Thomas Wong has been selected as the first fellow of Fox Writers Intensive, the network’s new initiative for experienced writers with diverse backgrounds, ethnic minorities as well as LGBT, foreign-born and others. Wong, chosen from the inaugural class of 10 FWI finalists, has received a deal from Fox to purchase and develop his original submission, drama script Queen. In addition, Fox will award Wong’s referring organization, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, a $15,000 FWI grant to be earmarked for its writing program. Wong is repped by The Gersh Agency. “I was impressed with Thomas’ unique sensibility and strong work throughout the Fox Writers Intensive – as well as the promising talent of our other FWI finalists – and I’m excited to continue building our relationships with all of these gifted writers,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said. Another finalist, Jason Gavin (The Alpern Group) has been staffed as a story editor on Touch, and Wong and several other finalists are meeting with executive producers on Fox, 20th TV and FX series for staffing opportunities.
The FWI finalists spent four months (February through May 2012) participating in a rigorous curriculum administered by FWI partner Film Independent that focused on honing their craft and establishing deeper creative connections across Fox’s television, film and other entertainment businesses. The intensive featured collaborative sessions with writers and producers including Hart Hanson (BONES), Davey Holmes (“Awake”), Patrick Massett (“Friday Night Lights”), Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (FAMILY GUY), Scott Prendergast (“Wilfred”), Virgil Williams (“Criminal Minds”), Peter Sollett (“Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”), Eli Dolleman (THE CLEVELAND SHOW), Laurence Andries (“Supernatural”), Jessica Sharzer (“American Horror Story”) and Roy Lee (“The Departed”). In addition, senior Fox executives including Reilly; Nancy Utley, President, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Nicky Weinstock, President, Fox Filmed Entertainment Writer’s Studio, participated in the program.
“It’s extremely important to our industry that we continually nurture fresh, diverse voices in storytelling,” said Utley. “The level of talent we saw in the Fox Writers Intensive finalists was absolutely phenomenal, and I look forward to working with many of them in the future.”
Hart Hanson, creator and executive producer of BONES said, “The writers I met with during the Fox Writers Intensive program were diverse in background, genre and subject matter. What these writers did have in common was intelligence, talent and ambition – not to mention energy. I fully expect to come into contact with these writers as they pursue their respective careers. It was my great pleasure to spend time with them. I suspect I gained more from the Fox Writers Intensive participants than they got from me.”
In addition to Wong, the inaugural Fox Writers Intensive class included finalists Nick Citton, Alessia Costantini, Jan Eliasberg, Jason Gavin, Nicole Jefferson Asher, Tina Mabry, Eric Nazarian, Mark Valadez and Iris Yamashita. The 10 FWI finalists were selected from more than 300 nominations and submissions by talent representation and arts organizations across the country, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Sundance Institute, New York Foundation For The Arts, Outfest, Film Independent, Writers Bootcamp, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and Visual Communications. Following their completion of the Fox Writers Intensive, all of the finalists are being promoted across the Fox creative community and submitted for potential staffing on current and future Fox entertainment productions.
Fox Audience Strategy is a department within The Fox Group designed to identify programming and operational opportunities that reflect diverse perspectives across all of its entertainment platforms.