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Mar 18, 2020

The Emmy-nominated TV writer and professor, Sandy Fries, joined me this week to talk about the lessons he learned over his storied, 20-year career in Hollywood, and how he wrote hundreds of popular TV episodes, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, NBC’s Quantum Leap, and Spider-Man: The Animated [TV] Series.

"We all have cracks, the sun shines through those cracks, and through those cracks is how one human being connects to another." – Sandy Fries

Sandy has rubbed elbows with an incredible assortment of media moguls including Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons – who gave Sandy his first break – Marvel's Stan Lee, Star Trek's Gene Rodenberry, and Chuck Lorre of The Big Bang Theory fame.

He's written for almost every TV genre and has had feature film and television development deals with Warner Brothers and Dick Clark Productions throughout his career.

In addition to his Emmy nod he recently won the 101 Best Written TV Series in the History of Television award from the Writer’s Guild of America, for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Sandy continues to write and share his wisdom with students as a Professor of Film and Mass Communication at the College of DuPage.

He recently poured many of his life lessons into the book, Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About TV, Movies and Life, "... a view of Mass Communication, Film and TV from the down and dirty perspective [of] over twenty years..." in the industry.

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A quick note, I'm changing up the format of the show to present longer episodes presented in a single part, as opposed to two-parters split for a shorter, drive-time experience.

Reach out on Twitter or over at writerfiles.fm if you like the longer episode format better, I appreciate your feedback.

In this file Sandy Fries and I discussed:

  • Why his most revered TV writing credit is a cartoon
  • How Sandy ditched his job in advertising and got a big break
  • The writing life and lessons learned from master storytellers and titans of the TV industry
  • Down-to-earth life advice and secrets to nailing that pitch meeting
  • Stories behind his friendship with Stan Lee, and why Spider-Man was such a big hit
  • How he missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime
  • And how to persevere through good times and bad

Show Notes: