NextGen Creators: Robots, Of Course

The future is here in ways we never expected, and it ain’t gonna be no picnic for writers, artists, and performers, et al.

‘Twas ever thus, but still…:


Creative Robots Replacing Artists And Writers…
by Michael Ho

Robots are taking away valuable jobs from more and more humans everyday. People used to connect phone calls. People used to categorize links on the internet (and some still do). But those jobs have been largely replaced by more efficient algorithms. Jobs that require some human creativity are supposed to be immune from an attack of automation, but it really depends on what kind of creativity.

Found at one of the most authoritative sites on the interwebs, After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at TechDirt’s Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Motion Picture Academy Announces Nicholl Award Winners

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Five individuals have been selected as winners of the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition.  The Academy is celebrating theunnamed 30th anniversary of the global competition which aims to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters.  Each winner will receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at an awards presentation on Wednesday, November 4, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  For the third consecutive year, the event also will include a live read of selected scenes from the fellows’ winning scripts.

This year’s winners are (listed alphabetically by author):

Elizabeth Chomko, “What They Had”
Andrew Friedhof, “Great Falls”
Anthony Grieco, “Best Sellers”
Sam Regnier, “Free Agent”
Amy Tofte, “Addis Abeka”

A total of 7,442 scripts were submitted for this year’s competition. Ten individual screenwriters and two writing teams were chosen as finalists.  Their scripts were then read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, who ultimately chose the winners.

The other finalists are (listed alphabetically by author):

Ghazi Albuliwi, “Arafat”
Jennifer Bailey and Max Lance, ”Best Funeral Ever”
Ryan Covington, “The Secrets We Keep”
Lynn Esta Goldman, “Angel on the Wall”
Murat Izmirli, “Grimwood”
Suzanne Kelman and Susannah Rose Woods, “Held”
Augustus Rose, “Far from Cool”

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year.  The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee is chaired by writer Robin Swicord, and marketing executive Buffy Shutt serves as vice chair.  The other members of the committee are writers Tina Gordon Chism, Naomi Foner, Eric Roth, Kirsten Smith, Dana Stevens and Tyger Williams; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographer John Bailey; executive Marcus Hu; producers Stephanie Allain, Albert Berger, Julia Chasman, Julie Lynn and Peter Samuelson; and agent Ron Mardigian.

Since 1986, 142 fellowships have been awarded, and in 2015 several past fellows added to their feature film and television credits:

  • Nikole Beckwith directed “Stockholm, Pennsylvania,” from her Nicholl-winning script, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • Robert Edwards wrote and directed “When I Live My Life Over Again,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
  • Patrick Gilfillan wrote “Lila & Eve,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • Kurt Kuenne edited and co-wrote the documentary “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard around the World,” which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival.
  • Alfredo Botello was a co-writer of “Hollywood Adventures,” which opened as the number-one film in China in June.
  • Rebecca Sonnenshine is a writer and supervising producer on “The Vampire Diaries.”
  • Annmarie Morais is a writer and story editor on the series “Killjoys.”
  • Andrew Marlowe is the creator and was executive producer, and Terri Miller was a writer and executive producer on “Castle.”

WGAW 2015 Officer & Board of Directors Election Results

screencapture-click-email-wgaw-org-cp-onlinePreview-php-1442882485701And there ya have it, kids. Elation? Despair? Choice is all yers.

2013 Spec Scriptacular Winner Samuel Miller Now on MOM’s Writing Staff

Not Sam Miller. Not even reasonable facsimiles. But, hey, he hangs with these peeps now.

Not Sam Miller. Not even reasonable facsimiles. But, hey, he hangs with these peeps now.

It seems like just yesterday that we announced the winners of the 2013 Spec Scriptacular Competition. Finishing in 1st Place in the Sitcom category that year was Sam Miller, whose spec episode, VEEP: HOUSE OF CARDS, absolutely killed the judges.

And, as it turns out, they weren’t the only ones. The honchos at CBS’ hot – and very highly regarded – sitcom MOM went for it in a big way too. So big that Sam now has left his previous gig as Executive Producer of the web series L.A. BEER (we keep telling you that doing a web series is great exposure) and is ensconced as a staff writer on a genuine Chuck Lorre sitcom, doing that thing writers do – putting some very clever words in the mouths of stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney. (Or is it Allison Janney and Anna Faris? We don’t want to screw up the billing order.)

