Tag Archives: WGC

The WGC announces new president, council

From a media release:

The Writers Guild of Canada is pleased to announce that showrunner Dennis Heaton is the WGC’s new president, elected by WGC council to serve the 2,200 members of the Guild from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2020. Dennis is an award-winning screenwriter based in Vancouver; currently showrunner of the upcoming Netflix show, The Order.

“We’re very excited to work with Dennis,” says WGC Executive Director Maureen Parker. “His showrunning experience will hold us in good stead as we go into Independent Production Agreement bargaining within the next year.”

Dennis has been a member of the WGC since 2001 and has served on the Guild’s council since 2012. He was showrunner of the internationally renowned police procedural Motive (CTV/ABC seasons one and two), and has written for The Listener and Blood Ties, among other shows.

“It’s great to be the new WGC president,” says Heaton. “I’m looking forward to building on the Guild’s past successes, as well as facing the challenges ahead.”

In addition to electing a new president, the Guild also has a new council, responsible for setting policies and overseeing Guild activities. The 2018-20 WGC council is made up of experienced screenwriter members from across the country: Vice President Andrew Wreggitt (Mayerthorpe), Treasurer Mark Ellis (X Company), Marsha Greene (Mary Kills People), Alex Levine (Orphan Black), Anne-Marie Perrotta (Max & Ruby), and Michael Amo (Pure).

The WGC’s new council, along with Executive Director Maureen Parker, is ready to move ahead in a time of industry flux, and to continue the Guild’s ongoing work on behalf of Canadian screenwriters.

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Announcing the WGC Screenwriting Awards finalists celebrating Canada’s screenwriters

From a media release:

Every powerful show, movie or webseries comes from an equally powerful script — the work of talented screenwriters. The WGC Screenwriting Awards celebrate Canadian screenwriters and the scripts they write in a gala evening hosted this year by Gavin Crawford, writer, comedian, and host of CBC Radio’s Because News. Gavin’s long-time accomplice, screenwriter Kyle Tingley, is this year’s awards show writer.

In contention: scripts from shows, films, and webseries including Alias Grace (Sarah Polley), Cardinal (Aubrey Nealon), Mary Kills People (Tara Armstrong), Kim’s Convenience (Matt Kippen, Anita Kapila), Letterkenny (Jared Keeso & Jacob Tierney), Allure (Carlos & Jason Sanchez), The Hundred-Year-Old-Whale (Mark Leiren-Young), Spiral (Karen McClellan), The Bagel and Becky Show (Evan Thaler Hickey) and many others. Please see below for the complete list of categories and finalists.

CHILDREN’S
The Bagel and Becky Show, Season 1 “The 12 Quadrillion Days of Christmas”
Written by Evan Thaler Hickey

Mysticons, Season 1 “Heart of Gold”
Written by Elize Morgan

Mysticons, Season 1 “Sisters in Arms”
Written by Sean Jara

DOCUMENTARY
The Hundred-Year-Old Whale
Written by Mark Leiren-Young

The Road Forward
Written by Marie Clements

The Taming of the Queue
Written by Josh Freed

FEATURE FILM
Allure
Written by Carlos & Jason Sanchez

Entanglement
Written by Jason Filiatrault

Indian Horse
Written by Dennis Foon

The Man Who Invented Christmas
Written by Susan Coyne

MOW AND MINISERIES
Alias Grace “Part 5”
Written by Sarah Polley

Anne of Green Gables: Fire and Dew
Written by Susan Coyne

Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall!
Written by Adam Barken & Mike McPhaden

Bruno & Boots: The Wizzle War
Written by Mike McPhaden

BEST SCRIPT FROM SEASON ONE
Anne, Season 1 “I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me”
Written by Moira Walley-Beckett

Bellevue, Season 1 “You Don’t Understand Me At All”
Written by Jane Maggs

Ghost Wars, Season 1 “Whatever Happened to Maggie Rennie”
Written by Rachel Langer

