What Do Executives Want?" introduces emerging writers and directors to how they can best position themselves to work with studios, production companies, major distributors, agencies and management companies. This course explores how artists can "package" themselves and their ideas to entice executives and secure gainful employment in film & television. It will include a panel of industry executives at top companies.
This course will cover:
The difference between agents, managers, studios, production companies and distributors, including what each is generally looking for in artists and projects
What assets have been proven to most effective for getting represented by an agent or manager
What experience is needed to get staffed in a writers room or as a TV director
How to best empower yourself to bargain effectively
The difference between a general meeting and a formal pitch
The pitfalls of various types of industry deals
Current trends in the industry in terms of who is getting signed, staffed and sales
Aymar Jean "AJ" Christian is an associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University. His first book, Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television on New York University Press, argues the web brought innovation to television by opening development to independent producers. His work has been published in numerous academic journals and conferences. He has juried television and video for the Peabody Awards, Gotham Awards, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others. His grant writing has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his research, community and Chicago artists.
Christine Dávila is currently the Head of Development and Production for Ojalá, founded by Tanya Saracho, creator, showrunner, and executive producer of “Vida” on Starz. Prior to Ojalá she was Director of Development at Warner Bros’ Stage 13, a content studio/pod. Among the series she was lead executive and oversaw production was the Emmy nominated comedy series “It’s Bruno”, and the half-hour psychological horror anthology series “Two Sentence Horror Stories for the CW. Previously, Davila worked on the programming teams of such festivals like the Sundance Film Festival, Morelia International Film Festival and Curacao Rotterdam.
Karan Sunil is a first-generation Indian-American writer and director with a penchant for telling immigrant stories through dark comedy and genre. He is currently developing a comedy pilot with The Tannenbaum Company and Lionsgate and was a 2020 Film Independent Project Involve Writing Fellow. He previously worked on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC) and an upcoming Ilana Glazer project as a Writers’ Assistant as well as wrote and directed his award-winning web series, Code-Switched. Since immigrating from India as a child, Karan has been on a journey to use filmmaking to reflect the humor and pain that comes from a constant state of in-between. He is a graduate of DePaul University with a BA in Digital Cinema & Television Writing.