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Building Your Career as a TV Writer ft. LaToya Morgan (Into the Badlands/TURN) (PT111)

Alex and Nick invite LaToya Morgan, co-executive producer on Into the Badlands and writer on Turn, Shameless and Parenthood, to discuss how she approached building a productive career as a TV writer and being valuable in the room. What is the journey of moving up the ladder from staff writer to co-executive producer? What are some of the best assets someone can bring into a writers' room? How do you adapt your own writing to fit different styles and genres? How were the writers' rooms of...


How to Choose Your Next TV Sample (PT110)

Alex and Nick discuss ways to decide what your next TV sample script should be. From business considerations to artistic and career reasons, we go over several elements that we've weighed ourselves when choosing a new project. How do you take a look at your own samples to decide what is missing? Why is it important to select the right sample? How can a new sample help pivot your career? What should you look for in choosing the right script? Plus, we look at two more Paper Tease entries and...


Paper Scraps Monthly V – October Paper Tease, Emmys & Diversity in TV Writing (PT109)

Alex and Nick give their thoughts on the latest TV writing news, including the 2018 Emmys and new diversity initiatives, plus offer feedback on two more Paper Tease entries. The Paper Team reviews... SHOWNOTES Paper Tease Entries "Alma" by Monica Hannush "Shadowlands" by Christopher Hall Links "Why Are So Many Wannabe Screenwriters Getting Scammed?" - The Hollywood Reporter Federman's Twitter thread on pitching Federman's Twitter thread on writers' rooms "As TV Seeks Diverse Writing Ranks,...


TV Writer Representation 201: Making the Most of Your Agent/Manager (PT108)

Alex and Nick dig into how you can effectively navigate the relationship with your agent or manager to best help your career as a TV writer. What are the differences between a manager and an agent relationship with their writers? Why is communication the most important part of that relationship? What are ways of proactively helping your reps? How should you choose the right agent or manager for you? What are some common issues between clients and their reps? The Paper Team keeps you in the...


Entertainment Law ft. Panayiotis Spanos (Spanos Law) (PT107)

Alex and Nick invite lawyer Panayiotis Spanos, founder of Spanos Law, to discuss the essential things TV writers should know about entertainment law, from contracts to credits. In what capacity does a lawyer enter the picture when it comes to TV writing? What do they offer that a traditional manager or agent can't? How can a TV writer best use their entertainment lawyer? How does negotation of a TV staffing contract work? What is unique to the sale of a TV show? How should a writer go...


Paper Scraps Monthly IV – September Paper Tease Feedback (PT106)

Alex and Nick offer feedback on four more Paper Tease entries and reveal the two winners for the month of September. The Paper Team dissects... SHOWNOTES Paper Tease Entries "Student Visa" by Paul Chang "The English Department" by Jeffrey Warndof "Botany Bay" by Alexander M J Smith "Migra" by Christine Torres This episode brought to you by Roadmap Writers' JumpStart Writing Competition Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode. If you enjoyed this episode (and...


How a TV Writers’ Room Works (PT105)

Alex and Nick give an overview of what goes on inside a TV writers' room during a Roadmap Writers webinar. What is the purpose of a TV writers' room? What are the most important skills to have on a writing staff? Who's who in the room? How do shows break stories on a macro and micro scale? Why is room etiquette so important? The Paper Team calls in... This episode brought to you by Roadmap Writers Use code ROADMAP to get $15 OFF your first Roadmap Writers Program If you enjoyed this...


Getting Noticed From Outside the Industry ft. Joey Tuccio (Roadmap Writers) (PT104)

Alex and Nick invite Joey Tuccio, CEO of Roadmap Writers, to discuss ways of establishing yourself as a writer when you're starting from outside the entertainment industry. How can someone outside LA get noticed as a writer? What can writers do to position themselves for success before trying to break in? What traits do succesful Roadmap writers share? How can writers make the most of their meetings with executives and reps? What are the biggest challenges for aspiring writers breaking in...


Paper Scraps Monthly III – August Paper Tease Feedback (PT103)

Alex and Nick give feedback on six new Paper Tease scripts and announce the two August winners. The Paper Team digs in... SHOWNOTES Paper Tease Entries "Alliance" by John Schuler "AD" by Rund Shami "Call Girl" by Delphine Chance "My Parents Live With Me" by David Cueman "Signs & Wonders" by Liz Maestri "Transplants" by Erik Nowak This episode brought to you by Roadmap Writers' JumpStart Writing Competition Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode. If you enjoyed this...


VR Storytelling ft. Michael Masukawa (Secret Location) (PT102)

Alex and Nick invite Michael Masukawa, manager of strategy and business development at Secret Location, to discuss emergent forms of VR storytelling. What are the unique challenges of developing VR content? How do you work across VR devices? Why is branded content so popular? What does a VR script look like? What makes for a good VR experience? How is VR evolving? The Paper Team puts on their headsets... SHOWNOTES Content Starting in LA, working in TV development, transitioning from linear...


