Elena Zaretsky

Elena Zaretsky

Screenwriter

Los Angeles, California

Member Since:
January 2016
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
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About Elena

Elena Zaretsky attributes the edge in her writing to her Russian immigrant background, and her blind New Age optimism to her sunny SoCal upbringing: kind of like a Dostoyevsky on lithium. Her earliest memories include learning English from reruns of classic tv shows such as ‘Bewitched’ and ‘Mash’.

Elena received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego where she double majored in Political Science and Communications, and minored in Theatre. Soon after, her professional acting career began with several independent films that took her to the Big Apple. While in New York, she starred in several off off-Broadway plays and finished the two-year Meisner program at the William Esper Studios. She also supplemented her training at the Circle in the Square Theatre. While in New York, she was featured briefly in the third season of the Sopranos.

Upon returning to her hometown of Los Angeles, Elena began studying and performing organic improvisation at The Hothouse where she was a frequent main stage performer for five years. During that same period she undertook classes and performed at the UCB Theater, and appeared on Criminal Minds and Unscripted. Elena’s original sketch character, Natalia Pushkin Pushkin and her original webisode Law and Order: Puppet Victim’s Unit – a spoof of Law and Order: SVU, were a hit online .

Since 2008, Elena has been studying the craft of screenwriting with well-known teacher and script consultant Pilar Alessandra at On The Page. Two of Elena’s feature film scripts, Tears of Joy and Burning Man Mama, and two of her TV specs Eli Stone, United States of Tara have been recognized in screenwriting contests (Scriptapalooza, Bluecat, and Scritapalooza TV respectively). Her spec for Hung placed in the top 5% for the WB Writing Program.

More recently, Elena has been a two-time finalists for the Warner Bros Writing Program with her specs for Fringe and Sleepy Hollow. She was also a finalist for the ABC/Disney Writing Program with partner Nicholas Johnson. In December 2013, she appeared in the original MocaTV web series Ambiance Man alongside Fred Armisen.

Recently, Elena completed her Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. She also finished her seventh original pilot entitled The Styx and has been hired to punch up scripts for various international production companies while simultaneously developing her original pilot, The Helpers, with Quadrant Pictures.

Unique traits: Fluent Russian, experienced improviser, blows fire.

Photos

Credits

  • Pants on Fire

    Pants on Fire (2014)
    Television (Comedy) Actress Dr. Sebring treats a patient who is fixated on her lap dog, leaving her entire estate to it in her will. Her granddaughter is none too happy about this as the only living relative. She attempts to convince Felix to have her grandmother committed, and when failing to do so, kidnaps the pooch and demands a ransom. Dr. Sebring steps up to the plate after he gets caught in a lie about his skill set. He saves the day, but an even worse crime is revealed that implicates his beloved and protective Mum. Written by Laura McLaughlin

  • Ambiance Man

    Ambiance Man (2013)
    Television (Comedy) Actress

  • The Lempke Brothers

    The Lempke Brothers (2010)
    Video by Randy Kent (Adventure, Comedy and Fantasy) Actress Two box factory workers from a small Soviet country called Kreplach, The Lempke Brothers accidentally discover a unique ability to dance and to dream. Wanting more out of life, they escape the communist country and find themselves in America - Minnesota to be exact - where their dreams turn to reality and they soon study their new found craft. Eventually this town is not enough for the siblings, so they head West and land in Las Vegas and become headliners at a local club called Spritz-N-Sparkle. But will that be enough for the dynamic duo and can they ever escape their communist past? Written by Randy Kent

  • Stalker Chronicles

    Stalker Chronicles (2010)
    Television by Genie Willett (Comedy) Actress Two prom dress clad girls stalk a boy they found on a web video. Once the stalking commenced, they began using covert names to disguise their identity. Since they both seem to be the yin to Ryan's yang, they called themselves the Yin Ladies, or Yin Yin, or Yinny. Each episode is in a different theatre or cinema style. Styles include Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, George Melies, Robert Weine, Beat Poets (including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs), Neil Simon, David Lynch, Federico Fellini, Sam Shepard, Comedy of Errors & Greek Tragedy. Written by Stalker Chronicles

  • Criminal Minds

    Criminal Minds (2007)
    Television by Jeff Davis (Crime, Drama, Mystery and Thriller) Actress Based in Quantico, Virginia, the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is a subsection of the FBI. Called in by local police departments to assist in solving crimes of a serial and/or extremely violent nature where the perpetrator is unknown (referred to by the Unit as the unknown subject or unsub for short), the BAU uses the controversial scientific art of profiling to track and apprehend the unsub. Profiling entails coming up with basic characteristics of the unsub and the victims (referred to as the victimology), using evidence from the case and matching that information to historic precedents and psychological analyses as a means to solve the case. Because of the nature of the work conducted by the BAU - the work being time consuming and psychologically demanding - its members are fiercely loyal to the Unit and to its other members. Also because of the work's overall demanding nature, not many members of the BAU have been able to maintain a happy or stable family life. Written by Huggo

  • Strippers

    Strippers (2000)
    Film by Jorge Ameer (Drama and Comedy) Actress In a disastrous economy, after loosing his job, Alan, an out of work executive, dreams a series of bizarre comedic worst case scenarios that could happen if society's "strippers" get a hold of him. After over ten years of being produced (1998), this dark comedic drama proves to be both current and relevant in a changing world. This is Jorge Ameer's second feature, yet his first 35mm motion picture and theatrical release. Written by anonymous

  • Starship Troopers

    Starship Troopers (1997)
    Film by Paul Verhoeven (Action and Sci-Fi) Visual effects In the distant future high school kids are encouraged to become citizens by joining the military. What they don't know is that they'll soon be engaged in a full scale war against a planet of alien insects. The fight is on to ensure the safety of humanity. Written by Christopher Van Pelt

  • McHale's Navy

    McHale's Navy (1997)
    Film by Bryan Spicer (Action and Comedy) Miscellaneous Crew Retired Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale spends his days puttering around the Caribbean in the old PT-73 selling homebrew, ice cream, and swimsuit calendars. He's brought out of retirement when his old nemesis turned the second best terrorist in the world, Major Vladikov, takes over the island of San Moreno and starts building a nuclear launch silo on it. With help from his old crew and hindrances from Captain Wallace B. Binghampton, who sank a cruise liner a while back, McHale tries to put Vladikov out of business. Written by Jeff Cross <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

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