Thursday May 3rd - 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Writers, directors, producers, and casting agents have the ability to broaden the scope of their projects to truly reflect the world we live in. This discussion explores the steps we can take to make sure we all feel like insiders.
Jaime Primak Sullivan
Jaime Primak Sullivan was the creator, executive producer and star of Bravo reality series Jersey Belle and is creator and executive producer on the Gabrielle Union thriller Breaking In. She is the author of The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl and the Director of Development for Will Packer Media. Beginning her career in public relations, Primak Sullivan was the founder and president of Bridge and Tunnel Entertainment, a full-service PR and strategic marketing agency.
Tracy Twinkie Byrd
Nic Novicki is an actor, comedian and producer who has performed on six continents.
His television credits include: Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, AXS Gotham Comedy Live, Jack and Triumph, The Neighbors, Austin and Alley, Private Practice and Drop Dead Diva. He has appeared in several movies, such as Life Happens, November Rule, The Last 5 Years, Boston Girls and Breaking Wind and will soon be seen in the upcoming Dead Ant.
Nic has produced several feature films, television pilots and web series for companies including Sony, CBS, Air China, Maxim and Universal and is an active member in the Producers Guild of America’s Diversity Committee. Nic wrote for the CBS Diversity Showcase and has also written and directed several short films including A Little Broke, which was acquired by the TV station Shorts HD.
As a stand up comedian, Nic has toured all over the world, including several tours for the troops overseas through Armed Forces Entertainment. He has performed stand up on AXS Gotham Comedy Live.
He is the founder and Director of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, and serves as an active Board Member for Easterseals Southern California.
Jessica Daniels, CSA, is an Emmy Award-winning TV and film casting director. Her passion for casting and interest in bringing stories about underrepresented protagonists to the screen has helped manifest a collection of critically acclaimed and award-winning recent features, including six Sundance premieres in the last four years. Film credits include: THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST directed by Desiree Akhavan (2018 Sundance US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize), ROXANNE ROXANNE directed by Michael Larnell (Sundance Jury Prize for Breakout Performance to Chante Adams), WIENER-DOG directed by Todd Solondz, A VIGILANTE, directed by Sarah Daggar-Nickson, WHITE GIRL directed by Elizabeth Wood, THE STRANGE ONES directed by Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff (SXSW Jury Prize for Breakout Performance to James Freedson-Jackson), TYREL and NASTY BABY, directed by Sebastian Silva. Television credits include 30 ROCK (NBC), DEADBEAT (Hulu), BENDERS (IFC), and THE CARRIE DIARIES (CW). Jessica won an Emmy Award for outstanding comedy casting on 3O ROCK and a CSA Artios award for DEADBEAT. Since 2014, she has covered pilots for 20th Century Fox/Fox 21 Studios in New York, contributing series regular casting to shows including THE RESIDENT (Fox), FRESH OFF THE BOAT (ABC), LIFE IN PIECES (CBS), WEIRD LONERS (Fox) and SALEM (WGN) in addition to guest casting for ACS: THE PEOPLE VS. OJ SIMPSON (F/X), ACS: VERSACE (F/X), TYRANT (F/X) and GENIUS (NatGeo).
Danny Strong began his writing career by writing and producing the HBO films RECOUNT and GAME CHANGE about the 2000 and 2008 elections. Jay Roach directed both of the highly acclaimed filmed. Strong’s debut script RECOUNT was voted #1 on the Hollywood Blacklist and he was named by Variety as one of their “Top Ten Screenwriters to Watch.” The film garnered 11 Emmy nominations (including a Best Writing nomination and a win for Best TV Movie), five Golden Globe Nominations, and Strong received the Writer’s Guild Award for his screenplay. His follow-up project GAME CHANGE was also a critical success, garnering 12 Emmy nominations. Strong won Emmys for Outstanding Writing and Best Movie/Miniseries, a Writers Guild Award, a Golden Globe, the Producers Guild Award, a Peabody and the Pen Award for the film.
Strong is the co-creator and executive producer of the hit FOX drama EMPIRE, of which he has written and directed numerous episodes. The show, now in its fourth season, won Best Drama at the NAACP Image Awards, was named TV Program of the Year by the AFI Awards, Outstanding New Program by the Television Critics Association, and was nominated for two Golden Globes, six Primetime Emmys, and two Critics Choice Awards. He created the show with Lee Daniels, whom Strong worked with on the film THE BUTLER. Strong wrote the screenplay and also produced the film which was the sleeper hit of 2013, grossing over $100M at the US box-office. He was also a co-writer of the Lionsgate franchise films THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY (Part I and II).
Strong recently made his feature directorial debut of his screenplay REBEL IN THE RYE. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by IFC Films. Deadline’s Pete Hammond called the film “Riveting! A must-see movie this fall”, the LA Times called the film an “evocative biopic” and The Observer’s Rex Reed wrote that Strong made “a wonderful feature-film debut."
In addition to his career as a screenwriter, producer and director, Strong is also an actor with extensive credits in film, television and theater. He is best known for the five seasons he played Jonathan on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the four seasons he played Doyle on Gilmore Girls. His other credits include Pleasantville, Seinfeld, Nip/Tuck, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, seasons 4 and 6 of Mad Men, the last two seasons of Justified, HBO’s Girls, and he is currently recurring on Showtime’s Billions. On stage, he has appeared in over 50 plays and musicals in regional and LA theaters. Strong currently resides in New York City.
Lindsay Miller is news and culture director at POPSUGAR, guiding content and strategy across the media company’s coverage from pop-culture to politics. In her 10+ years as a multimedia journalist, she has broadcast live from the Oscars red carpet, covered the Cannes Film Festival, and interviewed the top celebrities of our time. She has provided expert commentary for leading outlets including the Associated Press, BBC, GMA, and TODAY and is a frequent guest on The Talk. Previously, Lindsay was an associate correspondent at E!, where she covered celebrity justice and broke news on high-profile stories including the investigation into the death of Michael Jackson and the Bling Ring. She has also worked as an editor at Reader's Digest, a style reporter for AOL, and written for magazines including Wall*paper, Nylon, and LA Weekly. Lindsay holds a BA in print journalism and a masters in professional nonfiction writing, both from the University of Southern California.