A Sneak Peek at The First and Talking About the Universe with Beau Willimon

Date: Saturday, June 9

An exclusive teaser for The First  (Hulu + Channel 4 in the U.K.) only for ATX festival-goers, followed by a discussion about the show with creator Beau Willimon, as well as an improvised conversation with the audience about the cosmic act of writing, the cost of near impossible journeys, and the ungraspable mysteries of the universe.

Panelist: Beau Willimon (Creator)

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Establishing a Career

Date: Saturday, June 9

There is no straight path in Hollywood. Every career trajectory is different, full of ups and downs, victories and disappointments, twists and turns, and hopefully some great surprises along the way. This group of panelists give candid insight into the crazy world of making TV, how they got to where they are, including the best (and worst) parts of their careers, and what they think the future of TV (and their jobs) looks like.

Panelist: Liz Tigelaar (Creator/EP/Writer), Anna Fricke (EP), Bryan Seabury (Senior Vice President, Drama Development, CBS), Patrick Sean Smith (Greek) Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom)
Moderator: Emily Moss Wilson

Show Me All Your Flaws

Date: Saturday, June 9

Flawed characters can often blur the line between endearing and infuriating. How many times have you wanted to yell at your TV about a choice one of your favorite characters is currently (or continuously) making? Or cheered when they overcame personal battle? This discussion dives into the delicate balance of creating and portraying character imperfections that are realistic while also leading the audience to a better understanding of a character’s motivations and actions, whether they be right, wrong, or somewhere on the large spectrum in between.

Panelist: Liz Tigelaar (Life Unexpected), Christopher C. Rogers (Halt and Catch Fire), Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom), Kat Candler (Queen Sugar), Kristoffer Polaha (Condor), Scoot McNairy (Halt and Catch Fire)
Moderator: Danielle Turchiano (Variety)

From Pitch to Punchline

Date: Friday, June 8th

Pitching a TV show can be an intimidating process, but these creators have the added level of having to sell “funny.” What do the does and don’ts of a comedy pitch? What’s the balance between humor and story? And what happens with the network/studio doesn’t “get the joke”? These creators rehash their process for creating the perfect pitch, what happened in the room, and how their series evolved into what we see on our screens today.

Panelist: Joel Church-Cooper (Brockmire), Kate Lambert (Teachers), Jeff Astrof (Trial & Error)
Moderator: Ben Travers (IndieWire)

Awkward & Amusing: A Look at Contemporary British Comedies

Date: Saturday, June 9

When it comes to comedy, contemporary British series are offering as much in the way of human frailty as they are laughter with authored originals such as Fleabag, Us, Maxxx and GameFace. With an increasing portfolio of critically recognised contemporary comedy, all3media international is at the forefront of this rise, and on this panel you will hear from one of their key producers, Ben Farrell, who discusses the hilarious and personal series, that are starting to use comedy to dissect the insecurities of modern life, without losing their sense of humour in the process.  

Panelist: Ben Farrell (Producer)
Moderator: Sara Osburn (Mix 94.7)

Round 1: Penultimate vs. Finale

Date: Saturday, June 9

Penultimates (a.k.a second to last, a.k.a the one before the end) are often beautiful works of episodic TV that are favored over the finale by critics and fans alike. Is it a fair fight though? A penultimate has all of the advantages of a finale – fully formed storylines, character development, complicated relationships – yet, none of the added pressure or immense expectation of tying up lose ends, creating closure, and assuring the final moment is both earned and satisfying. Join creators, executives, and critics as they debate the pros and cons of penultimates vs. finales, including some of their all time favorites.

Panelist: Christopher C. Rogers (Halt and Catch Fire), Sarah Treem (The Affair), Dustin Thomason (Castle Rock), Sam Shaw (Castle Rock)
Moderator: Daniel Fienberg (The Hollywood Reporter)

From the Sound Up: Composing Character Themes

Date: Saturday, June 9

From the title sequence to the end credits, and everything in between, composers have an indelible impact on the emotional lens through which we view a story. How do you create a sound that captures the essence of a character, or elevates an already-great scrip to the next level? In this conversation, go behind the score with some of TV’s most dynamic composer/creator pairs as they discuss how the two roles come together to shape a characters story, and how a show’s themes can deepen our connection to the characters we love.

Panelist:  W.G. Snuffy Walden (Friday Night Lights), Marshall Herskovitz (thirtysomething), Tanya Saracho (Vida), Germaine Franco (Vida), Joe Weisberg (The Americans), Joel Fields (The Americans), Nathan Barr (The Americans)
Moderator: Tara Ariano (Previously.TV)

A Conversation with Ray Liotta

Date: Thursday, June 7

He may be best known as one of Scorsese’s Goodfellas, but Ray Liotta’s small screen career looms just as large as his big screen personas. From soap operas, to the The Simpsons, to an Emmy-winning stint on ER, Liotta’s ability to transition from guest star to leading man has made him one of television’s most versatile performers — and earned him a lifetime’s worth of stories & industry experience in the process. Get to know the man behind Shades of Blue’s Lieutenant Wozniak in this retrospective conversation with one of the medium’s most enigmatic actors.

Panelist: Ray Liotta (Shades of Blue)
Moderator: Ben Travers (IndieWire)

Women Who Defy presented by SYFY WIRE’s Fangrrls

Date: Saturday, June 9

From showrunners to showstoppers, these women are at the forefront of bringing empowered, vulnerable, complex heroines (and antiheroines) to the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy. As a more inclusive fan culture emerges in today’s evolving landscape, their stories take on a new significance and timeliness. Hear from these bold creators, actors and passionate sci-fi lovers on defying expectations, the evolution of genre storytelling and female representation in the industry today.

Panelist: Emily Andras (Wynonna Earp), Sera Gamble (The Magicians), Carina MacKenzie (Roswell, New Mexico), Maddie Hasson (Impulse)
Moderator: Cher Martinetti (SYFY Wire’s Fangrrls)

Inside a Writers Room: Power Dynamics

Date: Saturday, June 9

The writer’s room is known for being a sacred space that strives for creative freedom, protecting those inside its walls with a sense of safety and respect. Yet, it is also a place where different levels of superiority can make this type of vulnerability difficult to navigate. Join us for a glimpse into the power dynamics that take place within the walls of a TV writers room, the struggles that come with them, and the ways they are changing in the current climate.

Panelist: Liz Tigelaar (Little Fires Everywhere), Christopher C. Rogers (Halt & Catch Fire), Shawn Ryan (Timeless) Rina Mimoun (Everwood), Patrick Sean Smith (Greek)
Moderator: Glen Mazzara (Damien)