Jeane Wong wins 1st Universal Cable Productions Pitch Fest

by TVWriter™ Press Service

jeane-wong-jpegProving that some execs really do know their shit a good thing when they see it, Jeane Wong, a script coordinator for ARROW and a 3rd Place Winner in TVWriter™’s 2014 Spec Scriptacular and Semi-Finalist in the 2014 People’s Pilot is the overall winner of Universal Cable Productions’ first Pitch Fest.

UCP recently opened its doors to undiscovered storytellers looking to pitch the next great television series to studio executives. Dubbed “Pitch Fest,” the first annual event attracted more than 500 submissions, with 22 finalists given 10 minutes to pitch their idea to UCP’s development team. The winning pitch, “The Thin Line,” was submitted by Jeane Wong and is slated for development later this year.

Wong is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in English literature. She was a semifinalist in Disney’s ABC Writing program and is an alumna of the Producer’s Guild Workshop. Her winning submission, “The Thin Line,” is a revisionist history series set in present-day America where segregation still exists after an unsuccessful 1960s civil rights movement. Against the backdrop, a man goes undercover for the FBI, setting himself on a collision course with his estranged brother, who happens to be the leader of a violent underground group.

According to Dawn Olmstead, Executive Vice President, Development, the UCP team was impressed with Wong’s original pitch and further intrigued by her talent after reading the script.

“The theme of Jeane’s script immediately caught our attention because it’s compelling, timely and its themes resonate with what’s going on in our world today,” said Olmstead. “We look forward to helping her bring her vision to life.”

 

Wong is repped by Gotham.

Yay, Jeane!!!

The One Question Every Writer Needs to Answer

reality

by Kathryn Graham

“Am I a real writer?”

There are lots of memes that float around facebook about what makes something ‘real’. They say things like ‘real women have curves’ or ‘real men wear pink’ usually typed over photographs of what some dingbat with Photoshop or MS Paint thinks represents reality.  It’s all hogwash. A ‘real’ woman or man simply is because they feel they are. There is no prerequisite to becoming what you already are.

The same goes for asking if you’re a real writer. It can be worthwhile to ask yourself just how passionately you feel about writing, in what venue, if you care about creating great television, being published, or any other number of things that come along with the business of writing. It’s worth it to ask yourself how much writing means to you because it will require a lot out of you. But asking if you’re a real writer?

I asked myself this question during a time in my life when I wasn’t writing as much as I would have liked. The conventional wisdom always came back to: “Real writers write. Period.” This bit of wisdom sounds all tied up with bow and a tag that reads “This is the final word”. In actuality, it’s probably just as worthless as ‘real men wear kilts’.

Let’s put it this way. If Stephen King stops writing for months, even years, and doesn’t put a word down on paper – is he still a ‘real writer’? Does he only become a real writer again once he commits to sit in front of a blank page on a computer screen and tap tap tap away at the keys?

I’d like to tell you that if you ask yourself if you’re a ‘real writer’ and you feel like you are, poof, that’s all you need. But the fact is you can think that you’re not a real writer and still be one. You can also believe that you’re a ‘real writer’ and spend your entire life never actually writing anything.

So you want to know if you’re a real writer? If asking yourself that question makes you feel good, reassured of your identity, and ready to follow through on your choices, that’s great. If not, try re-framing the question. How much do you care about writing right now? What are you willing to do or sacrifice to get it done? What kind of impact does writing have on your life and your well-being? Whatever the answers are now, you can always come back at another time and find out if your feelings or your circumstances have changed. The only thing being ‘real’ requires is being honest with yourself and making choices you can live with.


Kathryn Graham is a Contributing Writer to TVWriter™. Learn more about Kate HERE

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – June 27

In case you’ve missed what’s happening at TVWriter™, the most popular blog posts during the week ending yesterday were:

Supernatural Season 1 Finale – Recap and Review

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

LB: The 1 Book Every New TV Writer Needs

Kelly Jo Brick: The Write Path with Mark Goffman

Confessions of a Contest Script Reader

And our most visited permanent resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT

The Logline

The Teleplay

Student Central

Major thanks to everyone for making this such a great week. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed. re-read what you loved, and, most importantly, come back for more soon!

(Oh, and if you know why people still seem to be dying to read about Season One of SUPERNATURAL, please let us know. The secret of that kind of success could be a goldmine for any network!)

Web Series: BEE AND PUPPYKAT

Adultly childish? Childishly adult? Either way, we thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of this fucking adorable series on Cartoon Hangover.

Yeah, we said “adorable.” Deal with it!

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Follow Bee and PuppyCat at http://beeandpuppycat.cartoonhangover.com for updates.

Actors say, “These are our novels,” about…wait for it…TV!

In the wonderful world of tomorrow, AIs will oversee all the robots and drones as they do the real work, and humans will indulge in lifetimes of inquiry, learning, and other scientific and philosophical pursuits.

