8-Week Intensive TV Comedy Pilot Writing Lab

Payment plans available - contact edu@stage32.com
Taught by Spencer Robinson - Comedy Judge

$799
Lab Schedule (8 sessions):
Saturday, May 11TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, May 18TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, May 25TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jun 1ST 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jun 8TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jun 15TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jun 22ND 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jun 29TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
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Who Should Attend:

This lab is designed for intermediate screenwriters looking to build a comedy pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea. This is an intensive lab and will require full writing effort.

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Class hosted by: Spencer Robinson - Comedy Judge

Manager at Art/Work Entertainment

Spencer Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles, and got his start in the film industry as a production assistant on glamorous productions like car commercial, cereal commercial, and other car commercial. He then landed a job in the mailroom at MBST Entertainment, where he learned about management from some of the legends of “old-school Hollywood.” Spencer then moved to an assistant desk at Cornice Entertainment, and eventually to Howard Entertainment. At Howard Ent, Spencer worked with actors, writers, and comedians. It was here that not only advanced his knowledge of talent and lit, but he also learned all about managing tour dates for nationally and internationally touring comics. After a 2-year stint at Howard Entertainment, Spencer spent 5 years as a musician touring in a rock ‘n’ roll band, playing for audiences across 15 countries. Once he returned from this adventure, he came back to the film industry, working as an assistant at Verve Entertainment, where he was eventually promoted to manager. When Verve merged with Art/Work, Spencer came along for the ride, and has been there ever since. Art/Work Entertainment is a boutique management company that represents actors, writers, and comedians. They have writers and performers from shows like Workaholics, Eastbound and Down, The Mick, Stevie TV, Will & Grace, The Goldbergs, and many more. They also have writers and actors working on features for major studios. The comedian clients tour nationally and internationally, and several are also hyphenates who act and write in addition to doing standup. Spencer has been a manager for 10 years. He loves to watch TV, and even sleeps sometimes. Full Bio »

Summary

**Payment plans are available - contact edu@stage32.com for details***

**If you have to miss a class, don't worry. Each class is recorded and you can watch on-demand**

 

This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a comedy pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea and learn how to pitch it. With more and more production companies heading into TV with more channels available for comedy content, knowing how to write a strong TV comedy pilot will give you a competitive advantage and help you find success as a TV writer!

The main objective of this 8-week lab will be to complete a first draft of your script and learn how to pitch it. You will meet online with Spencer for 90 minutes a week in a class setting, plus have phone consultations during the weeks when you don't have an online class. This will be accompanied by weekly homework assignments to guide you on your way to creating a marketable, unique pilot that will grab the industry's attention. This lab is limited to only 10 people - spots fill up fast, so make sure to get your spot now!

"Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft that you can send for coverage, which is what I did. 2 Considers and I'm in rewrites now to move that needle. This was my first ever TV pilot!" - Erika N.

"Spencer was amazing!" - Summer K.

"Enjoyed the class. Spencer was a good teacher and I appreciated his insight!" - Stephen C.

"Had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!" - Natalie A.

"Spencer's teaching style is the best! His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer!" - Armando O.

 

What You'll Learn

PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your comedy pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch.

WEEK #1 – Introduction, Character, World

This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot.

We will discuss the types of comedy pilots and how they differ from network to network. This will include a discussion about Single-Camera and Multi-Camera comedies. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. Also knowing the world your show takes place in.

We will also discuss other kinds of TV comedy writing (late-night talk shows, sketch, political comedy talk shows, etc.)

The assignment for this week will be to create a document with a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters, and an explanation of the world.

WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline, Pitch Document

This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of comedy pilot (single-camera or multi-camera) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot.

The assignment for the week is to complete a pitch document with characters, pilot outline, and future episode ideas.

WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One-on-One Meetings with Spencer – No Online Class)

This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t.

The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline and pitch document before proceeding with next week’s class.

