Greenwich native screens online dating TV comedy series at national festival


“Swipe” is a show about two recently single New Yorkers who meet through an online dating site, and it turns out to be more complicated than expected. Three episodes have been produced to date. Saks has written scripts of all kinds and genres, but said he enjoys writing comedy best. He jokingly admitted that “Swipe” was a shameless tribute to Seinfeld.

“I felt like a lot of things I was seeing at the time were very meta – a lot of camera nods,” he said. “I wanted to do something that was a bit more of a throwback to the classic comedy series where you made a joke and then you gave it a beat. There was a kind of rhythm in the comedy shows.

He was recently invited to present his pilot episode at Catalyst Content Festival in Duluth, Minn., during which he screened the first episode on September 29 and October 1. The annual festival provides a venue for screenwriters, actors, directors and producers to showcase their work to industry leaders.

Jon Saks is a New York screenwriter who grew up in Greenwich.

Courtesy of John Saks

Saks didn’t give up a weekend with a production deal, but he was happy with the way the weekend went.

“I definitely have a good relationship… and they have panels where producers and agents come to discuss how you can try to navigate in good hands,” he said. “I think the next step is really to continue to network. Ultimately, you have to find someone who can put you in the right room and try to present it, which can be difficult if you don’t have a brand associated with it.

Saks said he submitted the first episode of “Swipe” some time ago and was told about seven weeks before the festival that his work had been chosen. He was impressed with the help of festival attendees and the charm of the Midwest.

"To glide" is an original comedy series written by Jon Saks.

“Swipe” is an original comedy series written by Jon Saks.

Courtesy of John Saks

“It was a fun experience. I really didn’t know what to expect, but it was a very collaborative environment, ”he said. “I’ve been to some film festivals and markets where it’s very competitive… but it’s very intentionally designed to bring people together who want to do TV together so they can collaborate and network.”

Between screenings of his film at the festival, he met colleagues in the industry and said he made sure to watch as many comedy projects as possible.

“Comedy is the funniest thing to do… for the most part I hope you laugh all day.” Besides Seinfeld, he has “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “The Larry Sanders Show” as inspirations.

While online dating is the common thread of “Swipe” which brings the characters together and is intended as a hook that audiences can hang on to, the series goes beyond dating.

Actress Cynthia Aspra, who plays Kyra in “Swipe,” said she found aspects related to her character’s personality.

“Kyra’s character is desperate and a bit fatalistic when it comes to her love life. The way she vocalizes him was totally inexplicable, but what she felt is what most of us feel after a breakup, especially when you get dumped, “she said.” What was super relatable was going to her older sister for comfort in that situation. I’ve done it so many times, just hanging out at her house with my nephews.

Aspra praised Saks’ comedic writing and said she had fun on this project, especially doing a scene in which her heartbroken character strums a guitar and sings a tune invented to convey his emotions. “The shoot was hilarious. Jon, the writer, is incredibly funny and lets everyone do their thing like singing. It just allows you to add so much to the character, ”she said.

For Saks, the collaborative atmosphere of the festival was inspiring.

“It’s always good to be around other people who care as much as you do. Sometimes you can get lost if you work on your own stuff for a while because you will inevitably get frustrated. If you are in an environment with a lot of other people who are just as passionate about their projects as you are, it forces you to raise your game level and put in more effort and take every aspect of the production process too. serious as possible, “he said.


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