SHORTS AND WEBSERIES
The Drop In
Written by Naledi Jackson

Hotel Transylvania: “Who’s the Boss?”
Written by Mike D’Ascenzo

Spiral, Episode 101 “The Girl in the Dream”
Written by Karen McClellan

TV COMEDY
Kim’s Convenience, Season 2 “Business Award”
Written by Matt Kippen

Kim’s Convenience, Season 2 “Resting Place”
Written by Anita Kapila

Letterkenny, Season 2 “Relationships”
Written by Jared Keeso & Jacob Tierney

Still Standing, Season 3 “Fort McMurray”
Written by Jonny Harris, Fraser Young, Graham Chittenden and Steve Dylan

TV DRAMA
Cardinal, Season 1 “John Cardinal”
Written by Aubrey Nealon

Mary Kills People, Season 1 “Bloody Mary”
Written by Tara Armstrong

Pure, Season 1 “Ordination”
Written by Michael Amo

X Company, Season 3 “Promises”
Written by Nicolas Billon

TWEENS & TEENS
Degrassi: Next Class, Season 4 “#FactsOnly”
Written by Courtney Jane Walker

Degrassi: Next Class, Season 4 “#RollUpToTheClubLike”
Written by Matt Huether

Raising Expectations, Season 1 “Food Fight at the Algonquin”
Written by Barbara Haynes

The Stanley Dynamic, Season 2 “The Stanley Cheer”
Written by Matt Kippen

 

 

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Todd & The Book of Pure Evil’s Ian Malone on his WGC Screenwriting Award Nomination

IanMaloneThis year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Todd and the Book of Pure Evil‘s Ian Malone is nominated (along with Craig David Wallace and Charles Picco) for their episode “B.Y.O.B.O.P.E.”

Can you describe the episode “B.Y.O.B.O.P.E.” and how it fit into the Todd & the Book of Pure Evil season?

The episode started out as a chance to see what our heroes are like after hours.  What do they like to do when they’re not fighting monsters?  How do they relax?  We thought a great place to take them (a quintessentially high school place) would be a house party.  I think this was the longest period of time we got to see our kids outside of the high school, so it was exciting if you were a fan of the show.  It opened up the world a bit.  We also knew that this was always going to be a mythology-heavy episode, with some big answers to lingering questions, so that stuff was serviced.  Those reveals launched the story toward the events of the finale (an awesome episode written & directed by Craig).

What was the biggest triumph in this particular episode?

On top of getting all the mythology stuff into the story and making it surprising and satisfying, it’s an episode about a house party, and a house party needs to look and feel like jam-packed non-stop good times. Usually it’s one kid a week using the book, but we thought, “If the house is packed, let’s have a million kids use the book!” That’s hyperbole. But we did end up having the book fall into three or four different hands. I’m particularly proud of how we kept the various story threads intertwined. There’s everything going on with our gang, and everything going on with the kids at the party, and all the stuff with Atticus pretending that he’s a teenager named Scooter. And it all tracks! I hope.

What does this recognition mean to you?

It means a lot to me. A couple years ago I was a sweaty, nervous story coordinator trying to find the courage to pitch lines in a story room. Now I’m a sweaty, nervous WGC Award nominee for my second produced script ever! It’s nice to be recognized by other writers, and if nothing else it’s a pat on the back that says, “Hey you, you’re alright.”

If there was one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honoured at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).

How about a show that’s still on the air? Degrassi has been running for thirteen seasons and they’re still finding compelling character-driven stories to tell. I think people probably take it for granted because it’s been on for so long, but they shouldn’t. Ramona Barckert wrote two amazing episodes in season twelve (“Bitter Sweet Symphony” 1 & 2) that are up there with the most riveting hours of drama.

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Heartland’s Leila Basen on her WGC Screenwriting Award Nomination

LeilaBasen2psThis year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Heartland‘s Leila Basen is nominated for her episode “Life is a Highway.”

Can you describe the episode “Life is a Highway” and how it fit into the Heartland season?

“Life as a Highway” marks the return of Chase Powers, a charismatic but incorrigible cowboy who makes an unexpected visit to Heartland and puts Amy and Ty’s relationship to the test.

What was the biggest triumph in this particular episode?

