on countless feature films and television shows during his fifteen year stint in Hollywood. With his brother Jon, his writing credits include the action-comedy RED, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich; the comedic thriller and Sundance favorite, MONTANA, starring Kyra Sedgwick, Stanley Tucci, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman; and the naval actionadventure
BATTLESHIP directed by Peter Berg for Universal. Currently, Erich is in production on a RED sequel which will add Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones to the franchise, and he’s developing his original comic book series, THE MISSION, an action-thriller published by Image Comics, for television.
BAD PARENTS, based on Jentis’ award-winning play “It’s All About the Kids” is the fourth produced feature film written by Caytha Jentis and her second outing as director. Her directorial debut, THE ONE (2011), a romantic comedy starring Jon Prescott, enjoyed sold-out screenings at Cinefest, Frameline, Ridgewood, and Qfest, was released theatrically and on DVD/VOD through TLA Releasing. Jentis’ first produced screenplay “And Then Came Love” (2007) starred Vanessa Williams, Eartha Kitt, Michael Boatman, Stephen Spinella and Ben Vereen. Jentis also executive produced and produced the film, which – after following the festival circuit – opened theatrically, was licensed to Warner Premier Video for DVD/VOD, and continues to enjoy great success airing extensively worldwide on premium cable networks. EXPOSED (2009), a psychological thriller written by Jentis was produced by Media at Large and recently won “Best Suspense Feature Film” at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival in both New York and Los Angeles. The short film THE DREAM HOUSE , written and produced by Jentis is currently out to festivals. Jentis, who is President of Fox Meadow Films, also has an extensive background in sales and marketing. She began her career as a literary agent and has worked as a Development Executive for ITC Productions. Jentis holds an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA and a BS in TV & Film from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.
T.C. began making films in Steamboat Springs 10 years ago. After producing his first feature he moved to Santa Monica, California and began working as a DP and documentary director on a wide variety of projects ranging from television to independent films. As a story hunter, T.C. has traveled to over 40 countries and has a deep desire to see people live out their dreams and contribute to the common good. With a passion for redemptive story and world issues, T.C. began writing and directing films with redemptive themes 7 years ago. The vision was simple… allow audiences to dream. He believes a well told story can create a catalyst for change.
BARRY JOSEPHSON, President of Josephson Entertainment, is a film and television producer whose recent film projects include, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, released by Warner Brothers, and the international Walt Disney hit film, ENCHANTED. He has just completed principle photography of the film SOMEONE MARRY BARRY and is nearing production of DIRTY GRANDPA at Universal. Josephson is also at the helm of the popular FOX television drama Bones, currently in its eighth season, and currently developing new television shows for several networks including AMC, TNT & FOX.
Deena represents artists and businesses engaged in entertainment, intellectual property and technology, including film, music, television, fashion, literary publishing, and mobile/interactive media. Deena has a particular interest in fair use and assists many documentary filmmakers each year in assessing the
applicability of this important copyright doctrine to their projects.
Always active in her community, she is affiliated with or donates time to many organizations including, the Texas Motion Picture Alliance, the Austin Film Society, Volunteer Legal Services, The College of the State Bar of Texas, and other professional associations in Texas and New York.Deena frequently provides pro bono services for low-income Texans, in addition to her pro bono activities for entertainment industryclients. She has been recognized by The Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, and has been awarded the Judge Suzanne Covington Award in connection with her pro bono services. She has lectured at several legal workshops, at the University of Texas, and at various film conferences.
Deena has a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin, with a concentration on hip hop and feminist film theory. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Miami, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Casper Kelly writes absurdist late-night TV for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim on shows such as Squidbillies, Stroker & Hoop, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law and two new series set to air later this year. He has won an Annie, a big animation award, and was nominated for an AVN, a big Adult Video award (long story). His cartoon strip Fried Society ran in papers across the country, his short films have played across the country, and his book More Stories about Spaceships and Cancer came out in May. Joe Randazzo, editor of The Onion, called it “f***ing awesome”.
Kyle Killen began as a fiction writer, winning the John Steinbeck Award For The Short Story in 2005 and going on to have his work featured in numerous publications including Salon.com, McSweeney’s, and The Mid-American Review.
His script, THE BEAVER landed on top of “The Black List”, a compilation of the years best liked screenplays and went on to become a Jodie Foster/Mel Gibson feature film.
Previously, his series, Lone Star was named the best new series on television by the likes of USA Today, NPR, and Variety.
He lives in Austin, TX.
ABBY KOHN & MARC SILVERSTEIN got their start at USC, where they both received MFAs in Film Production. Their thesis short entitled FAIRFOX FANDANGO won the Best Short Film Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Soon after their student film screened, they sold a romantic comedy pitch entitled NEVER BEEN KISSED. A few months later, their script was being produced for FOX 2000, starring Drew Barrymore.
The next few years saw them venture into television, where they created, wrote and produced several television projects, including the Fox series Opposite Sex, and the pilots Close to Home and Splitsville, also for Fox.
Returning to film they wrote the hit HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, which starred Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson and Ben Affleck. They also co-wrote the Warner Brother’s release VALENTINE’S DAY which starred Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, and Shirley Maclaine, just to name a few. And their latest film, THE VOW, starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, was released by Sony/Screen Gems earlier this year and has earned over $120 million in domestic box office thus far.
They are currently working on a re-imagining of the Steve Martin film ALL OF ME for Dreamworks, and are writing HOW TO BE SINGLE, inspired by a book by Liz Tuccillo, which re-teams them with Flower Films and New Line Cinema.
Greg has written, directed, and produced award winning short films, documentaries, and national commercial campaigns. Notable work includes MANOS DE MADRE, TFPF recipient and AFS/SXSW showcase; GUEST ROOM, Doorpost Film Project Finalist (funded through $30,000 grant), winner of the Filmmaker’s Choice Award by the Doorpost Film Project ($15,000 award), and winner of Best International Short at the London Independent Film Festival. In 2010, Greg produced BTS: A Documentary about Making Documentaries with Zacuto Films, which went on to a regional Emmy Nomination and a Silver Telly Award.
Greg’s debut as a feature producer was with RISING FROM ASHES, a documentary directed by T.C. Johnstone and Executive Produced and Narrated by Forest Whitaker releasing this fall about the first Rwandan National Cycling Team and their 6 year journey to the Olympic Games in London.
Max Landis, 27, is the writer behind 2012′s CHRONICLE, as well as the creator of the viral documentary film THE DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN. Extremely prolific, Landis is currently attached to nearly a dozen feature film projects, including some as director and producer, and has written for both Showtime and NBC. Known to his cat as “the greatest American screenwriter,” the outspoken and energetic Landis considers every day just another quest in his endless pursuit to become the best guy ever.
THE BROTHERS LANGLAIS are an unstoppable team of screenwriters dedicated to the philosophy that great stories make for awesome movies, and awesome movies make gobs of money. Granted, that theory is still kind of in the test phase in our case…but it seems sound, so we’re going with it.
We specialize in what we call “intelligent horror/thrillers”: stories which are scary because they make you think in the small dark hours of the night, in the vein of SE7EN or THE RING. We think scary movies shouldn’t just startle you or disgust you – they should haunt you. That eerie scratching sound you hear inside the walls of your bedroom late at night…that’s actually one of our scripts trying to get you.
Most recently we’ve developed a “romantic horror” script with Randall Wallace (legendary writer of BRAVEHEART and director of SECRETARIAT, who we met thanks to the AFF) and his son Andrew Wallace of Wheelhouse Entertainment. And now we’re poised to work with another professional contact we’ve made thanks to the extraordinary networking opportunities afforded by the Austin Film Festival.
