The Telly Awards Podcast
Episode 5: Writing for Television vs Writing for Video Games
Arguably, the most elusive career in video and television is that of the writer. By far the most varied career in both craft and technique, the process for writing television differs depending on the medium. For example, the process for writing film differs greatly from that of writing for television and vice versa. The industry, however, grows each day and in an age where film festivals have evolved to include more alternative forms of content such as immersive experiences and games, the writers behind these works are often forgotten. While hit shows dominate universal headlines and social media, lesser known titles in the gaming industry with complex narrative elements, award-winning narrative elements at that, tend to only hit the news within the industries they dominate. Take for example, Annapurna’s Interactive Thriller game ‘Twelve Minutes.” The decision driven game features notable voice actors James McAvoy and Daisy Ridley as well as a gut-wrenching storyline by Luis Antonio and Steve Lerner. After multiple successful runs in the film circuit, including nominations from Tribeca Film Festival for Best Game in 2021 and a Webby Award win in 2022 Best Puzzle and Trivia Game, the game continues to thrive in the gaming industry, but some non-gaming audiences have yet to hear its name.
The Telly Awards recognizes excellence in video and television across all screens. Likewise, we also recognize the difficulty in the craft of writing for all mediums. Writing for television and writing for video games are inherently two different beasts, but could it also be true that these mediums share commonality beyond simply developing storylines? How do these mediums tackle form and structure? Do writer’s room exist beyond television’s studio offices? We decided to find out.
We invited Felicia Pride,TV writer / producer on Shondaland hit, “Grey’s Anatomy” and Navid Khonsari, video game writer, director and producer, from the mega Rockstar Grand Theft Auto series to discuss how different these mediums actually are. Through engaging conversation we analyze the differences between these formats’ structure, the creative process behind development, their journey to the head of the table, and ultimately how these two creators are using these platforms to shine a light on current events and spotlight unique and often underrepresented human stories.
Listen to Episode 5 of The Telly Awards podcast below:
Felicia Pride: Felicia Pride is a TV writer / producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She wrote on Ava DuVernay’s “Queen Sugar” and is currently a producer on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She’s developing shows with FX and Netflix and has previously sold a show to BRAVO. In film, Pride is the writer and executive producer of Really Love, produced by MACRO, which debuted on Netflix and became a Top Ten Movie on the platform. And she’s sold two features, Deeper and Like It’s The Last, both romantic dramas, to Universal Pictures. Felicia made her directorial debut with tender, a short film she also wrote, which won a Lionsgate award at the BlackStar Film Festival and aired on STARZ. She founded and runs HONEY CHILE, a production company catering to Black women 40+ and is the co-host of their podcast “Chile,Please.”
Navid Khonsari – Navid is an Iranian – Canadian video game, virtual/mixed reality, film and graphic creator, writer, director and producer, known for his work on household Rockstar games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Max Payne. Over the course of his career, Navid has won multiple awards including industry’s top honors including BAFTA, Facebook Game of the Year, DICE, Indiecade, NY Game Critics, Tribeca FF Storyscape. Navid co-founded iNK Stories, an independent entertainment company that is recognized for its bold, original voice in titles such as their 2016 launched 1979 Revolution: Black Friday.