My name is Jessica Tanner. For as long as I can remember, creative writing has always been my passion. I always preferred creative writing instead of typical college papers. It was an escape from normal everyday life and gave me the chance to tell stories from my own point of view. When I was in high school, I developed a love for creating fictional stories that were relatable to people in my age range. I would keep journals of stories that I had created and develop each character in its own unique way. Originally, I wanted to pursue a career as a professional novelist. Once I entered college for the first time, I decided to major in Writing in general. This included writing speeches, poems, short stories, newspaper articles, technical writing, research papers, and different types of rhetorical analysis.In my junior year of college at Loyola University Maryland, I had the opportunity to take an Introduction to Screenwriting Course. I jumped at the opportunity because I had always been curious about the craft of screenwriting. I ended up falling in love with everything from the format to the process of creating a professional screenplay. I ended up learning the fundamentals of screenwriting and the importance of creating characters that want something in order to reach a specific goal. By the end of the course I had created my first feature film script. I knew then that I wanted to pursue screenwriting even farther. A year after I graduated from Loyola, I enrolled at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA to pursue a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Screenwriting. I was looking at film schools and universities in Los Angeles, but I noticed that they didn’t require students to be well rounded with exposure to video editing, directing, and producing. They also didn’t place a strong emphasis on learning the basics and fundamentals of screenwriting. What stuck out to me with the Academy was that they required all film students to learn how to write, produce, and edit short films first. The theory is that if one can write a short film and gain exposure to the process, then they will be ready to write a TV script and a feature film script as well. The Academy also provides students with the right skills and tools to create a professional portfolio to present to potential employers after graduation. They make sure students are prepared to enter the professional world, which is why I knew I had chosen the right school to attend.My main goal is to be a professional writer for TV. I am drawn to writing for TV Dramas that are typically one hour long. Last semester I enrolled in my first TV Drama Writing class. I learned the importance of studying a particular existing TV show if you are writing your own spec script. It helped me understand character dynamics and the overall premise of the show. I gravitated towards TV writing because it gives writers the opportunity to create several seasons of a series filled with unique and memorable characters. I hope to start out as a Staff Writer on an existing TV show and work my way up and eventually become an executive producer/writer. Not only does TV writing force you to write at a fast pace, it also exposes writers to the creative process from collaborating in the writer's room, to shooting each scene, to the editing room, and finally the moment when the episode you worked on is finally aired on TV.
The Southern California Screenplay Competition - Best Feature 2016
The Hollywood Screenplay Contest - Grand Prize Winner - Drama