People who’ve been coming to the AFF for the past few years might recognize us as regular fixtures here. Somewhere along the line, we picked up the reputation for being really good at networking. And this is remarkable primarily because, like many writers, we’re naturally quite shy – we’ve just learned how not to be. Moreover, we’ve discovered and developed a lot of successful networking techniques and marketing strategies that don’t come instinctively to many writers – but these are the things that help get you connections in the industry and get your material read. And since among our other crazy theories is that people who help other people will ultimately succeed in life, we’re more than happy to share all the good stuff we’ve learned!
And check out TheBrothersLanglais.com to find out what we’re working on next in the sanity-shattering realm of intelligent horror/thriller screenplays……
Geoff LaTulippe is a writer/director who wrote the original screenplay GOING THE DISTANCE. The feature was released by New Line on August 27 2010, and starred Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. He has also written an adaptation of the novel BREATHERS for Fox Searchlight studios, a terrific dark comedy in the spirit of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS about a recently deceased Everyman and newly minted zombie who is having trouble adjusting to his new existence. Geoff is set to make his directorial debut for Paramount based off of an original pitch he is writing for the studio.
Franklin Leonard is the creator of the Black List and co-creator of Blcklst.com, a yearly publication highlighting Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays and its ongoing home on the web. Over 200 Black List scripts have been produced as feature films earning more than 140 Academy Award nominations including two of the last four Best Pictures and five of the last ten screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has worked in development at Universal Pictures and the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, Leonardo DiCaprio, and John Goldwyn. Before Los Angeles and all things film related, Franklin was – at different times - a business analyst at McKinsey & Co., a weekly columnist for the Trinidad Guardian in Port-au-Spain, Trinidad, and the communications director for John Cranley’s 2000 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio’s first district. He’s a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University. Since 2010, he has been named one of Hollywood Reporter’s 30 Under 30, Black Enterprise magazine’s “40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future,” AOL Black Voices “30 Black Hollywood Game Changers” and Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Despite being advised that his brain would rot, Damon Lindelof spent the majority of his childhood watching television. After a brief flirtation with movies by way of a film degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Damon hopped in his car and traveled west and eventually took a job as a writer’s assistant on Kevin Williamson’s ABC Drama Wasteland. Shortly thereafter, and the show was cancelled. Damon went on to write for Nash Bridges and then moved on to NBC’s new drama Crossing Jordan. Then Damon got Lost. Within twelve weeks of complete insanity, he and co-creator J.J. Abrams managed to make a ridiculously untenable and vastly expensive pilot for ABC that centered on the survivors of a plane crash in the South Pacific. Despite this, Lost won a Golden Globe and Emmy Award in its freshman season. Damon concluded Lost, after six seasons and still doesn’t quite understand what it all meant. A life long Trekker, Damon also is a producer on J.J.’s STAR TREK reboot, which was released in May 2009. Damon is currently writing and producing the sequel to STAR TREK and the Sir Ridley Scott movie PROMETHEUS. In his spare time, Damon also wrote this Bio.
Alex is a former feature executive turned screenwriter. Upon graduating from the prestigious USC Film School, he worked at 20th Century Fox, Outlaw and Intermedia, where he was involved with over two dozen movies, including X-MEN, X FILES, FANTASTIC FOUR, DAREDEVIL, BEHIND ENEMY LINES, TRAINING DAY, ALEXANDER, K-19, QUIET AMERICAN, MINDHUNTERS, BASIC, DARK BLUE and THE HUNTING PARTY. Since making the switch to screenwriting, he’s penned a number of projects in features and TV. His produced credits are PREDATORS (2010) and THREE MUSKETEERS (2011). He’s currently writing MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE for Sony.
Lizer served as co-executive producer and writer of the long-running hit comedy Will & Grace, for which she shared four Emmy® Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Lizer also executive produced and created Maggie Winters, co-produced and wrote For Your Love, was a consulting producer and writer for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, wrote for Boston Common and was a story editor and writer on the series adaptation of Weird Science.
Prior to writing for television, Lizer was a professional actor, appearing in the feature films Gotcha! and Private School, among others. On television, she was a series regular on the long-running series Matlock, and she starred in The Van Dyke Show. Her credits also include the HBO original movie Breast Men and guest-starring roles on Murphy Brown, Empty Nest, Weird Science and Will & Grace, among many others.
Lizer lives in Los Angeles with her three children. The New Adventures of Old Christine is inspired, in part, by her life as a single, working mother.
Jeff Lowell has written, produced and directed features and television for more than fifteen years. In TV, he’s worked on such shows as The George Carlin Show, Drew Carey, Just Shoot Me, Sports Night, Cybill and Spin City. On the feature side, he wrote JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE, HOTEL FOR DOGS, and wrote and directed OVER HER DEAD BODY.
Jenny Lumet is the author of RACHEL GETTING MARRIED- for which she received the New York, Toronto, and Washington D.C Film Critic Circle Awards, and an NAACP Image Award. She also the author of the screen adaptation of The Language of Flowers and the pilot The Weissmans of Westport. She has written several other screenplays. She is on the Board of the Writers Guild of America East Foundation.
Jenny has a 17 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. She didn’t go to college but if she had she would have done poorly due to truancy. She went to high school but did poorly due to truancy.
Chris Mass got his start co-writing and staring in CHALK, which won the AFF Audience and Grand jury prizes before going on to be nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Since then Chris has been lucky enough to write (almost) full-time! He has various studio writing projects, including BOBBIE SUE which sold to Warner Brothers (And landed on the coveted Black List), along with HENCHMEN at 21 Laps.
Writer and producer Craig Mazin has made a name for himself as a comedy writer with a knack for appealing to broad audiences. His most recent film, The Hangover Part II, co-written with Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong, shattered numerous box office records and is the biggest-grossing live action comedy in motion picture history.
Currently, Mazin wrote the newly released Universal comedy Identity Theft, starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman. He’s also writing and producing the animated comedy Turkeys for ReelFX, featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Steve Martin.
Mazin co-wrote the hit comedies Scary Movie 3 and 4 and co-wrote the live action Disney film Rocketman. Together, his films have grossed over one billion dollars worldwide.
Craig served on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America West from 2004 to 2006. He lives with his wife and two children in a small town north of Los Angeles.
Cindy McCreery is a graduate of the Walt Disney/ABC Feature Writing Fellowship program for the 2002-2003 year. Her script POWDER PUFFS got her into the program and was sold to Disney after she finished the fellowship. After the sale of POWDER PUFFS Cindy immediately wrote and sold her next feature spec script, SOCCER MOM to New Line Cinema. In the fall of 2005 Tollin Robbins and Josephson Entertainment approached Cindy with the true story of Maria Pepe, the first girl to play in the Little League. Cindy came up with a pitch with the producers and sold the pitch to Nickelodeon/Paramount. In 2006 National Geographic Films hired Cindy to rewrite ELEPHANT WILD and later in 2007 in partnership with Warner Brothers, they hired her again to develop and write FREE WILLY: ESCAPE FROM PIRATES COVE which was released in March of 2010. Also in 2007 Cindy sold a pitch of a revamped BABY BOOM for MGM. In 2009 Disney Channel hired her to adapt the book, RISING STAR into a Disney Channel Original movie. In 2010 Cindy optioned her original script, HOW TO DATE A PRINCE to Radar Pictures and HOLDING PATTERN to Unique Entertainment. She recently was hired with her friend and collaborator, Tara Miele to write the Disney Channel Original Movie, UNPLUGGED. She is currently writing and developing feature specs as well as original ideas for TV. Along with her writing, Cindy has been teaching Introduction to Screenwriting for the Film Studies department at UC Santa Barbara for the last six years and most recently the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. In the fall of 2011 Cindy joined UT Austin’s Department of Radio TV and Film as an Assistant Professor of screenwriting.
