Bill True’s CV (updated 2018)

Bill True    (310) 388-8167  bill@billtrue.net

Overview

Bill’s debut feature, Runaway, was hailed by critics as “Brilliant” and “Hitchcockian” as it premiered to universal accolades at Tribeca and Toronto.  It went on to screen worldwide at Avignon, Woodstock, Vail, Palm Springs, and other top festivals.  Bill also took the top prize at the Austin Film Festival for his work on Runaway, which was subsequently released by eOne Films.

He got his start as a stage actor and director.  As an actor, Bill worked with legendary lyricist Tim Rice, starring in the title role in the American premiere of Rice’s rock opera, Blondel.  As a director, Bill was selected to participate in the Guthrie Theatre’s exclusive Director’s Lab.

Bill transitioned to playwriting, studying under Tony Award-winner and Oscar nominee Mark Medoff.  Bill was named one of New Mexico’s Best New Playwrights with his play, Hell is a Diner.  He was also a company member and dramaturg for Desert Playwrights Theatre Company.  In 2014, Bill’s multi-media homage to the silent film, He Who Gets Slapped, opened to rave reviews.  Slapped went on to be staged at the LA Theatre Center as part of the Kennedy Center for the Arts theatre festival.  Earlier this year, Bill directed the Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre’s hit Main Stage production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.

As a screenwriter, Bill was honored as a Bush Artists Fellowship grant recipient.  He has since developed feature and television projects with The Film Collective, NBA Entertainment, Warner Horizon Television, Veritas Entertainment, eOne Television, Echo Lake Entertainment, and more.

Bill has also been a featured panelist and jurist at the Austin Film Festival, Scriptfest/The Great American Pitchfest, and Screencraft’s Nashville Writers Conference.  He’s been a featured speaker for industry organizations including the Independent Feature Project, Women in Film, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Phoenix Screenwriters Association, and the Northwest Screenwriters Guild.

In addition to his work in Hollywood, Bill is Faculty-in-Residence for screenwriting at the acclaimed Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre.

Education

University of Minnesota

Bachelor of Arts, Theatre Arts

Experience

Screenwriter — 2004-Present

  • Wrote and sold feature-length script that was subsequently produced ($2-3M budget range) and distributed as an award-winning and universally acclaimed feature film.
  • Optioned and developed one-hour drama TV pilot project with Echo Lake Entertainment.
  • Created and developed multiple one-hour drama TV pilots/pitches/series that subsequently attached top Hollywood producers, studios and talent.
  • Performed rewrites for and/or scripted (work-for-hire) numerous feature film projects for independent and Hollywood-based productions with budget range of 1M to $15M.
  • Developed and produced independent feature films/film projects, assuming key responsibilities from packaging/financing and pre-production through distribution.
  • Provided story consulting for numerous feature scripts for individual clients and notable production companies.
  • Sought out as expert teacher, panelist and moderator on screenwriting, pitching and breaking into the movie business by top national organizations, including the Austin Screenwriters Conference, Scriptfest, Independent Feature Project, Northwest Screenwriters Guild and Women in Film & Television.
  • Edited and consulted on the critically acclaimed memoir, A Hunt for Justice: The True Story of a Woman Undercover Wildlife Agent (Lyon’s Press, 2006), by Lucinda Schroeder.

Residential Faculty/Head of Screenwriting/Department Co-Chair, Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre — 2012-Present

  • Oversaw administration, curriculum development, instruction and adjunct faculty for program that averages 60+ active students per semester.
  • Designed and implemented curriculum for degree program, which is recognized as on par with premiere programs across the nation.
  • Spearheaded partnership with Northern Arizona University to create a bachelors degree program for screenwriters, which is currently the only screenwriting bachelors degree offered in Arizona.
  • Raised the profile of the program by bringing Hollywood luminaries to campus as speakers, guest artists and adjunct lecturers.
  • Participated in governance and administration for an acclaimed department with 300+ students.
  • Wrote and co-produced groundbreaking original multi-media dramatic production, which was awarded top recognition for innovation by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
  • Devised and piloted what may be the first-ever production of a multi-camera sitcom pilot, filmed in front of a live studio audience, on a college campus.  Invited by KCACTF to present a panel on the production at their 2014 conference/festival.
  • Facilitated fiscal and enrollment turnaround for department.  Prior to assuming leadership, department was running at a financial deficit, and enrollment had dropped over 22% in five years.  During tenure as Co-Chair in charge of Film & TV, department enjoyed a five-to-six figure surplus each academic year with an average enrollment growth of 3% per year.
  • Directed SSFT hit Main Stage production, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, which received rave reviews.