Some of us will of course turn to literature for entertainment and education. But we won’t be reading our literature. No way. Who needs it when, as the following Los Angeles Times headline and article demonstrate:

The Spreanza family gathering around a television in a supermarket to watch Jill Corey perform. (Photo by Gordon Parks//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

For these five dramatic actors, the depth of storytelling on TV stuns
by Mary McNamara

se are our novels,” says “Ray Donovan” star Liev Schreiber of the quality of current television programming. And who can argue? With the depth and complexity of characters being written today, it’s storytelling at its finest – so let’s all gather around the new Tolstoy, shall we? Schreiber wasn’t alone in marveling at the intricacies of modern plotting. He was joined in a conversation with The Envelope by fellow actors Tom Hiddleston (“The Night Manager”), Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Bob Odenkirk(“Better Call Saul”) and Jean Smart (“Fargo”) to talk about character development, changing roles for women, and remembering what it is your character doesn’t know. Here’s what they had to say in that late April chat.

We have represented here mini-series, we have anthology series, dramas. But one thing that unites you guys is that the characters are very complicated. Even when they are bad guys, they have some sort of essential humanity. Or even when they are heroes, they have things that they’re dealing with. How do you balance those often contradictory characteristics?

Bob Odenkirk:  Well, I just call the writers and say, “Stop adding sides to my character.”

[Laughter]

Odenkirk:  Because Saul Goodman in “Breaking Bad”was such a one-dimensional—sort of intentionally—guy. He was a facade of that he was presenting. So I didn’t feel like it was a lot of work to get these new sides to the character when he was Jimmy McGill, to try to marry those two up. And I just love all the interesting versions of the guy that there are, just like real people. I mean, you’re one way at work, and you’re a different way with your family, and on your own, you’re a kind of a different person. And it all made sense to me right away. It wasn’t hard.

So you approached them like two different characters, not like “I have to get to here”?

Odenkirk:  No, I didn’t think about that at all. Because we all knew right away, [co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould] and I, who really wants to watch Saul Goodman for any length of time? The actual Saul Goodman as presented in “Breaking Bad” was just a selfish, self-interested—he was fun to watch in short increments, but you wouldn’t really want to build a show around him. So they just sort of threw that away and built somebody from the ground up.

What about you, Jean? You played the crime matriarch, sort of accidentally, because her husband has been felled by a stroke and she’s having to take over. How was that?

Jean Smart:  Well, first of all, I loved the fact that her name was Floyd and I never asked [“Fargo” creator] Noah Hawley why he named her Floyd until we were done. I came up with my own notions of why he called her Floyd. But the thing I loved about her was that she was just a very practical person. You just do what needs to be done, no matter what. And Noah had laid the character out so well that I had a great backstory for her almost right away. But, like, in the second episode, there’s a scene where she’s in the kitchen basting a turkey or something, and her son is out in the barn doing, shall we say, “enhanced interrogation” on a poor fellow. And I’m sure she knows what’s going on, but but then he comes in the kitchen later and makes a dirty joke, and she bites his head off for using crude language….

Read it all at the Los Angeles Times

Innovative Media Production for Fun and Profit

We may or may not be living in the future, but we sure as hell are closing in on Media Impossible. Or, as a certain Vulcan we all know and love might say, “Fascinating:”

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by Mike Masnick

A few weeks ago, a couple of friends friends were tweeting about an incredible new YouTube video in which some people created a “real life first-person shooter” and hooked it up to Chatroulette, Skype and Omegle. Random people on the services were transported into this game, which they controlled with their voice.

My first reaction [to the video above] was to marvel at how much effort must have gone into setting all of this up. I had initially assumed the “game” couldn’t go very far beyond the tiny room where it started — but it goes much, much further. My second thought was about how hard it must have been to coordinate all the sounds, effects and movements (even while recognizing that the final version is cut together from the takes that “worked”). Thankfully, the people behind it — Realm Picturesalsoput together a behind the scenes video that reveals the inner workings (and doesn’t make the original any less magical):

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I started looking into the team, and realized I actually knew a bit about them, as this is hardly the first time that Realm Pictures has done cool stuff online. Years back, while based out of their home in Devon in the UK, these guys filmed their very own zombie flick called Zomblies, which they posted for free on YouTube. For a bunch of “amateurs” (at the time), the production value is amazing — they even got someone to donate time in a helicopter, allowing them to film aerial shots. But there’s another important piece of the story: while they were making the film, Realm Pictures was also using the internet to build up a community of people who were interested in the process, with their daily blog about the work acquiring a big following.

David Reynolds, the founder and creative director of Realm Pictures (and the voice in the first person shooter above), told me that “building a community has always been instrumental to both our process and our success with projects thus far.”…

Read it all at TechDirt