Speaker: Ben Watkins
Date: Sunday, June 24
Time: 9:30am – 11:00am
Venue: TIFF Cinema 1
Some call it a chore. Some call it a necessary evil. Some call it torture. Whatever you call it, there’s no getting around the fact that pitching is a big part of the game for screenwriters. Drawing from his own successful pitches, showrunner Ben Watkins (Hand of God, Burn Notice), walks you through the process of selling your idea in the room. From Preparation to Performance, he covers the building of a pitch from the seeds of a logline to the polished visual deck and delivery that will give buyers the best representation of yourself and your idea.
Creator/Showrunner, HAND OF GOD
Ben Watkins is a writer/filmmaker/actor from Berkeley, California. He started his career in Hollywood as an actor, playing the “mysterious” Dr. Wesley Carter on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. The transition to writing began in earnest with his award winning short film QUEST TO REF, which he wrote, co-directed and starred in. The film was an official Sundance Film Festival selection and won the American Black Film Festival. Soon after adapting that project into a feature screenplay for Universal, Watkins joined USA Network’s BURN NOTICE. He rose from Staff Writer to Executive Producer, before moving on to create the provocative Amazon Originals series, HAND OF GOD. Through his recently launched production banner, Blue Monday Productions, Watkins has projects in active development for AMC, USA and FX Networks among others. He strives to tell stories that change the way we view the world and ourselves.
Watkins actively supports community programs and people who are looking to improve issues around civil rights, public education and homelessness.
He resides in El Segundo, California. He and his wife, Kandi, have four sons.