Brian McDonald is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked in film, television and comic books for more than 25 years. He has been a story advisor and lecturer at both Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
McDonald is the author of several books on the craft of storytelling, including Invisible Ink and The Golden Theme, which are quickly becoming required reading for many film and writing programs.
He is an instructor for The Red Badge Project – which aims to help returning soldiers suffering from PTSD by teaching them how to tell their personal stories.
Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman are writing and executive producing Hemlock Grove, a 13 hour original series for Netflix directed by Eli Roth and adapted from McGreevy’s novel of the same name. They are also working with Roth on an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Russell Crowe and Warner Bros. They are both graduates of the James Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin.
A native of the Northern Virginia/DC metro area, Ashley Edward Miller was a graduate of the prestigious Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. He went on to study English and Government at the College of William & Mary, becoming first a middle school English and Creative Writing teacher in Fairfax County, VA and then an analyst working for the Chief of Naval Operations through Science Applications International Corporation. He met his writing partner Zack Stentz over the Internet, a consequence of their mutual love of all things Star Trek. Since then, Ashley and Zack have written and/or produced well over a hundred hours of television, from their start on GENE RODDENBERRY’S ANDROMEDA, THE TWILIGHT ZONE revival on UPN and most recently TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and FRINGE.
Their first feature credit was 2003′s “Agent Cody Banks,” and most recently “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class.” Ashley and Zack are currently working on several projects in active development, including feature adaptations of the novel “Starship Troopers” and the 80’s TV series “The Fall Guy”. They have also written a Young Adult novel, “Colin Fischer” which will be published by Penguin Books in Fall 2012. Ashley is currently a resident of Los Angeles, CA where he lives with his comic books and action figures, at the mercy of his wife and young son. He does not know Kung Fu.
Dalan Musson is a rising star in the feature world. His script RAGNAROK– a 300-type take on Norse mythology– sold to Warner Bros, where he is currently writing BLOOD WARS as part of a blind script deal. He also adapted the graphic novel JEREMIAH HARM– an action comedy in the vein of LETHAL WEAPON, set in space– for Timur Bekmambetov, and in a stunning turn of events, he set up his animated pilot ASSHOLE NINJA (written with Malcolm Spellman) at Fox. Dalan also has a number of video game writing credits, which he’ll be happy to share if you ask.
A passionate writer’s advocate for almost 20 years now, Gayla Nethercott formed Nethercott Agency in Westwood Village in 2008. Known as ‘the anti-agent agent’ she represents writers and filmmakers for feature film, cable film and all series television. Nethercott spent 12 years at Broder, Kurland, Webb, Uffner (now ICM), then Head of the Literary Department, LA and NYC, at Don Buchwald & Associates for two years, where she acquired (and retains) the Field-Cech Agency. She is currently on the Board of the Austin Film Festival, and is affiliated with film writing programs at UCLA, USC, UT, Columbia University, the WGA, The Film School, and the AFI, as well as an active participant in the DGA Diversity Program.
Shotgun Stories premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007, and was released theatrically in the United States in March 2008. It was nominated for a 2008 Independent Spirit Award, won the Grand Jury Prize for New American Cinema at the Seattle International Film Festival, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Austin Film Festival, and won the FIPRESCI International Jury Prize at the 2007 Viennale.
TAKE SHELTER premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and was released theatrically in the United States in September 2011. It won the Critics Week Grand Prize and the SACD Award for Best Feature at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. TAKE SHELTER was nominated for five 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards including: Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead (Michael Shannon) and Best Supporting Female (Jessica Chastain).
MUD, Nichols third and latest film, recently premiered in main competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Nichols is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking, and is a current resident of Austin, Texas.
A versatile writer/producer who works fluidly through genres and mediums, Marti Noxon has recently launched into the film arena with the upcoming of Dreamworks/Disney’s FRIGHT NIGHT. Noxon has established herself as an in-demand creative voice, excelling with character-driven genre films that appeal to a broad audience. Noxon is currently developing THE DEFENDERS with filmmaker Jon Hamburg for Kurtzman Orci Paper Products and Masi Oka, and is a consulting writer/producer on the third season of the hit Fox series Glee. She is also adapting Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for Lionsgate, Ouija for Platinum Dunes and Hasbro, and writing TINK for Disney and Elizabeth Banks. She most recently released her reimagining of the classic cult horror film FRIGHT NIGHT. The Dreamworks film opened in August 2011, and starred Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell. Her feature debut, I AM NUMBER FOUR, was released in February 2011. The Dreamworks film, which she adapted from the popular novel, starred Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, and Timothy Olyphant. Noxon has written and executive produced for many critically acclaimed shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Brothers & Sisters, Point Pleasant, and Still Life. She has also acted as consulting producer for Mad Men, Prison Break, and Angel. Under her Grady Twins Productions banner that she co-runs with longtime collaborator and friend Dawn Olmstead, Noxon proves to be an all-around talent building a thriving production company. She is currently producing projects for Lifetime, FX, the CW, and NBC. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Noxon currently lives in Hollywood with her two children.
Matt is currently the Executive Producer and Showrunner of the upcoming NBC drama, Chicago Fire. Prior to that, he served as an Executive Producer on the Fox drama Prison Break and on A&E’s Breakout Kings, which he also Co-Created. Matt worked on NYPD Blue, where he rose to Executive Producer, and Co-Created and Executive Produced Steven Bochco’s last two network pilots including Blind Justice.
Matt grew up in Chico, CA and attended California State University, Chico.
Robert Patrick is an actor who’s worked with some of the top actors and directors in his field for the last 20 years. He can currently be seen on the ABC show LAST RESORT reteaming with THE UNIT co-creator Shawn Ryan and on the big screen opposite Clint Eastwood in the film TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE.
In the early stages of his career, Robert was a struggling actor who had to live in his car. His breakthrough role came as the legendary T-1000 in Terminator 2 and since then, he has worked on iconic films and television shows including Die Hard 2, Wayne’s World, Last Action Hero, Fire in the Sky, Cop Land, The Faculty, Walk the Line, Bridge to Terabithia, Spy Kids, Flags of Our Fathers and on the small screen The Sopranos, The Outer Limits, Elvis, The Unit and The X-Files.
Upcoming films include LOVELACE opposite Sharon Stone and Amanda Seyfried, JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR recently acquired by Anchor Bay at the Toronto International Film Festival, Universal Picture’s IDENTITY THIEF with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman (February 2013) and Warner Bros January 2013 release GANGSTER SQUAD in which he plays a member of Josh Brolin’s “squad” going up against Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen.
This October Robert will once again participate in the 29th Annual Love Ride-he is serving as Honorary Grand Marshal alongside Peter Fonda in the longest running motorcycle charity event in the world. This year’s event benefits the USO. (http://www.loveride.org) His love of motorcycles also has him involved in Boozefighters-a non-profit of motorcycle enthusiasts who raise money for various charities including those benefitting children, vets and the poor in addition to working with Habitat for Humanity.
He resides in Los Angeles with his wife Barbara and their two children.
Richard Pearsey has been writing and working in narrative design for games since 2005. His most recent AAA game is Spec Ops: The Line for 2k Games and Yager Development in Berlin, Germany for which he was the writer and narrative designer. On The Line, he created the game back story and characters, wrote the campaign story as well as the campaign script, collaborated on cut scene production and content, over saw music composition and implementation, developed and implemented the game narrative structure and content,as well as directing mocap sessions and voice recording sessions. Spec Ops will be his sixth shipped title and the fourth on which he served as the writer/narrative designer, having worked on FEAR: Extraction Point (Expansion Pack of the Year 2006 – PC GAMER) and FEAR: Perseus Mandate developed by TimeGate Studios. Past clients include Ubisoft, 2k Games, Yager Development, Strange Games, TimeGate Studios, Vivendi Games, Sierra Games, Warner Games, and Konami. Richard is a member of the WGA Video Game Writers’ Caucus and the Horror Writers’ Association.
