Summer 2021 Events

The graduate program in screenwriting and film studies presents online guest speakers. Program alumni, Hollins faculty, current Hollins students, and all friends of the program are invited to attend as guests. To receive the Zoom meeting link, please RSVP for the event(s) you are interested in attending to Tif Robinette at

You can find more detailed information about all our guests and their talks, as their scheduled date approaches, at our program Facebook Page:

jon macks –  Comedy: From Late Night to Awards Shows to Stand-Up

Friday, June 25, 7:30 p.m.
Jon Macks is a writer and producer of over 200 live television shows, including 23 Academy Awards, for which he served as head writer seven times, as well as the Emmy Awards, The Golden Globes, and The Tony Awards.

Jon wrote for The Tonight Show for Jay Leno’s entire 22-year run, writing over 100 jokes a day every day for Jay’s 4610 Tonight Shows! For those counting, over 18,000 of his jokes have been broadcast on late night television, in addition to the jokes, sketches and speeches Jon has penned for Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Helen Mirren, Marty Short, Steve Martin, Michael Douglas, Queen Latifah, Ricky Gervais, and countless political and sports figures. He is the winner of a Writer’s Guild Award and been nominated for eight Emmys. He is also the author of four books on comedy. Most recently, Jon was the head writer for the Celebrating America Biden-Harris Inauguration in January.

simon Herbert –  Lightning in a Jar: Catch the Wonderment

Monday, June 28, 7:30 p.m.
Simon Herbert is the co-writer/director/producer of the horror feature Savageland —  released by Terror Films, internationally. It has won eight awards including: Best Director at the New Orleans Horror Film Festival; Best Feature in Nevermore, NC; Independent Filmmakers festival, CA; Eerie Horror Fest, PA; and the Atlanta Horror Film Festival, GA. Simon usually writes solo, and has won the Harmony Gold Award in Excellence. He has no fear of any genre. He is repped by Management 360.

hunter phillips – Show Bible Talk: All Gods Welcome!

Tuesday, July 6, 8 p.m.
A published author, director, and award-winning screenwriter, Hunter Phillips has worked as a writer for NBC Universal and has sold or optioned scripts to a number of studios, both domestic and international. As a director, Phillips has cast and worked with phenomenal talent such as Tony Cavalero (The Righteous Gemstones, School of Rock), Jill Alexander (Silicon Valley), and Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers, Desperate Housewives). With her script consulting company, The Write Script Tutor, she has shepherded client work to companies such as Disney, HBO, and Showtime, to name a few.

Michael Colleary –  A Writer’s Life: Preparing for the Challenges of a Career in Writing

Friday, July 9, 7:30 p.m.
Michael Colleary is a screenwriter, producer, educator, and consultant. He earned an M.F.A. from UCLA film school where he won the Jack Nicholson Award and the William Morris Award for screenwriting excellence. During this 30-year career, he has worked for all major movie studios and TV networks. His produced credits include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the family comedy Firehouse Dog; and the TV series Unnatural History. He won a Saturn Award for co-writing the John Woo-directed action thriller Face/Off, which The New York Times deemed “one of the best 1,000 movies ever made.”

Chuck Kim –  Pitching yourself

Monday, July 12, 7:30 p.m.
Chuck Kim got his revenge on his Korean immigrant parents for burning his comic book collection and not allowing him to watch TV—by becoming a writer in both television and comic books. Chuck moved to Los Angeles where he wrote for Marvel, DC, and Nickelodeon Comics, with characters ranging from The Powerpuff Girls to the X-Men to Superman… He also worked at E! Online as a reporter where he broke a story that oddly enough involved the White House and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Chuck got his big break when he was picked as a writing fellow in the Disney/ABC writing program. Chuck wrote for several seasons on the hit NBC series Heroes. His animation work includes Ben 10 and Dexter’s Laboratory.

Chuck got to embrace his Korean-American heritage when he was selected by NetKAL (Network of Korean-American Leaders) to lecture in South Korea about how television is written and produced in the US. He is also working on an app to help immigrant students acclimate to the U.S.

Jessica Yingling – Writing Romance: Ensuring Your Script Has a Happily Ever After

Friday, July 16, 7:30 p.m.
Jessica Yingling is an Emmy Award-winning producer, director and writer of feature films, TV and documentaries. Her most recent projects include Love Under the Olive Tree and Anything for Love for the Hallmark Channel.

In 2021, Jessica and Adam Ripp (Gambit, Everly) founded Rom Com Pictures, a production company dedicated to developing and producing inclusive romance movies and TV series by under-represented voices whose stories appeal to audiences of all ages. The company’s slate of camera-ready scripts and fully- developed pitches were written by a diverse group of extraordinarily talented writers, many of whom are members of under-represented communities in Hollywood including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+.

Lisa Haese –  Secrets behind unscripted tv

Monday, July 19, 7:30 p.m.
Lisa Haese is an unscripted showrunner, writer, and producer known for her storytelling and writing chops. She’s worked in the nonfiction space for over 16 years on network hits such as Biggest Loser, Master Chef, Top Chef, Beauty and the Geek, and docuseries like Celebrity Rehab, I Used To Be Fat, Follow the Leader, and more recently, as a writer for The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.

She received her M.F.A from USC with honors in Film/TV. Three years ago she was invited to and completed Joan Scheckel’s 7-week filmmaking/directing lab (Transparent, Little Miss Sunshine). She is currently in post on a personal documentary about her relationship with her Dad who came out as transgender seven years ago, titled My Dad Stephanie.

Phillip Eisner – the joys of Genre Writing

Friday, July 23, 7:30 p.m.
Phillip Eisner’s addiction to screenwriting began with the sale of the second screenplay he wrote. Over twenty years later, he has been unable to kick the habit.

His produced work includes Event Horizon (1997), Firestarter 2 (2001), and Mutant Chronicles (2008). Sweet Girl (2021) marks his first partnership with novelist Gregg Hurwitz. Their second collaboration, Sabine, is in development at Screen Gems with 21 Laps producing.

Eisner has taught screenwriting through Sundance Co//ab and the UCLA Extension Writers Program and serves as a mentor at In his spare time, he gets beaten up studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and spends too much time playing video games. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, son, and critters.

Joe Gilford – The Primary Energy Source For Your story

Monday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.
Joe Gilford is the screenwriter of Mob Town (2019) starring David Arquette, Robert Davi, and Jennifer Esposito. His play Finks, about the 1950s blacklist was critically acclaimed, a New York Times Critics Pick, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and an Off-Broadway Alliance Best New Play award. Finks has been produced regionally including TheaterWorks Silicon Valley and The Rogue Machine, Los Angeles starring French Stewart. His screenplay With Loving Eyes the story of Germany’s most famous artist Kaethe Kollwitz is currently being adapted into a graphic novel. He is a two-time recipient of the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation grant for playwriting about science for Danny’s Brain, about the tragedy of football concussions and The Radio Boys the true story of Edwin Armstrong and the invention of FM Radio. He is the winner of a New York Emmy Award for his documentary work on public TV. He is the author of the popular guide to screenwriting, Why Does the Screenwriter Cross the Road?…and other screenwriting secrets (MWP publications). Since 1999 Joe has taught screenwriting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Undergraduate Film & TV program. He is a longtime company member of New York’s Ensemble Studio Theater, and its resident Playwrights Unit.