Three Pillars

Speaker: Chip Johannessen
Moderator: Eric Kohanik
Date: Sunday, June 24
Time: 4:15pm – 5:45pm
Venue: TIFF Cinema 1

How do you combine believable emotional life and high stakes?  In this nuts and bolts presentation, Executive Producer Chip Johannessen (X-FILES, 24, DEXTER, HOMELAND) outlines an approach to script writing that puts story first, and encourages a writing style that looks and feels effortless. Chip’s presentation will be followed by a moderated interview and Q&A with the audience.

Chip Johannessen

Chip Johannessen

Showrunner, HOMELAND

Chip Johannessen was born in Detroit and educated at Harvard University, where he wrote for The Harvard Lampoon. He later embarked on a short-lived career as a rock guitarist before turning his attention to television. His past writer-producer credits include BEVERLY HILLS 90210, THE X-FILES and 24. He also served as showrunner for MILLENIUM, MOONLIGHT and DEXTER.

Chip completed a J.D. at UCLA’s School of Law and passed the California bar just before joining HOMELAND as Executive Producer. At HOMELAND he’s been honoured with an Emmy, two Golden Globes and a WGA award. During this time he also picked up another WGA award, in long form, for SAINTS AND STRANGERS, a mini-series he created while in law school. Chip sits on the board of the Writers Guild of America, West where he co-chaired the 2014 and 2017 negotiating committees.


Eric Kohanik

Eric Kohanik

Freelance Journalist and Media Consultant

ERIC KOHANIK has spent more than three decades in the media industry, spending most of that time covering the world of movies, television and general entertainment.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Eric grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, graduating from McMaster University, where he served as Editor of McMaster’s student newspaper, The Silhouette, before launching his professional journalism career at The Hamilton Spectator, starting off as the youngest Editorial Page Writer in Canada.

Eric later joined The Hamilton Spectator’s entertainment department, settling into a nine-year stretch as the newspaper’s TV, video and radio critic. He then shifted over to the national offices of Southam Newspapers (now known as Postmedia Network) in Toronto to join TV Times, first as the magazine’s Senior Writer and then as the Editor. He became known to readers across Canada as The Watcher, a name that came from a column he wrote as Editor.

Eric is a former president of the Television Critics Association, the non-profit organization representing more than 200 TV critics and columnists across the United States and Canada. The first Canadian to hold that position, Eric still helps co-ordinate the semi-annual TCA Press Tour, held every January and July/August in Los Angeles.

Since leaving TV Times in 2009, Eric has been working on a variety of projects, including an ongoing quest to improve his golf game.

Now a freelance journalist and media consultant, Eric still attends the TCA Press Tour to meet with networks and interview producers and stars. He has also been a guest speaker at colleges, universities and media conferences across Canada and the U.S. and has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. Since 2010, Eric has also served as a moderator for press conferences at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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