All Posts By

Matt Joseph Misetich

Crosby Selander

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A finalist in the 2020 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition, Crosby Selander signed with management at Kaplan/Perrone after an introduction by Pipeline execs. A month later, his script Bring Me Back sold to Legendary in a seven-figure deal, marking one the biggest spec sales of all-time from a “new,” unproduced writer. For the next decade, everyone’s going to ask about how this script went from idea to script to sale. We know the broad details of course, but lay it out for us here (hey, instead of telling the story every time, you can just send people this link!). I hope we’re talking about other things a decade from now! But it’s a nice thought. More than anything, Bring Me Back is a love letter to my wife. It started out as a running joke that I had with her for about a month, and then one day I figured out a…

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Nicholas Roth

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Winner of the Script Pipeline First Look Project with his pilot Power Suit, Nick Roth had a varied career in the industry before becoming a full-time screenwriter. Following his contest win, Pipeline executives connected him with management at Zero Gravity, who saw the clear potential in his high-concept TV project set in the world of 1980s Hollywood. Before we get into the pilot, you told us a story of writing a screenplay with your father (a veteran TV director) in China over the course of several months. . . . How formative was that for you, creatively and professionally speaking? So I decided to pursue screenwriting full-time a little over seven years ago, and since then, I sort of have had the beginnings of two completely separate writing careers. In one, I spent about six years as a writers’ PA, assistant editor, researcher, middle school substitute Latin teacher, etc., and…

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Felicia Ho

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Felicia Ho’s TV pilot Arranged won the Script Pipeline First Look Project, due in large part to a refined sensibility toward character and an underlying premise that’s both original and timely. Prior to her Pipeline win, she was selected for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Impact writing accelerator. She’s repped by Kaplan Perrone. Every facet of Arranged caught our attention, but the potential of this series to comment on and criticize cultural norms was the big hook for us. Felt different but universal. Why did you choose to pursue this idea and, specifically, this type of lead character? What are some of the long-term topics you’d want this show to address? Thank you for acknowledging that! I was first inspired to write this story after I attended my cousin’s wedding. She and I are really similar in age and background so it was a huge shock to me when I went after having…

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J.P. Estes

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A top 10 finalist in the 2019 Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with Laurel Canyon, J.P. Estes signed with Zero Gravity Management after an introduction by Pipeline execs. His pilot Package Deal is currently in development. You were originally a journalism major, but switched to film. What indicated that film and TV was your future? When I first arrived at Arizona State, I had no real idea of what I wanted to do. I got a scholarship, so I went to school. That’s it. This lead to bouncing around from major to major for two years trying to find an avenue for my creativity. I eventually landed on sports journalism, hoping to combine two of my passions. But this was in 2010. As local newspapers were shuttering. As journalism tried to grapple with the emergence of digital media. As jobs were drying up left and right. . . . So…

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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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