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Jermaine Johnson

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Jermaine Johnson is a development executive at Zero Gravity Management, a production and management company behind such films as the Netflix show OZARK, PULP FICTION, JUMANJI and television shows like STRANGER THINGS and AMERICAN HORROR STORY.

Zero Gravity Management is a progressive entertainment company whose primary core lies in the development and representation of screenwriters, directors and actors. ZG boasts a list of some of the industry’s most established professionals in all arenas. The firm is also a full-service production company handling the development, finance, execution and sale of projects in film, television and new media.

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Gail Lyon

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Gail Lyon is an entertainment producer and media executive. She is currently an owner/principal in Sunshine Pictures, as well as a partner in the NYC based global youth community platform VFILES.COM. It features fashion, retail, and original programming. Their twice-yearly New York Fashion Shows garner over a billion media impressions. Ms. Lyon produced the film DESTINATION WEDDING, written and directed by Victor Levin and starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in 2017. She executive produced the independent film MOSS in 2016 which debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2017. Some of her previous screen credits, in various producer capacities, include ERIN BROCKOVICH, GATTACA, STUART LITTLE 2, PETER PAN, WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON, EDGE OF DARKNESS, STICK IT and the HBO movie PENTAGON WARS. She also has both TV projects and feature films in development with various financiers, both in the States and Europe.

In addition, Ms. Lyon has been at the helm of many successful production companies. She was most recently President of GK Films, where she shepherded all development as well as the productions of YOUNG VICTORIA, EDGE OF DARKNESS and THE TOWN. She also served as President of Red Wagon Entertainment where she developed and supervised JARHEAD AND RV, as well as the company’s entire development slate. Prior to that, she was at Jersey Films where she rose to the ranks of President and was involved with both production and development there on a varied slate of award-winning pictures, including OUT OF SIGHT and MAN ON THE MOON.

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David Branson Smith

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

David Branson Smith was born in New York City in 1984. He began his career working for Mike White on HBO’s ENLIGHTENED, and is the co-writer of two feature films:  2018’s ADRIFT, starring Shailene Woodley, and INGRID GOES WEST, starring Aubrey Plazawhich won the 2017 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival and Best First Feature at the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards.  He is currently adapting three novels for film and television: Elliot Holt’s YOU ARE ONE OF THEM for Star Thrower Entertainment, Robert Bingham’s LIGHTNING ON THE SUN, and David Gates’ JERNIGAN for Warner Brothers TV.

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Keya Khayatian

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Keya Khayatian is a Partner in the Motion Picture Literary department of leading talent and literary agency UTA. He began his entertainment career in 1995 as an agent trainee in the UTA mailroom. He was quickly promoted to departmental assistant specializing in film rights for literary properties, and in 1997 he was promoted to agent.

With a keen eye for spotting original artistic voices, Khayatian has helped develop the careers of many of the most sought after writers and directors, as well as representing established talent.

Clients include Marielle Heller (THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL), Garth Davis (LION), Craig Borten (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Asghar Farhadi (A SEPARATION, THE PAST), Naji Abu Nowar (THEEB), Max Borenstein (GODZILLA), Jonas Cuaron (DESIERTO), Carlos Cuaron (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, RUDO Y CURSI), Ira Glass (THIS AMERICAN LIFE), Rodrigo Cortés (BURIED, THE CONTESTANT), Marjane Satrapi (THE VOICES, CHICKEN WITH PLUMS, PERSEPOLIS), Jared Hess (DON VERDEAN, NACHO LIBRE, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE), Clark Johnson (THE SENTINEL, S.W.A.T., BOYCOTT, THE SHIELD ), Broken Lizard—including director Jay Chandrashekar (BEERFEST, DUKES OF HAZZARD, SUPERTROOPERS), Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE), Michael Cooney (IDENTITY), Tim Rasmussen & Vince DiMeglio (MARMADUKE, SMOTHER, LICENSE TO WED), Margaret Nagle (THE GOOD LIE, WARM SPRINGS), and Ron Nyswaner (THE PAINTED VEIL, PHILADELPHIA).

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Scott Carr

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Scott studied film at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he also played football and did competitive amateur bodybuilding, and upon graduating with his Bachelor’s degree, he immediately relocated from Canada to Los Angeles in 2004. It took some creative thinking and resourcefulness for Scott to procure employment opportunities in the USA being a Canadian citizen. He eventually got his start inside the coveted walls of Hollywood in the William Morris mailroom in Summer, 2008, where he worked until the merger with Endeavor. He also worked at UTA for 3 years, and spent a year as a development executive at Hollywood Gang Productions at Warner Bros., before starting the literary management company Management SGC where he represents writers and directors in film, television, books, and digital content.

