TV Surf Report: Nashville Is Happening


Nashville, TN — Whilst road-tripping across America, I stopped in Music City, USA, to attend the Nashville Writers Conference.  My immediate takeaway is that Independent Film is thriving in Nashville and that Nashville is indeed happening.

Music. Independent Film. Television (ABC’s Nashville). Bourbon Bars!  Nashville has it all and more.

As a Panelist discussing the Changing World of Television, I shared the stage with Malcolm Spellman (Empire), Max Borenstein (Minority Report), Cameron Larson (Hallmark Channel) and Jeb Stuart (The Fugitive).

We debated the Pros & Cons of Social Media and its Impact on the Creative Process of producing Television —  Fascinating discussion and well worth a session dedicated to this topic at future events. Writer/Producers like Spellman now are encouraged to live-Tweet their episode as it airs in order to engage the audience and to promote the show on Social Media.  It’s a new skill set and a completely different Writer’s Muscle to train.

As always, I was impressed with the audience and their savvy questions.


Closing out this Panel, moderator Sandra Leviton (terrific job, btw!) asked each speaker to offer advice to the delegates of What Not To Do as screenwriters.  My advice was simply not to get stuck writing, and re-writing and polishing the same script.  Once done, put that project away and begin something new.  Quite frankly, your 10th pilot script will look nothing like your 1st pilot script, however, your 10th will teach you exactly how to improve your 1st.

I particularly enjoyed The Big Pitch Event where the delegates each had 10 minutes to pitch a project to the Conference Guests such as myself.  I heard 11 terrific pitches in a relaxed (for me) one-on-one setting.  The delegates represented Canada, California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, and their stories reflected this geographic diversity.





I am always interested to know how a pitch is personally related to the writer pitching it.  Why is this story important? The best stories are the most personal ones.

Very impressed with #Nashville and the Nashville Writers Conference.  Looking forward to returning next year (if asked!).

Next Up:  Road-Trippin’ to Kentucky and My Own Origin Story



(Panel Photo Credit: Signe Olynyk)

About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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