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Hilary Van Hoose

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021

Hilary Van Hoose headshot

Hilary Van Hoose

Hilary Van Hoose writes character-oriented, female-led genre stories about fish-out-of-water or outsider protagonists who discover their place in the world by making a difference in other people’s lives. The winner of the 2021 Stage 32 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Screenwriting Contest and a 2021 RespectAbility Lab Fellow, Hilary is currently a writer on an upcoming Nickelodeon YouTube series. Her screenplays have placed in such notable competitions as Sundance Episodic Lab, Austin Film Festival, BlueCat Screenplay Competition, and Scriptapalooza, and are ranked on the Coverfly Red List. She has previously worked as a calculus tutor, college librarian, video editor, and comedy club production staffer.

Moving to Los Angeles to earn her M.F.A. in Film and Television Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Hilary originally chose an emphasis in comedy television because USC was the first university in the nation to offer a program dedicated to training filmmakers in the art of comedy. She not only took on a position as a member of the USC Comedy student board but also earned approval for her graduate thesis to be comprised of two half-hour pilots produced for the school’s flagship television production class (as an editor for the first, and as a director for the next year’s pilot episode). As a comedy writer, she won the first ever Jack Oakie and Dale C. Olson “You Heard it Here First” Award for Excellence in Entertainment Communication in Honor of Victoria Oakie, but Hilary’s screenwriting hit its stride when she began writing genre scripts that retain subtle comedic influences.

Hilary grew up primarily in Northern California and Hawaii, where she developed a love of outdoor activities, and where her skills as a culinary artist won her more than 160 awards in local competitions. Turning her creativity towards filmmaking, she earned her B.A. in Film and Digital Media Production from UC Santa Cruz (go banana slugs!). Entering as a Regent’s Scholar, she won the film department’s Porter College fellowship for two consecutive quarters and gained certification in Leadership Training and Development from the UCSC Experiential Leadership Program, then graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude after returning from the UCEAP French Language & Culture program in Paris, France.

Hilary has worked telling stories as everything from an office PA to a producer at such companies as Illumination Entertainment, NBC Universal, CBS Television Studios, Josephson Entertainment, Laugh Factory, Amazon Studios, and Bad Robot. Above all, Hilary is excited to create characters and stories that touch readers and audiences deeply, and become an important part of their lives. Her goal is to be a showrunner and to occasionally write for feature films.

Learn More

After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2021 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 8-week, 24-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 22 – August 12, 2021. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. This Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award. Learn more:

This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company
  • Gold Sponsors: A&E and Final Draft
  • Silver Sponsors: NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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