All Posts By

Matt Joseph Misetich

Laura Bensick

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Runner-up in the 2016 Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition, Laura Bensick’s career has been steadily on the rise. In September 2019, she sold her show Everyday Insanity to Fox with Sterling K. Brown (This is Us) and Ken Olin producing. Earlier the same year, her play Life in Paradox debuted in Los Angeles. She placed in Script Pipeline with her pilot The Mother and later signed with UTA. You showed up on our radar with The Mother, which is still one of the most remarkable drama pilots we’ve reviewed, and placed as runner-up in a tight race that season for the top spot. When writers are consistently drilled with this notion that they should only be focused on “writing genre,” how do you disregard that for a moment and write what feels true to your self and your sensibilities? What inspired the concept behind The Mother, which is, let’s be honest,…

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Helen Gaughran

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The winner of the 2019 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with Visitation, Helen Gaughran expertly crafted a tonally perfect genre mix of character-driven drama and grounded horror. Though still relatively new to screenwriting, she’s made a bold leap into establishing herself amongst the next wave of film industry talent. You’re heard this plenty of times by now from us, but let’s say it once more for the road: Visitation is perhaps one of the best feature screenplays we’ve reviewed in over a decade. For too many reasons to list here. You pulled some pieces from history to construct the script, right? What was your original intent with the idea, and how did it change, if at all, from initial concept to final draft? Given your connection to Ireland, was the story itself, or its themes, personal? First, Matt, I want to thank for relentlessly puffing up my self-regard. It’s taken a beating…

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Nathan Patton

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Winner of both the 2018 Script Pipeline First Look Project (Action-Adventure category) and the 2019 Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition, Nathan Patton was quickly recognized as a writer with enormous potential. His ability to craft character-driven stories is overshadowed only by a perceptive understanding of what constitutes as as a stand-out script. Let’s get this out of the way, because it’s kind of a special record: as of this moment, you’re the first writer in Script Pipeline’s 20-year history to win two separate competitions–the screenplay Waitress #2 (2018 First Look Project – Action/Adventure) and the pilot Redflags (2019 TV Writing). We’ve seen our share of great writers, but Waitress signaled to us that a new, exciting voice has climbed above the masses. Prompting the initial reaction of “oh, right, a marvelously unique script can still exist.” Long odds in an environment where every writer is drilled with “write for the…

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Kevin Jones

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A 3-time Screenwriting Competition finalist  and eventual competition winner (the 2013 Great TV Show Idea Contest) with his pitch for the adventure/fantasy Horizon, Kevin Jones has been more involved with Script Pipeline than any other writer to date. His work is best labeled as “grounded with a twist of supernatural,” but it was his phenomenal crime/drama screenplay Southbound that first gained traction with Script Pipeline execs in 2009. While continuing to pursue film and TV, Kevin has also branched off into writing fiction. You’ve been in the Script Pipeline fold for. . . many, many years now. We’ve kind of seen the evolution–and the creative and career struggles–firsthand. Lots of close calls, and while we’re glad we helped play a part in some of those, we’re also just as dejected that the big hits haven’t yet panned out. But you’ve kept writing. Non-stop. What gives you the motivation? The main motivators…

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Sean Collins-Smith

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After widespread praise from major competitions, Sean Collins-Smith built enough momentum to sign with a top tier manager (Jewerl Ross, Silent R Management) and kickstart his career as, primarily, a TV writer. His ability to elevate genres and concepts, digging deep into a wide range of diverse characters, earned him top recognition with Script Pipeline–twice: in our genre-specific First Look Project and in the main TV Writing contest.   I’ve been fortunate enough to get a clearer portrait of you as a writer since your contest placing, and I see so much humility in everything you do. The way you digest feedback, your attitude and focus on your career, accepting both success and rejection in stride. . . . What gives you this clarity of purpose? Does anything ever derail it? Oh man, that’s a lot to think about! First things first–humility. Some people confuse humility with weakness, but I’m a…

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Greta Harrison and Matthew C. Vaughan

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Two-time Script Pipeline TV Writing finalists with comedy pilots Inner Beast and My Fist Your Face, Greta Harrison and Matthew Vaughan have written for and created several series, both live-action and animated, in addition to co-writing an action/drama feature. Before moving to Los Angeles, you both wrote and produced (and acted in, correct?) a few TV series, as well as a feature, in Australia. Mostly comedy. We’ve had several phenomenally talented Australian writers come through Script Pipeline, all with varying career projections–some who decide to come to LA, others content not to do so. Did you feel like there was a ceiling in Australia as far as what you wanted out of the industry? The direction in which you both saw yourself headed? Matt: That’s right. We’ve been producers, actors, and sandwich-makers. But writing comedy has always been our focus. We figured if we wanted a long-term career writing for TV and film,…

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Justin D. James

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Winner of the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with his drama Powerhouse, Justin D. James has stacked a bevy of lifelong experiences and used them as motivational fuel to move forward as a film and TV writer. His pilot, submitted to one of the most competitive seasons in Script Pipeline history, rose to the top thanks to a prodigious and intimate sense of character development and overall storytelling. After Justin’s win in 2018, he signed with management, landed major writing assignments, and has seen his young career begin to rise. Powerhouse is built around a fairly standard premise that you ran with and made deeply compelling (and quite fun to read). Always curious how a writer gets so motivated to pursue an idea. Why this concept? I’ve always been fascinated with stories that pull back the curtain on careers that appear mundane from the outside but are rife with entertainment on the inside….

