Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has opened the application period for its 2019 Writers Program, and they’ve made one big change this year: the program is now open to writers who are developing live-action and animation hybrid scripts, as long as the overall script maintains an emphasis on live-action content.

This change acknowledges the direction in which Hollywood is headed, with so many films nowadays being a hybrid of live action and animation. “We are seeing great momentum with our writer’s program and are thrilled to now be accepting live-action and animation hybrid scripts given our studio’s foothold and strength in family entertainment,” says Universal Pictures’ Janine Jones-Clark, svp, global talent development and inclusion.

Universal’s program, which aims to identify, grow, and support a pipeline of writers internally, is the only one sanctioned by the Writers Guild of America West. It’s open to both up-and-coming and experienced storytellers who organically incorporate diverse and global perspectives into their screenwriting.

The program leads to industry opportunities for its participants. Most recently, Juel Taylor, an alumni of the studio’s 2017 writers program, was brought onboard to co-rewrite with writing partner Anthony Rettenmaier Shooting Stars, based on the book co-authored by LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger. That film is currently in development at Universal with Springhill Entertainment and Rachel & Terence Winter.

To apply, fill out the application at UniversalTalentDevelopment.com. Deadline is October 31, 2018, with the program commencing April 2019.

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