Zak Penn’s career began as a screenwriter when he sold his first script, LAST ACTION HERO, at the age of twenty-three. Since then, Penn has become known for his work on numerous films based on Marvel comics, including X-MEN 2 and X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, ELEKTRA, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, and most recently, THE AVENGERS. He has also dabbled in other genres, writing scripts for disparate films such as P.C.U., BEHIND ENEMY LINES and SUSPECT ZERO. Penn’s shift into independent cinema began when he collaborated with his idol, Werner Herzog, on the script for RESCUE DAWN. Penn directed and co-starred with Herzog in INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS, his award-winning “hoax” documentary about the legendary director’s attempts to make a film about the equally legendary monster. THE GRAND, Penn’s second completely improvised film, was his third film with Herzog, and featured an eclectic cast including Woody Harrelson, David Cross, Ray Romano, Cheryl Hines, Dennis Farina and Gabe Kaplan. In addition, Penn co-wrote the original story for ANTZ and produced the animated film OSMOSIS JONES. He has also acted in a number of independent films, including STAR MAPS and CHUCK & BUCK. His first foray into television, the critically acclaimed original series ALPHAS starring David Strathairn, is entering its second season on the SyFy Channel. Penn, now entering his third decade in the film industry, attributes the longevity of his career to off-season conditioning, lots of Halo, and a diet of pure corn starch.
Daniel Petrie, Jr. wrote the screenplays for BEVERLY HILLS COP starring Eddie Murphy (for which he received an Oscar™ nomination) and THE BIG EASY, starring Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin. Petrie then co-wrote and produced SHOOT TO KILL starring Sidney Poitier, co-wrote and exec-produced TURNER AND HOOCH starring Tom Hanks, and co-wrote and directed TOY SOLDIERS starring Sean Astin and Louis Gossett, Jr. Petrie also directed the HBO movie DEAD SILENCE starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, wrote and directed the TNT movie FRAMED starring Rob Lowe and Sam Neill, and exec produced the film THE 6TH DAY starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Petrie co-created and exec produced the 13-episode Canadian TV series COMBAT HOSPITAL, which aired on ABC in 2011. Petrie served two terms as President of the Writers Guild of America, West, Inc., and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Writers Guild Foundation and the Board of Advisors of the Austin Film Festival. With producing partner Rick Dugdale, Petrie founded Enderby Entertainment, an independent film company. Beginning in 2012, Enderby is the judge for the AFF Screenplay Competition’s new Enderby Entertainment Award, open to feature scripts in all genres with an original concept and distinctive voice that can be independently produced with a production budget under $5 million.
Nancy M. Pimental graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a degree in chemical engineering. From there, she decided not to waste her time at some menial job using her engineering degree to save the planet, cure cancer, or prevent aging.
Instead, she chose a meaningful career path in stand up comedy. During this time, Nancy saw a lot of other comedians get jobs as writers and she said to herself, “If that jackass can do it, so can I.” So, Nancy started clack clack clacking away at her key board and before too long, she spewed out a lot of crappy scripts that got her no where.
Eventually though, she tricked the guys over at South Park into thinking that she had any talent whatsoever and they hired her as a writer for 4 years. The charade has continued in Hollywood for eleven years during which time Nancy penned the Cameron Diaz movie, THE SWEETEST THING and currently is a writer and supervising producer of the hit Showtime show, Shameless.
It’s only a matter of time that someone is gonna catch on that Nancy has Laotian children write all her scripts for her and she’ll have to finally go into engineering.
Pamela Ribon is a TV writer, screenwriter and best-selling novelist (Why Girls Are Weird, Going in Circles). Her fourth novel, You Take it From Here, will be released this July from Gallery Press, a division of Simon & Schuster. She’s been in comedy rooms for both network and cable television, most notably the Emmy award-winning Samantha Who? Pamela has adapted her popular novels for both film and television, and developed original series for ABC, ABC Family, Sony, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox Productions. She’s currently developing an original television series with Warner Bros. and Jerry Weintraub Productions, in addition to writing an original feature script for the Disney Channel and creating a graphic novel for Oni Press.
Pamela was an Oprah.com contributor, a flagship contributor to Television Without Pity, and a weekly columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. She’s known as a pioneer in the blogging world with her successful website pamie.com, which has been spotlighted for Lifetime Achievement from the Weblog Awards. Her stage work has been showcased at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival and she created the accidental international scandal known as Call Us Crazy: The Anne Heche Monologues. With the support of her loyal fan base, Pamela co-created DeweyDonationSystem.org, a charity that helps books find needy libraries.
A former Austinite with a BFA in Acting from the University of Texas, Pamela has been entered into the Oxford English Dictionary under the “muffin top.” That is not a joke. You can follow her @pamelaribon, where she somehow writes even more.
You Take It From Here (July, ’12), Going in Circles (2010), Why Moms are weird (2006), Why Girls Are Weird (2003)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sean Robins has been a partner at Broken Road Productions for the past four years and its senior executive before that beginning with the company’s inception seven years ago. Robins is responsible for Broken Road’s slate of over one hundred active television and film projects. Broken Road has seen the release of PAUL BLART: MALL COP, KNIGHT AND DAY, SORCERER’S APPRENTICE, ZOOKEEPER and JACK & JILL amongst others during Robins’ tenure and has HERE COMES THE BOOM coming out in October starring Kevin James, Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler. Additionally, three more movies will go into production during the 2012 calendar year. Robins was formerly Vice President of Production at Robert Lawrence Productions, a position he held for five years. Robins started in the film industry as a script reader and later segued into television working at the Kaplan, Stahler, Gumer Agency. Robins graduated with honors from Northwestern University where he received degrees in English and Arts Criticism. Additionally, he worked for the Jamaican Human Rights Council and Amnesty International while studying in Kingston, Jamaica.
Originally from Boston, Scott Rosenberg has written the screenplays THINGS TO IN DENVER WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, CON AIR, DISTURBING BEHAVIOR, GONE IN 60 SECONDS, and HIGHWAY. He co-wrote HIGH FIDELITY and KANGAROO JACK. As well as created and produced the Showtime series, Going to California, and co-created the ABC series October Road, Life on Mars and Happy Town.
Rosenbergalso did uncredited rewrites on such films as ARMAGEDDON, THE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, RUNAWAY JURY, SPIDER-MAN and the upcoming Michael Bay film, PAIN AND GAIN. Rosenberg’s script THE HAUNTREPRENEUR is set up at Paramount with Russell Brand starring and Rob Letterman directing.
Rosenberg recently sold a a feature pitch – DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW – to Disney for one million dollars. Yes, that’s right. One million dollars! Rosenberg divides his time between Boston, New York and Los Angeles.
Phil Rosenthal was born in Queens, raised in Rockland, N.Y., and attended Hofstra University on Long Island. Starting out as an actor in New York, Rosenthal also wrote and directed theater before relocating to Los Angeles.
Rosenthal’s early writing credits include the series Down the Shore and Coach.
He was the creator/executive producer of the hit CBS comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond, staying with the show for its entire nine season run, beginning in l996.Everybody Loves Raymond was nominated for over 70 Emmy awards, and won 15 times, including for Best Comedy Series in 2003 and 2005.
