Stage 32 Screenwriting Lab: Write a Drama TV Pilot in 8 Weeks - From Concept to Completed Script

Taught by Spencer Robinson

$799

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

Sorry. This lab is fully sold out.

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

Projects:

Class hosted by: Spencer Robinson

Manager at Art/Work Entertainment

Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, TBS and more. Spencer’s clients have also recurred on series for Freeform, TNT, AMC, Showtime and many more. He currently has a client writing on 2 Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. One of Spencer’s clients had her first film shot for Netflix last year. Art/Work's writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. Full Bio »

Summary

You’ve heard the phrase “the content gold rush” get bandied about much these days, but as it relates to TV, it’s never been more true. Drama television is at it's peak with such iconic shows like OZARK, KILLING EVE, BETTER CALL SAUL, THIS IS US, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, MR. ROBOT, STRANGER THINGS, BLACK MIRROR, BIG LITTLE LIES and so much more. With the influx of networks and streaming platforms either moving into or expanding their original content libraries, the demand for dramatic TV ideas and pilots has never been greater. Thanks to streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max and others, over 600 shows were greenlit last year and some industry experts are predicting we may see as many as 1,000 television shows greenlit per year by 2025. But not only is the quantity increasing, so is the quality, as companies are funneling an unprecedented amount of money, resources, marketing and talent into their shows. And the impact of COVID-19 is even having an impact that could benefit writers all over the world as many shows are planning to implement virtual writer’s rooms. In short, there has never been a better time to write for TV. Now it’s just a matter of breaking in.

The opportunities are plentiful and the prospects have never been more exciting, but if you want to write dramatic television you need to prove that you have the chops, and to do that, you better come armed with a great pilot script sample. Something that shows that you have what it takes; something that shows that you understand the structure and craft that goes into a good teleplay; and something that shows off your own unique voice and sensibility. This is your calling card, your way in, the piece of material that will fire you off the launch pad. The intention of this lab is to help you create that piece of material that stands out, gets you the right meetings, and, ultimately, gets you representation, meetings with decision-makers, and/or a coveted seat in a writer’s room.

Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. His writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix.

Spencer has taught numerous webinars, classes and writing labs for Stage 32 and remains one of our most popular and in demand educators. In this lab, he will be working directly with you in a class setting and also during one-on-one sessions with the goal of helping you write a fantastic, market-ready pilot. To do so, Spencer will guide you through picking a concept, creating engaging characters, perfecting your structure, constructing an outline and, finally, writing your pilot. If you already have a concept or even a completed pilot, Spencer will use the same tools to help you hone and sharpen your material.


WHAT TO EXPECT

By the end of this 8-week writing lab, you will have a completed drama television pilot script ready to be shown to reps, development execs and other executives and professionals.

Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Skype meetings with Spencer. You will be held accountable to take the lessons from each week and move your work forward.

Plus, to keep you motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the writing process.

To see the full writing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".

 

PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with an executive and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please do book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good.

  • Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information
  • This lab is limited to 10 people ***only 1 spot remains***
  • This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate screenwriters looking to build a pilot from scratch or expand on an existing idea or polish an existing pilot.

 


Praise from Spencer's previous Stage 32 webinars:

 

"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 decide on an idea for the drama or dramedy pilot you want to write. Do appropriate research about the world of your show.

 

WEEK 1 – Introduction, Elements of a TV Series

This week we will cover the syllabus, your goals for this lab and launch into a discussion of what elements you have to create for a successful show.

We will discuss doing research about the world and characters you will be writing about. We will talk about coming up with a story engine for your show, and how setting, tone and point-of-view affect your story. We will discuss creating strong characters for your pilot. What makes a character compelling, the difference between likeable vs. relatable characters, and effective antagonists. We will address the differences between ensembles and star vehicles. We will take time to go over how to build complex relationships and use them to propel a series. Finally, we will talk about finding a “template show” to aid your writing.

The assignments for this week will be:

  • Write a half-page description of the concept of the pilot you intend to write.
  • Find a template for your pilot
  • Write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters

 

WEEK 2 – Pilot Structure and Story Mapping

This week we will discuss the function of a beat outline. We will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots and discuss some differences between pilots for episodic vs. serialized pilots. We will talk about pacing, building stakes, creating mystery / suspense / anticipation, and act breaks. We will go over page counts and number of characters. We will also address budget and production considerations.

  • The assignment for this week will be to write a beat outline for your pilot.

 

WEEK 3 – Pilot Outline Consultations (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 phone consultation 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 character descriptions as needed.

 

WEEK 4 – Acts One and Two

This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in Acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including world-building, setting up the “rules of the universe,” establishing character, setting tone, and creating an effective launch point for your pilot. We will talk about how to introduce characters, give backstory, and convey character through unique voices. We will address the challenges of exposition and some ways to bring the audience into the world of your pilot. We will also talk about the function of a teaser.

  • The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot.

 

WEEK 5– Writing Effective Scenes

We will discuss how to craft dense, efficient scenes that move the plot forward and reveal character and avoid “dead” scenes. We will talk about how to enter and leave scenes and move from scene to scene using character motivations. We will address how to weave together multiple storylines. We will also talk about nuanced dialogue and the value of subtext.

  • The assignment this week will be to continue writing.

 

WEEK 6 – Pilot Acts One and Two Consultations (One on One Consultations – No Online Class)

This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding the first half of your pilot. Each writer will send in their draft in advance and will have a phone consultation to discuss what works and what doesn’t.

  • The assignment for the week is to address any notes given.

 

WEEK 7– Acts Three, Four and Five

We will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 – 4 or 5 of a drama pilot, including building subplots, increasing layers and complexity, and making sure every character has a place in the puzzle and begins an arc. We will discuss writing dense scenes that move the story forward as well as reveal character. We will address how to create a series launch point at the end of your pilot that clearly establishes the series engine. We will also talk about how to embed larger themes into your story and address some common pilot writing mistakes.

  • The assignment this week will be to complete the first draft of the entire pilot.

 

WEEK 8 – Finished Pilot Consultations (One on One Consultations – No Online Class)

This week will consist of one-on-one consultations on your first draft. Each writer will send in their first draft in advance and will have a phone consultation to go over notes.

 

About Your Instructor

Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years.

His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, TBS and more. Spencer’s clients have also recurred on series for Freeform, TNT, AMC, Showtime and many more. He currently has a client writing on 2 Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. One of Spencer’s clients had her first film shot for Netflix last year.

Art/Work's writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms.

Schedule

WEEK 1 – Introduction, Elements of a TV Series - 6/20/20

WEEK 2 – Pilot Structure and Story Mapping - 6/27/20

WEEK 3 – Pilot Outline Consultations (One on One Consultations – No Online Class)

WEEK 4 – Acts One and Two - 7/12/20 

WEEK 5– Writing Effective Scenes - 7/18/20

WEEK 6 – Pilot Acts One and Two Consultations (One on One Consultations – No Online Class)

WEEK 7– Acts Three, Four and Five - 8/1/20

WEEK 8 – Finished Pilot Consultations (One on One Consultations – No Online Class)

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a lab?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I 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 webinar, 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 webinar 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 webinar 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 class?
A: If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class. If you cannot attend a live class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. Plus, your instructor will be available via email throughout the lab.

Q: Will I have access to the lab afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of the lab, you will have on-demand access to the video recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like!

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.

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