Q: Do You Have An Agent?
A: Yes, I am repped by Greg Iserson at United Talent Agency. All work-related inquiries should be sent to him:
Greg Iserson, UTA
Q: Where Can I Find Links To Interviews And Press?
A: You can find print interviews and reviews in Cozyjamble News, and video interviews on the Video page.
Q: How Did You Get Started In TV Animation?
A: After a childhood spent devouring every action/adventure cartoon I could find, I went to school for Theatre and TV Writing. I interned at a film and TV production house my senior year and moved to Los Angeles; after graduation, I spent the next 6 years working as a comedy ghostwriter and entertainment journalist while constantly writing samples, writing sketch comedy, putting on plays, and joining workshops with other aspiring-writer pals.
It was one of those pals who recommended me to a TV animation producer he worked with, which opened the door for me. From there, I got called in frequently to pitch and freelance episodes, before finally getting my first staffed job — and things took off from there!
Q: I’m An Aspiring Writer! How Do I Break Into TV Animation Writing?
A: There are multiple different ways to break into animation writing, and no two ways are the same. I broke in after going to college for TV Writing and moving to Los Angeles. A friend of mine was a teacher who got hired from a writing workshop; another was hired off the popularity of her blog! However, there are a few things that helped:
Join writing workshops: Workshops and writing groups are amazing ways to connect to other writers, hone your craft, and help finish that sample. And if you can’t find a group in your area, consider starting one of your own! Your best resource is always the aspiring creatives around you. These are your peers, and the people who will have your back the next time they’re able to recommend a writer for a project.
Always have a writing sample ready to go, and always be working on your next sample: I broke into animation with a sample I finished AN HOUR BEFORE I got the call from a producer asking if I had samples. Part of being a writer is writing. When the call comes, you want to be prepared to send over your best script; that won’t happen unless you start working on it now. Specifically in animation I have found that executives would rather read an original screenplay than a spec (i.e. a screenplay based off an already existing show). So prioritize your own ideas and original pilots!
Learn the terms and how to format: Half of getting the job is having a sample that LOOKS like a correctly written script! Different TV genres have different rules for format and structure; a three-camera sitcom script is very different than a one-camera drama, or a feature screenplay. Learn the rules and the terminology, and you’ll have a leg up on everyone else.
Apply to fellowships: Many studios run fellowship programs geared towards bringing in new talent, and animation is no exception. Nickelodeon, WB and Disney all have reputable programs that do a good job staffing people on current TV shows.
Once you get the job, meet the artists! When you do finally break in, it’s easy to find yourself spending all your time in the Writers Room. Break that mindset, and go meet the storyboarders, designers and artists on your show! The best animation comes from a place of mutual respect; the most fulfilling collaborations come from being willing to step out of your comfort zone and meet people with skills different than yours.
Q: What Resources Do You Recommend For Aspiring Animation Writers?
A: “The Screenwriter’s Bible” is my go-to book for all formatting questions. I also love Martie Cook’s, “Write To TV: Out Of Your Head And Onto The Screen.” Martie was my TV Writing professor in college, and reading this book is like taking her class: it’s informative, practical, and does a great job breaking down every aspect of TV Writing. If you are in Los Angeles, the Writer’s Guild Of America has a script library where you can check out screenplays, including those from animated TV shows. Reading produced scripts is an EXCELLENT resource: it can teach you what is standard, and you can learn a great deal about good writing by reading and analyzing scripts from successful working writers.
Good luck, and always keep writing!