WEEK #4– Structure, Scenes, Dialogue

We will discuss both the Single-Camera and Multi-Camera structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. We will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, dialogue, and jokes.

The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the cold open, a scene introducing your main character(s), and a scene with strong jokes.

WEEK #5– Pilot Structure

This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in a comedy pilot, including traditional page count, act breaks, tags, etc.

The assignment this week will be to complete a first draft of your pilot

WEEK #6– After You Write Your Pilot

Last online class. We will discuss what happens when you take meetings with managers, agents, and showrunners, and how to pitch a comedy pilot.

The assignment for the week is come up with a pitch for your pilot

WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (One-on-One Meetings with Spencer - No Online Class)

This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Each writer will have a 10-minute call to pitch your pilot.

WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (One-on-One Meetings with Spencer - No Online Class)

This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes on the pitch and script.

Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given.

 


Check out our recent webcast with Spencer, and find out all about the 8-week TV writing lab below!

 

About Your Instructor

Spencer Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles, and got his start in the film industry as a production assistant on glamorous productions like car commercial, cereal commercial, and other car commercial. He then landed a job in the mailroom at MBST Entertainment, where he learned about management from some of the legends of “old-school Hollywood.”

Spencer then moved to an assistant desk at Cornice Entertainment, and eventually to Howard Entertainment. At Howard Ent, Spencer worked with actors, writers, and comedians. It was here that not only advanced his knowledge of talent and lit, but he also learned all about managing tour dates for nationally and internationally touring comics.

After a 2-year stint at Howard Entertainment, Spencer spent 5 years as a musician touring in a rock ‘n’ roll band, playing for audiences across 15 countries. Once he returned from this adventure, he came back to the film industry, working as an assistant at Verve Entertainment, where he was eventually promoted to manager. When Verve merged with Art/Work, Spencer came along for the ride, and has been there ever since.

Art/Work Entertainment is a boutique management company that represents actors, writers, and comedians. They have writers and performers from shows like Workaholics, Eastbound and Down, The Mick, Stevie TV, Will & Grace, The Goldbergs, and many more. They also have writers and actors working on features for major studios. The comedian clients tour nationally and internationally, and several are also hyphenates who act and write in addition to doing standup. Spencer has been a manager for 10 years. He loves to watch TV, and even sleeps sometimes.

Schedule

Week 1 - May 11, 2019 - 10am - 12pm
Week 2 - May 18, 2019 - 10am - 12pm
Week 3 - May 25, 2019 - No online class, one-on-one consultations
Week 4 - June 1, 2019 - 10am - 12pm
Week 5 - June 8, 2019 - 10am - 12pm
Week 6 - June 15, 2019 - 10am - 12pm
Week 7 - June 22, 2019 - No online class, one-on-one consultations
Week 8 - June 29, 2019 - No online class, one-on-one consultations

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a lab?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Labs are typically 5 to 8 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live lab session?
A: If you cannot attend a live lab session, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A 48 hours after the live session.

Q: Will I have access to the lab afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live intensive lab, you will have on-demand access to the audio and visual recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Testimonials

"Spencer will get those who are ready on their way to a kickass first draft that you can send for coverage, which is what I did. 2 Considers and I'm in rewrites now to move that needle. This was my first ever TV pilot!" - Erika N.

"Spencer was amazing!" - Summer K.

"Enjoyed the class. Spencer was a good teacher and I appreciated his insight!" - Stephen C.

"Had a great time learning and progressing my knowledge of the craft of writing and working directly with a mentor who is a professional in the industry. Spencer was fantastic to be taught by! Thank you!" - Natalie A.

