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What an awesome Executive Hour to kick off 2020 with Development & Production Executive Sarah J. Cornelius of Whitewater Films. Despite fighting a cold, Sarah powered through and gave us some awesome insights about the business, the inside story of how their film, Standing Up, Falling Down came together with Billy Crystal, what she looks for in a screenwriter, and the best (and worst) advice she ever received in show business!
"Really great advice. You've been a treat to have here Sarah! A wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Thank you so much for coming through!" - Imo C.
"THANK YOU Sarah, for such real, genuine advice." - Petula
"Thank you... another great week." - Chris
This week, Jason speaks with producer Natalie Qasabian, who has forged a successful career producing independent films which have had tremendous commercial success! Natalie began her career producing three films for the indie film duo the Duplass Brothers, including Duck Butter directed by Miguel Arteta, Natalie went on to produce All About Nina starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Common. Later, Natalie produced Searching, a thriller starring John Cho and Debra Messing which was acquired by Sony at Sundance in 2018 and went on to gross $75M at the box office! Currently she's producing Run, starring Sarah Paulson for Lionsgate as well as the sequel to Searching for Sony. Natalie talks about starting her career as a Line Producer and Production Manager, and how that allowed her to make independent films for a modest budget. Natalie shares her insights on the effectiveness of proof of concept videos, how first-time filmmakers can attract financing, and the inside story of how she sold Searching to Sony at Sundance!
Devon got his start as a Development Exec at Ideate Entertainment before launching the management company, First Friday Entertainment, last year with Krista Sipp. We discuss what makes a writer stand out to reps, trends in film and TV, writer voice and standing out, & more, plus a live Q&A!
In this Executive Hour webcast, the Writers' Room welcomes the President of Gidden Media, billion dollar producer & executive Amy Baer! Amy's experience in the entertainment Industry spans major studios, independent financiers, and producing. Collectively, the films she has supervised and/or produced have grossed nearly $2 billion in worldwide box office. Before starting Gidden Media, Baer served as President & CEO of CBS Films, launching the division for CBS Corp. In 2012, Baer raised a 7-figure development fund and launched Gidden Media, a content incubation and production company. Its first film was the romantic drama MARY SHELLEY, starring Elle Fanning. Amy spent the previous 17 years at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she oversaw such hit films as MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING, Oscar nominated ADAPTATION, S.W.A.T., SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, which earned Will Smith an Oscar nomination. She also developed the 2011 Oscar-nominated Sony hit MONEYBALL starring Brad Pitt. Amy became Board President of Women in Film in June 2018, stepping into the role at a critical juncture in Hollywood. During this webcast, Amy talks about the changing landscape of development and production in the industry, including what helps get a film made, the genres that she chooses to focus on, stories from developing MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING and other Sony classics, and how writers can gain momentum in a highly competitive business!
Christian Sander is The Director of Development for Pensé Productions - we have a fun hour long conversation with Christian about the craft and business.
This week we welcome playwright and TV writer who is the author of over forty plays! His television credits include Executive Story Editor on Season 2 of the Starz drama "MAGIC CITY", and serving as Executive Story Editor on two seasons of the HBO television show "HUNG". He wrote and directed the film EXILES IN New York, which played at the A.F.I Film Festival, South by South West, The Santa Barbara Film Festival and The Latin American International Film Festival in Havana, Cuba. He has also has sold his original television projects to Starz, Amazon and AMC, among others. During this incredible Executive Hour, Eduardo talks about working with Oscar-winner Al Pacino on the film SCARFACE in his early 20's, how to write compelling characters for stage and screen, what it is like being in a writers room for HBO, and offers a exercise in breaking character and story that brought one of our members to tears!
In this big, bonus episode of the Executive Hour we are joined by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-nominated screenwriter, Meg LeFauve! Meg is the brilliant screenwriting mind behind critically acclaimed films including INSIDE OUT (which earned her an Academy Award nomination, and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2016), THE GOOD DINOSAUR, and CAPTAIN MARVEL. She has also contributed to Pixar films including FINDING DORY and INCREDIBLES 2, as well as the 20th Century Fox animated film SPIES IN DISGUISE! Prior to her career as a screenwriter, Meg ran development for actress and filmmaker Jodi Foster. She has been nominated for an Academy Award, Emmy Award (as a producer), NAACP Image Award, and BAFTA Award, with a total of 24 award nominations and 8 wins! During the webcast, Meg's discusses her career at Pixar, how she is adapting and working in the current quarantine situation, what writers can be doing during this time, what types of scripts and projects she thinks will be in demand once this quarantine is over, and so much more!