Professional Speaker/Consultant — 2008-Present

  • Delivered top-rated keynote speeches for regional and national organizations including MN Social Services Association, The Career Management Alliance and the Society for Marketing Professional Services.
  • Created and delivered widely praised networking/job interview preparation workshop (Shamefree Self-Promotion) with documented results to an array of top career transition organizations, including Career Connectors, the Dakota County Workforce Center/Positively Minnesota and the Phoenix Workforce Connection (for which received top scores and coveted “preferred vendor” designation).
  • Formulated brand position strategy and marketing plans for varying clients, including Purina Mills, Sundance award-winning NY-based film production company Filbert Steps Productions and start-up Internet TV network emixie.com.
  • Developed messages and provided message design coaching for finalist presentations attributed to over $400 million in new business for clients, including a $160M+ win for a national architectural firm bidding on a LEAN hospital redesign project.
  • Devised and facilitated message design and networking training curriculum hailed as “transformational” and “breakthrough” for top clients, including Symantec, Target Corporation, Best Buy, Prudential and the Department of Homeland Defense.

Director of Communications & Implementation, Express Scripts — 2000-2004 

  • Responsible for information flow information to and from the company’s eight call centers and six mail order pharmacies, representing over 10,000 employees. 
  • Re-engineered call flow and mail service processes that cut exceptions processing time in half and reduced overall cost per incoming customer service call by almost $.10 (over $2 million in aggregate for 2001 alone). 
  • Introduced bleeding edge knowledge management principles into the company’s culture.  Also designed and implemented proprietary web-based applications to support enhanced workflows, which allowed for repurposing of three FTEs to higher priority corporate work plan objectives.
  • Generated and maintained troubleshooting, training, and client-specific procedural documentation for 5,000+ clients and over 400 enterprise-wide processes, inventing new, hypertext based documentation protocol that improved information retrieval, reduced customer service errors by over 50%, and cut set up turnaround time from two weeks to 24 hours.
  • Co-sponsored effort to bring computer-based training (CBT) to customer service agents’ desktops; incorporated modules into web-based customer service software for just-in-time training. 

Director of non-HMO Products, United Healthcare Pharmacy Management — 1996-2000 

  • Oversaw largest segment of UnitedHealth Group’s pharmacy business, managing implementation, operations, and benefits for nearly 4 million lives worldwide. 
  • Created and oversaw eligibility/benefits management system and associated account management personnel and HMO staff; efforts credited for improving client retention by over 30%. 
  • Chaired executive-level advisory panel to develop new, proprietary products and services, including Rx Hub (now SureScripts) e-prescribing protocols.
  • Instituted improvements that reduced administration errors and tuned processes that resulted in an average $3.5+ million per year savings to UnitedHealth Group.
  • Headed team of pioneers that facilitated the first “mega-migration” in managed pharmacy industry, successfully consolidating eligibility, benefit, and financial data for over 1.25 million members from four different pharmacy benefit managers to a single system.
  • Spearheaded effort to help define the value equation and operations requirements that led to propagation of managed pharmacy throughout Europe. 

Awards & Honors

1988 – Guthrie Theatre, Directors Lab participant

1991 – Univ. of NM & NM State Univ., “Best New Playwright” award

1991-1992 – Desert Playwrights repertory theatre company, company member and dramaturg-in-residence

1998 – SmithKline Beecham, President’s Award (top award for excellence)

1999-2000 – United HealthCare Pharmacy Management, top award for innovation for four straight quarters

2002 – Finalist, McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship

2002 – Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences: Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship, Semi-Finalist (top 1%)

2005 – Tribeca, Toronto, Avignon, Palm Springs, and Vail Film Festivals, Official Selection (for feature film, Runaway)

2005 – Austin Film Festival, “Best Dramatic Feature” award (for feature film, Runaway)

2007 – Bush Artist Fellow for scripted work (only screenwriter chosen for Fellowship grant for that year)

2006-2009 – Austin Film Festival Screenwriters Conference panelist, also voted “Favorite Pitch Competition Judge” for four consecutive years

2008 & 2009 – Career Management Alliance National Conference, top-rated speaker

2008 & 2009 – Sales & Marketing Professional Service MN monthly speaker series, top-rated speaker

2010 – MN Association of Social Service Administrators, top-rated keynote speaker

2011 – National Dr. of Naturopathic News & Review national conference, top-rated keynote speaker

2013 – Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, ensemble award for innovation for world premiere multi-media production, He Who Gets Slapped

2014 – Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, invitation to present a panel discussion of groundbreaking multi-camera sitcom pilot production, The Palace

2015, 2016 & 2018 – Austin Film Festival Screenwriters Conference panelist

Reviews

For feature film Runaway:

“An incisive, smart script…edge of your seat excitement.” — Film Comment

“Will keep audiences off balance ’til the bitter end.” — Variety

“The smart script and deft filmmaking…keep us guessing until the end.” — Austin Chronicle

“✭✭✭✭!  Bill True balances character development, mystery, and romance as the story spirals toward a devastating denouement.” — Minneapolis StarTribune

“Bill True realizes that film is not only story, but something that can be realized cinematically and emotionally.” — Thomas Harris, co-founder, L.A. Film Festival

“Bill True has created unique, memorable characters and structured the story for maximum effect.” — Jane Shoettle, Toronto Film Festival

For original multi-media production He Who Gets Slapped:

“Amazing…” — KCACTF Responder

“Thought-provoking…honest…bittersweet… brilliant!” — World Premiere Gala Audience Member

“Masterful! Indeed, it was a masterpiece.” — World Premiere Gala Audience Member