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Susan Hurwitz Arneson

By 2019 TSL Summit Interviews

Susan Hurwitz Arneson is a Screenwriter and Executive Producer.

Susan Hurwitz Arneson's credits include South Park, The Tick, Preacher, Bordertown, Mr. Robinson, and Malibu Country. She is a Writer and Producer best known for her work on six seasons of SOUTH PARK. She was with the show through three Emmy wins and one memorable death threat. Most recently she worked as a Writer and Co-Executive Producer for two seasons of THE TICK and the yet to be aired final season of PREACHER. In the past Susan has written for Seth MacFarlane’s BORDERTOWN, MR. ROBINSON starring Craig Robinson and MALIBU COUNTRY with Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin. Susan has also developed series for Fox Television Animation, MTV, Comedy Central and others.

She received her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA.

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Ali LeRoi

By 2019 TSL Summit Interviews

Ali LeRoi is an Award-winning Writer, Director and Producer.

Ali LeRoi's credits include Everybody Hates Chris, Are We There Yet?, Survivor’s Remorse, Head of State, Down to Earth, Pootie Tang, and The Obituary of Tunde Johnson. He is an Award-winning writer/director/producer best known for his work on the critically acclaimed series, CW’s “Everybody Hates Chris”, TBS “Are We There Yet?” and the breakout Hit for STARZ, “Survivor’s Remorse”. Ali’s major motion picture credits include producing and co-writing “Head of State” and “Down to Earth,” as well as producing cult-favorite, “Pootie Tang.”

He has also served on the Board of the Producer’s Guild of America, as well as holding the current chair as President of The Humanitas Prize, a non-profit organization that awards and promotes the craft of television and film writers. Ali has five Emmy nominations as well as one win, he’s a two-time winner and five-time nominee for NAACP Image Awards, as well as scoring several nominations from the Golden Globe, WGA, and others. Originally from Chicago, Ali LeRoi currently is working on several projects under his CBS Deal and in Post-production on his Indie Feature Film Directorial Debut, “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson.”

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Julie Plec

By 2019 TSL Summit Interviews

Julie Plec is an Executive Producer, Showrunner, Director and Writer.

Julie Plec's credits include Legacies, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Containment, Roswell, New Mexico, The Vampire Diaries, Riverdale, Kyle XY, Dawson’s Creek, and The Tomorrow People. She is the creator, executive producer and showrunner of “Legacies” on the CW, a spin-off of her series “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals”. Plec also developed and executive produced “Containment,” which aired as a limited series on the CW and is an executive producer of “Roswell, New Mexico” on the CW, for which she directed the pilot. Along with directing multiple episodes of “The Vampire Diaries,” Plec directed an episode of the CW’s hit series “Riverdale” last year.

Plec got her start as a television writer and co-executive producer for the series “Kyle XY,” which she produced for the show’s three-year run. Other television credits include “Dawson’s Creek,” on which she collaborated with creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson, and “The Tomorrow People,” on which she collaborated with fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti and Phil Klemmer.

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Karin Gist

By 2019 TSL Summit Interviews

Karin Gist is a Showrunner, Executive Producer and Screenwriter.

Her credits include Mixed-ish, Sister Act 3, Star, Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, House of Lies, Girlfriends. Karin has been one of the most singular and powerful voices in the TV and film industry, is serving as showrunner and executive producer of the highly anticipated BLACK-ISH prequel series MIXED-ISH for ABC which will tentatively be released in Fall 2019. She is also unique in that she has crossed over in both showrunning and script writing in both the comedic and dramatic genres. She has created a range of culturally, ethnically and sexually diverse characters that have helped contribute to equal representation within the industry.

She recently wrote the upcoming SISTER ACT 3 for Disney Plus. Previous credits include: showrunner of Fox’s STAR for 2 seasons, writer/co-executive producer for 2 seasons of GREY’S ANATOMY, writer/co-executive producer for 2 seasons of REVENGE, writer/co-executive producer for 2 seasons of HOUSE OF LIES, and writer and supervising producer of 5 seasons of GIRLFRIENDS.

Karin practiced family law before becoming a writer.

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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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