Rosenthal has the distinction of having directed President Bill Clinton in the White House Correspondents Dinner video, which was shown to wide acclaim at the April, 2000 event. He co-wrote America: A Tribute to Heroes, the 9/11 telethon which aired on all four networks, won a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing.Rosenthal won the 2002 Writers Guild Award for Excellence in Television Writing for his Everybody Loves Raymond script, “Italy.”
He returned to his roots as an actor in the James Brooks feature film SPANGLISH, in which he played Adam Sandler’s sous chef. He also appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jake Kasdan’s feature THE TV SET , and THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.
Rosenthal is the author of You’re Lucky You’re Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom.
His first feature for Sony Pictures: EXPORTING RAYMOND, which he wrote and directed, the true story about the attempt to turn Everybody Loves Raymond into a Russian sitcom, was released in April of 2011.
Rosenthal lives in Los Angeles, with his wife, actress Monica Horan (who played Amy on Everybody Loves Raymond), and their two children.
Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning writer Terry Rossio co-wrote the animated feature SHREK, winner of the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Film. With Ted Elliott, he also co-wrote the enormously successful PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (winner of the People’s Choice Award for Best Picture, and recipient of five Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Johnny Depp); DEAD MAN’S CHEST (currently the 4th highest grossing film of all time); AT WORLD’S END (currently the 10th highest grossing film of all time), and ON STRANGER TIDES, which they also Executive Produced (currently the 6th highest grossing film of all time).
With Bill Marsilii, Rossio co-wrote the 2006 Denzel Washington romantic thriller DEJA VU, on which he also served as Executive Producer.
In 1992, Rossio co-wrote the highest grossing film of the year, Disney’s animated feature ALADDIN, starring Robin Williams. Elliott & Rossio’s feature film credits also include SHREK 2 (Creative Consultants); NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (Story), starring Nicolas Cage; THE MASK OF ZORRO (Screenplay), starring Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones; G-FORCE (Associate Producers), starring Zach Galifianakis; LITTLE MONSTERS (Screenplay), starring Fred Savage; SMALL SOLDIERS (Screenplay), starring Kirsten Dunst; and, GODZILLA (Screenplay), starring Matthew Broderick. In 1996, Elliott and Rossio became the first writers signed to an overall writing and producing deal at DreamWorks SKG. Their animated projects at DreamWorks, in addition to the SHREK movies, include: THE ROAD TO EL DORADO (Screenplay), featuring Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh; ANTZ (Creative Consultants), featuring Woody Allen; and SINBAD (Creative Consultants), featuring Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Current projects include: THE LONE RANGER, a revival of the classic Western franchise, to be directed by Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp as “Tonto”, for Disney; LIGHTSPEED, a live-action space adventure, co-written with Bill Marsilii, for Disney; ELIXIR, a romantic comedy, co-written with Jaylynn Bailey, for Disney Family; INSTANT KARMA, an animated feature, which Rossio will produce from Paul Hernandez’s script, for Sony Pictures Animation; and UNDER THE FAERIE MOON, an illustrated fantasy novel, for Radical Studios.
Rossio is the co-creator of Wordplay (http://www.wordplayer.com), an online resource for aspiring and professional screenwriters.
Eric Roth (Screenwriter) won an Academy Award® and a Writers Guild of America Award (WGA) for his his screenplay for the Oscar®-winning Best Picture FORREST GUMP, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. He also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his work on that film. Roth received his second Oscar®, Golden Globe and WGA Award nominations for the screenplay for the Best Picture-nominated film THE INSIDER, directed by Michael Mann and starring Russell Crowe, Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer, and for which Roth won the WGA’s honorary Paul Selvin Award and a Humanitas Prize. He garnered both Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations for the screenplay of Steven Spielberg’s drama MUNICH, and more recently for David Fincher’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, the screenplay also brought Roth another Golden Globe and BAFTA nod.
Roth attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, from which he has won a Distinguished Alumni Award; Columbia University; and the University of California, Los Angeles, where he won the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award in 1970, and in 2008 was honored with the Distinguished Achievement In Screenwriting Award from the UCLA School Of Theater, Film and Television.
Roth’s early work included such movies as THE DROWNING POOL, with Paul Newman, WOLFEN, with Albert Finney, and THE ONION FIELD. His first produced screenplay was Robert Mulligan’s THE NICKEL RIDE, which premiered at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. His subsequent credits have included “Suspect,” directed by Peter Yates and starring Cher, Dennis Quaid and Liam Neeson; Mike Figgis’ MR.JONES, starring Richard Gere; THE HORSE WHISPER, directed by and starring Robert Redford; Michael Mann’s ALI, starring Will Smith in the title role; and THE GOOD SHEPHERD, directed by Robert De Niro, who also starred with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie. One of Roth’s proudest accomplishments was having written for the legendary film director Akira Kurosawa, for one of Kurosawa’s last films, his 1991 RHAPSODY IN AUGUST. More recently, he wrote the screenplay for the Oscar®-nominated film EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.
For the small screen, Roth served as executive producer and wrote two episodes for David Milch’s HBO drama Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. Currently, Roth is executive producer, with David Fincher, on Netflix’s first original television series, House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, which premieres in January 2013. Roth is also developing the script for a sci-fi outer space feature film trilogy and writing the screenplay for the epic film CLEOPATRA, starring Angelina Jolie.
In 2012, Roth received the Writers Guild’s prestigious Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement in Screenwriting.
Roth has five children and six grandchildren. His daughter, documentary filmmaker Vanessa Roth, earned a 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short for her film Freeheld. Roth lives in Malibu with his wife, Debra Greenfield, a lawyer and bioethicist who is an Associate Professor at UCLA in the Society and Genetics department.
Bruce Joel Rubin won an Academy Award for his original screenplay, GHOST. The film was also nominated for Best Picture. He has written numerous other screenplays including JACOB’S LADDER, DEEP IMPACT, STUART LITTLE 2, THE LAST MIMZY, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE and MY LIFE, which he also directed. GHOST – THE MUSICAL, for which he wrote the book and lyrics, opened in London last year and on Broadway this past April. It is also currently playing in Holland and will open in Australia, Germany, Korea and begin a North American tour in 2013.
Rubin graduated New York University in 1965 where he majored in motion picture production and direction. He was an assistant film editor at NBC news in the mid-sixties and hitch-hiked around the world in 1966-67, an experience which he describes as “very formative.” He was also curator of film at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York where he helped establish a program called The New American Filmmakers Series, “an important launching pad for independent filmmakers in the early 70’s”. In addition to his film career, Rubin has been a student and teacher of meditation for the past forty years.
After many years writing for professional theater companies as well as scripting industrial films and children’s television, Danny Rubin began writing screenplays. His screen credits include HEAR NO EVIL, S.F.W., and GROUNDHOG DAY, for which he received the British Academy Award for Best Screenplay and the Critics’ Circle Award for Screenwriter of the Year, as well as honors from the Writers Guild of America and the American Film Institute.
Rubin has taught screenwriting in Chicago at the University of Illinois, Columbia College, and the National High School Institute; at the Sundance Institute in Utah; the PAL Screenwriting Lab in England; the Chautauqua Institution in New York; and in New Mexico at the College of Santa Fe. He is currently the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer on Screenwriting at Harvard University.
Rubin’s popular screenwriting book “How To Write Groundhog Day” can be found at http://www.howtowritegroundhogday.com .
