A Week of Animation

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As a creative, what's better than the freedom and possibilities writing in animation gives you? You have so much more you can do with the stories you tell, the visual marvels you can create, and the chords you can strike when a project is animated as opposed to live action. The sky is pretty much the limit! 

To celebrate Roadmap's Anniversary, we've assembled some of our animation experts to walk us through the craft, the technology, and the industry in this special four day event! 

This Four Day Event Will Cover

  • Diversity in animation 
  • How technology is reshaping animation 
  • Writing for animation 
  • Animated features 

**Panels and panelists subject to change. 

Session One: Diversity in Animation

Date / Time

Join us for this panel for a discussion of diversity in animation! 

Panelists Include: 

Aadip Desai is an actively working tv writer/screenwriter. Aadip was honored a BAFTA Breakthrough for his work as a staff writer on The Goldbergs (ABC/Sony) and has written freelance episodes for Mira Royal Detective (Disney), Sharkdog (Netflix/Nick), and Dew Drop Diaries (Netflix/DreamWorks). He dropped out of AFI’s MFA Screenwriting program after being selected for the ABC/Disney TV Writing Program. When not writing, Aadip runs the 17.5k+ LA TV Writers Facebook Group, is an Advisor/Instructor at the Sundance Institute, a speaker at top film schools (NYU, UCLA, USC, AFI), a mentor/judge for fellowships and competitions, interviewer of industry pros, and panelist (AFF, CAPE, BAFTA, Disney, etc.). He’s a former Co-Host/Producer of the On the Page screenwriting podcast, and former President of the Northwest Screenwriters Guild in Seattle. Aadip has a vestigial BA in Economics and a Minor in Music from the University of Puget Sound (the one with the pretty brochures). In his former life he worked in marketing for music, tech, hospitality, healthcare, and more, working for brands like Microsoft, Reading Rainbow, Sony Music, Target, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and more. 


Leslie Ezeh is the founder of Legends Animated and currently serves as one of its board members; she is also the Director of Operations at ASIFA-Hollywood. Leslie enjoys supporting the animation community through both organizations, as well as by participating as a judge at animation festivals and events such as the Los Angeles Animation Festival, View Conference, and Kaboom Animation Festival.

Session Two: How Technology is Reshaping Animation

Date / Time

Join us for this panel for a discussion of how technology is changing animation! 

Panelists Include: 

Tom Riffle is an animator and retake director. Credits include PRAISE PETEY, PARADISE PD, and MIGHTY MAGISWRODS. 

Aaron Daniel Jacob is a composer, audio professional, and animation production manager with a lengthy career spanning over 16 years.

Most recently, he worked as the Production Supervisor on the Marvel Disney+ series I Am Groot directed by Kirsten Lepore. Before that, he worked in post-production at Bento Box Entertainment and in creative development at Patchwork Productions.

His career began as a session singer for Disney TV Animation, where for over 16 years he contributed vocals on series like Hamster & Gretel, Phineas and Ferb, Milo Murphy's Law, and The Lion Guard. He even lent his voice talents to the Disney+ original movie, Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe, with his singing featured on the accompanying soundtrack. His presence in music expands with his work as a composer and music editor on series for Disney, Amazon, Netflix, and others. Notable works include additional music for Disney's Hamster & Gretel and co-composing for Amazon's ARPO: Robot Babysitter, among several other award-winning independent shorts and pilots.

He also produces and develops audio productions, including narrative fiction, documentaries, and chat shows. He co-created the horror anthology series The Lucid Podcast and is currently producing Paranormal Radio for Vantage House. Other works include narrative fiction and audiobooks from Marginal MediaWorks and several independent projects in various stages of development. 

