Master Classes are in-depth, interactive learning experiences focused on craft and career building and led by renowned industry experts. Topics include fiction and documentary filmmaking, TV writing and production, and navigating and succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Have you dreamed of creating dynamic stories for television, but are unsure where to start? The founder of In the Cut, Rae Benjamin presents networking tips, strategies and advice for entry-level jobs in the TV industry and as a creator of content in this three-hour Master Class. This session also takes a personalized look at life as a writer through conversations with a talented roster of professionals including Diane Ademu-John (Haunting of Bly Manor, Empire, The Originals), Janet Lin (Bridgerton, Bones, The Orville), and Jelani Johnson (EVP of Macro).


Download the list of resources from In The Cut and Sundance Collab

Topics Covered Include:

    00:00 - Welcome and Introduction from Sundance Collab and Rae Benjamin

    07:00 - What Happens in the Writer’s Room: A Breakdown of Timelines and Staff

    13:25 - How to Build Your Network and Get Hired

    28:40 - Q&A with Rae Benjamin

    42:00 - The Writing Process and Collaboration with Diane Ademu-John and Janet Lin

    1:02 - Hiring Staff, Handling Notes and Showrunning with Diane Ademu-John and Janet Lin

    1:19 - Q&A with Diane Ademu-John, Janet Lin and Rae Benjamin

    1:38 - Types of Representation and Where to Begin as a New Writer with Jelani Johnson

    1:57 - Forging a Strong Relationship with Your Manager with Jelani Johnson

    2:11 - Q&A with Jelani Johnson and Rae Benjamin

    2:33 - Q&A with All Panelists

    2:52 - Closing Remarks

This event is presented by In The Cut:

ITC works with industry professionals to create inclusive learning spaces. In the Cut was established to help bridge the knowledge gap and spread information for the Black community and other groups who have been historically shut out by traditional Hollywood “gatekeepers.”

Through research, experience, and network, ITC has created a space to learn from real, industry professionals and receive actionable, thoughtful advice on how to advance your career. Learn more here:

Rae Benjamin is a TV/film writer and LA native. Her mother encouraged her writing from a young age and compiled booklets of her short stories to hand out as Christmas gifts each year…this was either super cute or super cheap, depending on which relative you ask. She finds humor in awkward, uncomfortable situations. more...
Diane has been writing very grisly tales for a very long time, working for over a decade on morgue-based crime dramas like CROSSING JORDAN (NBC) and BODY OF PROOF (ABC), then jumping to the supernatural realm with MEDIUM (CBS) for five seasons. More than anything, she loves telling tales of really disturbed families who kill or die for one another, be they the world’s oldest vampires (THE ORIGINALS on the CW) or Chicago drug-dealers-turned-music-moguls (EMPIRE on FOX). Most recently, Diane served as Executive Producer on THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR for NETFLIX, and consulting producer on the upcoming horror comedy THE AUTEUR from Taika Waititi. She is currently co-showrunning an upcoming sci-fi project for HBOMax. more...
Janet Lin grew up in Southern California, but left the west coast to go to Amherst College. She lived in NYC for several years, riding the internet wave at the turn of the millennium. Soon after 9/11, while reconsidering life, she moved back to LA to attend USC Film School. She slipped directly into television work, writing on shows such as Bones, The Night Shift, Forever, Orville, Cursed and Bridgerton. She’s written pilots for USA, TNT, HBO Max and Netflix and she's recently segued into feature work. She lives with her husband and two boys in Mar Vista and she is fantastically tall for an Asian woman. more...
Jelani Johnson serves as MACRO’s EVP of Content Strategy and Senior Partner at M88. Most recently, Johnson spent 4+ years as a Motion Picture Agent at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). While at CAA his clients included: Melina Matsoukas, A$AP Rocky, Cheo Coker, Jesse Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Storm Reid, Angel Soto, Solvan “Slick” Naim, Gina Rodriguez, Virgil Williams, Mara Brock Akil and André Holland amongst others. Johnson began his career in entertainment as an intern at CAA and transitioned into talent management at the Santa Monica-based management company Generate. He subsequently co-founded The Mission Entertainment, a management and production company focused on multicultural content creators, before returning back to CAA. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in History and Anthropology from Columbia University more...

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