Testimonial: A Night at the CW

By Ami Park

I was floored by CAPE‘s panel with the top execs at The CW. It was a very intimate space, with 60-70 attendees ranging from ages 20-50s. The CW president Mark Pedowitz opened the panel as he summarized his experience with CW and how the network has evolved over the past couple of years. The other three execs were: Lori Openden, EVP of Talent and Casting; Thom Sherman, EVP in charge of series development, and Michael Roberts, EVP of Current Programming. All of the execs were extremely kind, patient, and generous with their time and made sure we (Asian Americans) knew the practicality of the industry while also reinforcing the importance of diversity because it is a necessity.

Thom explained how he and his team begin looking at pitches every June. After narrowing it down to 30-40 projects, they will pick up 6 pilots by the end of January. By May, after shooting these pilots, the network decides which of them they want to choose.

Michael Roberts then spoke, explaining how his department serves as the middle man between the show producers and the network, and how they work with development and casting. He stated how the season arc pitch, where they discuss where they are now in the process of these shows and how they can make it better, is the most important meeting of the year. He also talked about ‘Story Areas’ where the conceptual notes are reviewed. 2-3 weeks after that, you receive a script. And then there is the upfront, where they decide which shows will go during the fall season.

Lori graciously ended the panel by describing the casting process, highlighting how actors must have an agent or manager to be seen by the network. She also stressed the importance of training and how acting universities were great for that route.

Altogether, the optimistic and caring nature of the panelists truly came out, especially during the post-panel talk where we were able to shake hands and talk to each of the execs. I cannot thank CAPE enough for hosting this event!

Meet the 2017 CAPE New Writers Fellows!

FellowsAll2CAPE (The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) kicks off its fifth annual CAPE New Writers Fellowship, an evolution of the CAPE New Writers Awards, which identified emerging AAPI talent for the past 17 years. The Fellows were selected from a diverse pool of applicants by entertainment industry professionals. Each Fellow will participate in an intensive 13-session program and receive a cash stipend, Final Draft software and free entry to Final Draft’s Big Break Contest upon successful completion of the program. This year’s fellows are: Kelvin Ho, David Liu, Johnny Ngo, Nathan Ramos, April Shih, Eileen Shim, Brian Shin and Janalyn Li Steele.

Led by top industry writers, producers, agents and executives, the Fellowship is co-chaired by Steve Tao (television executive, CWTV) and Leo Chu (EP/Creator, SUPAH NINJAS, AFRO SAMURAI). The sessions include master classes and writing labs, in which Fellows revise their scripts under the mentorship of high-level industry professionals. This year’s mentors and speakers include Chris Lee (CAPE Co-Founder and Bad Hat Harry CEO), David Henry Hwang (Tony Award-winning playwright, M. BUTTERFLY), Adele Lim (screenwriter, CRAZY RICH ASIANS and Co-Executive Producer, CW’s REIGN), Glen Mazzara (Showrunner, AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD), James Wong (Executive Producer, FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY and FOX’s SCREAM QUEENS), Albert Kim (Showrunner, FOX’s SLEEPY HOLLOW), Dave Kalstein (Co-Executive Producer, CBS’s NCIS: LOS ANGELES) and more. The CAPE New Writers Fellowship is one of CAPE’s signature programs. It furthers CAPE’s mission to champion diversity by educating, connecting, and empowering Asian American & Pacific Islander artists and leaders in entertainment and media.

Fellowship partners include NBCUniversal, Oriental DreamWorks, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, AmazonStudios, Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures, as well as in-kind partners Final Draft, Inc. and The Black List. Venue sponsors include The Writers Guild of America, West, Nu Image/Millennium Films and The CW.

As a unique addition to this year’s Fellowship, one writer from the CAPE New Writers Fellowship will be selected to participate in Oriental DreamWorks’ Artist-In-Residence Program this summer in Shanghai, China. During the program, the selected Fellow will have the opportunity to work on one or more projects ODW is currently producing and developing, and to collaborate with other artists for one week of creative exploration.

For the full press release, click here.