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Fanbase Press Interviews Celeste Bronfman on Her Creative Approach to Writing for Television, from ‘Degrassi’ to ‘Marvel Zombies’

The following is an interview with award-winning writer Celeste Bronfman (Degrassi, Marvel Zombies) regarding her recent and upcoming work for television and beyond. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Bronfman about how she found her start in writing for the small screen, the narrative opportunities that the entertainment medium provides, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You have amassed an incredible body of work across entertainment media, ranging from the small screen to the sequential art medium. What can you share with us about how you began your career in writing for television?

Celeste Bronfman: The day I realized writing TV was a job, I knew it’s what I wanted to do. I have always loved coming up with stories and used to spend my free time in high school writing episodes of Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica. I went on to study television production in college, and through that time I worked as a production assistant on TV sets in an effort to learn as much about TV production as possible. Then one night, while working at an industry holiday party, I met the showrunner of Degrassi. She asked me if I wanted to grab coffee, and that coffee turned into an interview, which eventually landed me a job in the Degrassi Writer’s Room. Writing on Degrassi was a very surreal experience. It’s a show with a massive legacy, and the ability to work on four seasons of the show gave me an understanding of both the business and creative sides of TV production. The executive producers of the show let me sit in on production meetings and I had a chance to be on set most days. It was sort of a television writing bootcamp, and the experience set me up for success on every show I’ve been on since!

BD: Are there any storytelling tools or narrative opportunities that entice you to write for television specifically over other mediums?

CB: Writing television is all about collaboration, and that’s always been a huge draw for me. I love being in pre-production meetings and seeing every department come together to make something that elevates the story on the page – whether that’s witnessing the actors find incredible nuances through their performances, or watching the Director of Photography create a look on screen that really emphasizes a character’s inner turmoil. There’s something really magical about that moment when the camera rolls and everyone’s work is on clear display.

Of course, movies have a similar creative process to that of TV, but I personally gravitate to television because, as a writer, I love expanding on a character’s journey through many episodes and years.

BD: Your TV writing credits have spanned a variety of audience demographics, from younger viewers through Discovery Kids’ Big Top Academy to young adults with the Emmy Award-winning Degrassi. Do you find that you gravitate towards writing for certain age groups, and is there a noticeable shift in your creative process when writing for a variety of viewers?

CB: In my experience, it’s less about what shows I gravitate towards than what characters I gravitate towards. I really connected to the characters on Degrassi, and knew I wanted to help tell their stories. The same thing happened with Big Top Academy. Character arcs are very similar no matter what age group you’re writing for. You always want to make sure you’re thinking about a character’s wants and needs, and dramatizing it in the most dynamic way possible. That being said, there are absolutely adjustments you need to make if you’re writing for younger audiences such as modifying vocabulary and sometimes making sure the dialogue is a bit more straightforward. But most tweens and young adults have incredible media literacy and are very discerning, so it’s actually not as big an adjustment as many people might believe it to be.

BD: Your most recent writing work has included Marvel Studios’ animated series, Marvel Zombies. What can you share with us about your creative approach to writing for animation, and what are you most excited for viewers to experience with this “undead” reimagining of the Marvel universe?

CB: This was my first time working on an animated show, so there was a huge learning curve involved. The process is so different from live action in terms of how the writers collaborate with the director, editors, and artists. The editors and director are there from the start of the series in animation, and we go through various animatics before getting to a stage in which episodes are ready to be animated.

One of my favorite parts about working in animation is the process of recording with actors. In live action, there are many crew members working around you and if you need to adjust dialogue on set there’s a lot of pressure to do it as quickly as possible so people aren’t left waiting around. But in animation, you’re in a recording studio with just the actor, director, and sound engineers, so it’s much easier to play around with lines without any additional pressure from set. There are, of course, pros and cons to writing both animation and live action, but it was really a thrill to be a part of the writing staff on a show as wonderful as Marvel Zombies! I unfortunately can’t say anything more about the show before its release, but I think people are going to love it.

BD: In having worked in various entertainment media, what do you find to be most interesting and/or rewarding about working with the television medium that may not be replicated elsewhere?

CB: For me, it’s the ability to be part of a Writer’s Room. I’ve mentioned that TV is very collaborative, and that starts right at the beginning with all of the scripts. A Writer’s Room means that you can have many different writers with unique points of view working together on storylines, which gives the scripts much more life and truth. It’s such a joy to collaborate with other writers and there is no better feeling than pitching an idea, and having another person build on it. Sometimes, being a writer can feel very isolating, but in TV you’re part of a team and that makes it a really unique medium.

BD: Are there any other upcoming television or other writing projects that you are able to share with our readers?

CB: I just wrote a six-episode series for Marvel HQ that I can’t wait for people to check out! Also keep an eye out for Marvel Zombies, which will hopefully have a premiere date soon. Other than that, I am developing a few TV series that I’m really excited about. Stay tuned!

BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about your work?

CB: You can find me on Twitter and Instagram at @cel_bron or on my website at

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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