TVWriter™ will be interviewing Sam about how he made The Big Move as soon as he has the time to sit down with us. In the meantime, though, we’d like to promote another project dear to Sam’s heart.

The name of the show is 3RD & FAIRFAX, and no, it isn’t another web series. It’s the official podcast of the Writers Guild of America, West, produced by the WGAW Writers’ Education Committee. As we write this, seven episodes are already up at the WGAW site, Stitcher, LibSyn, and iTunes.

In Sam’s words, “I think it’s a great resource for aspiring writers of all kinds!” We’ve listened to the podcasts, and we agree. Hell, can a TVWriter™ Script Spectacular Winner possibly be wrong?

Congratulations on the new gig, Sam. We’re confident that it will be the first of many great things to come.

Oh, and in case y’all haven’t gotten into the Spec Scriptacular yet, check it out. The 2015 contest is open for entries up to and including December 1st…and now you know where it can lead.


Pakistan’s 1st Professional Screenwriting Program

Time now to conclude TVWriter™’s Worldwide TV Writing Weekend with these hopeful words from Pakistan:


Qalambaaz, Pakistan’s first ever professional screenplay writing development program produced by Parveen Shah Productions and supported by filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal is launched on August.

Having the objective of taking a concept of screen play within a period of six month, Qalambaaz was initially begun in 2014 on a relatively small level by Bilal when 6 aspiring writing enthusiasts paired off with Afia Nathaniel, Sumit Roy, Amit Kumar, Sameer Gardezi, Zak Shaikh and Musa Syeed, globally acclaimed TV and film writers, to ace their script writing & screen play skills.

At the start of six month program, Qalambaaz goes on to train writer’s value and art of pitching and selling their articles and got to industry variants, with a ‘trial by fire’ panel that includes Nadeem Mandiwalla, Wajahat Rauf, Iram Parveen Bilal and Faisal Kapadia.

“It was extremely fulfilling to see people who were just talking about their ideas they wanted to make, just eight months ago, actually having completed scripts now and to see the growth and the visualization of a possible, yet challenging journey, to translate those scripts into awe-inspiring films,” said Parveen Bilal while expressing about experiences in starting Qalambaaz last year.

Read it all at The News Teller

Irish Initiative to Develop Long Form TV Drama Skills

And now, in case you’re happily ensconced on the Emerald Isle, here’s what’s happening to improve TV and film writing in Ireland:

bigstories15-fby Sean Brosnan

Big Stories on the Small Screen is a new initiative, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Screen Training Ireland, focused on developing Irish skills in quality long-form screen drama.

Big Stories will support Irish-resident screenwriters, producers and directors who want to develop the essential skills necessary to craft a successful drama series for the international market.

It brings together some of the most eminent screen storytellers from across the world to work with Irish screen professionals. The initiative fosters the creative collaboration essential to developing successful long-form drama; participants learn skills in collaborative storytelling alongside skills in story analysis and script development.

Big Stories comprises two distinct modules and spans a twelve month period.

Module One

This event will take place in Dublin on Saturday 28th November 2015. The conference will hear from a range of top international industry professionals discussing their experience with an audience of up to one hundred writers, producers and directors.

Speakers at the event include:

  • John Yorke – author of Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey into Story; former Controller of BBC Drama Production; former MD of Company Pictures;
  • Michael Hirst – BAFTA-nominated screenwriter of long-form dramas The Tudors, Camelot and Vikings as well as numerous feature films including Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots;
  • Morgan O’Sullivan – producer and executive producer whose credits include long-form dramas The Tudors, Camelot, Penny Dreadful and Vikings as well as a host of feature films including Braveheart, Angela’s Ashes and Becoming Jane;
  • Ciarán Donnelly – acclaimed award winning director whose credits include: Vikings, Titanic, The Tudors, Inspector George Gently, Titanic: Blood and Steel and Cold Feet

Attendance at the event is limited and interested applicants can apply for a place via the Screen Training Website ( by 16th October 2015. Attendees at this event can consider applying to take part in the second module.

Read it all at IFTN