TV Staffing 101 (PT101)

Alex and Nick go over what you need to know about how TV writers get jobs in a writers' room, and how you can best prepare yourself for this process. From samples to showrunner meetings, get tips and advice on getting staffed. What is staffing season in TV? What are staffing differences between broadcast and cable? How is a TV writers' room staffed? How do the network, the studio, the production company and the showrunner work on hiring the room? What are ways to ace a staffing meeting?...


An Evening in the Writers’ Room – Paper Team Live (PT100)

Alex and Nick present two back-to-back TV writing panels, one for comedy and one for drama, digging into the intricacies of the writers' room. From staff writer to showrunner, we've assembled a dozen TV writers across every level to get a sense of what it's like to navigate a writers' room and sustain a career. Comedy/half-hour and animation panelists include Nina Bargiel (Barbie), Vicky Luu (Superstore), Adam Stein (Harley Quinn), Alison Tafel (BoJack Horseman), Brittani Nichols (Take My...


The Paper Team 99th Episode Special (PT99)

Alex and Nick celebrate the ninety-ninth episode of Paper Team with a jam-packed retrospective of the podcast, including clips chosen by our listeners, popular moments, and new insights from past guests. What are some of our listeners' favorite moments and episodes? What new advice do some of our most popular guests have to share? How has Paper Team evolved over nearly one hundred episodes? From assistants to writers and producers, we also get updates and fresh tips from several of our...


From Actor to Writer and Working Across Genres ft. Justin Michael Terry (Stargate Origins) (PT98)

Alex and Nick invite Justin Michael Terry, writer on Stargate Origins, to discuss working, acting, and writing across different TV genres, in both comedy and drama. What was the process of writing Stargate Origins? What are the challenges in writing something within a pre-established canon? How do you approach writing mini episodes fitting a larger format? What lessons from improv and comedy can writers take? How do you transition writing between genres? The Paper Team dials the gate......


Paper Scraps Monthly II – Audience Questions and July TV News (PT97)

Alex and Nick answer more TV writing questions and react to recent TV business news, including WGAW's yearly earnings, CAA's Amplify database, Snowpiercer reshoots, and industry mergers. Where should you get feedback on your TV scripts? Is it better to write single-cams over multi-cams? Should a one-hour drama writer switch to writing half-hour comedies? How much of an impact does Netflix have on TV viewing habits? What influence do the AT&T/Time Warner and Disney/Fox mergers have on...


Creating and Running a Children’s TV Show ft. Mike Alber (Kirby Buckets) (PT96)

Alex and Nick invite Mike Alber, co-creator of Disney XD's Kirby Buckets, to discuss everything about running a kids show, from producing a pilot and staffing a writers' room, to generating new material and staying creative. What is the process of selling a show? What is the journey of getting a pilot produced? How is a writing staff assembled? How do you transition from writer to showrunner? How is a kids television show made? What was it like working on Death Valley and Supah Ninjas? What...


Writing Episodic vs. Serialized TV (PT95)

Alex and Nick discuss the advantages and disadvantages of writing episodic and serialized television. Which format is better suited to your story? How does breaking a season change based on serialization? Why do serialized stories provide more developed character arcs? When is an episodic script more accessible to an audience? How is TV production impacted by the level of serialization? Plus, a major announcement and two more Paper Tease entries. The Paper Team connects the dots... SHOWNOTES...


Composing Music for TV ft. Miranda Sachetta (Transformers: Prime Wars/The Voice) (PT94)

Alex and Nick invite Miranda Miranda Sachetta, composer for Transformers: Prime Wars and The Voice, to discuss writing music on scripted and unscripted television shows. What is the process of writing a piece of music for a television show? How does the communication between the composer and creatives work? How are motifs and themes used? What can TV writers learn from music composition? How does music for scripted shows differ from unscripted? The Paper Team takes a cue... SHOWNOTES Content...


Tips and Tricks for TV Writing (PT93)

Alex and Nick offer tips and tricks to solve common TV writing obstacles. From procrastination, prose, and loglines, to characters, dialogue, and scene work, get actionable advice to troubleshoot your screenwriting problems. Can't find time or discipline to write? Having trouble coming up with ideas? Is your TV show premise unexciting? Does your TV script not have enough conflict? Are your characters uninteresting? Is your dialogue not working? Are your scenes running too long or too short?...


Breaking in as a TV Writer Later in Life ft. J. Holtham (Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger) (PT92)

Alex and Nick invite J. Holtham, writer on Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, to discuss breaking into the TV industry later in life, and writing on a comic-based series. What is some important advice for people wanting to pursue TV writing later in life? How can breaking in older help in the writers' room? What is the process of writing for Marvel's Cloak & Dagger? What can writing plays teach you about screenwriting? The Paper Team powers up... SHOWNOTES Content Breaking in older, getting noticed,...