SFTV alumnus David Koutsouridis (Screenwriting ’15) is taking the television industry by storm Down Under. He’s writing for major Australian network shows and can certainly be said to be “making it”. We recently caught up with Koutsouridis during his lay-over in Los Angeles on his way to the Austin Film Festival, where his script had made it to the second round.
After spending four years learning, interning, and perfecting his craft at LMU’s School of Film & Television, Koutsouridis took his experience back home to Australia. He was hired as a staff writer on “The Project”, a comedy talk show on Channel 10 (a major Australian network). There, he learned how to navigate the rapid work schedule, while constantly producing comedy bits and content. Since then, Koutsouridis has also written for “Best Bits”, a Channel 7 network show, where he came up with jokes and witty banter for the panel of Australian personalities, as well as other comedy shows.
His three pieces of advice are: “Work hard, be kind, and be patient.
“You have to be good,” explains Koutsouridis, when describing the fast-paced television world. “You’re constantly turning out a lot of material, material for each possible outcome in the show.” The TV industry is daunting, but when asked if any of it was overwhelming, Koutsouridis refuted, saying it’s not tiring at all. He’s doing what he loves and he’s good at it.
In addition to the wealth of knowledge he acquired from professors, courses, and his time at the LMU’s School of Film & Television, Koutsouridis said the best thing he gained at LMU was the friendships, saying that these relationships were the most valuable thing he received.
“The best way to break into the industry is to know people,” explained Koutsouridis, “build relationships and work your way up together.” Koutsouridis was always generating material and sending his work out to friends and various industry connections he made from his internships, never asking for anything in return.
Koutsouridis’ biggest piece of advice to SFTV students is to “be patient.” “Impatience blinds you to the opportunities that may come your way. Be open and say yes to opportunities, even if they may not be exactly what you want.” He says all experiences can teach you something. “At the end of the day, it’s consistency.”
Koutsouridis hopes one day to return and work in Los Angeles. But, for now, he’s enjoying his success Down Under writing for TV and working on his own projects. He said he was very grateful for every experience he received at LMU SFTV and he vowed to continue to make us proud.
PHOTO: David Koutsouridis with the Logie, an award THE PROJECT won in 2017. (The Logie Awards are the Australian equivalent to The Emmys.)