Kelly Jo Brick: Highlights from the Los Angeles BinderCon

EDITOR’S NOTE: Big thanks to Kelly Jo for filling us in on something so much more important than its name makes it sound!


by Kelly Jo Brick

IMG_1802-280x300Professional authors, screenwriters, journalists, poets, playwrights and TV writers gathered at UCLA for BinderCon, a conference developed to bring together and help advance women and gender non-conforming writers.

According to Co-Founder Leigh Stein, “We’re a community. We’re here to give you the tools, the strategies and the connections you need to advance your career. We specifically ask all our panel and workshop moderators to really focus on what do you want people to walk away with. What can they do on Monday, so it’s not just, be inspired all weekend, but it’s really about what you can do next. What’s the next step.”

Takeaways from the weekend include:

THE PROCESS OF CREATING – Keynote with Lisa Kudrow – Emmy Award-winning actress and Robin Schiff – writer/producer Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

  • Have a clear vision of what it is that you want to do.
  • Be good at taking notes. Be secure enough to take outside input and feedback on your writing. Don’t be defensive. Be diplomatic. It’s not personal even though it may feel that way.
  • Meet kindred spirits. That can help sustain you through your whole career. It’s too hard to go through without people around you who you can be honest with and who you can mutually support.
  • Specificity is the key. Whether you’re pitching, writing or acting, it’s the specificity that really conveys the tone.
  • Write, write, write. If your work is good, it will get to someone who can help.
  • You gotta have the thickest skin. It’s not an easy road to pursue. You’re going to hear “no” over and over.
  • Be resilient. When you do experience rejection, think of how you can do it better next time.
  • Figure out who you are uniquely and write from there. If you’re good, you will get work.
  • Get out and live. That’s how you get the best input for your writing.

GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE/CREATING A DIVERSE CAREER – with author Pamela Redmond Satran, author of Younger, which has been turned into a Darren Star series on TV Land

  • Organize your time. Find what works best for you when it comes to allocating time for what you need to do to make a living versus working on creative projects you want to do for yourself.
  • Keep a regular focus on your writing. It’s generally better to spend one hour a day on a project than 10 hours on a Sunday. You stay more connected to your story and characters by working on it every day.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Connect with others and embrace the different avenues you can take with your writing.
  • Make friends with risk and rejection. Don’t take it personally, there’s a million reasons for being rejected, so don’t stop. This is what makes a big difference when it comes to who succeeds and who fails.
  • Be adaptable. The industry is always changing.
  • Do the thing you want to do, not that you have to do.
  • Just keep doing it. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the work.

ON WRITING PILOTS – with Liz Keyishian, freelance animation writer for Nickelodeon, PBS Kids and Disney Jr.

  • Be fresh, original and authentic
  • Write what you want to see
  • Let go of theories and formulas and just write. There is no one way to do it.
  • Being different is your best chance for success
  • This is a new frontier with so many buyers now in the market

THE NEED TO WRITE – Keynote with Jillian Lauren – author New York Times bestselling memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and the novel, Pretty and Rebecca Walker – author of memoirs Black, White and Jewish and Baby Love

  • We write our whole selves into existence one way or another.
  • If you find something so essential to you that you have to write it, you have to believe that it will be essential to other people too and there will be a place for it in the world.
  • The key to developing a long career is being sensitive to what’s happening in the market and in the community.
  • Writing is hard work. You deserve to be paid for your work. Don’t let others take advantage of your love for writing.
  • Follow your instincts when writing. Listen to what your gut is telling you.

    Kelly Jo Brick is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. She’s a television and documentary writer and producer, as well as a winner of Scriptapalooza TV and a Sundance Fellow. Read more about her HERE.

Hulu and Viacom are Staying in Bed Together

…And the sex relationship  is even better than ever!

Viacom is extending the deal that puts so much of its cable “product” on Hulu and, in fact, adding several new choices for Hulu visitors/viewers to, erm, choose.

Well, not exactly new. We’re talking mostly about shows like iCARLY, VICTORIOUS, and HOW TO ROCK, which are either formerly hot and watched on TV by only a ghost of their old audience, or just plain deceased although SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and the upcoming reboot of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES will be available on Hulu Plus.

The way TVWriter™ looks at it, if you were a Nickelodeon kid in the last decade and want to relive your youth, now’s a good time to consider signing up for Hulu Plus. But if you’re thinking about things your younger cousin or niece or nephew might like…hey, you’d probably be better off directging ’em to one of Disney’s 1002 rating champion channels because the Disney formula seems to be exactly what today’s pre-teen market wants.

In other words, while we think it’s great whenever any content provider makes more of its stuff available online we have to say that those in the know will have Viacom in a dead pool any minute now, with this attempt sadly proving to be a perfect case of too little, too late.

