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

Payment plans available - contact edu@stage32.com
Taught by Spencer Robinson - Art/Work Entertainment

$799

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32
apply

- or -

$799.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

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 - Art/Work Entertainment

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 »

By popular demand, we've brought back literary manager Spencer Robinson from Art/Work Entertainment to teach an intensive 8-week comedy TV pilot writing lab. Here's just some of what Spencer's recent lab writers have to say: 

"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.


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

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 comedy TV drama 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 20 People.

 


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**

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.


Schedule:

Week 1 - April 22, 2017 - 10am - 12pm
Week 2 - April 29, 2017 - 10am - 12pm
Week 3 - May 6, 2017 - No online class, one-on-one consultations
Week 4 - May 13, 2017 - 10am - 12pm
Week 5 - May 20, 2017 - 10am - 12pm
Week 6 - May 27, 2017 - 10am - 12pm
Week 7 - June 3, 2017 - No online class, one-on-one consultations
Week 8 - June 10, 2017 - No online class, one-on-one consultations

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.


Frequently Asked Questions:

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!

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:

60 Minutes With Spencer Robinson (Lit Manager)

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!

Working Writers Lab: Write a TV Drama Pilot - 8-Week Intensive (January 2017)

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 drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character 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 drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. 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. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) 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 pilot outline and start work on your bible. 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 before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given.   Payment plans are available - please contact edu@stage32.com for more information.    

8 Week Working Writer's Master Lab

One of the most useful things a writer can do is to team up with a mentor to help them on their journey. Too many writers try to navigate through the script writing process without guidance. Wouldn't you want a mentor that develops and sells material for a living to help you take the mystery work out of your journey? The most successful writers in the industry have their own mentors to make sure they are going in the right direction - do the same for yourself. Stage 32 Happy Writers is thrilled to bring back our 8 Week Working Writer's Lab. This is one of our most hands on, prestigious and talked about labs and we only offer it a few times a year. To find the perfect teacher we go through our rolodex of 400 executives and hand pick an executive that is one of the most raved about from our writers. Your teacher for this lab will be Patrick Raymond, creative executive at Mandalay Pictures! Patrick has assisted a number of our writers on strengthening their scripts and he is excited to help you bring your concept to life. With interactive lectures and weekly homework assignments directly geared towards bringing your concept to life, PLUS ongoing contact with Patrick in between classes, your experience writing has never been easier. Under The Guidance of Patrick Raymond you will: Pick a unique and commercially viable concept. Craft engaging, unique characters that pop off the page. A solid structural skeleton that successfully carries your concept. Cinematic set pieces that will give your story that much-wanted theatrical feel. A fully realized outline highlighting every major plot point in your script. The Objective of the Lab is: To take the mystery work out of picking a concept that can sell. To match you with an executive that will assist you with making sure all your script's elements is as strong as possible. Give you an experience on how development executives develop projects that are now on their company's slate. Class ScheduleWEEK #1 – The Story of Me; Your Questions; Your Stories General class overview. Patrick's history and experiences. What Patrick loves writing about and why. What he looks for in a good story/screenplay. Any initial queries raised in the pre-class questionnaire. NOTE: Given the online format, Patrick will use this week’s “office hours” to more personally respond to/discuss the ideas you are contemplating working on during the Lab. WEEK #2 – Character Creating strong, unique memorable characters. How to have them best serve your story, the genre, themes, etc. Dialogue and voice. Patrick will cover some examples, including personal experience. WEEK #3 – Act I; Premise into Story How to make the leap from basic premise/concept and characters into a full-blooded story. Where to start. What to include in Act 1. Where does Act 1 end and Act 2 begin? Creating a world and setting a tone. Patrick will discuss examples of strong (attention-grabbing and/or smartly-chosen) and weak (meandering, overstuffed, unfocused, etc.) beginnings. WEEK #4 – The Story So Far (Consultation) No on-line class this week. Instead, you will submit premise, Character Bio(s), and Act I outline for review; Patrick will discuss the materials individually in 30 minute phone calls and advise any changes/concerns. WEEK #5 – Act II; Structure and Plotting Plotting and development of your story across Act 2. Examples of structure (midpoints, end of Act 2, Internal/external conflict, etc. WEEK #6 – Theme; What’s it All About? How to ensure that your script isn’t just an escalation of events, but is a rich narrative experience that is hopefully actually about something. Topics to include Theme, Topicality, Relatability, Universality. WEEK #7 – Act III; Sticking the Landing Why 'when and how' to achieve a strong finish is arguably one of the most difficult parts of writing a screenplay. Examples of scripts/films that have accomplished this, as well as those that have not (and why). WEEK #8 – The Completed Outline (Consultation) No on-line class this week. Instead, you will turn in your completed outline for review; Patrick will then discuss with you over a 30-minute consultation. About Your Instructor, Patrick RaymondPatrick Raymond is a Creative Executive at Mandalay Pictures, Peter Gruber’s decades-old production company responsible for films such Sleepy Hollow, The Score, The Jacket, Into the Blue, When the Game Stands Tall and Horns. At Mandalay, Patrick gets to work on his passion every day: cultivating amazing stories and working with great writers.Prior to joining Mandalay, Patrick studied business and film production at the University of Southern California. He worked in the financial services industry for four years before transitioning to entertainment, where he worked as a production assistant in television for four years.After that he transitioned to working at Gersh in the production department but he also gained exposure to the literary world, working with writers and story. He then moved over to LD Entertainment for three years, where he was a Creative Executive, working with writers and helping build scripts and acquire ideas for new projects. Here he had the opportunity to work for Tate Taylor on a James Brown biopic entitled, Get On Up, and learned about assembling large studio films. He has since transitioned to the Creative Executive position at Mandalay Pictures. Patrick was born in Alaska and raised in Seattle prior to moving to LA.