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Eric Haywood

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

He began his career as a music video director while still enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Filmmaking. After relocating to Atlanta, Eric went on to direct and produce videos featuring such artists as Usher, Cee-Lo Green, Outkast, New Edition, Ice-T, Tupac Shakur, and legendary Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins. His video for Bay Area rapper E-40’s song “Sprinkle Me” was selected by MTV andXXL Magazine as the #10 Greatest West Coast Rap Video of All Time.

Eric then turned his focus to writing and moved to Los Angeles, where he landed work as a writer on such shows as ABC’s PRIVATE PRACTICE and Showtime’s SOUL FOOD: THE SERIES. Along the way, he has periodically returned to his filmmaking roots, writing and directing three short films (NICK OF TIME, INTERSECTION, and STARING AT THE SUN), each of which screened at various film festivals around the country.

Eric went on to write the Hallmark Channel original movie RELATIVE STRANGER, starring Eriq LaSalle (E.R.) and directed by Charles Burnett (KILLER OF SHEEP). After premiering in 2009, the film garnered three NAACP Image Award nominations and a Best Supporting Actress Emmy nomination for Cicely Tyson.

In 2013, Eric wrote and directed the independent feature film FOUR OF HEARTS, and is currently a co-executive producer for the hit FOX drama EMPIRE, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. He recently co-wrote and directed an episode of the show’s fourth season.

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Ashley Berns

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

A graduate of London University, Ashley was a freelance researcher and P.A. in the UK, working for the BBC and Channel 4, and as a newsroom story editor for Bloomberg Television.  Ashley then moved to L.A. where he started as an intern at The Radmin Company, working his way up to manager. He has been at Circle of Confusion since 2005 representing writers and directors including Tony Jaswinski (THE SHALLOWS), Olly Blackburn (DONKEY PUNCH) two time Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker (WASTE LAND), Nicholl Fellowship winners Alisha Brophy & Scott Miles (WHITE GIRL PROBLEMS), and BAFTA winner Tinge Krishnan.

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Jacob Krueger

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Over his years in the film industry, Jacob Krueger has worked with thousands of writers, from Academy and Tony Award winners, to beginning writers picking up the pen for the first time. He is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, producer and director, as well the founder of Jacob Krueger Studio and the host of the acclaimed Write Your Screenplay Podcast.

Jacob’s first produced movie, THE MATTHEW SHEPARD STORY (2002) won him the Writers Guild of America Paul Selvin Award and a Gemini Nomination for Best Screenplay.  The NBC film, directed by Roger Spottiswoode (AND THE BAND PLAYED ON) and produced by Goldie Hawn, was based on life of gay hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard. The film won Stockard Channing a SAG Award and her first Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress and Sam Waterston a Gemini Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Jacob has collaborated on original film musicals with Tony Award winning composers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (LES MISERABLES, MISS SAIGON) and with four-time Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand (YENTL, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR), as well as a full slate of solo projects ranging from Feature Films to TV Miniseries.

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William Linn

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Will Linn holds a Ph.D. in mythological studies with an emphasis in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA; a BA in philosophy from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN; and a CORe credential from Harvard Business School.

His dissertation focuses on Classical, Abrahamic, and scientific origin stories of knowledge and is entitled, Western Myths of Knowledge: Particles of Stone and Waves of Elixir. He currently co-hosts a radio show that he created for the Santa Barbara News Press called Mythosophia, in which he interviews leading story artists and scholars from such territories as myth and religion, sci-fi and fantasy, visions and dreams, rituals, novels, films, comics and other storytelling formats and mediums.

He is in his fifth year as founder and host of the Joseph Campbell Foundation Mythological RoundTable® group of Ojai, CA, which meets beneath the historic Teaching Tree at The Ojai Foundation. He also writes the newsletter for the global grassroots network of Mythological RoundTable® groups (60+ on 6 continents). In the last five years, he has been a leader and participant on research tours through England, Prague, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and the Vatican.

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Richard Walter

By | 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Walter lectures on screenwriting and storytelling throughout North America and the world. He has written numerous feature assignments for the major studios including the first draft of American Graffiti, and has sold material to all of the Big Three television networks. He is the author of bestselling fiction and nonfiction. He has also written numerous informational, educational and corporate films, and is a 40-year member of the Writers Guild of America. He has conducted master classes in cities including among others London, Paris, Jerusalem, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Sydney.

Walter is also a pop culture critic and media pundit who has appeared multiple times on The Today Show, Fox News, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, The CBS Evening News, Scarborough Country, CNN and NPR.  Walter is also a court authorized expert in intellectual property law, in particular plagiarism and copyright infringement.

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