Author of Your Screenplay Sucks! 100 Ways To Make It Great, William M. Akers is a WGA Lifetime Member and has had three feature films produced from his screenplays. He has written for studios, independent producers, and the major television networks. Akers teaches screenwriting in the Motion Pictures Program at Belmont University and gives writing workshops around the world, including London, Beijing, and Paris. He speaks French and was a Jeopardy! contestant. He didn’t win.
Daniel P. Calvisi is a story analyst, speaker, screenwriter and the author of Story Maps: TV Drama and Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay. He is a former Story Analyst for major studios like Twentieth Century Fox and Miramax Films. He coaches writers, teaches webinars on writing for film and television with The Writers Store and speaks at writing conferences. He holds a degree in Film and Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He lives in Los Angeles. To learn more about Story Maps and how you can work with Dan, visit ActFourScreenplays.com.
Jennifer Dornbush is a speaker, forensic specialist, and writer who helps other storytellers create high stakes, entertaining crime dramas while also employing current, authentic, and realistic forensic methods.
She teaches seminars and speaks on writing crime fiction for screen and novel, surviving and thriving the artist’s life, the novelization process of scripts, crime scene science, forensic fundamentals, and death investigation.
Pamela Douglas has been honored with the Humanitas Prize and awards including Emmys, Writers Guild, and American Women in Radio and Television. Her book Writing the TV Drama Series is considered the authoritative source internationally, and the 4th Edition is coming in 2018. Her other book The Future of Television: Your Guide to Creating TV in the New World was published in 2015. She is also a Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Eric Edson has written seventeen feature screenplays on assignment for such companies as Sony, Warner Brothers, Disney, 20th Fox, Lifetime, CBS, and TNT. Eric is a tenured Professor of Screenwriting, and Emeritus Director of the renowned MFA in Screenwriting Program at California State University, Northridge. His bestselling book “THE STORY SOLUTION: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take” is also a #1 Bestseller in three categories on China Amazon. Now in partnership with FINAL DRAFT®, Eric’s powerful new paradigm for screen story structure, “Hero Goal Sequencing®”, is included in the new FINAL DRAFT 10.
Chad Gervich is a television producer, bestselling author, and award-winning playwright. He has written, produced, and developed shows for nearly every network and studio in Hollywood. He has written three books, including“Small Screen, Big Picture: A Writers Guide to the TV Business” and “How To Manage Your Agent: A Writers Guide to Hollywood Representation.” Chad has taught at workshops and universities around the globe, including UCLA, Drexel, Cal State Fullerton, the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop, the FOX Writers Initiative, and the Singapore Media Academy.
International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.
Richard Hatem has a B.A in Film Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema and Television. He has written screenplays including “Under Siege 2: Dark Territory” and “The Mothman Prophecies.” He co-created the ABC/Touchstone television series “Miracles” as well as the ABC series “The Gates”. He has written and produced episodes of the CW’s “Supernatural” and “The Secret Circle”. He also executive produced the 2006 Sci-Fi Channel mini-series event “The Lost Room.” Most recently, Richard was co-executive producer on NBC’s “Grimm”, consulting producer on ABC’s “Once Upon A Time in Wonderland” and executive producer on Lifetime’s “Witches of East End”. Recent credits include “Damien”, “Second Chance”, “Dead of Summer” and the CW’s “No Tomorrow”. He is currently executive producer on the pilot “Unit Zero” for ABC. Richard Hatem lives in Pasadena, California with his family.
Lee Jessup is a career coach for professional and emerging screenwriters, a twice-published, best-selling author, and consultant whose expertise have been utilized by major studios and networks.
For years, Steve Kaplan has been the industry’s most sought-after expert on comedy. In addition to having taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale and other top universities Steve created the HBO Workspace, the HBO New Writers Program and was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan’s Punch Line Theatre. Steve has consulted with Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Aardman Animation, HBO and others, and has taught his seminar in LA, New York, London, Paris, Kiev, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. He’s the author of The Hidden Tools Of Comedy, and his upcoming book, The Comic Hero’s Journey, (to be published by Michael Wiese Productions in 2018.)
