CWC professor and alumna bring home best drama script from NYTVF
July 20, 2018 by Fallyn Richmond
As the New York Television Festival came to a close today, Central Wyoming College’s own professor, Jeremy Nielsen, and alumna, Connie O’Donahue, will come home with best drama script. Their drama submission, Ticker has been more than a year in the making. The sci-fi drama is set in the future where people must sell years off the end of their lives for money and corporations decide who lives and who dies. A rule-following paramedic and his impulsive partner struggle to save society by overthrowing the system.
From a veritable sea of New York and Los Angeles-based writers submitted to the 2018 script selection for NYTVF, Nielsen and O’Donahue’s work is one of only two selections originating outside of the media-meccas of Los Angeles, New York, and London.
I feel especially honored by this award having seen the caliber of talent at the festival this year. We appreciate the tremendous support from both the CWC community and Fremont county as a whole. ”
Despite their small-town beginnings, this is not the first time for their success in script writing, the duo found success in 2015 after being accepted to the Sundance Institute’s Episodic Story Lab.
“Finding someone who believes in your work enough to vouch for you is a big morale booster,” O’Donahue said about her experience at Sundance.
In following years, the pair gained experience in the television industry and received feedback on Ticker through their LA-based manager. Prior to attending NYTVF, Nielsen and O’Donahue said they felt well-prepared to engage with industry executives at the event. O’Donahue said, their primary motivation for attending is building and maintaining industry connections for their project. After the festival, Nielsen and O’Donahue will be in the process of meeting with producers from the festival who are interested in taking their work to the next level.
The duo is grateful for their “Wyoming roots” which offers differing perspectives coming from an area far removed from the “industry.” O’Donahue believes that they have strength in their point-of-view distinct from the big-city norm that often attended the same film schools and experienced similar things. “CWC's outstanding film program was integral in my development as a writer, and I know how fortunate I am to have been a part of it, “O’Donahue said. “I'd encourage anyone interested in telling their stories through the medium of film or television to come take a closer look at all the program has to offer.”
Needless to say, the duo is breaking down barriers in one of the toughest industries in the country without signs of stopping.