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Meet the Experts Who Want You to Succeed as a TV Writer

Updated: Apr 16

Before our Moonshot Pilot Accelerator fellows pitch to major studios, they hone their pitches and learn about the industry with showrunners, development execs, representatives and more.


Moonshot Pilot Accelerator guest experts Samara Bay (speech coach and author), Elle Johnson (co-showrunner, Netflix's "Self Made"), Jasmine Russ (VP of Production and Development, Fabel Entertainment), Rukayat Giwa (agent, CAA), and Rebecca Neipris (entertainment lawyer, First Gen Law).
From left to right: Moonshot Pilot Accelerator guest experts Samara Bay (speech coach and author), Elle Johnson (co-showrunner, Netflix's "Self Made"), Jasmine Russ (VP of Production and Development, Fabel Entertainment), Rukayat Giwa (agent, CAA), and Rebecca Neipris (entertainment lawyer, First Gen Law).

The Pilot Accelerator grew out of the interests and concerns of our community. For over two years, we hosted virtual workshops with industry leaders in Hollywood. The workshops with showrunners, development executives, and TV writers were by far the most attended. We kept track of the questions that our community asked. Two things became clear:


  1. Our community had a strong desire to break into TV but lacked the connections to do so.

  2. Our community had consistent questions about how to pitch, writers' room etiquette, representation, legal protection, and more.


As we created the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator, we realized that it wasn't enough to just introduce talented writers to decision-makers. We also wanted to provide in-depth training so that these writers were completely ready for a career in Hollywood.


The Moonshot Pilot Accelerator includes three intensive weeks of training and then a week of pitching to major studios like HBO, Netflix, Starz, and more. During the three weeks, fellows will perfect their pitch, make industry connections, learn from experts, and bond with each other. Our guest lecturers are passionate about sharing their knowledge and advancing underrepresented voices.


Read more about the experts who will help our TV writers succeed in the industry:


Elle Johnson, Moonshot board member and Moonshot Pilot Accelerator guest expert

Co-Showrunner, Netflix’s “Self Made”


Elle Johnson is a TV Writer and Executive Producer who has written and produced shows from "Law & Order," "CSI: Miami," "Saving Grace," and "The Glades," to "Ghost Whisperer," "The Fosters,” and "Any Day Now.” She was an EP on the Amazon Original Series “Bosch.” And the co-showrunner on Netflix’s NAACP Award winning limited series "Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.”







Jasmine Russ, Moonshot board member and Moonshot Pilot Accelerator guest expert

VP Production & Development, Fabel Entertainment



Jasmine is the Vice President at Fabel Entertainment (Bosch, The Killing, Interrogation) where she specializes in both development and boots-on-the-ground production. At Fabel, Jasmine has set up projects with multiple buyers including Amazon, Netflix, AMC and FreeVee, as well as working with the team to shepherd and grow the development slate across a wide array of genres.



Rebecca Neipris, Moonshot Pilot Accelerator guest expert

Rebecca Neipris 

Entertainment Lawyer



Rebecca has an eclectic background in intellectual property, entertainment, strategy, and writing. As an attorney, she handles trademark, copyright, food law, and outside general counsel matters, mostly for indie and start-up companies, and serves as production counsel on film projects. 


Rebecca has worked as a writer and editor for filmmakers, philanthropies, startups, and large MNCs. She was the lead strategist for a web and app development shop and, later, a boutique agency in NYC. 


In addition to her professional pursuits, Rebecca is the founder, host, and producer of a podcast called Crossnerds. It is about the New York Times crossword puzzle.



Samara Bay, Moonshot Pilot Accelerator guest expert

Samara Bay

Speech & Dialect Coach



Samara Bay is an author and speech coach whose clients range from candidates for Congress to C-suite executives, and Hollywood celebrities; as a dialect coach, she's worked on projects like Wonder Woman 1984, American Crime Story: Versace, and Hunters. Her book, PERMISSION TO SPEAK, is a revolution in how to think about your voice.






Rukayat Giwa, Moonshot Pilot Accelerator guest expert

Rukayat Giwa

Agent



Rukayat Giwa is a Scripted Television and Books Agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Giwa is based in the Los Angeles office and represents many of the world’s leading writers, directors, producers, actors, authors, and production companies.  


Giwa began her career teaching high school math in Metro Atlanta, Georgia through Teach for America. She joined CAA in 2017. 


Giwa graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Producing for Film, Television, and New Media (MFA) from The Peter Stark Producing Program. 


Submit your pilot script to the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator by April 14, 2024


Make sure you apply by the final deadline, April 14 (before midnight Pacific time) for this chance to have your TV pilot script read by these amazing writers.


If you're reading this too late, don't worry! Join our mailing list so you never miss another opportunities again.


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