Emily Crosby is the Manager of Social Content Creation (Creative Lead) for the Diablo IV brand at Blizzard Entertainment. With a Bachelor's degree in Animation from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from California Lutheran University, she is uniquely equipped to navigate the dynamic landscape of digital storytelling. Emily leads a team of designers, editors, and copywriters, crafting immersive campaigns and captivating visuals that resonate with Diablo fans worldwide. Her strategic approach to social media marketing ensures brand consistency, fosters community engagement, and drives impactful campaigns across Diablo's social channels. Prior to joining Blizzard, Emily honed her craft at CH Media, shared her passion for design as a digital media teacher, and showcased her talents as a professional freelance artist. Her multifaceted career reflects a commitment to innovation and excellence in animation, gaming, and digital marketing.

Session Three: Writing in Animation

Date / Time

Join us for this panel for a discussion of writing for animation! 

Panelists Include: 

Michael Poisson is an LGBTQ+ writer who has four Emmy nominations for his work on Adult Swim’s critically-acclaimed, animated comedy ROBOT CHICKEN. Most recently, he finished working as a Co-Producer on The CW's queer sci-fi, action series TOM SWIFT. Before that, he wrote on Netflix’s super hero dramedy series RAISING DION as well as on the Hulu animated comedy CROSSING SWORDS. On the development side, Michael previously developed with Red Hour and Full Fathom Five on his dark comedy, UNRAVELING: A Sadistic Musical. Before writing full time, Michael was the Director of Development for Krysten Ritter’s production company Silent Machine Entertainment. And outside of the industry, Michael has worked as a crisis counselor at The Trevor Project – a suicide lifeline for LGBTQ youth. 

Miles Wood is a television writer and comedian. He’s written for Archer, Beavis & Butthead, Little Demon, Grimsburg, Frasier, and a forthcoming Netflix comedy. As a performer, he’s played Chicago Sketchfest, SF Sketchfest, the Yard Theater, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, UCB Franklin, and he will be playing Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this year. Currently he is a producer on Frasier.

Wali J. Mbekeani is a comedy writer for both live action and animation with experience in Pre-K programming, adult animation, and YA development. She began at MTV in unscripted series, before moving into scripted TV and film development under director Tim Story and producer Sharla Sumpter Bridgette. Under her production banner, Good Bru Inc, Wali has partnered with award-winning producers and creatives such as Executive Producer/Actor Gina Rodriguez and her company I Can and I Will, show creator of Run the World, Leigh Davenport, and The Lego Movie animation studio, Animal Logic. She has staffed and freelanced for Disney, Titmouse, and Wild Canary Animation. Outside of TV, Wali has a passion for developing and writing adaptable short stories, one of which was published by actress Sharon Horgan’s production company Merman. repped by Bryan Brucks at 831 Entertainment and currently staffed on an upcoming Disney Junior series.

Monica Violet Joy is the Creator of the upcoming series, Skatebirds, partnered up with legendary skateboarder, Tony Hawk and Laughing Dragon Studios. She was Showrunner and Head Writer for the hit series, Isaac & Friends as well as Creator, Head Writer, Director and Executive Producer of the original series for the popular toy company, Magna-Tiles. She was a Writer, and Creative Executive for Build-A-Bear’s show, Kabu. In addition, Monica was Consulting Producer on Netflix’s popular series, Go Dog Go! Further, she was a Writer on the acclaimed series, Bubbles and Friends, as well as a Writer and Creative Executive at Wind Sun Sky Entertainment, and at Jesters Animation. At both studios Monica was brought in to successfully write, develop and collaborate with the studio to create original series and video games, including the Future Chicken series.

Beforehand, Monica was the Senior Producer and Executive in charge of CoComelon at Moonbug Entertainment. There she directly devised the creation and development of all CoComelon episodic series and affiliated content. For her work on CoComelon she received an award from Youtube for growing the channel to well over 100 million subscribers. Prior to Moonbug, Monica worked at Paramount and Nickelodeon where she devised content, and ran the development and production of series including: Legend of Korra, Spongebob, Kamp Koral, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Blues Clues, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, and Wallykazam. Prior to Nickelodeon and Paramount, she worked in development at Blue Sky Studios, on hits: Nimona (Oscar-nominated), Ice Age V, Ferdinand, Spies in Disguise, and The Peanuts Movie (Golden Globe-nominated).

