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Entertainment writers offer insight on breaking into show business

DePaul’s film school hosts free screenwriters forum

Page One screenwriters conference
DePaul's Page One screenwriters conference takes place May 2 at the Loop Campus Daley Building, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
CHICAGO — Before a single frame of an Oscar-winning movie, action blockbuster or TV smash hit is ever filmed, each begins as a lonely thought on a written page.

If your dream is to write the next Hollywood box office hit, take advantage of the free screenwriters conference May 2 at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts. The Page One: Entertainment Writers Conference features 15 celebrated writers, producers and agents, including:

  • Bruce Joel Rubin, Oscar-winning writer for “Ghost” and “Jacob’s Ladder.”
  • David Webb Peoples and Janet Peoples, writers of “Blade Runner.”
  • David S. Rosenthal, television writer/producer of “Jane the Virgin” and “The Middle.”

“The Page One conference continues to grow each year as more filmmaking professionals are eager to share their success stories with our students and aspiring writers,” said Kristyn Jo Benedyk, chair of the screenwriting program in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. She launched the conference to bring professional screenwriters from different backgrounds to share their experience, perspective and advice.

Conference Details

The daylong conference runs from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at DePaul’s Loop Campus at the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Conference Schedule

Writing for Both Film and Television
11:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

  • Trey Callaway – A veteran writer who has written for both film and TV such as “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” and “CSI:NY,” and is currently the executive producer and writer of a new CW series, “The Messengers.”
  • Randi Barnes – A film and TV writer whose most recent work includes the animated film “Legends of Oz” and the current hit TV series “Girl Meets World.”
  • Craig Titley – feature and TV writer/producer who found success writing family films including the live-action “Scooby-Doo,” “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lighting Thief.” In television, Titley has written episodes for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and is currently a writer/producer on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Breaking into the Business
12:30-1:10 p.m.

  • Kate Powers - A writers’ assistant and/or script coordinator for shows including “Breaking Bad,” “The Good Wife” and “Mad Men” before becoming a writer for Sundance Channel’s “Rectify,” for which she was nominated for a WGA Writing Award for Episodic Drama for her episode “Donald the Normal.”
  • Alex Beh - An award-winning actor/writer/director and recently named by Shoot Magazine as one of the new directors to watch. Beh has directed and appeared in multiple commercials and his first feature film, “Warren,” is now available for streaming.

The People Who Buy and Greenlight Your Scripts
1:30-2:10 p.m.

  • Rob Wolken - Co-owner and COO of Rain Management Group. He handles artists in film, TV, theater and new media. His clients produce shows such as “House of Cards,” “The Mentalist” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” Wolken is also the executive producer on the new ABC Family series, “Stitchers.”
  • Erin Rodman – She has worked in many facets of film and television production and development for networks and studios. As a writer, Rodman is a Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist and a Family Friendly Programming Forum award winner.
  • John Oakes - Senior vice president of development at Bold Films. Oakes has produced such films as “Drive” starring Ryan Gosling, “Legion” and “The Hole.”

Hollywood Screenwriting Icons
2:30-3:30 p.m.

  • David Webb Peoples and Janet Peoples – their collaboration as scriptwriters began on the Oscar-nominated “The Day After Trinity” documentary. Webb Peoples, a former editor of news programs, documentaries and commercials is a screenwriter known for the films “Blade Runner”, “Unforgiven” and “Twelve Monkeys,” which he wrote with his wife, Janet.

Inside the Writer's Room
4-4:40 p.m.

  • Linwood Boomer – He began his career as an actor in the NBC series “Little House on the Prairie.” He moved behind the scenes in 1985 and has since served as an executive producer or consultant on many TV shows, leading to his biggest success, the Fox comedy, “Malcolm in the Middle.”
  • David Rosenthal – A writer and television producer for more than 20 years, his credits include “Spin City,” “Gilmore Girls,” “The Middle” and the current CW hit “Jane The Virgin.”
  • Sneha Koorse - First gained attention upon winning the Grand Prize in the Slamdance Screenwriting and Teleplay Competition. Her first staff writing job was on FX’s “The Americans,” for which she received a WGA Nomination for Best New Series. Koorse just completed the first season of NBC’s show, “Constantine.”

A Student Success Story
5-5:40 p.m.

  • Josh Golden – A graduate from DePaul University’s School for Cinematic Arts. After making his move out west, he wrote the spec script, “Road to OZ,” which became a finalist in the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship. Soon after, Golden sold the script to New Line Cinema to be made into a major motion picture.

A Conversation with an Oscar Winner
6-7 p.m.

  • Bruce Joel Rubin - Screenwriter best known for “Ghost,” for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Rubin also wrote “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Stuart Little 2” and “Deep Impact.”

For more information about DePaul’s Page One Entertainment Writers Conference, visit their Facebook page at


Media Contact:
Maria Toscano
(312) 362-7740