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HomeCalendarDeveloping the Television Pilot with Diana Botsford (Gold Level Instructor)

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Developing the Television Pilot with Diana Botsford (Gold Level Instructor)

When:
Tuesday, July 9, 2024, 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Dan E Arndt
Category:
Online Classes
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Capacity:
25
Available Slots:
11
$175.00
$125.00

All Pennwriters Courses are conducted in a “live” presentation format utilizing the Zoom platform. If a conflict arises based on the required meeting times, please contact the instructor and Online Courses Coordinator to find a possible solution. ALL sessions will be recorded.

 

Format:

  • Weekly live zoom workshops
  • Weekly on-demand mini video lessons with supplemental worksheets, links, etc.
  • Weekly activities to explore and experiment with the medium’s techniques

 

Description:
Experience the power of learning through action! Join our intensive two-month online writing course, where you'll dive deep into the art of television writing. Develop your skills as you create an industry-standard story outline and craft a captivating first draft teleplay.

 

Throughout the course, your outlines and scripts will be thoughtfully workshopped, providing you with invaluable feedback from industry professionals. Gain mastery over the medium as we explore techniques for creating unforgettable characters and a pilot episode that holds the potential to captivate audiences for hundreds of episodes to come.

 

Unlock the secrets of visual storytelling and learn how to maximize plot efficiency. Discover the art of crafting compelling promises for your characters, specifically tailored for a pilot episode versus long-term series development. Understand the power of an early draft series pitch bible in refining your series focus. Explore the impact of script stylization and technique on the reader's experience.

 

To enhance your learning experience, we'll dissect a recently released television series pilot and its script to fuel our discussions. Links will be provided to free and discounted screenwriting software, empowering you to bring your stories to life.

 

OBJECTIVES/Benefits/Takeaways:

•           To understand the process of developing a marketable television series

•           To understand television structure and format

•           To understand the importance of character in regards to plot development.

•           To be able to use visual and aural elements in crafting a teleplay

•           To be able to use screenwriting software

•           To understand the elements of screenwriting

 

 

RECOMMENDED READING:

  • *The Diplomat (pilot)– Screenplay (link to PDF will be provided), or:
  • *Only Murders in the Building (pilot) Screenplay (link to PDF will be provided),
  • THE HOLLYWOOD STANDARD by Christopher Riley (Script format reference book)
  • SAMPLE SCENES and PITCH BIBLES as provided by instructor

 

 

WEEK ONE: WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT TV?

  • THE QUALITIES & MYTHS of Episodic Television
  • THE BASIC ELEMENTS of a Teleplay
  • CHARACTER-DRIVEN STORYTELLING STRUCTURE
  • CRAFTING THE TELEVISION OUTLINE

 

COMMENCE PILOT OUTLINE DEVELOPMENT: Examples and instructions provided

 

WRITING ACTIVITY: The Elevator Pitch

 

 

WEEK TWO: THE VISUAL LANGUAGE

  • STEPS TO BETTER SCRIPT ACTION DESCRIPTION
  • THE MECHANICS OF SCREENWRITING with formatting & software tutorials
  • BEAT SHEETS & SCENIC STRUCTURE

     

    WORKSHOP: Pilot Outlines

     

    COMMENCE SCRIPT WRITING: Teasers (pages 1 – 5)

     

    WEEK THREE: WRITING THE TELEPLAY

  • SHOWING vs. TELLING on the small screen
  • Character Introductions & Signatures in Television

     

    COMPLETE OUTLINE WORKSHOPPING

     

    WORKSHOP: Teasers

     

    FOR NEXT WEEK: Script Act 1 (pages 6 – 10)

     

     

    WEEK FOUR: WORKSHOP ACT ONE/COMEDY vs. DRAMA

  • WRITING THE COMEDY TO GET TO THE DRAMA
  • PAGE LENGTHS & PACING
  • THE 10 KEY STORY QUESTIONS

     

    WORKSHOP: Act 1

     

    FOR NEXT WEEK: Script Act 2 (pages 11 – 20)

     

     

    WEEK FIVE: WORKSHOP ACT TWO/WRITING FOR THE READER

  • Reading vs. Viewing - Why the reader's experience matters
  • DEVELOPING THE PITCH BIBLE

     

    WORKSHOP: Act 2

     

    FOR NEXT WEEK: Script Act 3 (pages 21 – 30)

     

     

    WEEK SIX: WORKSHOP ACT THREE/ PREPPING THE PITCH

  • Competitions, Agents, and Breaking In

     

    WORKSHOP: Act 3

     

    FOR NEXT WEEK: Script Act 4 (pages 31 – 40)

     

     

     

     

    WEEK SEVEN: WORKSHOP ACT FOUR/ PREPPING THE PITCH

  • Elevator pitches
  • good in the room (selling your pilot)

 

WORKSHOP: Act 4

 

FOR NEXT WEEK: Script Act 5 (pages 41 – end)

 

 

WEEK EIGHT: WORKSHOP PITCHES, BIBLES, AND OUTLIERS

 

WORKSHOP:

  • Outstanding script pages
  • Elevator Pitches
  • Pitch Bibles

 

About the Instructor: Screenwriter/author Diana Dru Botsford's credits include "Rascals" for Star Trek: TNG, the award-winning SF web series, Epilogue, and the cult favorite animated series, Spiral Zone. As a producer and visual effects director, she contributed to TV/Film projects such as Terminator 2, Dusk 'Til Dawn, and Nightmare on Elm Street VI.  She founded the critically-acclaimed Missouri State University screenwriting program in 2005, her students winning national and international awards. A finalist for the U.S. Professor of the Year program, Botsford’s teaching career has garnered her multiple awards including the State of Missouri Online Teacher award. She continues to teach online for MSU in addition to one-on-one consulting for aspiring screenwriters across the globe. A graduate of the Seton Hill Writing Popular Fiction program in 2006, she’s written multiple original novels and short stories for the Stargate SG-1 franchise in addition to contributing original short stories for anthologies such as the recently released IAMTW anthology, Double Trouble, (July, 2023). Botsford is currently developing an original science fiction novel for publication in the spring of 2024.

 

Email & Links:

contact email: dianabotsford@gmail.com

web page: dianabotsford.com

Instagram: @digitalred93