Dealing With The Big Leagues FREE Webinar Series

February 10, 2021

Dealing With The Big Leagues FREE Webinar Series

30-Minute Live Q&A Webinars in March!

To celebrate our 150th Writer Signed, Roadmap Writers is proud to announce our Dealing With The Big Leagues webinar series!

Join us throughout the month of March as we chat LIVE with some of the industries most prolific writers, directors, showrunners, producers, and executives. The Dealing With The Big Leagues series will focus on different parts of the industry including: Streamers, Filmmakers, Reps, and Development Execs.

Guests include execs from Disney+, Netflix, Kevin Hart's Hartbeat Productions, reps from CAA and Lit Entertainment Group, writer/directors of Entourage, How To Train Your Dragon, The Hangover, The Wedding Ringer and more.

Check back every Wednesday at 12pm PT leading up to our launch, as we reveal another awesome edition to our lineup!

Click here to register for the webinar series!

All sessions will be recorded unless otherwise noted, so even if you can't attend a live broadcast, you can still register to receive the recording after.

This webinar series is also made possible by the Animal Rescue Mission who has helped rescue hundreds of animals from around the world. Please visit the Animal Rescue Mission to make a tax-exempt donation or see available dogs and cats looking for a loving home.


Dealing with Streamers:

Saturday, March 6th at 11am PT - Kerri-Anne Lavin (Development Executive) at Disney+

Kerri-Anne Lavin is a development executive at Disney Branded Television with an eye for developing emerging talent and the ability to make anything funny. She developed the Emmy-nominated original short form series “Shook” and has several new series in the pipeline to premiere on Disney+ this year.  She’s created and produced many scripted and unscripted derivative series based on Disney properties, and is currently the creative executive on “Descendants Royal Wedding” the latest chapter in Disney Branded Television’s most popular franchise.

In addition to cultivating a roster of diverse writers and directors, she also writes, directs, and produces scripted and unscripted content for the Multiplatform team. An alumna of Carnegie Mellon, NYU, and The Second City Main Stage, Kerri-Anne has written & performed in several shows on stage and screen.  She’s written & produced short form content at Disney XD and NBC Universal, and performed from Off-Broadway musicals to Off-Broadway shoe commercials. Her latest project is recreating Bad Lip Reading songs with her seven year old son in their totally awesome pillow fort.  It is her favorite role to date.


Saturday, March 13th at 1pm PT - Katie Mullins (Executive) at Netflix

Katie Mullens is an animation feature executive at Netflix. Katie has been at Netflix for 5 years, originally in the prime time series department before moving over to the newly formed animation department two years ago, where she helped build the department. She previously worked at the Jim Hensen Company.


Dealing with Reps:

Wednesday, March 10th at 1pm PT - Adam Kolbrenner (Manager/Producer) at Lit Entertainment Group

Adam Kolbrenner is the founder of Lit Entertainment Group – a Beverly Hills, CA-based literary management and feature film and television production company.

In feature film, Lit Entertainment is a producer of Disney/Fox’s upcoming FREE GUY, along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi and is directed by Shawn Levy. This is an original screenplay from Lit management client Matt Lieberman. It is set to release worldwide in theaters in May 2021. Lit Entertainment is the Executive Producer on the Netflix franchise CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES. Chris Columbus (‘Harry Potter’, ‘Home Alone’) directed the sequel to the hit first film. This is an original screenplay from Lit management client Matt Lieberman with story by Lit client David Guggenheim.  
Lit Entertainment is also a producer on Amazon/Skydance’s upcoming THE TOMORROW WAR, along with David Goyer. The film stars Chris Pratt and is directed by Chris McKay. This is an original screenplay from Lit client Zach Dean. It is set to release worldwide in 2021. Lit Entertainment is an Executive Producer on the HBO Max sci-fi television series RAISED BY WOLVES. Ridley Scott is Executive Producing and directed the first two episodes as well. This is an original series from Lit client Aaron Guzikowski who is the Creator and Executive Producer.            
Additionally, Lit Entertainment is producing “DON’T GO IN THE WATER” for Universal, “DEPARTURE” for Sony Pictures, “FANTASY CAMP” for STX Studios, “MEET THE MACHINES” for Lionsgate Studios, and “NEWSFLASH” for Stampede Pictures.

Tuesday, March 16th at 4pm PT - Kevin Huvane (Agent/Managing Partner) at CAA

Kevin is an agent and managing partner at Creative Artists Agency. His impressive client list of Hollywood heavyweights includes Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Ryan Murphy, Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Jenifer Lopez, Taylor Sheridan, Meryl Streep and many more.


Dealing with Filmmakers:

Wednesday, March 10th at 3pm PT - Dean DeBlois (Writer/Director) of How to Train Your Dragon trilogy

Golden Globe winner and three-time Academy Award nominee Dean DeBlois is best known for writing, directing, and executive producing the commercially and critically acclaimed “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy, which culminated in 2019 with the release of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

Prior to collaborating on the original “How to Train Your Dragon” with Chris Sanders, the pair wrote and directed Walt Disney Animation Studios’ beloved “Lilo & Stitch” (2002) after first serving as co-heads of story on “Mulan” (1998).

