The Tennessee Screenwriting Association is overseen by a board of directors, who are elected each January. A president, vice president, treasurer and secretary are then elected from among the board.
2020 TSA Board of Directors
- President: Jeff Chase
- Vice President: Irish Johnston
- Treasurer: Dave Deverell
- Secretary: Paula Phelps-Weaver
- Bob Giordano
- Elvis Wilson
- Gary Frazier
- Mark Naccarato
- Casey Laarkamp
- Lance Ogren
- Tom Steinmann
Jeffrey Alan Chase – President
Jeff Chase moved to Nashville from Mesa, Ariz., to hone his talents as a songwriter and screenwriter after several careers, including advertising executive and commercial Real Estate broker. As a songwriter, he’s amassed a catalog of over 600 songs, many of which have been cut by country and pop artists and include songs licensed in movies and TV.
As a screenwriter, Jeff has multiple full-length feature screenplays and numerous short scripts under his belt. Two scripts were quarter-finalists in the prestigious Nicholl competition. His romantic comedy Grinder’s Switch took second place in the Tennessee Screenplay Contest. Country Songwriters won the LA Screenwriting Competition for Comedy Short.
Jeff is a SAG actor who has appeared in numerous commercials, videos and industrial films. He has appeared in numerous films including, Ernest Goes to Jail and When the Eagle Cries and co-starred with Robert Carradine and Chris Mitchum in the thriller Lycanthrope. He worked alongside Kathy Bates and Alfree Woodard in Tyler Perry’s hit movie, The Family that Preys.
He has been a board member and past president of Film Nashville, board member, past president and vice president of the Tennessee Screenwriting Association, board member and past vice president of Nashville Publishers Network. He is president of Chase Internet an IT consulting and web design company and president of Blue Drops Publishing Co. (ASCAP).
His interests include hiking, sailing, golf and rebuilding 1960s English sports cars. He’s a licensed pro and amateur boxing referee. He lives on a farm outside of Dickson, Tennessee with his wife and their dogs, cats and assorted chickens.
Irish Johnston – Vice President
Writer, actor, producer Irish (Burch) Johnston began as an actress in Los Angeles and Nashville. She currently spends most of her time writing screenplays, three of which have been finalists or won awards: Redhanded, Scents, and The Hole Truth, in several film festival competitions. Being a native Nashvillian, with a piano, she has finally surrendered to the siren call of song writing as well. She loves every aspect of the film industry, from writing and composing to acting, to her latest challenge, producing.
David Deverell – Treasurer
David Deverell is a Nashville screenwriter. He received his degree in Film and Television from Loyola Marymount University, and after graduating, wrote, produced and directed an award-winning 30- minute drama for Encylcopaedia Britannica’s Short Story Showcase Series, “The Hunt,” an adaptation of Richard Connell’s short story, “The Most Dangerous Game.” David went on to have a long career in the advertising industry and retired eight years ago.
In retirement, David returned to writing and has since written four feature-length screenplays. His first, The Shoe Box, won first place at the 10th Annual Tennessee Screenwriting Association Screenplay Competition in 2010, when he became a member. His other screenplays have been finalists in other competitions, including The Page Awards, Table Read My Screenplay, Emerging Screenwriters and Access Screenplays.
In 2015, David relocated to Nashville from Los Angeles and is actively involved in helping the Nashville Film Community develop a robust industry.
Paula Phelps-Weaver – Secretary
Paula Phelps-Weaver is a relative newcomer to the world of screenwriting. After a career as an internal medicine physician and then some years as a stay at home parent, she is finally pursuing her love of writing.
Though her academic background is in science, she has attended several writing courses and workshops, and will begin submitting her work to contests in 2019. She is currently working on a dramedy TV pilot.
Her interests include horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, soccer, jazz, and growing things. She lives on a farm with her husband of thirty-nine years, her horses, and her dog.
Bob Giordano is a principal of Uproar Pictures, based in Nashville, TN. He is the 2017 Grand Prize Winner of “The Poe Contest” for his script, The Odds, and the director of The Odds feature. He has been a quarterfinalist, a semifinalist, a finalist, and/or won several of Hollywood’s most prestigious screenplay contests, including The Southern California Screenplay Competition (The Odds), Nicholl Fellowship (Sicko), Fade-In (Uprise), The Writer’s Network contest (Resistance), the Hollywood Symposium (Grendel) and Script Open Door.