Carole Kirschner is the Director of the Writers Guild of America’s Showrunner Training Program and the CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, as well as an author and international speaker. In her role as an entertainment career coach she helps aspiring writers, producers, directors and executives navigate Hollywood as they bust through barriers, break in and move up in the business.
Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment is published by Michael Wiese Publishing.
Danny Manus is one of the most in-demand script consultants as CEO of No BullScript Consulting and author of “No B.S. for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective.” He was ranked one of the “Cream of the Crop” script consultants in CS Magazine and named one of ScreenCraft’s “25 People Writers Should Follow on Twitter”. His clients include finalists or winners of the ABC/Disney Fellowship, Austin Film Festival, PAGE Awards, Nashville Film Festival, Scriptapalooza, etc. He has consulted on films including Strangerlands starring Nicole Kidman, I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhart, and In-Lawfully Yours with Marilu Henner. He’s a Development Consultant for Symerra Productions and was previously the Director of Development for Clifford Werber Productions (Sydney White, Just Add Water), where he sold “To Oz” to United Artists. He was also a Development Consultant for Eclectic Pictures (Lovelace) and DOD at Sandstorm Films (The Covenant, 8MM2). Danny has appeared on numerous podcasts, BBC radio, is a columnist for ScriptMag, a judge for PAGE Awards, and has been a speaker at Austin Film Festival, the Producer’s Guild of America, Kansas City Film Fest, and dozens of other major writing conferences.
Dara Marks, Ph.D. is a leading international script consultant, seminar leader, and author of one of the top selling books on creative writing, Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc. She has specialized in the analysis of the modern screenplay for the past three decades, and Creative Screenwriting Magazine consistently rated her one of the top script consultants in Hollywood. Currently, Dara leads seminars world-wide and is an adjunct professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.
David Misch is an author (“Funny: The Book”, “A Beginner’s Guide To Corruption”), screenwriter (“Mork and Mindy”, “Saturday Night Live”, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”), teacher (his own courses on comedy at USC and musical satire at UCLA) and lecturer (Yale, the Smithsonian, Oxford University, University of Sydney, American Film Institute, New York Public Library). His play “Occupied” is in development at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. More at davidmisch.com.
ELLEN SANDLER received an Emmy nomination for her work as a Writer/Co-Executive Producer of the CBS hit series, Everybody Loves Raymond. She has been on staff of many prime time half hours, and has developed more than a dozen pilots. She is the author of The TV Writers Workbook, a top selling handbook for writers and used as a text in many screenwriting programs both in the US and abroad.
Dr. Linda Seger created and defined the occupation of ‘script consultant’ in 1981 when she began her business, based on her doctoral dissertation. Linda is a well-known screenwriting & story coach, screenplay consultant, copyright expert witness, international speaker and author. She has written 15 books; nine on screenwriting and six on spiritual topics. Linda will receive the Louis T. Benezet Award, from her Alma Mater, Colorado College in October of 2017.
Jennifer Van Sijll
Jennifer van Sijll is the best selling author of “Cinematic
Storytelling.” Her book has sold over 100,000 copies, has been translated into 10 languages, and has been adopted by film schools around the world. Jennifer has an MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and taught screenwriting for 15 years at SFSU. Most recently she has worked for China Central Television in Beijing as a story editor. She has been a featured speaker at Pixar, Nestle and Google as well as at screenwriting conferences globally. She is a seasoned script analyst, first learning her craft at Universal Studios. In addition to her work in fiction, she has contributed to 100 documentaries as a story editor and writer.
Best-selling author and award-winning filmmaker, Al Watt founded L.A. WRITERS’ LAB in 2002 as a place for writers to learn the process of marrying the wildness of their imagination to the rigor of story structure. His 90-DAY NOVEL and 90-DAY SCREENPLAY telecourse workshops attract writers from around the world. Many of his students have gone on to become successful screenwriters, showrunners, bestselling authors, and more relaxed human beings.
Kathie Fong Yoneda
Kathie Fong Yoneda is an entertainment consultant specializing in development and marketing of live action and animated film, television, literary, and web projects. A former exec at Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures, and Disney TV Animation, she has taught workshops worldwide. Her clientele includes several award-winning writers and she is the author of The Script-Selling Game. Kathie serves on the board of directors for Imago (French production company) and The LAWEBFEST.