I recently had a chance to correspond with 2003 TV Drama Winner Stephen Scaia. Here is what he had to say:
I’m glad you got in touch with me…when people ask what the turning point was for me as a young writer I always tell them it was winning at the AFF. It’s what opened the door for us, and we’ve been moving on-ward and upward ever since.
My writing partner, Matthew Federman, and I signed with agents shortly after our trip to the AFF in ’03. We went almost right after. Our first writing job was on CBS’ “Judging Amy.” While there, we sold an original pilot to FOX about treasure hunters. After developing that, we joined the staff of NBC’s “E-Ring” until its cancellation. Our biggest break came when we were hired onto the little post-apocalyptic action-show that could, “Jericho.” We were there for its entire two-season run…from pilot, through cancellation, resurrection and its now unclear fate. We rose through the ranks and emerged from the show as Producers. Now, we’re working on the job of a lifetime.
Yes, life is good. We’re eternally thankful to the AFF and the springboard it gave us…it made us respected when we were lowly PA’s. It made us legitimate in the eyes of the biggest agencies in town. It made possible everything else we’ve done. I am in your debt. I loved the Festival, love Austin, and would love to be involved.
–Stephen Scaia (Stephen and his writing partner Matthew Federman wonthe 2003 TV Drama Competition for their script The West Wing: The Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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