Dean is currently in development on “Micronauts” for Paramount Pictures as both writer and director. He is attached to direct “Treasure Island” for Universal Pictures and Mandeville Films.  Also in development at Universal Pictures is the live-action-hybrid project “Storybook Ending” which he will write and direct, as well as produce alongside William Teitler.

He has also directed several music films and documentaries, most notably 2007’s indie critical darling “Sigur Rós: Heima.” Dean’s continued collaboration with Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi has led to the singer-songwriter’s contributions to the “How to Train Your Dragon” soundtracks.

Monday, March 15th at 4pm PT - Tim Zajaros (Producer/Co-founder) at Armory Films

Tim Zajaros is a producer and co-founder of Armory Films, a film finance and production company that creates, develops, produces, and finances high concept and commercially viable content. With the ability to finance projects from initial creative inception through production and release, Armory has amassed an impressive slate spanning numerous genres and styles, nurturing distinctive stories into groundbreaking films. The Los Angeles based company was created with partner Christopher Lemole in 2013.

Armory recently wrapped production in Los Angeles on Charlie Day’s directorial debut El Tonto starring Day, Kate Beckinsale, Jason Sudeikis, John Malkovich, Edie Falco, Jillian Bell, Ken Jeong, Adrien Brody, Ray Liotta and Travis Fimmel, and produced The Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern, which received rave reviews and the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award out of its SXSW premiere. The film was acquired by Roadside Attractions, has a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes and made over $20 million at the box office, making it one of the biggest indie releases of the year. Up next, they are currently in pre-production on Raja Gosnell’s live-action family film Santa: The Adventure Begins and will be teaming with Don Handfield on the sci-fi comic book series The Dark Age.
Zajaros produced Joe Penna’s Arctic, starring Mads Mikkelsen which made its world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival where it was acquired by Bleeker Street for North American distribution and released earlier this year. He also produced and financed Dee Rees’ lauded feature Mudbound, starring Carey Mulligan and Garrett Hedlund, which rose to critical success since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. After being acquired by Netflix, the film went on to receive a record breaking four Academy Award Nominations, making the film a milestone in Netflix’s history in the awards race.
Zajaros’ previous work with Armory Films includes producing the horror comedy Zombeavers with Benderspink and the Cabin Fever reboot with Eli Roth and Cassian Elwes. Prior to launching Armory Films, Zajaros produced Restitution starring Mena Suvari and Tom Arnold, and From the Head starring Matthew Lillard. He earlier wrote and produced the documentary Building for Life, an inspirational story about three poverty stricken individuals in Northern Thailand who are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Zajaros presented Building for Life at the session for the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Wednesday, March 17th at 11am PT - Jeremy Garelick (Writer/Director/Producer) The Wedding Ringer, The Break-up, The Hangover, The Binge

Through impactful storytelling, creative integrity and commercial appeal, Jeremy Garelick has aligned himself as an industry leader and innovator. Garelick is the co-founder of American High, an innovative production company specializing in provocative teen comedies with Mickey Liddell’s LD Entertainment. Since acquiring an abandoned school in Syracuse, NY, American High’s mission is to do for thisgeneration what John Hughes did for audiences of the 1980’s: tell modern stories of diverse characters as they navigate the most formative years of their lives. In addition to producing multiple films per year, the company aims to finance and acquire a number of third-party films that align with the mission of the American High brand.

Upcoming, Garelick and American High are producing Eli Gonda’s SID IS DEAD starring Joey Bragg and Tyler Alvarez and Natalie Morales’ solo feature directorial debut PLAN B.

Most recently, Garelick produced THE ULTIMATE PLAYLIST OF NOISE for Hulu, starring Madeline Brewer and Keean Johnson. Prior, he debuted the Hulu Original comedy feature THE BINGE, starring Skyler Gisondo, Dexter Darden, Eduardo Franco and Vince Vaughn, which marked his directorial debut under the American High production banner.

Last year, Garelick debuted three films under his production banner, showcasing his unique ability to execute multiple films in tandem. Most notably, Garelick produced Hulu and Neon’s BIG TIME ASOLESCENCE starring Pete Davidson and Griffin Gluck, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Additionally, he produced Kellen Moore’s LOOKS THAT KILL, starring Brandon Flynn, for Gravitas Ventures, Vertical Entertainment’s BANANA SPLIT starring Hannah Marks, Liana Liberato and Dylan Sprouse, which premiered at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival where it was nominated for the US Fiction Award for Best Film, and Sony’s HOLLY SLEPT OVER starring Nathalie Emmanuel.

In 2018, Garelick created, wrote, directed and produced the Netflix original, limited series BEST. WORST. WEEKEND. EVER., which was released on October 19, as well as executive produced the 8-episode YouTube Premium series SIDESWIPED starring Rosanna Arquette. Prior, he produced The Film Arcade’s comedy FAMILY, which premiered to rave reviews at the South by Southwest Film Festival where it was nominated for the coveted Grand Jury Award. Following its success at SXSW, the film screened at AFI Fest and was nominated for the Audience Award. Garelick’s television directing credits include Fox’s COOPER BARRETT’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING LIFE, Fox’s THE GRINDER starring Rob Lowe, CBS’s LIFE IN PIECES starring Colin Hanks, Steve Franks’s television movie DETOUR and TBS’s SHAQ INQ starring Shaquille O’Neal. Garelick also served as a writer and executive producer on Josh Peck and Natalie Zea’s THE REBELS for Amazon.

