Episode Eighty-One: Writing with Todd Berger

July 27, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

We wrap up our month of writing with writer Todd Berger. Todd has been a working writer in Los Angeles for ten years. He talks about everything from writing original scripts to pitching ideas to executives and working through multi-hour note sessions with producers. Writer Aydrea Walden joins the discussion as well.

Todd Berger- Writer/Director

Todd is an experienced writer/director who has been making films since he was a teenager. He received a film degree from The University of Texas at Austin where he wrote and directed the nationally syndicated television show The Campus Loop. He recently wrote and directed the the feature film The Scenesters, which played over 30 film festivals and took home Most Interesting Film from The Slamdance Film Festival, Best Screenplay from The Phoenix Film Festival, and Best Director from The Edmonton International Film Festival.  His feature-length documentary Don’t Eat The Baby: Adventures at post-Katrina Mardi Gras was chosen as the closing night film of the 2007 New Orleans Film Festival. He works as a screenwriter and actor in Los Angeles, with scripts currently in development at DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures, Jim Henson Productions, and The Disney Channel. In 2006, his script Chasing Christmas was turned into an ABC Family original movie starring Tom Arnold.  On screen, Todd has appeared in many recent commercials as well as an episode of the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation.

The Scenesters Movie
Todd’s Website

Aydrea Walden- Writer

Aydrea has written for The Seattle Times, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, The Second City Los Angeles, iO West, Hawaii Film Partners, NBC/Universal, Highlander Films, Nickelodeon, and Disney. She also runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience–My Life and Times as a Super White Black Person. For more information about Aydrea or to contact her please visit her website at www.theoreoexperience.com

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page. To contact Jenna you can email her at info@film-method.com

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit www.hands.org

Episode Sixty-Five: The First Day of Production

March 2, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Kicking off Season 3: Production is producing/directing team Chris Uettwiller and Tom Vaughan who recently finished their feature film, Playing House, which is Tom’s directorial debut. Tom and Chris talk about the first day on set and the value of having solid pre-production. They also discuss their 7-year partnership and how that helped them to have a successful shoot.

Tom Vaughan- Writer/Director

Tom Vaughan studied at the University of Houston with Broadway legend Jose Quintero and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee. It was his work as a writer and director in Houston theatre that got him recognized by Hollywood. He was soon writing screenplays for, among others, Phoenix Pictures, Spelling Films, Rysher Entertainment, TNT, MTV Films, Castle Rock Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Disney and Warner Brothers.
His productions as a writer include Blackout with Jane Seymour for CBS, and Critical Assembly with Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up) for NBC. He served as writer as well as Co-Producer on Atomic Twister with Sharon Lawrence and Dead in a Heartbeat with Penelope Anne Miller and Judge Reinhold, both for TBS. His feature film debut was Unstoppable, starring Wesley Snipes. His script, Bronwyn and Clyde, which he co-wrote with Kristy Dobkin, was recently set-up at Essential Entertainment. UV Pictures, his partnership with Chris Uettwiller, is producing with Dolly Hall. It is targeted for a $30 million production and Tom is fighting hard to have it filmed in Houston.

Playing House, written with Ms. Dobkin, is his feature film directorial debut. They most recently wrote Hallelujah together, the English language debut for acclaimed Japanese director Kazuika Kiriya (Casshern, Goemon).

Since returning to Houston he has dedicated himself to small organizations aimed at expanding Houston’s theatre and film community. He has been teaching screenwriting for nine years and finds it as gratifying as actually practicing it.

Chris Uettwiller- Producer

Chris Uettwiller started his entertainment career in 1992 under the direction of acclaimed independent producer Dolly Hall. After working in a variety of production positions, he moved on to co-create and write Showtime’s Twisted Puppet Theatre, and the award winning comedy series Chop Suey TV for USA Network. Chris again teamed up with Hall in 1998 at GreeneStreet Films, serving as Head of Production and R&D for the Digital Film Division. His division’s first film was Griffin Dunne’s Lisa Picard is Famous, which competed at the Cannes Film Festival. Subsequent films included Jessie Peretz’ Inherited Chateau staring Paul Rudd, and Fisher Steven’s directorial debut Just a Kiss.
In 2000 Chris moved to Los Angeles to help start the Visual Effects/Production outfit The Orphanage where he served as Head of Production and Development. By the time Chris decided to make a move back to independent producing The Orphanage had grown to over 250 full time employees. It was then that UV Pictures was formed with Tom Vaughan.

In 2004, Chris produced Elton John’s The Red Piano (currently running in Las Vegas) and several music videos and commercials for acclaimed photographer/director David LaChapelle. In 2006 he was executive producer on the sports/reality series Guide House: Montauk, which aired on ESPN. He also serves as Creative Director and Executive Producer for several of RedBull North America’s brand building events including Dragster Day, Flugtag and Billy Cart. His next project Bronwyn and Clyde, producing along with Dolly Hall, written by Vaughan and Dobkin will be financed by Essential Pictures.

Jenna Edwards- Producer/Co-Host

Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.

Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by Agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process, before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Super Bad, The Office). During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working on shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Malcolm in the Middle, and working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.

After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers. After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they made, In the Darkness,  the first narrative feature to ever premiere on Hulu.com.  Most recently Edwards made her way back to Nebraska, where she shot April Showers, to team up with some new filmmakers on a comedy film called Trunk’d.

Soonami Productions