Joyce San Pedro is a Creative Executive at Zhiv Productions and Escape Artists, based at Sony Pictures. She began her career in development after having worked in the publishing industry in various capacities – Foreign Rights, International Sales Director, and as a Managing Editor. Her entry into the industry was through working with talent. She worked for talent manager J.C. Robbins, and then moved onto covering talent and literary agents at Metropolitan Talent Agency. She then moved to Out of the Blue Entertainment (BIG DADDY, MR. DEEDS, AKEELAH AND THE BEE) at Sony, which is what provided her with the transition to work in development with Alex Siskin.
They are currently working on THE EQUALIZER, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, and HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY. In addition, she is an Associate Producer on Al Pacino’s docu-drama, WILDE SALOME and is producing JASPER MILLIKEN, a previous comedy winner of the Austin Film Festival screenplay competition.
Malcolm Spellman grew up in the culturally diverse East Bay Area and prides himself on a true grasp of the term “mulit-culti.” Raised in Berkeley he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a script reader and video-game tester until selling his first spec to Fox 2000 in 2000. Since then he has worked at every division of Fox including Fox television.
Malcolm has worked on a wide array of movies for Fox, from an animated musical feature in development with Jamie Foxx to gritty dramas to the comedy Our Family Wedding due in theaters in March of 2010. He is also developing Soul Train with Warner Brothers and an animated pilot with Cartoon Network.
In 2009, Malcolm made the Blacklist for BALLS OUT, a comedy he wrote with Tim Talbott under the pseudonym TheRobotard8000.com. Malcolm is a self taught screenwriter with no college background. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Jerry Stahl is the author of seven books: the memoir Permanent Midnight (made into a movie with Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson) and five novels, including I, Fatty (optioned by Johnny Depp) and Pain Killers, currently in development with director Larry Charles. Former Culture columnist for Details, Stahl’s widely anthologized fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Esquire, The New York Times, Playboy and the The Believer, among other places. Stahl has written extensively for film and television, most recently co-writing the HBO film Hemingway & Gellhorn.
Will Staples writes for film, television, and video games. In 2011, he wrote CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 3, which was the biggest entertainment launch in history. Over the last decade, Staples has written for every major studio on a dozen projects. Much of his writing has a military/law enforcement component, and Staples has developed relationships at the highest levels in the most elite units.
Staples is currently writing MYTH at Fox for producers James Cameron, Sam Worthington, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura. He is also writing the 1870s true-crime story KING OF HEISTS for actor/producer Jeremy Renner and Black Bear Pictures. His other recent projects include APACHES for Jerry Bruckheimer, WORLD’S MOST WANTED for Neal Moritz at Universal, and THE CRUELEST MILES for producer Mark Johnson at Walden Media, which chronicles the 1925 Serum Run to Nome.
In addition to his film work, Staples has written six video games and worked on television pilots for Fox, NBC and CBS. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles.
Born in Whittier, California, Dana grew up mostly in Arizona. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA. After toiling some years as an actress in theatre and television, she became a screenwriter, penning “Blink” directed by Michael Apted, “City of Angels” starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan, “For Love of the Game,” directed by Sam Raimi, and “Life or Something Like It” starring Angelina Jolie. She was the creator and executive producer of “What About Brian,” an ABC television series that aired for two seasons. Most recently, Dana scripted the Lasse Hallstrom film “Safe Haven” to be realeased on Valentine’s Day, 2013. She’s currently adapting “The Dive” for Jim Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and “The Maid and the Queen,” based on the book by Nancy Goldstone.
Matt Summers is the Senior Vice President of Film at independent financing and production company 821 Entertainment and its sister company, Crow Fly Pictures. 821/Crow Fly is producing John Grisham’s The Testament and the untitled Hank Williams Biopic, amongst others. Matt is an Executive Producer on the feature length documentary, DAVE (Cinequest International Film Festival Thrive Award Winner, Newport Beach International Film Festival, + others).
Prior to joining 821, Matt was the Vice President at Academy Award Winner Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films where he was an Associate Producer on the Lions Gate release BANGKOK DANGEROUS. While at Saturn, Matt was an on-set production executive for the Eddie Murphy comedy A THOUSAND WORDS and NEXT, and worked on the feature films GHOST RIDER, THE WICKER MAN, WORLD TRADE CENTER, THE WEATHER MAN, and LORD OF WAR. Matt began has career at International Creative Management (ICM) and earned a degree in Film from the University of Texas at Austin.
John Swetnam is a film and television writer/producer based in Los Angeles. He was an “Air Force Kid” and grew up all over the world. After completing his undergraduate degree in Tennessee, John moved to Orange County and attended Chapman University where he received a MFA in screenwriting. With a Master’s Degree in hand, John spent years in LA honing his craft while serving pasta and bread sticks at the local Olive Garden. His first two films (EVIDENCE, BLACK SKY) have been completed and will be released in 2013. Currently, John is working on too many awesome projects to list here, but even with all of his successes, he will never forget where he came from, and the never-ending pasta bowls that fueled his creativity during those tough times.
Tim Talbott has written or co-written numerous screenplays including THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT (with Christopher McQuarrie), FUEL-INJECTED DREAMS and THE LATHER EFFECT, a film he actively dislikes. Tim also spent two seasons as a staff writer on the Comedy Central series South Park, a season on the CBS drama series Medium and is currently writing on Common Law for the USA Network.
In 2009, Tim joined forces with Malcolm Spellman to form The Robotard 8000. Their script BALLS OUT became an internet sensation and has been downloaded from their website more than 50,000 times. BALLS OUT placed high on the 2009 BLACK LIST and they still can’t believe it.
Amy is a writer and director living in Los Angeles. She wrote the remake of VALLEY GIRL for MGM which is set for production this year. She has numerous projects in active development including KICKED, BITTEN AND SCRATCHED at Summit Entertainment, the PRIVATE BENJAMIN remake at New Line (with Anna Faris set to star) and HOT FUSS, based on a pitch she sold to Disney. She is currently adapting the young adult novel “Ungifted” for Walden as well as writing her own young adult novel for Soho Press. Amy wrote and directed THE NIGHT OF THE WHITE PANTS which stars Oscar-nominee Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl and Selma Blair and was released in 2008. Previously, Amy wrote and directed five shorts which were selected for numerous festivals including Sundance and received many accolades including AFF’s Best Student Short. In the television arena, Amy wrote ABC Family’s BRAVE NEW GIRL and co-wrote AVALON HIGH, a children’s movie for which she won a 2011 WGA Award. Originally from Texas, Amy graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College with a degree in Art History and earned an MFA in Film from Columbia University’s Film Division.
Shion has worked in both film and animated television: as a writer and story artist for Cartoon Network’s Regular Show and Adventure Time, and in the story department at Pixar Animation Studios where she currently is employed. She also writes and directs short films, one of which has won awards and is running in animation festivals. Presently she is finishing up on a new short with her writing partner, Emma Coats.
Rob Thomas created and produced the television series VERONICA MARS which the American Film Institution named one of the top ten shows of 2004. He is also the co-creator and executive producer of the 2009 AFI top ten show, PARTY DOWN. Thomas has also created and executive produced two versions of the ABC television series CUPID, first in 1999 and, most recently, in 2009. His other television credits include DAWSON’S CREEK, BIG SHOTS, THE EDUCATION OF MAX BICKFORD and SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST. Additionally, Thomas developed the relaunch of 90210.
Thomas also penned the feature film DRIVE ME CRAZY for Twentieth Century Fox. In addition, he wrote the independent feature FORTUNE COOKIE which premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival.
Thomas is the author of four novels and a collection of short stories, all published by Simon & Schuster. His 1996 debut novel RATS SAW GOD was a unanimous ALA Best Book for Young Adults. In 1998, his short story collection, DOING TIME: NOTES FROM THE UNDERGRAD, also received the ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
Prior to the publication of his first novel, Thomas taught high school journalism in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, advised the University of Texas student magazine, “Utmost,” and worked for Channel One, a Los Angeles-based television news show aimed at teenagers nationwide. A Texas native, Thomas currently resides in Austin, TX.