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Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian

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Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty, who won the 2014 Script Pipeline First Look Project and placed as 2015 Screenwriting finalists for their script Animal Heist, have been steadily building the foundation for a phenomenal career. Their thriller Searching, starring John Cho, was picked up by Sony at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival for $5 million and released to massive critical acclaim. Their next feature, Run, will be produced by Lionsgate. You originally thought of Searching as a short, and then turned it into a feature. Was the development process as grueling as one would naturally believe it to be? And how did you find a way to make the “gimmick” so. . . un-gimmicky?  Aneesh: So the only reason we ever decided to expand it from 8 minutes to a feature film is because we found a way not to make it a gimmick. And ultimately, if I had to give one answer as to…

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Nick Watson

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Nick Watson landed on Script Pipeline’s radar in 2015 when he placed as a runner-up in the Great TV Show Idea Competition with his pitch for Mr. Doom, an animated series. After reviewing several of Nick’s scripts in the years following, it was clear he was destined for a career in TV writing. That prophecy rang true: he went on to write for Hasbro’s Littlest Pet Shop, and in 2018, joined the staff of the TBS animated series Final Space. We’ve had a lot of incredible writers over the past 20 years from outside the United States. Canada, the UK, and Australia mostly. Strangely enough (and I have no evidence why this is the case, but I’ve been around long enough to claim it as truth) so many of the best non-US writers come from Australia. . . . Are they teaching something magically different, or is the culture for emerging writers more supportive and structured as…

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Tripper Clancy (Part 2)

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Tripper won the 2009 Screenwriting Competition with his comedy Henry the Second. Soon after, he signed with manager Jake Wagner, leading to several studios projects sold and writing assignments with major companies. His action-comedy Stuber stars Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, and Iko Uwais. As his career continues to burn a path through Hollywood, he’s juggling multiple projects in both film and TV. It’s been almost 10 years (…I know—that went fast) since you won the 2009 Screenwriting Competition with what was, and still is, one of the best grounded comedies we’ve read in Henry the Second. A lot has happened over that span, but everything seemed to get rolling when you signed with manager Jake Wagner. What was it that clicked? What do writers, of all levels, need to keep in mind when considering representation?  The goal with representation—and this applies to a manager or an agent—is finding someone who actually wants to represent…

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Dan Perlman

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Winner of Script Pipeline’s 11th Great TV Show Idea Competition with the animated comedy pitch Pro Losers, Dan is a multifaceted talent–a writer, director, and stand-up comic. Script Pipeline reviewed the pilot script based on the Pro Losers concept and gave it a Recommend, later circulating the material to industry partners. Dan’s pilot episode for his award-winning series Flatbush Misdemeanors also received high marks, with Script Pipeline execs calling it “a low-key comedy carving its own road within the genre. . . a sort of dry, eccentric hybrid of High Maintenance, Atlanta, and Louie.” As a writer and comic, how did you first get involved in the entertainment industry? Was it writing first, then stand-up comedy? In either case, how have both of them fueled or shaped the other? Since I was a kid, I wanted to do stand-up. Just took a while to work up the courage. I was more comfortable writing early on, because you…

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Jay Silverman

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Script Pipeline met director/producer Jay Silverman (The Cleaner) in 2015 and connected him and producer Bethany Cerrona with Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Jen Goldson (Everything’s Gonna Be Okay). Jay went on to produce Jen’s romantic comedy Off the Menu in 2017. The film premiered in 2018 and stars Santino Fontana and Dania Ramirez. It’s available on Amazon and iTunes. You started your career as a photographer. How did you make the transition to the film/TV industry? Was it a logical next step given the types of connections you were making and the work you were doing, or did it take sort of a leap? Yes, I started as a photographer doing advertising. My speciality was working with people and celebrity endorsements. The transition into film started in the 90s when I began doing what I called hybrid filmmaking. It certainly seemed natural to offer live action along with my photography when a…

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Jen Goldson

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Writer Jen Goldson placed as a finalist in the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with her screenplay Everything’s Going to be Okay. At the Script Pipeline writer/industry event in Los Angeles that summer, she was introduced to producers Jay Silverman and Bethany Cerrona of Silverman Productions. Her pitch to them for another script, a romantic comedy, stuck. It was optioned right away and produced a little over a year later. Off the Menu was released on February 6th, 2018, starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Frozen) and Dania Ramirez (Once Upon a Time, Devious Maids). Jen continues to write for both film and TV, with several projects in development. Your screenplay Everything’s Going to be Okay (aka egbok) was selected as a finalist in the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. At our industry event that year, you met Jay Silverman and Bethany Cerrona. A couple years later: your first produced film….

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Howard Jordan Jr. (Part 2)

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Howard Jordan Jr. placed as runner-up in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with the comedy pilot Family Be Like. He later was accepted to the CBS Writers Diversity Program and locked down agency and management representation. In 2017, we was brought on the staff of the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts. His first solo-written episode aired in February 2018. It’s been two short years, and you went from runner-up in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition to staff writer on a CBS comedy. What pieces had to fall into place to get there? What was the process like?  I’m not sure if this is a good thing, along the lines of hopeful or inspirational, or a sad thing, a little more disappointing to hear. But all the clichés are true. Keep writing. Keep networking. Keep improving. There is no singular route to a room, or a sell. What continues to prove effective for…

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Ashley Kreeb

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– Ashley Kreeb, runner-up of the 2017 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with End of Life.  End of Life deals with some heavy topics, but what struck us is that you very wisely–and very carefully–avoided drawing too fine a point on the message behind the story. Was it difficult to keep things grounded while avoiding the risk of melodrama and “taking sides,” so to speak, on the issue of medically assisted suicide? I believe the only way to construct a substantial argument is by exploring the counterarguments. Consequently, I was insistent upon creating characters to represent both sides of the debate. Because of this, End of Life never sought to take sides–it sought to pit the inherent value of human life against the right of a terminally ill patient to die. Hopefully, this does as you said and avoids “drawing too fine a point on the message,” therefore expanding the target demographic and engaging more…

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