By Lauren Vernea
Genre television shows, which encompass horror, period, fantasy, and sci-fi, are in demand now more than ever in Hollywood. And writing duo Eric Carmelo and Nicole Snyder are at the forefront of this movement.
“To be a showrunner today, all you need is a successful pilot,” said Carmelo. “In TV, writer is king.” The two spoke at Northwestern as part of an EPICS Connections Speaker Series event on Oct. 4.
When it comes to finding inspiration as a writer, Snyder advises to be true to yourself. “Write what you know and write what you’re passionate about. Your voice is your brand and it’s about finding your niche in Hollywood.”
The writing team have been inseparable since their days as undergraduates at Northwestern. After graduating, they started writing together on TV movies but found more inspiration in creating dramatic series. Together they created and executive produced Ringer for CBS/The CW. Later, they co-executive produced and wrote for the CW’s Supernatural. Currently, they are the executive producers on the NBC/Uni series Midnight Texas.
When asked about the challenges of writing as a duo, Snyder said, “A writing team is like a marriage. You have to find the strengths and weaknesses. I couldn’t imagine doing it on my own.”
They both admitted the biggest challenge is finding your rhythm while adding in a writers room and multiple film departments. To succeed, it is important for them to maintain a collaborative environment on set, allowing ideas to be heard but ultimately staying true to the original vision.
In this age of high media competition, many actors, myself included, are creating their own scripts. When I asked if multi-talented filmmakers should pick one focus, the duo discouraged it.
“If you’re able to act and write or direct and write, do both,” Carmelo said. “Write the best script and then if you get picked up make your demands. Then you have leverage.”
As an MSLCE student and writer focusing on the film industry, this event was especially beneficial. When you have multiple interests as an artist, it can be difficult to find your niche. This event encouraged me to continue developing as a writer while using the MSLCE coursework to market, manage, and produce the content.