John S. Johnson, Screenwriters Colony

Television

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY APR 20, 2015

In addition to being the co-founder of Buzzfeed and the director of the Harmony Institute, John S. Johnson for years has helped guide the Screenwriters Colony hosted each year by the Nantucket Film Festival. This year, the Colony held its first workshop focused on television writing, and held the four-day event at the Sarasota Film Festival. 

What does this Colony approach do to help the craft of screenwriting?  What the colony is looking for, as far as our main purpose, is a way to support writers who will expand the form. We want people with a new approach, who will do something with a new way of storytelling. It’s invitational, and we look for people who have already demonstrated an ability to do both those things.

The event in Sarasota featured writers for network shows (Parenthood) and online series (House of Cards). How has the Colony approached the many changes in entertainment mediums and distribution?  The colony is interested in writing for any kind of screen. We haven’t yet done one focused on computer games narratives, but we will. It’s just about timing. And with the great writers we have had as colonists, we have great mentors to call upon for help.

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