Screenwriter and Development Executive Tom Vaughan joins us to talk about working as a writer in Los Angeles and teaching screenwriting in LA and Houston. Tom also shares what it’s like to develop scripts at a small production company and gives some advice to new screenwriters as well.
Tom Vaughan- Writer/Development Executive
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, Warner Brothers and Disney/Touchstone.
His productions 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. He just completed his directorial debut, PLAYING HOUSE, based on a script written with Kristy Dobkin. They are now full-time writing partners. Most recently they wrote HALLELUJAH together for acclaimed Japanese director Kazuika Kiriya (Casshern, Goemon).
He has been teaching screenwriting for nine years between Los Angeles and Houston and finds it as gratifying as actually practicing it. He is currently the Director of Development for the Los Angeles production company Dirty Robber.
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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.