Writers Guild of America East
Choose Wisely

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Registration: $125

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In this Master Class, Lennon will explain how to get into a TV Writers Room… what to do once you're there... and how to get out and into your own show. He will identify what buyers expect and what questions execs will ask when you pitch your show. He will perform his winning pitches and help you understand how to construct your own. Finally, he will provide a model showing how you can shuttle between film and TV and on both coasts. There will be a significant time period dedicated to Q&A so audience members are encouraged to bring questions concerning their own projects.

2:00 PM
Master Class: Analysis of the Pitch
3:30 PM
Coffee and Snack Break with Lennon
4:00 PM
Master Class: The Writers Room and you
5:30 PM
Day Ends


Traditionally, the executive producer of a television program was responsible for creative direction and production. Over time, the title was applied to a wider range of roles - from someone who arranges financing to someone who holds the title as an honorific with no management duties. The term showrunner was created to identify the producer who held ultimate management and creative authority for the program. Often they are the creator or co-creator.

Los Angeles Times columnist Scott Collins describes showrunners as: "Hyphenates", a curious hybrid of starry-eyed artists and tough-as-nails operational managers. They're not just writers; they're not just producers. They hire and fire writers and crew members, develop story lines, write scripts, cast actors, mind budgets and run interference with studio and network bosses. It's one of the most unusual and demanding, right-brain/left-brain job descriptions in the entertainment world.



Gary Lennon is a writer/producer/director. He was Supervising Producer on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, which won him a Peabody Award and a 2015 Producers Guild Award and a 2015 Emmy Nomination. He also wrote on The Shield and Justified (which earned him a Peabody Award in 2010, a Writers Guild Nomination and an AFI Award in 2011); was co-Executive producer on ABC's the Black Box, and he is currently Executive Producer and writer on POWER for Starz.

Lennon' s began life as a playwright and his three produced plays have all sold as films, Blackout became the film Drunks, which starred Richard Lewis, Faye Dunaway and Diane Weist, .45 was adapted into film that starred Milla Jovovich, and Dates and Nuts sold to producer Edward R. Pressman. He has also sold feature screenplays to Disney, Universal, Fox, and Intermedia.

He first attended a Screenwriters Conference as an IFP member many years ago where he first learned about pitching a project.