TV Writer Podcast - Video
130 - Christopher + Kathy Riley (The Defining Moment)

130 - Christopher + Kathy Riley (The Defining Moment)

March 15, 2022

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Supercharge your characters while minimizing the work in creating them! This week host Gray Jones asks authors Christopher and Kathy Riley all about their new book, The Defining Moment.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The best storytelling explores character formation and transformation. Sometimes the shaping of characters takes place in slow, smooth, steadily bending arcs, other times in sudden, jagged, cataclysmic moments. Without discovering these moments, it’s impossible for an actor or writer to fully realize their character. In The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters, screenwriters and story gurus Christopher and Kathy Riley share the secret to creating character-defining moments—moments without which the character couldn’t exist, and through which characters transform before our eyes. 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Christopher Riley is a professional screenwriter who cowrote with his wife Kathy Riley the award-winning German language film "After the Truth." The Rileys have written scripts for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Mandalay Television Pictures, Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films, and Robert Cort Productions. Christopher produced the action-thriller "Red Line" and executive produced the web series "Bump+." He began his career as a proofreader in the standard-setting script processing department at Warner Bros., a department he eventually rose to manage. He is the former director of the Act One Hollywood Writing Program, the author of the classic screenplay format guide The Hollywood Standard, an instructor of screenwriting at the undergraduate and graduate levels, a founding partner of Story Masters Film Academy, and a longtime member of the Writers Guild of America West. 

Kathy Riley cowrote the award-winning feature film "After the Truth." In addition to her work as a writer for Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Mandalay Television Pictures, Fountainbridge Films, and Robert Cort Productions, Kathy holds a master’s degree in public health and is a certified health education specialist. She serves as vice president of family support for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and has worked extensively on behalf of families of children diagnosed with brain tumors. She also holds a certification of professional achievement in narrative medicine from Columbia University and is a longtime member of the Writers Guild of America West.

Follow Christopher on Twitter: @hwoodstandard

Follow Kathy on Instagram: @kathywecan

BUY THEIR BOOKS AND SUPPORT THE PODCAST:

Click on "The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters" and "The Hollywood Standard" to buy on Amazon.

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


129 - Comedy Guru Steve Kaplan

129 - Comedy Guru Steve Kaplan

February 14, 2022

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Want to get to the heart of comedy? Look no further than this week's episode, as host Gray Jones interviews comedy guru Steve Kaplan.

Steve Kaplan Bio:

For years, Steve Kaplan has been one of the industry's most respected and sought-after expert on comedy. His first book, "The Hidden Tools of Comedy," is a best-seller in its field, and his new book, "The Comic Hero's Journey: Serious Story Structure for Fabulously Funny Films" was recently published.

In addition to having taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale and other universities, Steve Kaplan created the HBO Workspace, the HBO New Writers Program and was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre. In addition to development projects for HBO, he has taught workshops at companies such as DreamWorks, Disney Animation, Aardman Animation, NBC's Writers on the Verge, and others.

In addition to private coaching and one-on-one consultations, Steve has taught his Comedy Intensive workshops to thousands of students around the world, including--in pre-pandemic times--Los Angeles, New York, Australia and Mumbai. He's presently teaching online via Zoom. You can find out all about it at KaplanComedy.com.

Follow Steve on Twitter: @skcomedy.

BUY STEVE'S BOOKS AND SUPPORT THE PODCAST:

Click on "The Hidden Tools of Comedy" and "The Comic Hero's Journey: Serious Story Structure for Fabulously Funny Films" to buy on Amazon.

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


128 - Writer-Director Amitabh Klemm

128 - Writer-Director Amitabh Klemm

February 1, 2022

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Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" was the spark that ignited the career of film/TV writer-director Amitabh Klemm, instructor at Script Anatomy.

An award-winning, biracial filmmaker born amongst the cornfields of Iowa; Amitabh Klemm made his way to Los Angles by way of USC where he completed an MFA in directing.

Most recently, he staffed in the writer’s room for “#FBF,” a screen-reality feature film starring Ashley Judd, produced by Timur Bekmambetov. Prior to the pandemic, he broke into TV directing with an episode of the half-hour comedy “All the Way Black,” for BET.

After film school, Amitabh directed and produced branded marketing content for clients like the Obama Administration, Sperry Apparel, TOMs Shoes, Focus Features, Complex Magazine, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He is a recipient of the Panavision New Filmmaker Grant and resides in Pasadena, CA with his wife and rescue dog, Skylar.

Follow Amitabh on Twitter: @AmitabhKlemm

Please Note: Interview recorded on December 2, 2021.

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


127 - TV / Comic Writer Jay Faerber (Supergirl, Zoo, Ringer)

127 - TV / Comic Writer Jay Faerber (Supergirl, Zoo, Ringer)

January 9, 2022

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This week, learn about how to break in to both comic writing and TV writing, as host Gray Jones interviews TV & comic writer Jay Faerber.

Originally from rural Pennsylvania, Jay Faerber grew up on a steady diet of comic books, detective novels, and cop shows. After writing and drawing his own comics throughout high school, Jay started getting work from Marvel and DC in the late 90s, writing such titles as “Generation X,” “New Warriors,” and “Titans.” 

