Thursday, May 22, 2008

Teleplay Success Story - Scott Richter

Scott Richter // 2007 Teleplay Winner // Success Story
May 8, 2008

LA-based Scott Richter has had a year of ups (winning the Teleplay Competition) and downs (WGA Writer's Strike). I recently had the opportunity to connect with him and learn more about what lies ahead for this talented writer on the verge of some very big advancements.

Q. How did you hear about the Austin Film Festival Teleplay Competition?

A. Through friends. I had not submitted work before, but decided to enter two scripts. One advanced me to become a second-rounder (Boston Legal - "Don't Call Me Constance") and landed me my first agent. The other (Grey's Anatomy – "Reality Bites") ended up winning the competition!

Q. What was it like attending AFF's Awards Luncheon?

A. The experience overall was fantastic. Obviously, winning was a great thrill. Being at the luncheon with Oliver Stone, Glenn Gordon Caron, John Milius and many other industry professionals was one of the highlights of my life.

Q. Were you involved in the Pitch Competition that is also going on during the Conference?

A. Yes, I was also a finalist in the pitch competition, having made it into the top five. The pitch that I did was for a law school "dramedy" TV pilot, which went over well and everyone liked. It turns out Terry Rossio was a judge in that round. He really loved it. His assistant came up afterwards and said Terry was interested in reading the script and having me talk to him more about it. Right now it's a teleplay so they thought about rewriting it into film script. We couldn't talk because of writer's strike and I began working on other pilots, but we are keeping in touch.

Q. How has winning the competition helped your network?

A. Even though it was bad timing because of strike, I made some great contacts. The fact that I won Austin was very helpful to getting my foot in the door and meeting with agents after the strike. For example, Channing Dungey, an executive for ABC, was at the Awards Lunechon and came up to congratulate me afterwards. I told her I was having a meeting with Greg Berlanti (Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Brothers & Sisters). She wanted me to call her after I met with Greg to go out for coffee. So I've been in touch with her. That was great. When I finally did get to meet Greg, he was interested in reading my script that won Austin and my two new original pilots.

Another person I met was Will Bigham ("On the Lot" winner). We met in Austin and he told me he had a first-look TV deal at Dreamworks Television. We had lunch when we both got back in LA and he was interested in a couple original pilots I had written. One which was a supernatural small town drama and the other a procedural drama. He was interested in both and thought the procedural drama was a good fit for Dreamworks. It is currently being pitched.

Q. What projects are you currently working on and what advice do you have to other writers?

A. Right now I'm collaborating with someone to write a screenplay and I'm very excited about it. The advice I have to give is simple - Network. Network. Network.


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