TV Writer & Branding

Alex and Nick invite writer/producer Hilliard Guess for an in-depth discussion about his experience in the industry, working as a writer, and his involvement in the WGA and his Screenwriter’s Rant Room podcast.

How do you build a writing career without the traditional assistant or fellowship route? What are key differences in being a producer or writer, and juggling both roles? What are aspects of the WGA people should know more about? How do you overcome adversity and get things done? What are ways of putting yourself out there and opening doors?

The Paper Team goes rogue…

NOTE: We had a bit of noise on the line, and my upstairs neighbors decided to join in on the fun towards the end of the recording. We tried to fix most of the issue, but be aware there may be some residual audio.

SHOWNOTES

Content

Starting out, becoming a writer, getting writing jobs, being a producer, curating your work environment, being involved in the WGA, dealing with adversity, and the competition (00:01:22)
Resources and Next Week On (01:10:22)

Links

Hilliard Guess on Twitter
The Screenwriter’s Rant Room on iTunes
The Screenwriter’s Rant Room on Twitter
Hilldog Productions
Palo Alto (California)
Dangerous Minds
John Truby
Robert McKee
Jack Epps Jr.
Karl Iglesias
Z Nation
28 Days Later
World War Z (Film)
Two and a Half Men
Jaws
Million Dollar Listings
Million Dollar Listing New York
Fredrik Eklund
The Lot Studios
go90
WGA’s LGBT Writers Committee
WGA’s Committee of Black Writers
Lena Waithe
Michelle Amor
Dr. Phil (TV Series)
Dope
Straight Outta Compton (Film)
Wonder Woman (Film)
A Few Good Men
Precious (Film)
Mo’Nique
3rd & Fairfax WGAW Podcast
Lisa Bolekaja
Organization of Black Screenwriters
Kramer vs. Kramer
Jay Mohr
Mark Valley
Lynelle White
Army Wives
“Writing Action and Dialogue (126)” – The Screenwriter’s Rant Room

Resources

Pilar Alessandra’s On the Page
“Coffee Break Screenwriter” – Pilar Alessandra
Jen Grisanti
“The Sequence Approach” – Paul Gulino

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

For the first Paper Team Live event, Alex and Nick go to WonderCon 2017 to host a panel on the dialogue between TV writers and their fans.
This relationship has become a vital tool for many television shows — and one that is often very fickle. That’s why we’ve invited writers and assistants from several beloved shows to share their thoughts on the issue.

Panelists include Ray Utarnachitt (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Jill Weinberger (Chicago Fire), Tennessee Martin (Lucifer), Diya Mishra (The Tick), and Taylor Brogan (The Shannara Chronicles).

What does a typical conversation look like between a writers’ room and their fandom? How much attention do TV writers pay to fans? Have fans’ voices changed the course of a story or character? What is it like going from being a fan of a show to being involved directly in the creative decisions?

The Paper Team goes live in room 209…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Live Paper Team WonderCon panel (00:00:38)
Next Time On (01:01:15)

Links

Taylor Brogan on Twitter
Diya Mishra on Twitter
Tennessee Martin on Twitter
Jill Weinberger on Twitter
Ray Utarnachitt on Twitter
The Shannara Chronicles
Into the Badlands
Gilmore Girls
Emily Gilmore
Powerless
The Tick
Pokémon (anime)
Lucifer
South of Nowhere
Chicago Fire
Wonder Woman (TV series)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It’s Your Move
The Tick Writers’ Room on Twitter
Lucifer Writers’ Room on Twitter
Into the Badlands Writers’ Room on Twitter
The Shannara Chronicles Writers’ Room on Twitter
Derek Haas
Marc Guggenheim
Ben Edlund
Person of Interest
Terry Brooks
ATX Television Festival
Hep Alien
Amy Sherman-Palladino
Sutton Foster
Rachael Harris
“The One Where Rachel Has a Baby: Part 1” (8×23 – Friends)
Psych
Michael Emerson
Sports Night
Holly Robinson Peete
Iron Fist (TV series)
Atom (Ryan Choi)
Atom (Ray Palmer)
Brandon Routh
Hogsmeade
The Magicians (TV series)
iZombie (TV series)
Victoria Thompson’s “Gaslight Mysteries”
Grace and Frankie
Legion (TV series)
Good Girls Revolt
Riverdale (TV series)
Lee Toland Krieger

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick ring in the new year by discussing how they manage their TV writing goals and resolutions.

How can you prepare for a typical year in the TV writing industry? What tools can you use to track and manage your goals? What are some practical resolutions to have? What does Paper Team have in store for 2017?

The Paper Team looks at the year to come…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – Goals and Resolutions (00:28)
2 – Mapping out the TV writing year ahead (7:08)
3 – Tools to track and manage goals (15:40)
4 – Paper Team in 2017 (20:56)
Resources and Next Week On (23:10)

Links

SMART criteria
TV upfronts
YearCompass

Resources

r/GetDisciplined (reddit)
Jerry Seinfeld’s Don’t Break the Chain

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick welcome Simon Taylor to hear his experience being a comedian, writing jokes for late-night television, and the hard work it takes to be consistently funny.

How does the stand-up circuit work? What was it like writing for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno? Why is performing comedy different than writing comedy? How is the process of writing comedy in a room compared to doing it alone? What can a writer do to be noticed and find a following?

The Paper Team performs their in-depth set…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – How Simon Taylor got his start (00:33)
2 – Being funny, creating your product, and performing stand-up (08:25)
3 – Putting yourself out there, selling yourself, and pitching (24:15)
4 – Writing for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (34:22)
5 – Generating good content regularly and working your creative skills (38:53)
6 – What a successful joke is and tailoring it to your online (Twitter/Snapchat/YouTube) or real-life audience (43:35)
7 – Working on a TV pilot with Justin Willman, and writing alone for someone else versus a writers’ room for a common project (49:05)
8 – Working in the US, what Simon Taylor is doing now, and what is next for him (53:17)
Resources and Outro (57:50)

Links

Simon Taylor on Twitter
Rove Live
Rove McManus
The Glass House (2001 TV series)
Spicks and Specks
The Project
Steve Vizard
Shaun Micallef
Live on Bowen
The Loft Live
Simon Taylor hosting Live on Bowen (Video)
The Carmichael Show
The King of Kong
Vine
Sleight of Mouth with Justin Willman

Resources

Poking a Dead Frog – Mike Sacks
Books by Stewart Lee

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.


I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

687 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.


Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.


I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.


Write on.


P.S.: New around? You should start here.

What’s Alex Watching?

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