TV Writers-Producer Speak at Pendleton Center in Los Angeles

12/04/2006

Contributed by Melissa Gattine

Four writer-producers from "South Park," "Nip/Tuck" and VHIs recent Tori Spelling sitcom "So NoTorious" spoke to students attending the Los Angeles program at ICLAs Pendleton Center Nov. 15.

The event included a freewheeling panel discussion on their shows, careers and the state of the TV industry, as well as a lengthy Q & A session.

The panelists included: Nancy Pimental, a staff writer on "South Park" for four seasons and screenwriter of the Cameron Diaz film "The Sweetest Thing"; writer-producer Jennifer Salt, a recent WGA nominee for her writing work on "Nip/Tuck," a show she has been on since it was launched on FX four seasons ago; and Mike Chessler & Chris Alberghini, creators-writers-producers (and sometime co-directors) of "So NoTorious" and former writer-producers of the sitcoms "Whoopi" and "Reba."

The writer-producers spoke at length about the plusses and minuses of working in TV; the differences between network and cable shows; the day-to-day life of being both a writer and producer; working on staff as opposed to solo; how ideas come about; their individual writing process; and what its like to be in a "writers room." There was also advice on what aspiring writers need to know and do upon graduation from school as well as talk of future projects and possible employment opportunities for IC students.

The panel was moderated by Pendleton Center professional-in-residence Steven Ginsberg and ICLA TV writing instructor Mark Kruger.

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