Emily Skopov is a screenwriter, producer and director with twenty-five years of experience in the entertainment industry. Her uniquely diverse background includes professional achievements in a variety of other industries, yet Emily’s passion for storytelling, and her belief in its power, has been at the heart of all she’s accomplished.
After graduating from UCLA’s prestigious School of Film and Television with an MFA in Screenwriting, Emily landed a position assisting a television writer with several series in development at 20th Century Fox. Her immersion into the world of episodic television development and production led her to try her hand at writing a television script; within a month of completing her first tv script, she’d landed an agent. Soon after, she booked the first of what would become several consecutive seasons as a series writer and producer.
Thriving on TV production’s fast pace and with a reputation for bringing intelligent dialogue and strong, three-dimensional female characters to the more typically male-oriented action and science fiction genres, Emily quickly rose through the writer/producer ranks on several cult series favorites, including: Gene Roddenberry’s sci-fi adventure ANDROMEDA, Rockne O’Bannon’s critically acclaimed FARSCAPE, the globally beloved, mythical epic XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, and the cop/beach hybrid PACIFIC BLUE. Emily’s comfort working with tight budgets and ambitious shooting schedules, along with a talent for leading the writers’ room through character and story development, ultimately drove her ascendance. Unwilling to concede her interest in directing, Emily fought for and won the opportunity to direct episodes of shows she had written at a time when there were few female directors in the action tv genre, and very few tv writers allowed to make this shift.
As she was poised to achieve her next goal of becoming an executive producer and showrunner on a series filmed in Australia, Emily gave birth to her first child. After leaving Australia, Emily eventually shot her feature, NOVEL ROMANCE, during the ninth month of pregnancy with her second child. The next few years were filled with writing features for studios and pitching tv series until 2010 when family concerns necessitated that Emily relocate from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh with her husband and children.
Given the logistical challenges of an industry that was not yet amenable to remote work, Emily turned her time and talents toward community involvement. She founded a non-profit organization, No Crayon Left Behind, that provides art and school supplies for children living in poverty, and became deeply immersed in local politics, which culminated in her candidacy for the state legislature. Despite an electoral loss, Emily continues to be involved with political work as a strategist and consultant.
Emily is a native New Yorker who earned her B.A. in English Literature from Columbia University before spending over two decades living and working in Los Angeles. In addition to her role as an adjunct, Emily is currently pursuing a Master of Public Management degree from CMU’s Heinz College.