The programme includes seminars, workshops and writers’ rooms and at least two study trips: including to the Séries Mania festival in Lille, France and to meet with writers, producers and broadcasters in one other important European city. During the programme, each participant works on two projects: a full pitch deck (consisting of a pilot script and a bible) for an individual series and a group project that is developed in conjunction with an industry partner.
The autumn semester focuses on narrative design and storytelling structure in television series, story conception and development, and basic writers’ room protocol and methodology.
Participants acquire skills and techniques for generating and researching new story ideas, develop those ideas further into concepts and pilot outlines, and study and apply writers’ room skills and team management techniques. Participants learn how to cooperate effectively in a group, handle criticism and gain experience working as a team, they learn how to deal with the authority of a head writer and how to lead during the creative process. Participants commence development on an individual project with theoretical and practical input from a diverse selection of tutors and mentors. A study trip to another European city acquaints participants with practices in the TV industry of that country and introduces them to local TV professionals. The fall semester culminates with participants creating the board of the pilot for their individual project.
The spring semester focuses on writing the pilot, pitching, networking, and a more advanced understanding of the marketplace.
This semester kicks off with the annual Serial Eyes Midterm Pitch, which allows participants to practice their project pitches and get feedback on their individual projects from high-level TV professionals. Participants complete at least two drafts of the pilot for their individual project and will begin development on the group project. Participants gain further insights into the production and financing process and learn about specific European markets. These insights are complemented with study trips. The programme culminates with a presentation of all individual TV projects at the Final Pitch in May.