Course Outline / Schedule

Day 1 - The Essentials

Day 1 of the TV Writers' Summit is a crash course on creating, developing, writing and producing your TV show, as well as understanding the business of television (who buys shows, networks, pitching, etc.). Each speaker takes to the stage for almost 2.5 hours to cover a component based on their expertise. It's a fast-paced, non-stop day that'll give you the tools you need to start developing and writing your TV show.




Ellen Sandler - 9:00am to 11:30am



An overview of what you need to know to develop and write a professional level original pilot for today’s series television marketplace.


The 1 Key You Must Have to Create a Pilot - Focusing your Premise


The 2 Essential Elements that Make a Series 


The 3 Pillars of Any Pilot - The Foundation Of Every Successful Show.

  • Defining Your Central Character

  • Building Your Show’s “Family”

  • Creating the World of Your Show


The 4 Support Beams of a Series Pilot

  • Defining Your Arena

  • Committing to Your Genre

  • Establishing Your Series Tone

  • Effecting a Style


Developing Your Story Lines

What Makes a Great Pilot Story

Tips on You Can Use Your Pilot To Advance Your Career




Chad Gervich - 11:30am to 2:00pm



In order to bring your show idea to life, you need to create it, write it, pitch it, sell it, and navigate TV's development process.


During Chad's session, he details the main steps of selling a TV

show in today's global broadcast and cable landscape. He'll discuss

the elements of every successful TV show, how to develop and

organize them into a pitch, and when, where, and how to get them

to the most appropriate buyers. You'll also learn:


  • Networks, cable networks and studios' secret schedule for buying projects… and why timing is essential

  • Creative ingredients every producer or exec looks for… and how    to insert them into your pitch

  • The most important element of any TV show or pitch… and how       to convince execs you have it

  • Which tools and secrets help your pitc and which will undermine it

  • Where and how to get an agent or manager… and when to find     the right representative for you

  • The structure of TV’s network/studio/pod system…How it's changing…And how to navigate it

  • How to find, meet, and network with TV's power-players… and     who you don't need to meet

  • How the business is changing, and why these changes can help you








Jennifer Grisanti - 3:00pm to 5:30pm 





  • A Logline for your Life

  • A Logline for your Script


Story Structure for TV Spec and Pilots Scripts

  • Powerful Dilemma

  • Clear Goal Stemming from the Dilemma

  • Act outs need to connect back to the goal


Fictionalizing Your Truth


Writing The Spec Script


Writing Your TV Pilot Script

  • Writing the opening

  • Identifying an external goal that stems from the opening dilemma

  • Scene Construction

  • Writing each act

  • Writing toward the external goal in the A story

  • Writing the external stakes arc

  • Writing with a theme

  • Writing the resolution and setting up the series


* There will be a 15 minute break between speakers

Day 2 - The Workshop - 10:00am to 5:00pm

Day 2 of the TV Writers' Summit is a fun and intense hands-on workshop where you'll be able to expand and develop your idea for a show.


The audience will be broken up into groups and work with each Pro throughout the day as they take you through the paces to help develop and flesh out your show ideas. Each group will spend 2 hours with each Pro and cover:  

Jennifer Grisanti  Learn how to tell and sell your story. In Jen Grisanti's workshop, she will show you how to structurally frame your story in your log line, your Log Line for Your Life, and the opening of your pilot story. She will take you through exercises and formulas as a way to teach you the techniques that will lead you to success with your script and your personal story. These tools have led many of the writers that she's worked with to sell pilots and get staffed.


Ellen Sandler  Once you’ve got your story engine up and running, you need a driver if you’re

going to get anywhere. Every network exec and every showrunner will tell you: Characters drive

(and sell!) a series—they are the beating heart of a show and what the audience comes back to

see. In your workshop with Ellen you’ll discover simple techniques on how to make your

characters multi-dimensional, how to give them emotional life and how to get them into action;

crucial tools that let you put your characters where they belong: In the driver’s seat!


Chad Gervich  The most important part of any TV show -- and the thing that makes TV its own

unique medium, distinct from film, theater, or literature -- is its ability to generate an endless

number of stories. If your show doesn’t have that, a powerful story generator, you ain’t got nothin’.

In your workshop with Chad, you’ll gain the tools you need to sharpen your characters and

create compelling conflicts. You’ll also give your concept a writers-room litmus test to determine

whether its strong enough to generate the right stories to sustain an entire series. If it’s not --

we’ll discuss how to whip it into shape. If it is -- go sell it for a 22-episode order and a million-

dollar overall deal.


And, of course, in between sessions, you'll be able to ask the Pros any questions you may have.


Finally, at the end of the day, you'll have the opportunity to pitch your idea to the Pros and Audience (if you want). The favorite writer's pitch will receive a free ticket to the big Story Expo 2015 conference in Los Angeles the weekend of Sept. 11-13, 2015 (a $249 value!), as well as copies of all of the Pros' books (a $128 value!). 


(C) 2014 TV Film Seminars.

TV Writers' Summit     E-Mail: Click Here     Phone: 800 814 0544

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