LMU writing duo Jeff Phillips, lecturer and alum, and Lauren Conn, graduating Screenwriting major, have been hired by Ovation to adapt the fantasy series The Chronicles of Ara into an eight-part miniseries. Phillips, an executive producer on DreamWorks Studios’ Stealing Time, met Conn when she was enrolled in his LMU writing course in fall 2014. It was then Conn impressed Phillips with her pilot script based on her mother’s departure from Cold War Russia.
“It turned out to be one of the best scripts I’d ever read,” said Phillips. “We kept in touch, and our shared interest in dark subject matter led to our writing partnership.”
“Jeff became a writer-dad to me,” Conn said. “We started writing smaller gigs together which progressed into this incredible opportunity now.”
In anticipation of graduation in May, Conn said of her new gig at Ovation,”It feels just as terrifying as not having a job coming right out of graduation. At the same time it also feels rewarding after years of working odd jobs and interning.”
“There’s a different set of fears and demands we have to cater to once out of film school – subsequent gig or not,” Conn continued. “You hustle for a project, nab it, complete it, and that’s it. Then you have to hunt again.”
Conn believes that sitting back and letting opportunities come to you is not the way to pursue a career in the industry. “If you want to succeed you have to hunt. Simply, we’re Lions – go on the prowl and kill it.”
The Chronicles of Ara centers on Ara, a muse who inspires all of art and invention, but who is corrupted upon a tragic loss. Using parallel storylines, the characters include some of history’s more renowned “dark authors” — J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, Lewis Carroll, H.G. Well, Edgar Allan Poe — as they are inspired to pen their greatest works. Within these authors’ books are discovered clues of an impending apocalypse, when man is betrayed by his greatest creation: his art.
In their annual Education Report, Variety recognized SFTV as one of the top schools on the move: “innovative and cutting-edge programs offer competitive, top-notch training in all areas of film, TV and media.”
They went on, saying, “SFTV hones its image as a “studio conservatory” through classroom environments that emphasize accessibility to faculty and equipment and career-oriented internship and post-grad programs with studios and production entities like Ken Burns’ Florentine Films. Partnerships with the Ghetto Film School, a post-grad Incubator Lab with Film Independent, the Hollywood Masters speaker series and the business-oriented Steed Symposium underscore SFTV’s commitment to provide all students with a wealth of educational and career opportunities.”
Read the full piece here.
Applications for the School of Film & Television’s Office of the Dean Scholarship are now open! The scholarship is available to all continuing undergraduate and graduate SFTV majors for the 2016-2017 academic year, and each application must include at least one SFTV faculty recommendation.
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 20th.
You might have noticed the new banners hanging around campus, and even along Jefferson Blvd. in Playa Vista. The University recently unveiled the 30 LMYOU honorees for 2016, and among them are four SFTV students and faculty (left to right): Solomon Onita Jr. (PROD – M.F.A. ’16), Visiting Assistant Professor Leena Pendharkar, Pingwen Wang (PROD – M.F.A. ’15), and Mike Salomon (WPTV – M.F.A. ’16).
We couldn’t be more proud to have them represent the best and brightest of SFTV!
Learn about their accomplishments and more: http://lmyou.lmu.edu/