SDCC’14: “How to Write a TV Pilot” at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Have you ever thought of a perfect idea for a TV series? Find out how to write it! Gray Jones (Host, TV Writer Podcast, Partner of Script Magazine) moderates a discussion and Q&A with powerhouse panelists Jen Grisanti (Writing Instructor,NBC’s Writers on the Verge), William Rabkin (Author, Writing the Pilot), Bill Taub (Author, Automatic Pilot), and Carole Kirschner (Director of the WGA Show Runner Training Program). Get that idea from your brain to the screen!

How to Write a TV Pilot
Friday, July 25 @ 8:00PM
Room 23ABC

Gray JonesTV Editor/Writer, Host of the TV Writer Podcast, Partner of Script Magazine

Gray is a TV editor/writer with credits on 196 TV episodes, including well-known titles such as Property Brothers andWilliam Shatner’s Weird or What, which aired recently on SyFy. A contributor to DV Magazine and Script Magazine, Gray is also a renowned podcast producer, featured on CNN and in the Toronto Star for his video podcasting. His first podcast,Chuck vs the Podcast for NBC’s Chuck, had an audience of up to 80,000 per episode, and was voted the world’s #1 TV-themed podcast for 40 consecutive months. His current podcast, the TV Writer Podcast, Partner of Script Magazine, has featured over 80 interviews with showrunners, producers, authors and writers. Gray also created the TV Writer Twitter Database, the world’s largest database of TV writers on Twitter, with over 1000 writers, and co-founded the TV Writer Chat, the first weekly Twitter chat group for television writing. Hailing from Canada, he has an honors Screenwriting BFA from York University in Toronto, where he graduated with distinction in 1994. Gray has also won awards internationally for his short film producing.

Jen Grisanti – Story/Career Consultant, Author (Story Line: Finding the Gold In Your Life Story)

Jen is a story consultant, independent producer, writing instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding the Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit and Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Grisanti started her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling 15 years ago. Aaron was her mentor for the next 12 years as she climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering shows such as Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Jen was promoted to VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered shows including Medium, Numbers, NCIS,4400 and Girlfriends. She also served as a mentor in the CBS Diversity Program, which seeks out and nurtures young writers and directors. In 2008, Jen launched a consulting firm dedicated to helping writers break into the industry. Since then, she has worked with over 500 writers, twenty of which have sold pilots. She has also helped several writers to sign with top agencies including UTA and CAA, and has helped over 40 writers get staffed.

William Rabkin – TV Writer, Author (Writing the Pilot, Successful Television Writing)

William has written and/or produced hundreds of hours of dramatic television. He served as showrunner on the long-running Dick Van Dyke mystery series Diagnosis Murder and on the action-adventure spectacle Martial Law. His many writing and producing credits include The Glades, Monk, Psych, Nero Wolfe, Missing, Spenser: For Hire, seaQuest 2032, Hunter andThe Cosby Mysteries. He has also written a dozen network TV pilots. His work has been nominated twice for the Edgar Award for best television episode by the Mystery Writers of America. He has written one previous book on writing for television, Successful Television Writing, with Lee Goldberg. Bill is also the author of the novels A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read, Mind Over Magic, The Call of the Mild, A Fatal Frame of Mind and Mind-Altering Murder. He is the co-creator and co-editor of The Dead Man, a monthly series of supernatural action thrillers published by Amazon’s 47North imprint, and has written three installments. Rabkin is part of the core faculty of UCR-Palm Desert’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts.

Bill Taub – TV Writer, Author (Automatic Pilot)

Bill is a native New Yorker who’s gone from Forest Hills to Beverly Hills. He came to television writing through advertising, where he was a Clio-winning writer-producer at several New York agencies. His TV writing experience spans decades, having written on hit shows from Barney Miller and CHiPs to Newhart and Dallas. He has also written or co-written many pilots, including Relic Hunter and Friday the 13th: The Series. Currently, he keeps himself busy with half a dozen projects, pilots, and web series, consulting, and occasionally teaching online through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and the Laugh Factory. Most recently, he bottled what he teaches based on his own thirty years of experiences into book form,Automatic Pilot. Bill splits his time between Los Angeles and Toronto, where his wife’s family resides.

Carole KirschnerDirector, WGA Show Runner Training Program

Carole has worked as a senior level television executive for sixteen years. Her posts at CBS and as Vice President of Television at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment have given her an insider’s angle on how to get in, move up and sell projects. She helped develop award-winning shows like Murphy Brown and Designing Women. Carole is also a respected presenter and educator through USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and UCLA Extension, among others. She is the creator of the CBS Diversity Institute Writers Mentoring Program and Director of the WGA Showrunner Training Program. She also leads seminars on how to succeed in Hollywood, including strategic networking, pitching and self-promotion. Through her career coaching practice, Park on the Lot, she consults with both Hollywood beginners and seasoned writers, executives and other professionals who wish to move up. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment hit stores March 2012.