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2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Mark Evan Schwartz

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Mark Evan Schwartz is Associate Professor of Screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television in Los Angeles, and has credits on over a dozen produced feature films, television shows, and television movies. Starting out as a Production Assistant for Francis Coppola, he went on to become Story Analyst for the David Geffen Company, Story Editor for Galactic Films MGM, and Head of Story and Development for Nelson Entertainment, the international distributor of the blockbuster comedy When Harry Met Sally, contemporary classic The Princess Bride, and Best Picture Academy Award winner The Last Emperor, among many others. Writing mostly in genre, his screenplay credits range from Little Men (Warner Brothers Family Entertainment) to Star Quest (Concorde/New Horizons), produced by the legendary Roger Corman. His black comedy, Jackals, was first optioned in the US by Propaganda Films, and then Partisan in Paris, France.

Mark can be seen as a special feature talking head on the 15th Anniversary DVD of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and the Blu Ray DVD of the musical Camelot. He has contributed his expertise to articles in USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Wrap Website, and Script Magazine, etc. He is the author of How to Write: A Screenplay (Bloomsbury Int’l Academic), currently out in its second edition.

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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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Emerlynn Lampitoc

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Launched in 2017, Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) leads the Studio’s inclusion and diversity efforts.  Under the leadership of Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, GTDI works closely with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s Production and Human Resources teams to identify and develop a pool of creative and workforce talent that builds upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating content with multi-cultural, global perspectives. GTDI is a resource for all divisions within the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group including Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes.

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Peter Chiarelli

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Peter Chiarelli began his film career at DreamWorks and during that time, he produced the short film TERRY TATE OFFICE LINEBACKER, which went on to become one of the most popular Super Bowl commercials of all time.

He then moved on to become an executive at Red Wagon Entertainment, where he worked on the films MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON and RV, before going to MGM to work as a Director of Development and supervising production of THE PINK PANTHER and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR.  He also worked as an executive producer on THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH, which premiered at the Sundance film festival. He later returned to DreamWorks to head up Kurtzman/Orci Productions and was a co-producer on that company’s first film, EAGLE EYE.

He began his screenwriting career penning Touchstone Pictures THE PROPOSAL, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.  He’s gone on to write screenplays for Sony Pictures, Paramount, Disney, Universal, Fox 2000 and DreamWorks. Most recently, he wrote on the movies NOW YOU SEE ME 2, PITCH PERFECT 3, and CRAZY RICH ASIANS, which will be released in August of this year.  Currently, he is writing a screenplay at Universal for an untitled holiday comedy that will star Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer.

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Daniel Calvisi

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Daniel P. Calvisi is a story analyst, speaker, screenwriter and the author of Story Maps: TV Drama and Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay. He is a former Story Analyst for major studios like Twentieth Century Fox and Miramax Films. He coaches writers, teaches webinars on writing for film and television with The Writers Store and speaks at writing conferences. He holds a degree in Film and Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He lives in Los Angeles. To learn more about Story Maps and how you can work with Dan, visit ActFourScreenplays.com

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Ben Corey Jones

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Ben produced a feature film, STEP SISTERS, along with his producing partner, Lena Waithe, starring Megalyn Echikunwoke and Naturi Naughton, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Ben also created and wrote a drama series, CANDY, about a young, African American female mayor, set in his hometown of Memphis, which is currently in development at Universal Cable Productions. Currently, Ben is the showrunner/executive producer of the upcoming BET comedy series, BOOMERANG, loosely based on the iconic 90’s-era film, starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry. Lena Waithe and Halle Berry also serve as executive producers.

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Kira Snyder

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Kira Snyder is an Emmy- and WGA Award-winning writer and Co-Executive Producer on the TV show The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu. Her other film and television work includes the movie Pacific Rim: Uprising, pilot scripts for Hulu, FX, and Amazon, The 100 on the CW, Incursion for Starz, Syfy’s Eureka and Alphas, and the CBS vampire cult hit Moonlight. Kira is a graduate of Stanford University and NYU Tisch School of the Arts as well as the Writers Guild of America’s Showrunner Training Program and the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop. The Parish Mail ebooks, Kira’s interactive Young Adult supernatural mystery series, are available for Kindle. Formerly a game designer, Kira has created games for Microsoft, the MIT Press textbook Rules Of Play, and Electronic Arts, including the seminal alternate reality game Majestic. Kira loves science, sci fi, and computer games, reading and playing when she’s not writing and designing.

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Matt Spicer

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

MATT SPICER studied filmmaking at the USC School of Cinema/Television Production. In 2007, his first script, THE ORNATE ANATOMY OF LIVING THINGS, co-written by Max Winkler, landed on The Black List and was optioned by Fox Searchlight. At the age of 25, he produced his first feature film, CEREMONY, directed by Max Winkler, and sold his first spec script, THE ADVENTURER’S HANDBOOK, co-written by Max Winkler and Jonah Hill, to Universal Pictures in a six-figure deal, one of the largest screenplay sales of that year. In 2013, his short film, IT’S NOT YOU IT’S ME, starring Gillian Jacobs, Fran Kranz and Rob Huebel, premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and was released by JASH, a comedy network created by Michael Cera, Tim & Eric, Sarah Silverman and Reggie Watts. His first feature as director, INGRID GOES WEST, starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen and O’Shea Jackson Jr., premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival where it was awarded the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for Best Screenplay, alongside co-writer David Branson Smith. He was also the winner of the 2018 Indie Spirit Award for Best Feature Feature. Upcoming projects include: YOU, a Netflix original film based on the book by Austin Grossman, and a sequel to THE ROCKETEER for Disney, co-written by Max Winkler.

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Jesse Atlas

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Jesse Atlas is a quickly emerging writer-director, known for crafting high-concept, emotionally grounded genre thrillers.

Jesse’s short film, the sci-fi love story RECORD/PLAY, exploded onto the festival circuit with screenings at Sundance, LA Film Festival, HBO/Urbanworld and Fantastic Fest, among many others. The film was quickly snatched up as a feature adaptation at Universal’s Focus Features with Atlas Entertainment producing.

Jesse has two films about to hit festivals – he’s the writer/director of KINESTHESIA, a supernatural short featuring the biggest names from DANCING WITH THE STARS. He also co-wrote ANGELS IN EXILE, a feature documentary produced and narrated by Charlize Theron about homeless youth in Durban, South Africa.

Jesse also created the story for the follow-up to Gareth Edwards’ MONSTERS, crafting a chilling wartime thriller for MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT. The story was loosely inspired by Jesse’s feature documentary AT THE GREEN LINE, in which he was embedded with the Israeli Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

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Lamar Woods

By 2018 TSL Summit Interviews

Lamar Woods is a comedic writer-actor from Atlanta, GA. He moved to Los Angeles, where he was awarded a full scholarship at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) through their diversity initiative. Lamar can be seen in sketch group “White Women”–the first all-black, all-male sketch team at the UCB theater. He has been featured on Comedy Central, IFC and FunnyorDie. His work as a writer can be seen on NAACP-nominated SURVIVOR’S REMORSE (Starz) and Emmy-nominated NEW GIRL (Fox). Lamar has a B.A. in Philosophy & Religious Studies from Georgia State University.

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