Just sayin’.

Did You Know That POWER RANGERS Is Still Up And Running?

Oh God, we loved this series back in the mid ’90s. You couldn’t get me out of my White Ranger pajamas for nuthin’, man. And now, to find out it still lives? Happy, happy, joy, joy – oh, wait, wrong ’90s series. Sorry.

Twentieth anniversary Power Rangers series revealed: Power Rangers Megaforce – by Vinnie Bartilucci

The folks at shared footage from this year’s Power Morphicon of Saban Entertainment’s promo reel for next year’s Power Rangers series. Their seventeenth series, Power Rangers Megaforce, will be based on the thirty-fourth of Toei Company’s Super Sentai series, Tensou Sentai Goseiger.

Starting with the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in 1993, based on Ky?ry? Sentai Zyuranger, Saban has been producing series using costumes, props and action footage from the Japanese originals.  The series have remained a perennial hit in the States, as the original series has done in Japan for the past thirty-six years.

Read it all

Not a lot here other than an overview of one of the greatest shows of our childhood. But that works for us. Gonna have to head on over to Nickelodeon, where it’s playing, to see how it stacks up against our memories. Wow, thanks Nick.

EDITED BY LB TO ADD: Dood, as a guy who used to work for Saban, all I can say is if you want to compare the reality to your memories the likeliest thing is that you’re doomed to disappointment. OTOH, I’m also a guy who not only didn’t know POWER RANGERS was still around in the U.S., I didn’t even know Saban Entertainment still lived. (Yes, I’m still smarting from the way Haim Saban sold out everybody who worked for him back around the turn of the century. First place I ever had a deal where I played nice, did it right…and still got fired. Okay, wait, maybe not the first, but still…)

Nickelodeon is Actually Hiring Pros to Develop Shows

We mean genuine big-timers who’ve worked on series like FRASIER, REBA, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, iCARLY, etc. What is this strange feeling in our chests? Oh, right…hope!

Yes, this is Noah Munck. No, we have absolutely no idea who Noah Munck is. But we want his hair.

Two Spinoffs, Animated Pilot From ‘SpongeBob’ Scribe Part of Ambitious Nickelodeon Slate – by Lesley Goldberg

As the children’s-themed network prepares to launch live-action comedy See Dad Run with Scott Baioand the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the fall, it handed out orders to four live-action series and five pilots. In addition, Nick on Friday picked up three animated series and two animated pilots…

The ambitious push comes as Nickelodeon attempts to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded landscape where outlets including Netflix and the Internet are among the rivals. For the first time in 16 years, Nick’s top competitor, Disney Channel, ended 2011 as the No. 1 kids network.

Here’s a look at Nick’s upcoming slate:



Sam & Cat (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): In the comedic spinoff from iCarly and Victorious creator Schneider, feisty Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy) and daffy Cat Valentine (Ariana Grande) become best buddies and unlikely roommates. They love their freedom and independence but quickly realize that fun and adventure do not come cheap. Rather than get traditional after-school jobs, Sam and Cat become teen entrepreneurs by starting their own baby-sitting business.

Gibby (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): Munck reprises his role as Gibby in the spinoff from iCarly creator Schneider. In the comedy pilot, Gibby takes a job at The Bixby, a recreational center where kids of all ages hang out, socialize, play sports and take unique classes. Gibby becomes a mentor to four quirky middle-schoolers, helping them break out of their shells and embrace life in true “Gibbehhh” style.

The Haunted Hathaways (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): Life in the Big Easy gets a little more complicated and way more spirited when the Hathaway siblings move into a house occupied by a family of ghosts. The pilot is written by Robert Peacock, who served as writer-producer on several series including Reba, Blue Collar TV and Coupling.

The Thundermans (Nickelodeon pilot/working title): Written by Jed Spingarn, the series follows 13-year-old Phoebe Thunderman, who just wants to be normal — but that’s impossible when she comes from a family of superheroes. While most superheroes are lucky to have one power, Phoebe happens to have 12. A longtime producer for Nickelodeon, Spingarn most recently served as co-executive producer of Big Time Rush.Prior to that, he was a producer on Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Johnny Bravo.

Instant Mom (Nick at Nite pilot/working title): Instant Mom centers on a 25-year-old party girl who trades in Cosmos for carpools when she marries an older man with kids. The project is executive produced by Aaron Kaplan (GCB,Terra Nova) with Warren Bell(Ellen, According to Jim, What I Like About You) and Jessica Butler (According to Jim, In Plain Sight) serving as writers/executive producers.

Read it all (and there’s lots more)

Remember when Nick was King of the Kid’z TV Jungle? We’re still waiting for RUGRATS to return.