Craving more creative freedom, Jay turned his attention to Image Comics, where he created the superhero soap opera series “Noble Causes,” which ran for over 40 issues. He also co-created numerous other series, including “Dynamo 5,” "Near Death,” “Copperhead,” and “Elsewhere.”

In 2010, Jay was accepted into the Warner Bros TV Writers Workshop, and after completing that program, he landed a staff writer job on the CW series, “Ringer,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. After “Ringer” was cancelled, Jay was staffed on another CW series, “Star-Crossed.” He then wrote on all three seasons of the CBS summer series, “Zoo," and was most recently a writer/producer on the last two seasons of the CW series “Supergirl.”

In a special section at the beginning of the podcast, Jay answers pressing fan questions related to the last season and series finale of "Supergirl," as well as other viewer-submitted questions.

Jay lives in Burbank with his wife and son.

Follow Jay on Twitter: @JayFaerber 

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


126 - Aaron Vaccaro (Mike & Molly, Superior Donuts, Team Kaylie, Drama Club)

126 - Aaron Vaccaro (Mike & Molly, Superior Donuts, Team Kaylie, Drama Club)

January 2, 2022

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His Grandfather was in the original Our Gang comedies... This week, host Gray Jones interviews comedy writer and Script Anatomy instructor Aaron Vaccaro.

Aaron Vaccaro bio:

He grew up in the San Fernando Valley (the non-porny part) and was always enamored by the entertainment industry, inspired by his grandfather, who starred in the original "Our Gang" comedies. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Film Studies, Aaron set out to become a television writer. He scored several Writers’ Assistant stints – on "24," "Ghost Whisperer," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," "Wilfred," and "Mike & Molly." After being chosen as one of the NBC’s Writers on the Verge, Aaron has gone on to write for "Mike & Molly" and "Superior Donuts," both on CBS, "Team Kaylieon Netflix, and most recently "Drama Clubon Nickelodeon.

He has developed projects with Netflix, Disney, Universal Cable Productions, Viola Davis’ production company, and once sold a feature entitled "Sasquatch vs. The Abominable Snowman," which is every bit as insane as it sounds.

Aaron now has an M.F.A. in Screenwriting and has taught screenwriting courses at AFI, UCSB, CSUN, LA Valley College and now Script Anatomy.

Follow Aaron on Twitter: @HairyPizzaBagel

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


125 - Zach Ayers (American Soul, State of Affairs)

125 - Zach Ayers (American Soul, State of Affairs)

December 21, 2021

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From Alaska to the CIA to being the funny drama guy... this week host Gray Jones interviews TV writer and Script Anatomy instructor Zach Ayers.

Zach Ayers is a versatile TV writer who has found his stride as the funny guy in a drama room. Although before his TV career, Zach spent five years in a deadly-serious job at the Central Intelligence Agency. There he wrote and produced top-secret training films that taught US intelligence officers how to do their job well and survive doing it. He knows all the scary stuff. Which, in retrospect, Zach finds hilarious. 

Recently, Zach wrote and produced the bio-series "American Soul" (BET). Other credits include "Siren" (Freeform), "State of Affairs" (NBC) and "A.N.T. Farm" (Disney). He’s also developed and sold several TV projects of his own across genres and formats. Zach's one of those oddball writers who actually loves to pitch. 

Zach's an alumnus of the ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship, Second City and Ithaca College. He grew up in rural, working-class Alaska, learning how to drive a forklift before he learned how to drive a car. But now he’s 100% city kid, living with his family and his cat Balki on the eastside of Los Angeles. He still does his own yardwork.

Follow Zach on Twitter: @ZachTellsLies

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


124 - Lee Jessup (Career Coach, Author)

124 - Lee Jessup (Career Coach, Author)

December 13, 2021

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This week, host Gray Jones interviews screen & TV writer career coach Lee Jessup, who recently published the book Getting It Write: An Insider's Guide to a Screenwriting Career.

Lee Jessup is a career coach for professional and emerging screenwriters, a twice-published, best-selling author, who has served as consultant for Universal’s Writers Program, NBC International, and Final Draft’s Big Break contest. Lee’s clients include writers who have major spec, pilot and pitch sales under their belts, staffed TV writers, TV writing program fellows, writers named to The Hit List, The Blood List, The Young & Hungry List and The Black List, major contest winners, as well as writers just beginning to chart their professional course.

Lee is the author of Breaking In: Tales From The Screenwriting Trenches (Focal Press) And Getting It Write: An Insider’s Guide To A Screenwriting Career (MWP). Just click on the links to buy these excellent books on Amazon!

Her professional background includes a stint as a working screenwriter, a development executive, and the director of ScriptShark.com. Lee has appeared in countless screenwriting conferences and panels domestically, abroad, and online, and has been the interview subject of countless podcasts. Never too far from the industry, She resides in Los Angeles with her family.

