Meeting Mr. Fontana This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Though the name Tom Fontana may not be ­familiar to most people, it definitely should be. Over a career of more than 25 years, Tom Fontana has consistently been one of the most successful writers in television. He has written for “St. Elsewhere,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “The Bedford Diaries,” and the groundbreaking series “Oz,” which he also created and produced. Aside from the countless acclaim and awards that he has ­received, Mr. Fontana has truly had an impact on episodic television by pushing the boundaries of what is expected from a TV drama.

I went to interview Mr. Fontana in his Greenwich Village office, which houses the television production company that he runs with producer Barry Levinson. At the back of the spacious brownstone was Mr. Fontana's office, which was a magnificent room filled with mementos from a storied career in television.

When Mr. Fontana entered the room and sat down for our interview, it was apparent that he was down-to-earth and ready to ­answer any question.

Mr. Fontana is a truly insightful person to talk to. He is humorous, profound, and surprising, sometimes all at the same time. His explanations and ­critiques of the ­entertainment industry shed light on the often unseen world of television and film writers.

Through advice and anecdote, Mr. Fontana related many of the lessons he has learned, many not about writing at all. Much like his television shows, Mr. Fontana explored issues of national and personal ­importance with wit and knowledge.
By the end of the interview, I knew that I had ­experienced a unique opportunity. Meeting Mr. Fontana was incredible, and I learned a lot from his interview. I will definitely keep an eye out for his next TV show, and I am certain that I will become an avid viewer.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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