Over many years, Bob has worked on numerous short films and independent features as a writer, director, assistant director, camera operator, and editor. Since coming to Nashville in the1980s, he has continuously taught screenwriting and filmmaking to adults, teens and children, including his ongoing screenwriting courses at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. He is also a past president and current officer of the Tennessee Screenwriting Association. As a prolific writer of dozens of completed scripts, he often says, “Daylight’s burning.”
Elvis Wilson was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., and grew up in Cleveland, Tenn., where he was raised on a healthy dose of TV like The Twilight Zone, Gilligan’s Island and his favorite TV show, Space 1999.Like most folks his age, Star Wars rocked his world in 1977.
Inspired by a steady dose of Coen Brother’s films and Monty Python reruns over the last three decades, he has written over ten screenplays, produced four short films, and directed scores of music videos and industrial films. In 2008, he and his wife produced an award-winning feature documentary, Being Lincoln: Men With Hats (which had a two-year run on the now defunct Documentary Channel and also aired on Showtime). In 2015, he started principle photography of his self-produced, award-winning feature FOGG. FOGG had a great festival run and was picked up by RedBox.
Elvis is currently working on FOGG 2 with Executive Producer Kelly Frey. He’s also written a TV pilot called Strawberry Plains, which was in the top 30 scripts in the prestigious AMC’s Drama Pilot category at the 2018 Austin Film Festival (over 10,500 scripts were entered). While still not able to quit his day job, Elvis writes almost every day and is happy to hang with his brothers and sisters of the TSA.
Writer Gary Frazier, who writes as G. Robert Frazier, spent most of his career as an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor, routinely covering local government, politics, business, crime, and education in Tennessee. When the newspaper industry imploded, he found a new outlet for his creative pursuits as an author and screenwriter.
His script, “ZARS – Zombie Apprehension & Relocation Serivce,” was a top three finalist in the 2019 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition in the Scripted Digital Series category and is ranked No. 1 on Coverfly’s Red List for Horror Web Series. His latest script, “Bill Fisher’s Trading Post,” is a semifinalist in the 2020 Nashville Film Festival screenwriting competition. “Kings of Mississippi,” which he co-wrote with TSA member Jay Wright, is a semifinalist in The Script Lab’s 2020 free screenwriting contest and was a semifinalist, placing in the top five scripts overall, in the 2019 Nashville Film Fest contest.
His short fiction has appeared in two volumes of Our Voices: Williamson County Literary Review. He also wrote a flash-fiction piece, “The Twister,” which appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine’s November 2015 issue. But his true passion is screenwriting, which he finds as a much more fun medium.
He has served as a script competition reader for two prestigious competitions, having read and rated more than 750 scripts.
When he’s not writing, he’s reading. He frequently writes book reviews for Bookpage, Killer Nashville, and Chapter 16, the website for Tennessee Humanities, and has previously written book reviews for Blogging for Books and US Review of Books. He has interviewed several authors for The Big Thrill, the online magazine of the International Thriller Writers.
While working in Nashville’s TV and film production industry in the 90’s, Mark Naccarato‘s first TV spec script caught the attention of producers at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and he was invited to pitch to the hit series. Even though he didn’t make a sale, the first story Mark pitched to them was nearly identical to a story that was already in production.
Encouraged by that experience and then by a near-sale on Star Trek: Voyager, Mark decided to make his first “real” film. The Crusader, a superhero movie disguised as a true-crime reality show was a cult hit at comic conventions across the South and punched above its weight with a budget of less than $3,000 using a cast and crew of over a hundred volunteers. Mark’s current short film, The Romulan War, puts a spin on the sci-fi effects movie by using a documentary format and “found footage” from an interstellar war in the 22nd century.
Mark’s pilot script The Exodusters – an historical drama set during the Kansas Exodus of the 1870’s – has landed a finalist slot in the Nashville Film Festival and he’s a co-producer on several independent films, including Potter’s Ground and Gates of Flesh – both of which were filmed in Tennessee.
Bio to come.
Bio to come.
Bio to come.