How to Develop Iconic Dramatic TV Characters

Learn directly from Conrad Sun, TV Lit Manager and Development Executive at Meridian Artists who represents TV writers in all genres for shows such as Blindspot, Two Broke Girls and Bojack Horseman. So you’ve finally fleshed out your ideas for your next TV project and you’re off to the races developing your next screenplay. While working on your series, you’re constantly reminded of the one thing that every executive looks for: CHARACTER CHARACTER CHARACTER. Every executive says they want to read compelling characters. But what exactly does that mean? And how does one accomplish this?  In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Literary Manager Conrad Sun will breakdown six TV characters and how they are portrayed in their respective drama pilots: Frank Underwood (House Of Cards) Walter White (Breaking Bad) Annalise Keating (How to Get Away With Murder) Piper Chapman (Orange is the New Black) Tony Soprano (The Sopranos) Lester Nygard (Fargo) Through these characters, Conrad will illustrate the traits and nuances that make them compelling to their audiences. From there, he will discuss how to apply these traits to your own characters.  

How to Write a TV Pilot That Can Get You Staffed!

4 part master class taught by Amanda Toye, Creative Executive who has developed over 100 drama, comedy, and reality projects to network and cable! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! It's every writer's dream to become a working writer, and in today's TV-driven marketplace it's all about having the right sample to show a manager, agent and/or show runner. That one sample can lead you to a full time writing job on new and popular TV shows. So many agents and managers that we know are thirsty for well written TV pilots because they know a good sample can get that writer work. A lot of our biggest success stories are from writers with a well written, unique TV pilot. Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: How To Write a TV Pilot That Can Get You Staffed taught by Amanda Toye, Creative Executive at Little Engine International. Learn the insider tips and tricks to help you write a truly great TV pilot that gets you staffed! Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Amanda is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!

Writing Contracts: What You Need To Know

In this Stage 32 Next Level webinar, Jordan Barel (Development, for Producer/Actor Paul Scheer and Abominable Pictures) will teach you paragraph by paragraph exactly what is included in the standard writer's contract. He will cover three different types of contracts: purchase agreement, option agreement, and negative pickup. Jordan will discuss terms in both a legal and practical matter so that you get the information needed to be prepared to negotiate your next agreement. Such things will include material and boilerplate terms, what can or can't be negotiated, and how lawyers themselves will be reading and reviewing your agreement. This will be an in-depth legal discussion walking you through each sentence of a standard purchase and option agreement. You'll also use template agreements as examples to give you a better sense of what these agreements should look like.       **All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about certain types of contracts within the entertainment industry. The information presented is not legal advice and is not to be acted on as such, please consult your lawyer for issues specific to your contract.