Scripted Series Lab Mentors

Mar 16, 2024 | Latest News

The PSP is excited to share the names of our 2024 Scripted Series Lab mentors. These talented and generous showrunners are working one-on-one with our cohort to help each of them refine their own pilot scripts.This is an integral and invaluable part of our program as it helps writers polish their personal projects, make industry connections, and hone their craft.

The Mentors & Mentees

Simon Barry and Helene Taylor

Helene Taylor is working on her hour-long sci-fi drama with mentor, Simon Barry.

Simon Barry — a showrunner, writer, director and producer based in Vancouver and LA —is no stranger to the sci-fi genre. He’s a founding partner of Reality Distortion Field Inc., a Vancouver-based production company, best known for creating the TV shows Warrior Nun, Fakes, Continuum, Bad Blood, and Ghost Wars.

Rob C. Cooper and Ren Maguire

Ren Maguire is working on their hour-long sci-fi drama with mentor Rob C. Cooper.

Multi-award-winning writer, director and executive producer Robert Cooper has been involved in the creation of over 400 episodes of television including Unspeakable, for CBC and Sundance TV, produced through his production company, Mezo Entertainment. Prior to that, he served as showrunner on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBCAmerica, Netflix and AMC Studios. He is also known for showrunning the record-breaking 17-season Stargate television franchise for MGM. He co-created Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe and served as executive producer, writer, and director of multiple episodes of all three series.

Sarah Dodd and Jimmy King

Jimmy King is working with Sarah Dodd — our first-ever Scripted Series Lab Showrunner-in-Residence — on his hour-long limited series set in BC wine country.

Sarah Dodd was the award winning Showrunner of seasons 2 and 4 of the critically acclaimed crime series Cardinal for CTV/Hulu/BBC4. Most recently we’ve enjoyed Sarah’s writing on CBC’s Allegiance and all three seasons of Global TV’s hit law procedural, Family Law. Sarah’s extensive list of writing and producing credits include Motive, Fortunate Son, Ransom, Arctic Air, Zixx: Level Three, and The Saddle Club.

Penny Gummerson and Alex Vance

Alex Vance is working on a grit-meets-wit police comedy with guidance from the inimitable Penny Gummerson.

Métis writer Penny Gummerson was born and raised in Flin Flon, Manitoba. She worked as a newspaper journalist, magazine writer, documentary filmmaker, and advertising copywriter before becoming a playwright and screenwriter. Penny’s impressive writing and producing credits include Alegiance (CBC), Cardinal (CTV/Hulu), Trickster (CBC), The Order (Netflix), Heartland (CBC), and Moccasin Flats (APTN).

Jennica Harper and Melissa Zhēn Zhū Riemer

Melissa Zhēn Zhū Riemer is writing a half-hour comedic heist series with the support of her mentor, Jennica Harper.

Jennica Harper was our celebrated 2023 Showrunner-In-Residence and is most recently Co-Showrunner for Season 3 of CBC’s Run the Burbs. Before that, she was Showrunner and Co-creator of the award-winning comedy series JANN (CTV/Hulu) starring Jann Arden. Jennica was a Writer and Co-Executive Producer on the light mystery The Spencer Sisters (CTV/CW), medical adventure drama SkyMed (Paramount+/CBC), horror-comedy cult favourite The Order (Netflix), and critically acclaimed thriller Cardinal (CTV/Hulu), among others. Jennica has won two WGC Awards for best script, one for the kids comedy Some Assembly Required, the other for the pilot script of JANN.

Damon Vignale and Gur-Inder Singh

Gur-Inder is working on his limited series, multi-timeline, crime drama with mentor Damon Vignale.

Damon is known for his work on the hit crime-drama series Motive, the Emmy nominated 19-2, and the critically acclaimed series Blackstone. He was creator-showrunner of The Murders for City TV. His crime documentary The Exhibition received numerous accolades including a 2014 International Emmy Award and Canadian Screen Award. Most recently, Damon wrote and directed on the CBC/Paramount + drama series SkyMed.


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The Pacific Screenwriting Program thanks the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations for their continued stewardship of the unceded and occupied land on which our work takes place. We are committed to collaborating with and supporting Indigenous storytellers.


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