We are pleased to introduce screenwriter, and great friend to SoCreate, Brandon Tanori in our first-ever "Writer's Spotlight" blog post. Brandon has worked for CBS since 2013 as a Writers' Production Assistant on the television drama series, Elementary, and is also the founder and president of the Writers Assistant Network.
Although he now calls the hustle and bustle of Hollywood home, Brandon was born and raised in East Cleveland, Ohio. His true passion for film and writing was discovered while receiving his undergraduate degree in Film Production at Howard University in Washington, D.C. While he enjoyed all of his courses, it was the screenwriting ones that seemed to really resonate best with him.
Towards the end of his time at Howard University, Brandon decided that he wanted to continue learning and take his screenwriting skills to the next level. After graduation, he made the 2,700 mile move from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles to attend grad school at Loyola Marymount University and receive his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing and Producing for Television.
Like they say, it is all about who you know in Hollywood. During his studies at Loyola Marymount, Brandon took the time to make meaningful connections with professors and mentors in his program, and because of that, found his first industry job just two short months after graduating from the masters program. One of his mentors connected him with CBS Productions, and he landed his job as a Writer's PA for the drama series, Elementary, in its second season.
In the 4 years that he has been working on Elementary and active in the film industry, Brandon has made quite the impact on the writers' community. Shortly after starting his job with CBS, Brandon decided that in order to continue growing his career, he was going to need to network! One of Brandon's mentors, who was the Co-Executive Producer on NCIS: Los Angeles at the time, encouraged him to host a networking event for different support staffers who worked on other primetime TV shows.
That lit the spark. He hit the ground running for the event--reaching out to all of the contacts he had and sending others messages on LinkedIn. Everyone was excited by the idea of a networking event. What started out as a small get together with an estimated headcount of 50 writer's assistants, script coordinators, and production assistants quickly grew into a full-size party with 350 guests in just a few days. Writers invited their connections who, in turn, invited their connections, and the buzz about the party spread like wildfire.
The party was a huge success, and all of the writers had a fantastic time. Brandon knew this wasn't going to just be a one-time thing, and thus was born the Writers Assistant Network. The Writers Assistant Network, founded by Brandon, is a group that offers workshops and networking mixers for up-and-coming industry writers, executive assistants, and literary assistants. The WAN will celebrate its 4th birthday this January with Brandon still leading the charge as the group president!
Brandon, thank you for everything you and the Writers Assistant Network do for aspiring writers! The work that you do every day makes a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of writers in the tough world that is Hollywood.
For more information about the Writers Assistant Network and their activities, check back this Thursday for our next blog post!
Cheers to you, writers!