Outside of her day to day, she runs her women-owned and operated business, Monica Violet Joy Productions, where she writes and develops series, novels, films, and games for clients including: Apple, Disney, Dreamworks, HBO, Paramount, Penguin, and Netflix.

In the nonprofit space, she is highly involved in Women In Animation. Monica has served on the Leadership Committee, and as a Mentor and Educator to champion female equality and participation in the creative arts. For her activism, she was nominated for a Women of the Year Award by the Universal Women’s Network™. Aside from those ventures, Monica holds a Bachelors in Film Studies and Art History from the University of East Anglia as well as a Masters in History from the University of Birmingham. Within academia, she has served as an adjunct professor and lecturer at leading education institutions including the: University of Pennsylvania, New York University, University of East Anglia, Montclair State University, University of Florida, and the Pratt Institute.

Session Four: Animated Features

Date / Time

Join us for this panel for a discussion of animated features! 

Panelists Include: 

Lorien McKenna is an Emmy-nominated and NAACP Image Award-winning writer.

As a Story Manager at Pixar Animation Studios, Lorien worked on UP, BRAVE, INSIDE OUT, and THE GOOD DINOSAUR. She was the Development Producer on several animated features at Paramount Animation and was the Co-Executive Producer for CURIOUS GEORGE for the TV series and animated feature films.

Most recently, she was the Showrunner for the Emmy-winning YouTube/Kids at Play preschool show TAB TIME. She’s written and developed for NBC, Hulu, Comedy Central, and Netflix. She adapted and will make her feature directorial debut with HOW TO SET A FIRE AND WHY, based on the novel by Jesse Ball. She has written two Red Raion projects and is in development on a third. She is currently in development on an animated project with Rideback and Titan1A producing based on the Zomben Comic books. 

Lorien is a Script Editor for Screen Australia (HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN), Screen Queensland, and Screen Ireland. She is a mentor for the Cinestory Foundation and the Nostos Screenwriting Retreats. She received a BA in English Literature & Performing Arts and an MFA in Playwriting from St. Mary’s College of California where she taught as an Adjunct Professor in the English and Theater Departments.

She is the co-host of the popular podcast THE SCREENWRITING LIFE, along with screenwriter Meg LeFauve.

As a creator, Lorien excels at touching the depths of the human experience and the human heart and infusing her characters with that authenticity all the while world-building stories in entertaining ways be it in animation or live action.

Her favorite writing snacks are dill pickle chips and black licorice.

More about
Roadmap Writers

Roadmap Writers is a talent training and discovery platform for screenwriters ready for a guided path to success. Our programs are hosted by working industry executives and are designed to empower writers with actionable tools and insights to elevate your craft and cultivate relationships with industry professionals. Since 2016, we have helped hundreds of writers from all over the world sign to representation, staff on series, and option and produce their projects. Our writers have been staffed on BRIDGERTON, THE FLASH, CHICAGO PD, THE FIRST LADY, NIGHT COURT, THE GOOD DOCTOR, THE RESIDENT, REACHER, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, MAYANS and POKERFACE. Writers have sold, set up and been produced by Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, MGM, American High, New Republic Pictures, Maven Screen Media, Lifetime, Will Packer Studios and Roku. 

How it Works

Cancellation Policy: You may cancel for a full refund up to 5 days prior to the start of the class. Cancellations requested after this period will be ineligible for refunds.

Please ensure you are familiar with our Code of Conduct.

The Roadmap Promise

Roadmap Writers prides itself on the quality of executives we bring to our programs and we work hard to get you the best feedback possible.

Our vetted executives are chosen by the legitimacy of the companies they work for and their ability to evaluate pitches and pages.

Only the executives you sign up for will be provided with your materials.