The Position:

Topic Studios is seeking a Director, Original Series to join the team in Los Angeles, reporting to SVP, Original Series, Topic Studios. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, passionate about premium scripted content development and production, and able to work well in a team and independently. They will have great relationships in the creative community and the industry, ideally with agencies, management companies, studio executives and buyers. And they will have proven development and production experience in streaming, cable and broadcast television content with a strong knack for identifying what’s of value in the market and nurturing creative talent in the development and production of scripted series. This position will work closely with the SVP to package and help bring to market a slate of projects that will solidify the Topic Studios brand.

Responsibilities:

  • Support the SVP in managing the scripted development slate and track day-to-day creative progress on projects.
  • Manage and track the development budget and business affairs deals for slate projects.
  • Forge and maintain relationships with agents, managers, producers and executives at distribution/platform partners in order to gain intelligence for the SVP and bring in select projects that have a path to sale. 
  • Track competitive information on projects selling to market and going into production.
  • Work closely with the SVP to brainstorm and create selling strategy for projects on the slate based on relationship and current market intelligence.
  • Generate and present to the SVP creative packaging ideas for projects.
  • Identify creators (writers, directors, producers, talent) who could enhance the existing slate.
  • Assess and evaluate TV formats, books, articles, podcasts, documentaries, and other source material for development that would enhance the existing slate
  • Attend general and pitch meetings with creators. 
  • Work closely with creators to develop story, formats, decks, pitches and scripts.
  • Write up notes on script drafts, production dailies and studio cuts on projects in production.
  • Serve as the first point of contact between the Original Series group and other Topic Studios verticals (Film, Podcasts, Nonfiction) as well as other First Look Media entities (Topic SVOD, The Intercept, Field of Vision) when considering our proprietary IP for Scripted TV and other formats. 
  • Other appropriately related projects/duties as assigned.


Background & Qualifications:

  • College degree. Related field strongly preferred. 
  • Minimum 5 years relevant work experience.
  • Creative development and/or production experience in the domestic and international TV marketplace.
  • Strong relationships with agencies, management companies, production companies and distribution/platform partners.
  • Knowledge of scripted television series and formats (past and present).
  • Avid reader with premium/commercial taste and the ability to identify stories/voices with the potential to connect with audiences.
  • Ability to source IP in all its forms and determine which are primed for development into premium scripted series.
  • Ability to generate creative ideas and elements to enhance projects.
  • Strategic mindset vis a vis setting up projects that meet a platform’s expressed need, brand and audience profile.
  • Excellent communication skills – verbal, non-verbal and written.
  • Must be a team player.
  • Ability to multi-task, organize and schedule work effectively.

About Topic Studios

Topic Studios is the award-winning entertainment studio from First Look Media that develops, finances and produces provocative and entertaining content for all platforms including theatrical, streaming, television and podcasts.

 

The Studio is behind such notable films as the Academy Award®-winning Spotlight; Pablo Larraìn’s Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart (Golden Globe® nominee for her performance) as Princess Diana (with NEON); and The Mauritanian, starring Jodie Foster (Golden Globe® winner for her performance), Tahar Rahim (Golden Globe® nominee for his performance), Benedict Cumberbatch, and Shailene Woodley (STX). Acclaimed documentaries from the Studio have included the big wave surfing series, 100 Foot Wave, recently renewed for a second season, and the Film Independent Spirit Award-nominated, three-part series, Nuclear Family, both on HBO/HBO Max; The Fight, co-released with Magnolia Pictures; the Film Independent Spirit Award-nominated docuseries Love Fraud on Showtime; and Mucho Mucho Amor on Netflix. Pioneering podcasts have included Pulitzer finalist and IDA Award-winning investigative podcast Somebody, with iHeartMedia; John Cameron Mitchell’s Anthem featuring Glenn Close, Cynthia Erivo and Patti LuPone; and The Messenger and American ISIS on Audible Plus. The Studio is also ramping up its scripted television division with the Untitled Martin Lawrence Project, based on the acclaimed Israeli “HOT” series Nehama; also the Untitled Vincent Chin Project, a scripted drama limited series created by Marilyn Fu with Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) attached to direct (in partnership with Amazon); and two premium dramas arising from the Studios’ previous first-look deal with Tracy Oliver (Harlem), including the adult thriller Savannah with PKM Productions for Amazon Studios.

About First Look Media

First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media was created with the belief that independent perspectives are vital to both a vibrant culture and a thriving democracy.

First Look Media is currently in the market with its flagship properties, The Intercept, Topic, The Nib and Field of Vision, and plans to continue expanding its mission of supporting independent voices via a variety of new brands, formats and platforms as well as through foundational technology helping creators and audiences develop, distribute, discover and connect with meaningful stories.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer - People of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.

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