Since FiLMLaB began in 2012, we have always invited a handful of Hollywood experts to weigh in on the final few scripts in a round that has become known as Celebrity Judging. Not only does it get the work of aspiring screenwriters in front of a manager/agent/producer; when these same industry professionals attend our August Conference, contestants have the opportunity to meet them in person– a second point of contact to build upon. Here, then, are our honored conference guests and our 2016 FiLMLaB Celebrity Judges:
Peter Heller has a long and storied career in Hollywood as both a Literary Manager and Producer. Through his company, Heller Highwater, Peter manages writers and directors and produces projects for film and television. He has also been a frequent judge for the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, which awards five $35,000 prizes to amateur screenwriters each year. This is his first year at the Willamette Writers Conference and his first year as a FiLMLaB Judge.
Tiegen Kosiak is a first timer as well. As the Director of Development for Cinestar Pictures, Tiegen is working with Zoe Saldana to produce scripted and unscripted content across all platforms. With an MFA in Creative Writing, she got her start writing and editing short scripts and providing script coverage for producers. We are thrilled she is able to bring her expertise to FiLMLaB.
F.J. Pratt returns to Willamette Writers after a four year absence! With a lengthy career in television comedy as both a writer and executive producer, he will be teaching HOW TO PITCH A TV SERIES at the Conference, a must for anyone hoping to break into the ever expanding television market. And, he is lending his talents and critical eye to this year’s FiLMLaB scripts–his first year as a judge.
Conference favorite, Luke Ryan returns to FiLMLaB to help us narrow the field as we inch closer to choosing a winner. Luke has worn many hats during his Hollywood career, as a writer, producer and senior executive at major studios (check out his bio here). The President and Founder of Chaotic Good, he specializes in the design and development of entertainment franchises and will teach the conference class STORYTELLING IN THE NEXT DIMENSION.
Our ten FiLMLaB semifinalists will have their script rated and evaluated by two randomly selected celebrity judges and will receive a copy of their evaluations, including any written notes. Writers with the highest ratings will have the option to utilize those notes to rewrite their script before a winner is chosen for production.
Thank you and welcome to our FiLMLaB Celebrity Judges, and good luck to our semifinalists!