Episode 49: Writing for TV and Movies with Patrick Rieger

Patrick Rieger: Writer and Producer in Kids & Family Media

Patrick is a writer and producer in kids and family media whose work ranges from Power Rangers to PAW Patrol. He’s written for Justice League Action, Unikitty!, DC Super Hero Girls, Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac, Octonauts, and a whole bunch of shows about trains. Patrick and his family live in Los Angeles, California. 

Patrick says he is more naturally a doer! He loves jumping in and trying stuff. He is in the mindset of learning along the way.

Becoming a Cartoon Writer

Patrick grew up in a house that encouraged writing and creativity. Patrick’s dad worked for the Norman Transcript, and Patrick would get to pick the comics that would go in the paper. This is when Patrick really got to see the business side of comics and fell in love with it.

While Patrick was in high school and college he not only worked on making his writing better, but also began working with kids at after school programs or camp counseling. He read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and learned so much about kids and cartoons. He realized he could pursue a career in kids and family media.

Making Dreams a Reality

It can be hard to make it in L.A., but Patrick was determined. He began taking classes and perfecting his craft. He made new friends and met many people along the way. He was inspired by  Preschool Clues by Angela Santomero and Bad Guys Don’t Have Birthdays by Vivian Paley.

During some of the dinners he would attend, Patrick realized he should be networking with his peers. He started a small writing group and helped him make connections that furthered him in his career. 

Patrick is also part of the Animation Guild, which works for better treatment of animation writers.

Pursuing Careers

Patrick says that if you are interested in moving to L.A., you need to be very specific about what it is you want to do. Be sure to make friends with everyone around you, not just the big shots. When you know what it is you’re passionate about, finding a path will be much easier.

Middle School Advice

Patrick encourages you to never feel like you are behind. Everyone takes their own journey to get to the place they want to be, and there is no competition to get there. Enjoy the journey and learn as much as you can along the way! For further reading check out Range by David Epstein.

Interested in cartoon writing? Patrick shares a favorite podcast and other resources here.

Key Takeaways

  • Make connections with those around you.
  • Take classes and take opportunities to learn.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.

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