Liz Tigelaar, who grew up in Dallas, Texas and Guilford, Connecticut, graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Scriptwriting and Politics. She got her start as an assistant on Dawson’s Creek and Once & Again, where she worked under mentors like Greg Berlanti and Winnie Holzman. Her first staff writing job came on the NBC series, American Dreams, and she went on to write for such shows as What About Brian, Dirty Sexy Money, Brothers & Sisters, Once Upon A Time, and Revenge. Tigelaar created the critically acclaimed series Life Unexpected which aired on the CW for two seasons. She currently resides in Santa Monica, California but likes to tell people she lives in Venice.
JOHN TURMAN is a writer-producer for film and television (HULK, FANTASTIC FOUR II: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER). In addition to feature work for many of the major studios he has also written for TV, creating half hour comedy and one hour drama pilots, and has written and consulted on one hour series television and MOWs. In 2008-09 he taught guest-intensive classes in writing and rewriting the feature screenplay as an adjunct professor at USC School of Cinema Arts. Ben 10: Alien Swarm premiered on Cartoon Network last November and production has wrapped in Baton Rouge, LA on his original feature, TICKING CLOCK.
Oren Uziel’s first screenplay, SHIMMER LAKE, won the Latitude award at the 2008 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition, and subsequently sold to Fox. Since then Oren has gotten a few specs on the Black List, sold a few pitches, and written for most of the major studios. Oren is currently working on two comedies at Sony, two sci-fi scripts for Paramount and an action comedy at Universal.
Meta Valentic began her career in as the youngest member of the DGA Assistant Director’s Training Program. As a Trainee, Meta worked on the television series Diagnosis Murder, Lois & Clark, ER, Melrose Place, and Mad About You and the feature films FATHER OF THE BRIDE II, NIXON, STEAL BIG, STEAL LITTLE, and KAZAAM. As a DGA assistant director, Meta has worked on films such as ONE NIGHT STAND, BRIDE AND PREJUDICE, MISS CONGENIALITY II and AVATAR and television shows such as Sliders, Felicity, ER, Bones, and Dark Blue. Meta traveled to Hawaii and was the Key 2nd AD on Lost during Season 3. She received 2 Directors Guild Award Nominations for her work on the show. Meta currently works every other episode of ABC’s Castle. In addition to AD work, Meta has produced 4 independent feature films, including the critically acclaimed URBANIA, which played the Sundance and Toronto film festivals and was released by Lionsgate in the fall of 2000. Meta was the UPM/Co-Producer of Lionsgate’s Ladron QUE ROBA A LADRON(To Rob a Thief), a Spanish-language feature film starring Mexico and Latin America’s top telenovela stars. Ladron made over $2 million on opening weekend, which was the biggest opening weekend for a Spanish language film in US history. Meta is active in the Producers Guild of America, specifically the Mentorship Committee and the Green Committee.
Bettina Sofia Viviano has had a successful career in entertainment as a producer and literary manager for over twenty-five years. She began her career at the prestigious William Morris as an agent trainee, before moving on to Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, where she attained the position of Vice President of Production. At Amblin, Bettina worked on such movies as BACK TO THE FUTURE2 and 3, CAPE FEAR, LAND BEFORE TIME, SCHINDLERS’S LIST, ALWAYS, ROGER RABBIT, and INDIANA JONES 3 as a Production Executive on over 40 movies and two seasons of NBC series Amazing Stories.
After leaving Amblin, Bettina became a literary agent at BBMW, representing writers and directors. In 1990 she began her own production and management company, Viviano Entertainment, Inc. and since has sold pitches, scripts books, etc. for millions of dollars on behalf of her clients. As producer, Bettina has made a long list of movies including THREE TO TANGO, MOM’S GOT A DATE WITH A VAMPIRE, FAMILY SINS, STRANGE HEARTS, NIGHTMARE MAN, ALIBI and CAUGHT IN THE ACT. She currently has many high level studio and independent pictures in development including FREEDOM HOUSE (Warner Brothers) and Indie films AMERICAN CRAWL (writer/director Brad Novicoff), MAN INTERRUPTED (writer/director Zack Adler) and NEST OF LIES (director Mikael Solomon). Most recently Bettina served as Executive Producer on Sony Pictures film JACK AND JILL, starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino, which was released in November of 2011.
Ric Roman Waugh,a writer/director/producer, continues to generate his own unique style of filmmaking. He began his career as a stuntman and became one of the youngest stunt coordinators in the world at the age of eighteen. He has over 100 film and TV credits to his name as a stuntman, stunt coordinator and 2nd Unit Director combined, working closely with many stars such as Mel Gibson, Patrick Swayze, Willem Dafoe, Christian Slater and also choreographing action sequences for pop star Michael Jackson.
Ric, along with his father and brother, has also developed “action-oriented” cameras for motion picture including the PogoCam and FeatherCam; the lightest 35mm hand-held camera in the world, currently being used by NASA.
After his earlier career in stunts, Ric went onto direct numerous TV Spots. Clients include: Nike Hockey,No Fear, Snickers, Dow Chemical, GM, Ford, Cadillac and Pontiac.
As a writer, Ric has developed, written and rewritten over 20 studio-‐based feature film screenplays for producers such as: Jerry Bruckheimer, Mark Gordon, Neil Moritz, Barry Josephson, Todd Garner, Mark Canton, Jim Sheridan and Nick Wechsler. This includes his latest original screenplay, THE BRAND; a dramatic thriller about the rise of the Aryan Brotherhood with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star and Marc Forster to direct.
As a director, Ric recently directed the critically acclaimed film, FELON, from his own original screenplay for Sony. The prison-‐based drama starred Val Kilmer, Stephen Dorff, Sam Shepard, Harold Perrineau, Nate Parker and Anne Archer. He is in production on the documentary, RETURN OF THE SHADOW WARRIORS; following the first ever Delta Force operator post 911 to openly discuss issues of PTSD and what Special Operations solders are going through in the longest war in U.S. history. Ric is also currently attached to direct and actively developing several film projects around town, including SNITCH, set up at Exclusive Media and scheduled to go into pre-‐production this Spring.
Herschel Weingrod is best known for 1983′s award-winning TRADING PLACES, starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. He has had continued success with adapting to screen such comedies as BREWSTER’S MILLIONS and PURE LUCK. He was also responsible for 1988′s TWINS with Arnold Schwarzenegger and followed that with KINDERGARTEN COP. Weingrod’s producing credits include 1993′s FALLING DOWN, starring Michael Douglas.
Jason’s producing credits include: the Independent Spirit Award-winning AUGUST EVENING; Jonny Mars’ SXSW 2012 documentary, AMERICA’S PARKING LOT; Kyle Henry’s Sundance and Cannes-featured anthology of shorts, FOURPLAY; the PBS doc, A PLACE TO DANCE; Alan Berg’s OUTSIDE INDUSTRY: THE STORY OF SXSW; Paul Gordon’s 2010 SXSW and Venice standout, THE HAPPY POET; Spencer Parsons’ new horror film, SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE; and Chris Eska’s forthcoming Civil War drama. Jason’s own short, THE GROWNUPS, premiered at SXSW 2010 and played as part of the 48 Hour Film Project’s showcase at Cannes 2010. He directed his first feature in 1998, and from 2002-2005, he served as a programmer on PBS’ INDEPENDENT LENS series.
