Screen Forward Conversations Panelists’ Bios

We’ve got so many great speakers lined up for the Screen Forward Conversations! Find all their details below, and register for the program here!

10:30-11:15a – Welcome and Wake Up Writing Games

Hosted by Brinkman – the writing team for UCB Comedy’s web series. Brinkman makes character-driven web series that explore a universe where the dumb meets the dark. Through a stylized and cinematic presentation, Brinkman goes to places where hope and optimism run into the wall of reality, where our dumbest ideas are treated with the weight and gravitas of our smartest ones, and where every choice has consequences. Previous series include Pact (LA Indie Fest & LA Webfest) and Last Two People On Earth. Their most recent series, Life Support, is currently in production.

The official web series team of UCB Comedy, Brinkman is Denis Cardineau, Dru Johnston, Alex Evan Meyers, Rachel Roderman, Jason Shebiro, Sean Weiner, and Laura Willcox. check out their series Pact and Last Two People On Earth.

11:15a-12:00p- On TV & Online: Writing for Episodics

Check back for panelists’ info!

12:00p-12:45p- Writing & Getting Paid

They tell you to do what you love and the money will follow; but you can’t just wait for that to happen. Hear from the curators, agents and advisors about all the revenue streams that may be open to you – from optioning the script to pay per view streaming.


Peter Gerard, Director of Audience Development and Content Operations, Vimeo

Peter Gerard grew up in Missouri, where as a teenager he made his first award-winning documentary and created and ran the Bargain Basement Film Festival for several years. He then founded Accidental Media and relocated to Scotland, where he finished the feature documentary “Just to Get a Rep“ for international television distribution. Running Accidental Media for more than ten years, Peter produced and directed a range of documentaries, music videos, and short films, and picked up many awards, including a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award. Peter also built award-winning websites and is webmaster for The D-Word – the premiere online community portal for documentary professionals. In 2010, Peter founded Distrify to pioneer “direct-to-fan” digital film sales by inventing a shareable movie trailer that included a built-in buy-button and the easiest affiliate rewards system ever. In 2013 Peter won the British Council’s Creative Enterpreneur Award and was named in the h.Club 100 list by The Hospital and The Guardian Culture Professionals Network. In 2014, Peter moved to New York to join the team at Vimeo as Director of Audience Development and Content Operations. Peter executes and manages marketing campaigns and partnerships for Vimeo’s Audience Development team, with a particular focus on expanding the Vimeo On Demand solution for selling films and series.

Ursula Lawrence, Lead Strategic Organizer, Writers Guild of America, East

Ursula oversees the Writer Guild’s efforts in independent film and digital media, building Guild membership and helping writers in those areas achieve the rights and benefits that come with working under a WGAE contract. She also works closely with producers on contract issues and recently helped adapt the WGAE’s Low Budget Feature Agreement to bring it more in line with the realities of ultra-low and microbudget films. Ursula is the primary representative of the WGAE at film festivals and regularly appears on panels at industry conferences. Prior to working at the WGAE Ursula was at the Directors Guild of America – where she worked as a rep for directors of feature films, television shows, broadcast news and commercials. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan.

2:15p-2:45p– Writers’ Room Role Play

Hosted by UCB’s “Brinkman” – see above.

2:45p-3:30p– Keynote

Stay tuned for the special announcement about the centerpiece talk of the day!

3:30p-4:15p: Writing Narrative Videogames


Caitlin Burns, Transmedia Producer (moderator)

Sande Chen, Writer and Game Designer, The Witcher

Sande Chen is a Writer and Game Designer whose experience spans over 10 years in the game industry. Her writing credits include 1999 Independent Games Festival winner Terminus and the 2007 PC RPG of the Year, The Witcher, for which she was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in Videogame Writing. She also has a Grammy nomination. She holds degrees from MIT, LSE, and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Alex Toplansky, Writer and Game Designer, Dead Island: Riptide