It’s that time again – the complete San Diego Comic-Con 2019 schedule is finally out, and the con begins in exactly one week! So many writers reached out and expressed that my 2018 SDCC Guide for Aspiring TV Writers was useful, so I’ve decided to write an encore for this year’s Comic-Con. (If you’re unfamiliar with SDCC or this will be your first year, I recommend you check out the beginning of that article because it had a lot of good basic info to get you oriented!)
This is San Diego Comic-Con’s 50th year! Quite a milestone. The four and a half day conference brings in over 150,000 people from all over the world to attend panels, cosplay, display and/or purchase art inspired by comic books, TV, and film, and generally celebrate storytelling and fandom. There are offsite experiences (like “The Good Place” diner!) and parties that go until all hours of the night. There are so many great ways to spend the long weekend, whether you’re interested in writing, music, art, science and tech, cosplay, kids content, screenings, or any number of other topics – you can really zero in on your interests and flesh out a schedule populated entirely of your niche! And for me, that is TV writing.
I’m a researcher and I love attending panels with content creators I admire, so that is a lot of how I spend my time at San Diego Comic-Con. The complete schedule for the official Comic-Con events is out, and I have read through every line and pulled out some of the main panels that would be of interest to aspiring TV writers.
Me at Comic-Con last year.
TV SHOW PANELS
Whether you’re interested in brand new shows or returning shows, live action or animation – there are a ton of panels dedicated to individual series to attend! Most of them include a mix of cast members and writers/creators, so be sure to check out specific panels to see who is attending (and keep in mind that it sometimes changes.)
Panels for some of the new live-action shows: CBS’s Evil, The CW’s Nancy Drew, ABC’s Emergence, ABC’s Stumptown, Hulu’s Veronica Mars Revival, Dark/Web, EPIX’s Pennyworth, AMC’s The Terror: Infamy, Amazon’s Carnival Row, STARZ’s The Rook, FOX’s neXt, The CW’s Unboxing Pandora, The CW’s Batwoman Pilot Screening, TBS’s Snowpiercer,
Panels for some of the returning live-action shows: NBC’s Superstore, The CW’s Legacies, HISTORY’s Project Blue Book, Amazon’s The Expanse, FOX’s The Orville, The CW’s Arrow, The CW’s Supergirl, Amazon’s Man in the High Castle, The CW’s Black Lightning, SYFY’s Wynonna Earp, The CW’s The Flash, NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Some of the Animation panels include: SpongeBob, Teen Titans Go!, She-Ra, Bless the Harts, DuckTales, Robot Chicken, DC Super Hero Girls, Rick & Morty, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, Solar Opposites, Bob’s Burgers, Archer, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, The Jetsons, The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy
So, yeah. There are a TON of TV shows you can attend screenings of and hear from the writers and creators. Take a look and narrow them down! I’ve gotten a lot out of TV panels, especially if it’s a show or genre that I am particularly interested in. And I’m not even including the panels in Hall H (which is the big kahuna, with panels like The Walking Dead, The Witcher, Westworld, Supernatural, etc. If you choose to wait in line for Hall H, you’ll probably stay there for a while and aren’t likely to bop out to see other panels.)
SYFY’s The Magicians panel from 2018, with Felicia Day, Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman, Summer Bishil, Sera Gamble, and John McNamara.
CRAFT/BUSINESS OF WRITING PANELS
These are often some of my favorite panels, with insights from a wide range of people. Here are a few that jumped out to me:
- Best Movie Never Made – looks like a fun discussion about the film and TV that didn’t happen
- Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con – exploring “the journey to see more women and more types of women represented in pop culture”
- Screenwriting: Turn Your Idea Into a Screenplay – looks like a great panel about practicalities!
- Adapting Source Material for TV & Film
- The Super-Awesome Pro Writers AMA Smackdown – writers from a variety of mediums answer questions
- Secrets of Adapting Comics & Sci-Fi to Screen
- Independent Filmmaking for Low Budget Film/TV and Webseries – they will be giving away a few copies of Final Draft 11!
- The Future As I See It – writers discuss the future in their works as well as in the real world
- Intro to TV Writing: From First Draft to Getting Staffed – I’ve attended some version of this panel for the last several years, and it is always a good one!
- Bold Voices of Contemporary Horror – if you’re interested in writing horror, this line-up is EXCELLENT
The Intro to TV Writing panel from SDCC 2018, with Spiro Skentzos, Amy Berg, Monica Breen, Erik Oleson, Karen Horne, and Keto Shimizu.
MY RECOMMENDATIONS OF NOT-TO-BE-MISSED PANELS
- The Pitching Hour – I attended this panel last year, and it was a blast
- Flipping the Script for Newbies – this is a new panel that looks INCREDIBLE. Take a look at this description from the website: “Leaders in the Solidarity Challenge and boosting movements will give advice on opportunities, hashtagging, mixers, and how to utilize the many platforms and resources available to writers at all levels.”
- Writing the Rules of Magic – fascinating topic! With powerhouse panelists. I can’t wait!
- Inside the Writer’s Room: The Breakdown – The 2018 version of this panel was TOPS. And with that jam-packed list of guests, I can only imagine the conversation this year!
- Tropetastic: How to Write and Subvert Tropes – this is another new panel that sounds AWESOME!
- Women Rocking Hollywood 2019: Women-Powered Projects and the Push Towards Parity – I’ve really enjoyed this panel for the last two years. There is a lot of talk about practical steps to take, and a ton of credit is given to Ava Duveray.
The Women Rocking Hollywood panel from SDCC 2018, with Kat Candler, Patricia Cardoso, Rosemary Rodriguez, Regina King, Patricia Riggen, Kirsten Schaffer, and moderated by Leslie Combemale.
So there you have it, TV writers! My recommendations from the entire catalog of #SDCC2019 panels. And yes, some of them overlap – even with narrowing down your scope, you can’t see everything! So much great content. And isn’t that pretty ideal?
Will you be at Comic Con next week? Which panels are you most looking forward to? Let me know!