In 2015, Garelick was named to Variety’s ‘10 Directors to Watch’ list following his directorial debut, THE WEDDING RINGER. The film, which stars Kevin Hart and Josh Gad, premiered at the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival where Garelick was honored alongside his fellow directors.

In 2006, Garelick made his feature screenplay debut with the Vince Vaughn vehicle THE BREAK-UP and followed that by teaming up with Todd Phillips to pen the production draft of THE HANGOVER.

In 2020, Garelick and American High were selected by The Hollywood Reporter for their prestigious ‘Top Hollywood Innovators’ list. The recognition highlighted Garelick’s industry leadership, the company’s continuous efforts in producing feature films in lock-step with their overall brand, and their philanthropic endeavors in readapting their resources for COVID-19 protection and relief.

Garelick started in the mailroom at the Creative Artists Agency, before going on to work as assistant to legendary writer and director, Joel Schumacher on TIGERLAND, BAD COMPANY, PHONE BOOTH, and VERONICA GUERIN. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, March 17th at 3pm PT - Doug Ellin (Writer/Director/Producer) of HBO's Entourage

Doug is the Emmy-nominated creator of the hit HBO series Entourage which ran for eight seasons. He also wrote, produced and directed the Entourage feature film. Some of his other producing credits include Bad Santa 2, the ESPN 30 for 30 doc When the Garden Was Eden. He is also behind the new TV series Day 1's, a ten-episode series set in the world of soccer. The series is also being produced by Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman franchise, Kick-Ass) who will also direct the pilot.


Dealing with Execs:

Tuesday, March 16th at 5pm PT - Bryan Smiley (President of Film & TV) at Kevin Hart's Hartbeat Productions

Bryan is currently President of Film and TV at Hartbeat Productions, the production company of comedian and media mogul Kevin Hart. He was previously Vice President of Creative Development & Production at Columbia Pictures, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. At Columbia, Bryan spearheaded a major production deal with Unanimous Media, the production company of NBA star Stephen Curry.  In addition, Bryan completed a multi-picture deal with Issa Rae, the star and producer of the critically acclaimed INSECURE on HBO. Before joining Columbia, Bryan co-founded No Label Productions, a multicultural film & television company with NBA star Baron Davis.  Prior to No Label, Bryan consulted for several top media companies including Fox Digital Entertainment and Fox Digital Studios.  At Fox, Bryan worked across multiple divisions helping to create a new business model to produce, market and distribute feature films starring top social influencers.  Previously, Bryan worked as Executive Director of Home Entertainment & New Business Development for New Regency Productions, an award-winning film and television company based in Los Angeles, California. In that position, Bryan helped shape and implement New Regency's global home entertainment strategy, managing New Regency's extensive film library.  In his business development role, Bryan focused on digital strategies and initiatives, with an emphasis on creating new revenue streams through emerging technologies and platforms.


Thursday, March 18th at 4pm PT - Nicholas Pepper (Producer) credits include hit television series such as The Rookie, Designated Survivor, Quantico and more.

As President of Legendary Television and Digital Studios, Nicholas Pepper oversaw all aspects of television and digital content, including development, business and legal affairs, production, post, finance, marketing, and international. He also works closely with corporate partners such as Legendary features, comics, licensing, and publicity.

Pepper was charged with rebranding and rebuilding the division to reestablish Legendary as a premium destination in the television content space. His strategy for the overall Legendary television brand—creating high-concept programming that focuses on genre, excellent partnership, and flexibility within the current marketplace—promotes Legendary as the most user-friendly studio in the industry. The reenergized company boasts a well-deserved reputation for providing excellent, comprehensive studio services and for pursuing strategic partnerships with best-in-class creative talent. This strategy promotes Legendary's unique ability to deliver premium content that cannot be found from competitors.

Prior to joining Legendary in 2018, Pepper was Head of Television for eight years at Mark Gordon Company Studios, where he successfully revitalized television for the noted feature producer. Pepper’s first four years were spent running the producing pod, serving as executive producer as well as running the company. With over 50 projects set up in those years, including multiple ordered pilots and series, Pepper helped transition the company from a producing pod to a fully functional independent studio. The second half of Pepper’s tenure at Mark Gordon Company Studios generated even more successful series which resulted in the full acquisition of the company by Entertainment One. All in all, over eight years, Pepper grew the television company from eight to 19 full-time employees and executive produced numerous series, including The Rookie, Designated Survivor, Quantico, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Conviction, and Youth & Consequences.

Pepper began his television programming career at ABC Network, where he rose to Vice President while overseeing all aspects of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Lost, and brothers&sisters, as well as many other series.

Pepper holds an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama and a B.A. from Lewis & Clark College.

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