Follow Lee on Twitter: @LeeZJessup

Visit Lee's website: leejessup.com

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


123 - TV Writer & Performer Sasha Feiler (Robot Chicken)

123 - TV Writer & Performer Sasha Feiler (Robot Chicken)

December 7, 2021

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Sasha Feiler is the only funny person to ever come out of Siberia, and you’ll have to take her word for it since Siberia is the last place you’d want to visit! This week, host Gray Jones interviews comedy writer, performer & Script Anatomy instructor Sasha Feiler.

She fled Siberia and came to New York at nineteen with $40 in her pocket. At some point, after her paperwork got messed up, she became an illegal immigrant. Which was super fun (it wasn’t).

She graduated Brooklyn College on a full Presidential Scholarship with an MFA in Television Production and worked as an editor and producer at CNN. She quickly realized there weren’t a lot of laughs at CNN so she quit and moved to Los Angeles where she started performing and writing on improv and sketch teams at UCB, iO West and Second City.

A Script Anatomy alum—check out her testimonial video about Structure lab—she has written for "Robot Chicken" (Adult Swim) and was a fellow at The Colony, A3 (formerly Abrams) Agency’s incubator for emerging writers. The execs at The Colony attached themselves as Producers to her pilot "Queen Bitch" about a socially challenged dog trainer.

Sasha currently hosts a comedy podcast "Shut Up I Love It," competes in dog agility with her Champion Entlebucher Spoon and makes hospital visits with her therapy other Entlebucher Shark. These days, she rarely visits Siberia, using the lame excuse of “Once it’s below 72 degrees, I’m dead.”

She is repped by Bellevue Management, you can find her on IG @shutupiloveit1, or on Twitter at @shutupiloveit1.

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


122 - TV Director Dan Attias (The Boys, The Walking Dead, Homeland)

122 - TV Director Dan Attias (The Boys, The Walking Dead, Homeland)

November 30, 2021

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He wrote the book on directing great TV... literally! This week, host Gray Jones interviews veteran TV director Dan Attias, who has worked on such hit shows as "The Boys," "The Walking Dead," "Homeland," "House," "Lost," "The Sopranos," and dozens more. 

Dan Attias has worked as a director in the film and television industry for 37 years. As a director of series television he has received the Directors Guild of America award for outstanding direction of dramatic television and has been nominated for multiple Emmy awards for his comedy directing.

Dan continues to work on some of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed American television shows, including "Homeland," "The Americans," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Billions," and "The Boys." Previously he has directed "The Sopranos," "The Wire," "Six Feet Under," "True Blood," "Entourage," "The Killing," "The Walking Dead," "True Detective," "Ray Donovan," "Bloodline," "Friday Night Lights," "Northern Exposure," "House," "Lost," "Alias," among many others.

Dan's first professional directing assignment was the feature film, Stephen King’s "Silver Bullet," produced by Dino DeLaurentiis. He started his career studying acting, then worked as an assistant director on "E.T. The Extraterrestrial," "Airplane!," "One From the Heart" and several other feature films.

Dan has taught acting and directing workshops in the United States, and has appeared as a guest speaker at festivals in Italy, Brazil, Greece,  Mexico and Canada. Before working in the film and television industry, Dan was enrolled in a Ph.D. program in English literature at U.C.L.A., then transferred to the Theater Arts Department where he earned an M.F.A. in film production.

Gray gives a high recommendation to his new book, Directing Great Television. CLICK HERE to buy it and support the podcast (currently $5 off on Amazon).

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


121 - Jim Galasso (Lost, Hawaii Five-0, Beyond)

121 - Jim Galasso (Lost, Hawaii Five-0, Beyond)

November 23, 2021

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What if you get a non-writing job in the industry, and then thrive in that job... how do you break in to the entry level in TV writing? Find out this week, as host Gray Jones interviews Script Anatomy instructor Jim Galasso.

Jim Galasso spent his formative years obsessed with writing plays, making short movies and watching Eddie Murphy and the "Rocky" franchise on loop. His love of storytelling led to writing for the local newspaper (The Connecticut Post), and later for a nightly news show, "Up To The Minute" on CBS.

After graduating from Northeastern University, Jim moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting. He worked in reality and documentaries at World of Wonder Productions, eventually becoming Head of Development, composing an endless stream of show proposals. But his desire was always scripted TV, and eventually Jim landed at Lost (ABC). He started as Writers' PA, was promoted to Writers' Assistant, then bumped to Staff Writer on the Emmy award winning show's final season.

Jim has since written for Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) and the sci-fi family series Beyond (Freeform). He has also done uncredited rewrites on pilots and worked on series treatments. Jim writes pilots spanning many genres, from sci-fi to political thrillers, with the special focus on character interaction and sharp dialogue. Look hard enough and you'll even see the Eddie Murphy and Rocky influences. Or at least get a montage with a fresh synthesizer beat.

Jim tells us all about the two courses he currently teaches at Script Anatomy - the TV Structure Lab and the TV Pilot Lab (which is coming up February 1st). These fill up fast, so if they interest you, book early!

Follow Jim on Twitter: @JGJR22 

Visit primary sponsor Script Anatomy on the web: scriptanatomy.com

Buying Final Draft screenwriting software? Use this link to support the podcast: tinyurl.com/BuyFinalDraft.

You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com.


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