Victoria co-founded ELGIN ROAD PRODUCTIONS. She’s the producer of the upcoming feature film LOCKED IN A GARAGE BAND, written/directed by her sister Jen Westcott. Victoria successfully funded two projects – including LOCKED IN A GARAGE BAND – via Kickstarter and has spoken about crowd-funding at the Los Angeles Screenwriting Expo, Film Courage Crowdfunding Panel, McGill University, Social Media Camp, and TED X.
Eric Williams is currently a Partner at Zero Gravity Management. He began his career at Paradigm and then moved to Writers & Artists Agency as a Literary Agent. Eric transitioned to management in 2004, where he began growing the management division of Zero Gravity. Specializing in representing screenwriters and directors, Eric has a passion and reputation for discovering and breaking new talent, and represents exciting up-and-coming artists in addition to well-established industry professionals. Eric’s diverse client list has included writers and/or directors involved in recent Hollywood studio blockbusters from UNDERWORLD AWAKENING, SHERLOCK HOLMES, and THE A-TEAM, to the upcoming THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY, FROZEN and JAVA HEAT, to many critically-acclaimed independent films. Eric has been a featured panelist at screenwriting conferences all over the United States, and has judged numerous screenplay contests including Page International, Scriptapalooza and Final Draft Big Break.
Hilary Winston is currently working as a writer and producer on the hit television series Happy Endings as well as shooting a pilot for her own series Happy Valley for NBC with acclaimed feature director, Adam Shankman. Hilary also wrote and produced for the critically acclaimed comedy Community and the Emmy®-award-winning show My Name Is Earl. Her first book was published in 2011, My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: And Other Stories I Shouldn’t Share with Acquaintances, Coworkers, Taxi drivers, Assistants, Job Interviewers, Bikini Waxers, and Ex/Current/Future Boyfriends but Have by Sterling, which she also adapted into a feature for Paramount Studios with John Goldwyn and Lorne Michaels producing. Hilary’s writing on topics such as first kisses and freezing her eggs has appeared in Glamour, Elle, The Irish Independent and The Times Magazine. Winston lives in Los Angeles with her cats Lolly and Gordon and her new boyfriend, who has not written a book about her… yet.
Kay S. Wolf is the WGAW’s Independent Film Executive. Kay conducts outreach to emerging writers and filmmakers, encouraging them to use WGA contracts and join in the community of Guild writers. Working with Guild members, she identifies and implements ways to increase independent narrative and documentary screenwriters’ status and influence within the film industry.
Prior to 2002, Kay worked at the WGAW for eight years in a variety of positions, most recently as an Industry Alliances Representative in the independent film, new media and animation areas. During that period she also worked a year at IFTA (Independent Film and Television Alliance) as the Director of Producer Services. Before her Guild work, Kay was at ABC Productions/The Hemisphere Group in Los Angeles developing and producing international co-productions and at Saban Entertainment in development. She received a B.A. in telecommunications/broadcast journalism from Indiana University.
Emily Zulauf has been with Pixar since 2008, previously in development matching writers and directors and now as a script supervisor on their 2015 film. Prior to Pixar, she worked for CAA and Levi Strauss, so she can also tell you about denim manufacturing, which is really why you’re at this conference.
Sarah Bird is the author of eight novels. Sarah’s work has been selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers series; a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship; the Texas Literary Hall of Fame; New York Public Library’s 25 Books to Remember list; an Elle Magazine Reader’s Prize; a People Magazine’s Page Turners; Library Journal’s Best Novels; and a National Magazine Award for her columns in Texas Monthly. Sarah was recently voted Best Austin Author for the fourth time by the readers of the Austin Chroncle.
She has written screenplays for Paramount, CBS, Warner Bros, National Geographic, ABC, TNT, Hemdale Studio, and several independent producers. Sarah’s screen adaptation of her sixth novel, The Flamenco Academy, is currently being developed by Texas Avenue Films.
Sarah’s articles and essays have appeared in Oprah’s Magazine, NY Times Sunday Magazine, Real Simple, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Salon, Daily Beast, Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, MS, and Texas Observer.
Sarah earned a BA from the University of New Mexico in 1973 and received a fellowship to pursue an MA in journalism at University of Texas at Austin that same year. She is married to George Jones, and has one son, Gabriel Bird-Jones. Sarah makes her empty nest in Austin, Texas.
Gregory Curtis was the Editor of Texas Monthly from 1981-2000. During his editorship, the magazine won many prizes including five National Magazine Awards. In 2000, it was selected by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the ten best magazine editors in the country. Curtis has been published in Texas Monthly, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and Time. He is the author of two books: Disarmed: The Story of the Venus de Milo and The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World’s First Artists.
Matt attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV/Film in 2005. During his time there, he served as the Co-Director for the University Filmmakers’ Alliance Film Conference and first worked for the Austin Film Festival as an intern for the Screenplay Competition Department. After his internship, Matt continued working for AFF by helping evaluate First Round scripts as a reader for the Screenplay Competition and eventually was hired as the organization’s Office Manager. After two years in that position, he assumed the role of Screenplay Competition Director, where he helped facilitate over 4400 screenplay entries in 2010. This is his second year as the Director of the Competition. Matt has also written several short and feature screenplays and a stage play that was performed at FronteraFest in Austin.
Bears Fonte joins the staff of AFF after 7 years as a reader for the screenplay competition. A writer/director, Bears returned to Austin to finish post-production on his first feature, iCRIME, which was released by Vicious Circle Films in 2011. His two self-produced web-series have been seen by a combined ten million viewers. Bears has won or been a finalist in numerous screenwriting competitions including Screenwriter’s Expo, Final Draft Big Break, Page International, and Story Pros. He received his MFA in Directing from Indiana University and has directed for a number of theaters in Austin including the Austin Shakespeare Festival, Teatro Humanidad, and the Texas premiere and award-nominated production of Corpus Christi at the Hideout. During graduate school, he founded and served as the artistic director for the late-night “Dark Alley” series at Bloomington Playwrights Project, creating the long running Sex/Death evening of shorts, now in its tenth year. Bears also writes musical theatre and has had his plays produced in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas.
Marcie Mayhorn first joined the AFF team in 2011, working on an independent feature produced by Barbara Morgan. From there, she worked with AFF on the series “On Story,” showcasing panelists and filmmakers from past festivals. She now holds the position of Office Manager and is excited to continue on with the staff full-time. Marcie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Filmmaking from the UNC School of the Arts.
Barbara Morgan co-founded Austin Film Festival in 1993 and has served as the sole Executive Director since 1999. As a filmmaker, Morgan developed and produced the film NATURAL SELECTION, which has been on Showtime and the Sci-fi channel, and was released internationally, and co-produced the feature documentary ANTONE’S: HOME OF THE BLUES, released internationally as well. Most recently, Morgan produced the documentary feature, PORTRAIT OF WALLY, now screening in selected theatres throughout the country, and the narrative feature SPRING EDDY, soon to be relased. She developed and produces the TV series “On Story: Presented by Austin Film Festival”, currently airing on Austin’s KLRU and other PBS stations across the country. In 2010, Morgan produced a reading of Bud Shrake’s play “A Friend of Carlos Monson” with director Jeff Nichols. Morgan serves on the Board of Directors for a number of organizations, including International Film Festival Summit and The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.
ZZ Packer’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Story, Ploughshares, Zoetrope and The Best American Short Stories
Stephanie Palmer helps creative people learn to pitch and sell their projects. She is the author of the book Good in a Room and has been featured on The Today Show, Early Show, National Public Radio and in the Los Angeles Times. Previously, Stephanie was the Director of Creative Affairs for MGM where she heard over 3000 pitches. She shares examples of successful film and TV pitches on her blog: www.goodinaroom.com/blog.