James Tuverson – Screenwriting Resume (Awards and Loglines, PDF)
I love telling stories; I started when I was just nine years old. My parents would let me come downstairs when they had dinner parties. If I could tell the guests a good story, I got to fill up a paper plate with as much “just-for-company” food as I could pile on. In my early quests for cocktail franks wrapped in bacon, I understood that people reacted favorably when I entertained them. My passion for story-telling was born.
Throughout my self-financed undergraduate studies at the University of California, Irvine, I focused on developing skills I would need to earn a living. Story-telling took a back seat to Economics, a major that would give me the fundamentals I’d need to go into business. Putting myself through school wasn’t easy. I know from experience that I can feed myself for exactly six days on a package of bologna, a pack of sliced American cheese, a head of lettuce and a loaf of white bread. I worked nearly full-time on campus and made friends in the financial aid department with my frequent visits… I became known as “the boy who really wants to be here.” I finally paid off the last of my student loans almost 10 years after I earned my B.A. degree.
After graduating, I discovered a talented rock band called Blue Trapeze. I saw in managing this band a means to tell a different kind of story and I rose to the challenge. Even the rejections I faced became tests of my tenacity and the courage to continue. The nights I spent on the Sunset Strip in the heat of the vibrant early 90’s music scene are some of the most interesting of my life! Blue Trapeze never “made” it, but my experience with them inspired a passion for music that exists to this day.
My ability to tell a good story helped me land my first corporate position. The marketing director at Guitar Center, a national musical instrument retailer, contacted me regarding a press kit I sent him on Blue Trapeze. Guitar Center spotlighted local bands in a monthly magazine for musicians, and I wanted exposure. The marketing director confessed, “I hate your band, but I need to know who wrote their bio!” He immediately hired me to establish the company’s public relations department. Years after I left Guitar Center to pursue other opportunities, I returned to develop and manage in-house, proprietary brands for the company. Guitar Center is a wonderful company full of passionate people.
During this time, I also began a freelance writing career that initially focused on music and grew to include other entertainment and marketing topics as well. I got published in national magazines such as Music Connection, Cash Box, BAM Magazine, URB and Virtual Reality among many others. I have over 30 published articles in consumer and trade magazines.
I wanted to focus on what makes an entertainment brand successful. I secured a position at marketing communications agency The Gable Group and represented Malibu Comics, an entertainment company with properties that have been made into comic books, graphic novels, films and an animated television series called Ultraforce. While developing marketing and promotions campaigns around Malibu’s comic book properties, I learned the fundamentals of inbound and outbound licensing, as well as how to build entertainment brands into worldwide franchises. I was also chosen to manage the Los Angeles division of The Gable Group, building a client base as well as staffing and training the office. My clients included Sony Wonder and United Cerebral Palsy.
When I saw the video game industry was poised for explosive growth, I was driven to get involved. I secured a position at Activision, a top video game company, as an associate marketing manager. The stories I created now were told across a variety of vehicles, including packaging, advertising, sell sheets and other marketing tools. When I became a brand manager at the world-wide entertainment company Vivendi Universal Games, I continued my growth by developing games for PlayStation 2, Gamecube, X-Box and other platforms. I managed entertainment brands licensed from Universal Studios, including Jurassic Park, Butt-Ugly Martians and Cat in the Hat. I learned how to break entertainment brands down to their component parts and develop the elements necessary to create a successful franchise.
Throughout my career, I’ve refined my ability to tell a story, but it has always been someone else’s story that I was crafting. In 2005, I made the transition from representing the creative efforts of others to developing my own unique ideas. I returned to college, completed UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting, and wrote several feature screenplays which were later optioned by producers. Since then I’ve won over 30 screenwriting awards, including “Best Screenplay” at the California Independent Film Festival and “First Place” at the Colorado Film Festival. As a result, I was granted admission to the prestigious Writers Guild of America (WGA).
I established my own marketing and production company, Roughsketch Marketing LLC, to produce short films and web-series. My first accomplishment was the creation of entertainment brand SHOCKBOX TV, a web TV channel focusing on independent music. With partner Matt Prater, I co-created and produced two web TV shows: “Kick A$$ Band of the Week” and “On Tha Beat”, both shows with multiple episodes distributed online. I built a strong online presence among indie music fans, garnering 6,000 Facebook friends and over 12,000 Twitter Followers.
I’ve written and produced six short screenplays, including one I also directed: a comedy-horror short called “Zombies Take The Schoolyard.” All six shorts have screened across the country at film festivals. I’ve produced a thriller web-series called “The Apocalypse Diaries” which was distributed online, and a comedy web-series called “The Nanny Interviews”. You can see these productions if you follow the relevant links above.
While I’m proud of my accomplishments as an entrepreneur, my desire is to return to a structured corporate environment, to be part of a creative team that can fully leverage my marketing, brand management and content development expertise. Thanks for reading!