"Spencer's teaching style is the best! His patience and easygoing approach is ideal and unique to him. Kudos to Stage 32 and to Spencer!" - Armando O.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

8-Week Intensive TV Comedy Pilot Writing Lab (2017)

**Payment plans are available - contact edu@stage32.com for details*** **If you have to miss a class, don't worry. Each class is recorded and you can watch on-demand** PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your comedy pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Character, World This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of comedy pilots and how they differ from network to network. This will include a discussion about Single-Camera and Multi-Camera comedies. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. Also knowing the world your show takes place in. We will also discuss other kinds of TV comedy writing (late-night talk shows, sketch, political comedy talk shows, etc.) The assignment for this week will be to create a document with a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters, and an explanation of the world. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline, Pitch Document This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of comedy pilot (single-camera or multi-camera) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pitch document with characters, pilot outline, and future episode ideas. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline and pitch document before proceeding with next week’s class. WEEK #4– Structure, Scenes, Dialogue, We will discuss both the Single-Camera and Multi-Camera structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. We will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, dialogue, and jokes. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the cold open, a scene introducing your main character(s), and a scene with strong jokes. WEEK #5– Pilot Structure This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in a comedy pilot, including traditional page count, act breaks, tags, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete a first draft of your pilot WEEK #6– After You Write Your Pilot Last online class. We will discuss what happens when you take meetings with managers, agents, and showrunners, and how to pitch a comedy pilot. The assignment for the week is come up with a pitch for your pilot WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Each writer will have a 10-minute call to pitch your pilot. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes on the pitch and script. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given.

60 Minutes With Literary Manager Spencer Robinson

Join literary manager Spencer Robinson from Art/Work Entertainment as he talks about the state of the comedy writing industry for film & TV and answers questions exclusively for the Stage 32 community!

From Your Life to the Script: Turn Your Personal Experiences Into a Compelling Story

Learn directly from a studio executive, Nikki Levy, Vice President of Wedge Works at FOX! They say “write what you know” and then we sit there racking our brains for story ideas. What’s that big silver bullet, high-concept idea that will get me noticed? That will sell? That will put me on the map? STOP! There is a better saying, “If you survived childhood, you have enough stories to last for the rest of your life.” And that’s where my money is. Some of the most important screenplays and TV shows in the last two decades have come from complete TRUTH. Think of Seinfeld or the groundbreaking movie (500) Days of Summer. We don’t have to look outside ourselves for great ideas. What we have to do is look inwards, at our own life and pain and joys, to create great story ideas, comedy and dialogue. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nikky Levy, veteran feature film executive and creator of the critically-acclaimed comedy event Don’t Tell My Mother!, will teach you how to turn your life into a killer story that gets YOU noticed. She will look at ways to find the gems of struggle and victory in your life, and how to translate those into cohesive stories with an arc, a strong narrative structure and characters we love. Nikki will examine how to keep our work from becoming a therapy session, and instead crafting it into an emotional, funny, relatable story. She will examine movies that did this successfully, and why. She will also discuss how to spin your own personal history into an engaging “story” so you wow executives, agents, managers and talent.

The Keys to Writing True Stories, Biopics, and Adaptations

Learn directly from Tyler Ruggeri, a screenwriter and former manager with a decade of experience on both sides of the film industry! Since its inception, Hollywood has made films about or inspired by real people and events. In recent years, the "biopic" has become one of the most prestigious and in-demand genres, and six of the nine 2014 Best Picture nominees are based in reality. Compelling true stories are constantly sought after and frequently top The Black List. From CAPOTE to MILK to THE SOCIAL NETWORK to LINCOLN to THE WOLF OF WALL STREET to 12 YEARS A SLAVE, we'll discuss what makes fact-based films viable today, and more importantly how to separate yours from the rest of the pack. This involves shaping the facts of your story into a fictional narrative that supports your unique point of view. We'll also explore the specific steps involved, such as research, story structure, legal issues, and the best way to position your project in a competitive market. While parts of certain films will be mentioned in detail, only a familiarity with the genre is necessary - we won't be studying examples from beginning to end. This overview will serve as an in-depth primer not just for biopic writers, but for all writers to discover stories that can excite and move today's audiences.

