Futurama writer Patric Verrone recently spoke at Emerson Los Angeles to visiting film and TV students from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)
“Writing is such a craft, art, and skill,” said Verrone. “I’m happy to share my insight and wisdom with the next generation.”
Students from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague were at Emerson Los Angeles as part of a tour of Hollywood.
A three-time Emmy Award winner, Verrone said his path to Hollywood was an unlikely one. In 1981, after graduating from Harvard College, he began practicing law in Florida. He moved to California, following his then-girlfriend, who was pursuing an entertainment career, when her agent offered Verrone a TV writing job.
Verrone began as a variety show writer before working on popular animated programs such as Rugrats and Pinky and the Brain. He has written for Futurama since its first season and served as president of the Writers Guild of America, West.
“One of the great things about writing is that anyone can do it,” Verrone told the students. “To succeed at it, you have to practice.”
Patric Verrone speaks with visiting film and TV students from Prague at Emerson Los Angeles on January 8. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)
FAMU’s relationship with Emerson has developed over the years, with longtime ELA faculty member Jim Lane meeting with students in the mid-’90s. Among the students heeding Verrone’s advice was Milada Mašinová, a student from FAMU pursuing a master’s degree in screenwriting.
“TV here is so much different from what we have back home,” said Mašinová. “We don’t even have agents.”
Mašinová, 26, said that there is less money in television in the Czech Republic and it caters mostly to an older audience. Young people watch American shows on the Internet, she said.
Milada Masinova, a screenwriting student from Prague who attended Verrone's lecture at Emerson Los Angeles. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)
Mašinová and the other FAMU students were wrapping up a one-week tour of Hollywood, during which they visited the studios for Fox, Universal, and the Writers Guild of America, West, among other institutions.
“I’ve met so many incredible people,” said Mašinová. “I’m glad to take what I’ve learned back home.”