Sitcoms, Dramas and Blockbusters: Creating for the Screen
About the Panelists
Gene Del Vecchio is an adjunct professor at the USC Marshall School of Business. As a consultant specializing in entertainment and youth marketing, he has conducted 1,000 consumer research studies that provided essential direction for giants in the film, television and toy industries. His latest book, Creating Blockbusters, details key principles that create massive franchises. Previously a senior vice president of planning and research at Ogilvy & Mather, Del Vecchio’s clients have included Disney, Paramount Pictures, PBS Kids Sprout, Hasbro, Mattel and MGA Entertainment. He holds an MBA from USC.
Pamela Douglas’s book Writing the TV Drama Series is considered the premiere source on the subject. Douglas was a creator of the series Ghostwriter and has been on the writing staff of shows including Frank’s Place, A Year in the Life and Star Trek: The Next Generation. She won the Humanitas Prize and was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Between Mother and Daughter, and has received multiple Emmy nominations and awards. She is a tenured professor of screen and television writing at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she pioneered the television curriculum.
David Isaacs has worked as a writer/producer for over 35 years on series including M*A*S*H*, Cheers, Wings, The Simpsons, Frasier, Becker and Mad Men. Nominated eight times for Writers Guild of America awards, Isaacs won twice for Cheers and once for Mad Men. He received six Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award for co-producing the first season of Cheers. He has also been nominated for the Humanitas Prize and received a Peabody Award as a member of the staff of Frasier. Isaacs currently serves as a professor of screen and television writing in the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Georgia Jeffries (Moderator), a writer/producer of Emmy-winning drama, has earned two Writers Guild Awards, three Golden Globe nominations and the Humanitas Prize. She scripted the HBO docudrama The Good Soldier, now in development as a mini-series, and adapted the New York Times Notable Book Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine for Showtime. A former showrunner on China Beach and Cagney & Lacey, she has also created pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC and Showtime. She writes for Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books and Written By, and recently completed a novel. Jeffries is an associate professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Michael Napoliello is a partner and producer at Radar Pictures, the company behind iconic, award-winning films including The Last Samurai, Runaway Bride and Mr. Holland’s Opus. Recent films include the box-office hits The Heartbreak Kid, Spring Breakers and Riddick. Napoliello teaches a popular screenwriting course, “Winning the Producer Game,” at ScreenwritingU and is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business. Prior to working in film, Napoliello had a successful career in marketing and advertising.