SFA Assembly Room

On average, a single studio or network hears 400 pitches, from that they buy 55 scripts, then order 10 to shoot as pilots, and end with 4 picked up to series.  It’s cut throat.  Some series have incredible pitches and not-so-great pilots, or amazing pilot episodes that just don’t quite transition to a full series.  Come hear creators and studio executives discuss the beginning stages of a TV series from the pitch, to filming the pilot, to finally waiting on pins and needles to hear if a pilot was given a shot to make it into your living rooms..   

Panelists: Liz Tigelaar, Kyle Killen, Julie Plec, Chris Keyser, Bryan Seabury, Corey Marsh, Charlie Ebersol 

Moderator: Ben Blacker

Face Off: Movies vs. TV presented by Austin Film Festival

SFA Assembly Room

This panel will cover the demands and benefits of writing for film, long-form TV, and episodic television that spans over the course of an entire series.  It will broach the differences between the two mediums, and how to navigate transitioning from one to the other.  Feature screenwriters and successful showrunners will discuss the art, craft and business of their diverse careers, with a special focus on how they have been affected by the changing landscape of television.

Panelists: Rob Thomas, Kyle Killen, Jonathan Prince, Chris Keyser, Richard Hatem

Moderator: Hardy Janson

Channel 101 with Rob Schrab & Dan Harmon

FRIDAY, 12:00 PM
SFA Assembly Room

What is Channel 101?  Is it a channel? (sort of…  Is it a festival?  Yeah, it is! And if you thought it was awesome to have a fest once a year….they do it once a month!?   According to their website, “Channel 101 is a chance to sit in the worn-out chair of the fat network exec, drunk on the blood of lowly artists whose right to exist is given in exchange for their ability to nourish…You run the network. You pick the programming.”

Come check out the founders and all around awesome individuals who have either contributed or are 100% responsible for shows like Community, The Sarah Silverman Program, Childrens Hospital, The Mindy Project…and the most infamously awesome never-picked-up pilot EVER! Heat Vision & Jack (which you can see in it’s entirety at this very festival).

Panelists: Rob Schrab, Dan Harmon

Moderator: Meg Masters

Conversation with Michael Jacobs

SFA Ballroom

Michael Jacobs first foray into TV was a home run with creation of the iconic ’80s series CHARLES IN CHARGE, and he didn’t stop there, as he went on to create some of the most recognizable series in ’80s and ’90s nostalgia:  My Two Dads, The Torkelsons, Dinosaurs, and Boy Meets World.  He also produced the four-time Oscar nominated feature film Quiz Show (which was about TV, obviously).  Now Michael is back with the highly anticipated series Girl Meets World, which will reunite Cory and Topanga and take a look on how their daughter handles adolescence.   Come hear from Michael himself as he relives his journey in TV from creating and writing to his wealth of stories of the industry, talent, and TVs history.

Panelists: Michael Jacobs

Moderator: Robyn Ross

“I don’t watch TV, but I do tweet…”

SFA Assembly Room

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t watch TV.” Then there is a pause, before they finish their sentence, “…but I did just marathon watch House of Cards on Netflix.” Or “I borrowed my friend’s DVDs and watched The Wire for the first time!” Or maybe, how they watch Revenge but only on

How do you watch TV? On an actual TV? On a computer? With a Roku? On Netflix? Do you have a 2nd screen? Maybe a third one? What’s on it? Twitter? Facebook? Viggle? Get Glue?

Whether you watch week-to-week or consume in massive marathon-viewing, television is becoming an “any way you want it” medium that no one fully knows how to monitor or gage just yet.  Hear from the executives, actors, and creators who are in the midst of the changing landscape of how we watch TV.  These panelists have seen how social media has brought their audience back to “live viewing,” resurrected shows that before the digital age might have been forgotten, and have given the viewer the power to decide when and where (and sometimes how) their favorite show will unfold.

Panelists: Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Arielle Kebbel, Julie Plec, Brad Bell

Moderator: Laura Prudom

Casting Deconstructed

FRIDAY, 10:30 AM
SFA Assembly Room

Curious how your favorite actor landed a lead in your new favorite show?  Or how a guest star is cast, potentially creating a role that is more memorable than the series regulars?  And how does a casting director know a “real” person will be just the right amount of crazy and heart to make for addictive, unscripted binge-viewing?

Come hear about the casting process from all view points as Emmy award winning casting director Beth Sepko speaks to traditional & real person casting, Kelsey Mayfield-Porter talks unscripted casting for series like The Biggest Loser, while Liz Tigelaar addresses the creator’s role in the casting process, Devon Odessa, an actor turned acting coach, tells of her unique take on the audition process, and actors, Nick Wecshler, Lindsey McKeon and Arielle Kebbel, reveal the ups and downs of the audition process, growing as actors, and breaking out of type-casting.

Panelists: Liz Tigelaar, Lindsey McKeon, Beth Sepko, Devon Odessa, Nick Wechsler, Kelsey Mayfield-Porter

Moderator: Ryan McGee


Mythology: Creating (and Obeying) Your Own Rules

FRIDAY, 10:30 AM
SFA Ballroom

When people think about “mythology” in a TV series, they often think “supernatural” — but it’s not just the sci-fi genre that needs a rule book.  Whether a series is set in an alternate time period, a certain socioeconomic level, or a new world of immortal beings, both genre and non-genre writers/producers/creators face a plethora of pros and cons related to creating their worlds.  Listen as they discuss anecdotes related to mythologies that have both helped and hurt a series.

Panelists: Richard Hatem, Remi Aubuchon, Jane Espenson, Winnie Holzman, Dmitry Lipkin

Moderator: Todd VanDerWerff



SFA Ballroom
CW Digital Block Panel Presentation
Attending: Jane Espenson (Co-Creator), Cast: Brad Bell (Co-Creator), Sean Hemeon
Moderator: Alyse Whitney