4/10/19 The Pitch Tank with guest David Harris

Stage 32’s Director Script Services, Jason Mirch and Guest Panelist David Harris (producer on dozens of films, including SECURITY with Antonio Banderas) ago over writer’s pitches, both live and written, to help improve each pitch.

How to Write a Compelling, Commercially Viable Thriller

Nearly every executive that has come in to hear pitches through Stage 32 is looking for thriller features. It's one of the few genres that can translate internationally. Having a solid, unique thriller in your portfolio is something any manager or agent will appreciate. Thrillers like Gone Girl, Taken, The Boy Next Door and Non-Stop have profited more than quadrupled what their respective shooting budgets were. But writing thrillers comes with its own challenges. A writer has to make sure the characterization is strong throughout the story without letting the action sequences overshadow it. But those action sequences must be thrilling enough to fuel the story forward and the pacing must be thriving and building in every scene. Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you our exclusive 3-week online intensive class How to Write a Compelling, Commercially Viable Thriller taught by the creative executive of Mandalay Pictures, Patrick Raymond! In this hands-on course, you will learn what it takes to write a compelling, fast-paced thriller and how to successfully pitch it to production companies. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards strengthening your pages, this class will help you craft your writing into a thriller that will stand out. The objective of this course is: To learn the rules of writing a page-turner thriller with a unique hook. To prepare you on how to pitch your completed thriller. To elevate your writing and story to a more marketable level. You will leave the course knowing: Tropes used in thrillers to avoid and tropes to embrace. How to commit to tone from page 1. How to option a book or article to establish an IP. The difference between the subgenres of a thriller (including blockbusters, psychological, erotic and art-house). How to prepare your pitch document for your completed thriller. About Your Teacher Patrick Raymond, Creative Executive at Mandalay Pictures Patrick started his career working as an assistant at Gersh, where he was able to learn the business from the ground up as well as make solid connection in the town. He worked primarily in the production department but gained lots of exposure to the literary world, working with writers and story. He utilized his experience and passion as leverage in a transition to work as a producer’s assistant. LD Entertainment became his home the next three years, where he was eventually promoted to a creative executive, working with writers and helping build scripts and acquire ideas for new projects. After three years, he had the opportunity to work for Tate Taylor on a James Brown biopic entitled, Get On Up. He learned a lot about assembling large studio films. He has transitioned back into more of a creative executive position at Mandalay Pictures, where he gets to go back to my passion: cultivate amazing stories and working with great writers. Class Schedule ( 6/20, 6/27, 711) Week #1 (6/20): This is an all inclusive look into the world of thrillers. This will offer you a behind-the-scenes look on what executives look for when reading thrillers and some common mistakes writers make that disrupt the reading process. This class will also cover: Concepts that sell and concepts that don’t. Market trends (i.e. female driven thrillers, the state of erotic thrillers after movies like The Boy Next Door). Tips on making sure your first 10-15 pages pop and hook the executive. Stereotypical tropes/cliches writers use to set up their characters that turn off an executive. Tips on creating and layering your antagonist. How to make sure your protagonist is relatable and engaging. How to create a stand out catalyst and a sharp break into act two. Week #2 (6/27): This week will focus entirely on the engine of your story. This week will cover outlining and writing act 2 and act 3. Topics that this will cover include: How to write a thrilling action sequence. Description to dialogue ratio. Making sure you are incorporating set pieces that complement your sub-genre (i.e. what specific set pieces would you include in your second act if you are writing an erotic thriller). Tips on how to outline your heightened set pieces to make sure the emotional crescendo of your story is always escalating smoothly. How to make sure your characterization is strong throughout act two and three while keeping the tension hight. Overall tips on how to outline your script. Week #3 (7/11): This week will cover tips on how to end your script with a lasting final image and what happens after your first draft is completed. This week will include: Some of the most common elements that are rewritten after getting picked up by a production company. How to avoid development hell. Tips on how to pitch your thriller. Typical elements that can be found in a pitch package. How to decipher which companies are looking for what.

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