Showing the human side of a basically unredeemable character.

What does this recognition mean to you?

Heartland has been going strong for six years on the CBC, and it’s great that this year we got two WGC script nominations.

If there was one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honoured at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).

My vote would be Mental Block, a tween comedy that ran two seasons, 2002 to 2004 on YTV. (Full disclosure – Mental Block was a show I co-created and wrote with David Preston.) It was a WGC Awards finalist twice in the Youth Category, but didn’t win either time because (according to one of the jurors) it was too funny for Youth and should have been in the Comedy Category. It would be great if it could win an award, even posthumously.

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Todd & The Book of Pure Evil’s Craig David Wallace on his WGC Screenwriting Award Nomination

CraigDavidWallaceThis year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Todd and the Book of Pure Evil‘s Craig David Wallace is nominated (along with Ian Malone and Charles Picco) for their episode “B.Y.O.B.O.P.E.”

Can you describe the episode “B.Y.O.B.O.P.E.” and how it fit into the Todd & the Book of Pure Evil season

In case you haven’t figured it out, “B.Y.O.B.O.P.E.” stands for Bring Your Own Book Of Pure Evil. For the longest time it was just called the House Party Episode, but then Ian came up with the most excellent title. We always wanted to do an episode that takes place entirely at a house party, especially since the show pretty much always took place at Crowley High. This was a pretty big episode in the mythology of the show: It’s where Todd loses his virginity, and where the gang find out that the only thing keeping Todd from becoming Pure Evil is him losing his virginity, so of course, hilarity ensues. It was also really unique in that the Book Of Pure Evil affects all these people in the background, but the gang is so caught up in their own stuff that they never even realize it, which was a real challenge to write but really satisfying. But the real memory of this episode is that it was one of the few that we shot on location – we took over a family’s house in Winnipeg, and it was a total blast for all of us to shoot.

What was the biggest triumph in this particular episode?

Oh so many things. But what I will always remember is being on set and needing a real button on the scene where Wanda is watching a dude chug down a beer and asks him “What else can you do with that mouth?” Literally, all the writers were on the back porch arguing about what it could be, and Charles kept pitching “I can suck my own dick.” He would not back down. Eventually, I said “Fine, he can say ‘I can suck my own dick’ but then the crowd has to cheer.” Charles went in to tell Warren Sonoda (the director of the episode), and he gave Charles a puzzled look and asked “Seriously?” Charles insisted, so Warren told the actor, who looked at Warren and asked “Seriously?” Warren shrugged, and they shot it, and it was AWESOME. At that moment I realized that I was working on the best show in the entire universe, and I would never have it this good ever again. So yeah, it’s bittersweet. Oh, and I get to say I was nominated for an episode where I wrote “It doesn’t count if he puts it in her bum, everyone knows that.” Now that is a once in a lifetime achievement.

What does this recognition mean to you?

Well, I won this award last year, so to be nominated again is mind-blowing. But even better this year, my co-writer on this episode Ian Malone is nominated along with me, and also Charles Picco who broke the initial story with us. And there’s so many contributions from the other writers from the show (Max and Adam Reid, and Garry Campbell), the producers, and the cast and crew that it feels like we threw a big party and somehow got nominated for an award for it. But really, overall, it just makes me really proud of the work that we did on the show as a whole. It was such a great experience and such a great show, and I really miss working with everyone involved.

If there was one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honored at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).

It’s a bit of a trend that ONLY shows that are no longer on the air are nominated in the Comedy category at the WGC awards. Last year there were five shows nominated and they were all off the air, and this year only two shows (Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil and Less Than Kind) are nominated and both shows are over. But as much as I’m proud and excited to have an episode which I co-wrote be nominated this year, I really feel that our musical episode this year “Two Girls One Tongue” was unfairly passed over. It is by far the most jaw-dropping piece of crazy daring and just plain out there writing I have ever seen on television. The writer of the episode Charles Picco is sheer genius, and you put him together with Shawn Pierce, our amazing composer who wrote the music and James Genn who directed the episode, and it’s magic. MAGIC!

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