Stage 32 Writing Lab: Write Your TV Pilot in 8 Weeks - From Concept to Completed Script

Payment plans are available - Contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for more information
Taught by Anna Henry

$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.

Class hosted by: Anna Henry

(Worked with CBS, ABC, Amazon, Starz, Sony, 20th Television)

Anna Henry is a Producer and Development Executive. Anna has set up projects at Sony, 20th Television, EOne, Starz, Amazon, Netflix, Corus, ITV America and more. Anna began her career as a development executive at Nickelodeon, then crossed over to prime-time television working at CBS and ABC in drama development and programming before working in management and establishing herself as an Independent Producer. She was Head of Development at Andrea Simon Entertainment, a boutique literary management and production company representing writers and directors. She has more than 15 years experience working with writers on developing their passion projects and building their careers with client credits including Netflix's "Seven Seconds"; Starz'"Vida"; BET’s “In Contemt”; HBO's "The Deuce", "Big Love", and "Vinyl"; Showtime's "The Chi"; NBC's "This Is Us"; The CW's "Jane the Virgin"; Direct TV's "Kingdom"; AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead”; PBS' "Mercy Street"; and more. Anna has projects currently in development around the world. She is currently developing procedurals, crime thrillers, dark comedies, YA and Millennial-focused projects, character-driven sci-fi, and recent period. She is a member of HRTS Associates and Greenlight Women. Full Bio »

Summary

Sorry, this lab is fully sold out. Keep checking back for upcoming labs and other education!

 

You’ve heard the phrase “the content gold rush” get bandied about these days, but as it relates to TV, it’s never been more true. Drama television is at its peak with such iconic shows like OZARK, KILLING EVE, BETTER CALL SAUL, THIS IS US, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT, STRANGER THINGS, BLACK MIRROR, THE UNDOING 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.

Over the course of a 15+ year career, Anna Henry has read thousands of television scripts and worked with hundreds of writers. Anna began her career as a development executive at Nickelodeon, then crossed over to prime-time television working at CBS and ABC in drama development and programming before working in management and establishing herself as an independent producer. Anna was Head of Development at Andrea Simon Entertainment, a boutique literary management and production company representing writers and directors. Anna has set up projects at Sony, 20th Century Television, EOne, Starz, Amazon, Netflix, Corus, ITV America to name just some. Anna’s client credits include Netflix's SEVEN SECONDS; Starz' VIDA; BET’s IN CONTEMPT; HBO's THE DEUCE, BIG LOVE, and VINYL; Showtime's THE CHI; NBC's THIS IS US; The CW's JANE THE VIRGIN; DirecTV's KINGDOM, AMC’s FEAR THE WALKING DEAD; PBS' MERCY STREET; and more.

Anna has taught numerous webinars, classes and writing labs for Stage 32. She remains one of our most popular and in demand educators. In this lab, she 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, Anna 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, Anna 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.

This class is geared towards the writing of half-hour and hour-long single camera series. While the focus and the examples that Anna will provide are rooted in these types of shows, many of the exercises and lessons can also be helpful for multi-cam sitcoms, limited series, animated series, and short-form webseries.

Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Zoom meetings with Anna. 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 Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for more information
  • This lab is limited to 10 people
  • 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.

 


 

"My passion is helping writers make their work better. I’m not a screenwriter, so I don’t try to insert my voice into your work. With 20 years of experience as a development executive and literary manager, I consider myself to be your advocate and guide. I know the marketplace and know what will make your project successful. But my goal is to tell YOUR story in your voice. I don’t give vague “reviewer” notes, and I am brutally honest. If you want a cheerleader, I recommend you get notes from your friends. If you want to put in the work to elevate your writing, you’ve come to the right place."

- Anna Henry

 


Praise from Anna's previous Stage 32 writing labs:

 

"Anna exceeded my expectations, both in terms of quality (and quantity) of information and overall value. Anna was personable, knowledgeable, and organized. Anna and Stage 32 delivered the goods."

- John R.

 

"What a thoughtful, thorough and inspiring class. Not only was the content there, but the structure was also superb. Thank you Anna for your genius and your generosity."

- Crispin L.

 

"Anna was so generous with her time, so knowledgeable, so encouraging...very grateful. It feels like there's a stronger wind at my back after that. Thank you!"

- Michael L.

What You'll Learn

WEEK 1 – Introduction, Elements of a TV Series

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

Topics that will be covered: types of television series, researching your world and characters, finding the story engine for your show, how setting, tone, themes and point-of-view affect your story, creating compelling characters and complex relationships, and finding and using “template” shows.

 

The assignments for this week will be:

  • Write a 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 and elements of an outline.

Topics that will be covered: essential pilot format and structure, differences between pilots for episodic vs. serialized shows, A / B / C stories, pacing, building stakes, “and so” vs. “and then” construction, creating mystery / suspense / anticipation, act breaks, devices (flashbacks, narration, dream sequences, etc.) budget and production considerations.

 

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

 

WEEK 3 – Pilot Outline Consultations

This week will consist of one-on-one consultations on your outline. 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 One and Two.

Topics that will be covered: effective teasers / cold opens, establishing and introducing characters, using character voices, types of character moments, challenges of writing exposition, world-building, setting up the “rules of the universe,” setting tone, incorporating themes, creating an effective launch point for your pilot, and ways to bring the audience into your show.

 

  • The assignment this week will be to complete Acts One and Two of your pilot.

 

WEEK 5– Writing Effective Scenes

We will discuss how to craft dense, efficient scenes.

Topics that will be covered: structure of a scene, building stakes, multi-function scenes that move plot forward & reveal character & build the world, avoiding “dead” scenes, how to enter and leave scenes, moving from scene to scene using character motivations, writing visually, nuanced dialogue and the value of subtext, emotional scenes, and common scene problems.

 

  • The assignment this week will be to watch a list of sample scenes, and to continue writing.

 

WEEK 6 – Pilot Acts One and Two Consultations

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 – Writing the Second Half

We will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in Acts Three, Four and Five of a one-hour pilot, and continuing Act Two and Act Three of a half-hour pilot.

Topics that will be covered: focusing on conflict and stakes, increasing layers and complexity with subplots, scene order and causation, types of plot points, making sure every character has a place in the puzzle and begins an arc, creating a series launch at the end of your pilot that clearly establishes the series engine, embedding larger themes, and common pilot problems.

 

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

 

WEEK 8 – Finished Pilot Consultations

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

Anna Henry is a Producer and Development Executive. Anna has set up projects at Sony, 20th Television, EOne, Starz, Amazon, Netflix, Corus, ITV America and more. Anna began her career as a development executive at Nickelodeon, then crossed over to prime-time television working at CBS and ABC in drama development and programming before working in management and establishing herself as an Independent Producer.

She was Head of Development at Andrea Simon Entertainment, a boutique literary management and production company representing writers and directors. She has more than 15 years experience working with writers on developing their passion projects and building their careers with client credits including Netflix's "Seven Seconds"; Starz'"Vida"; BET’s “In Contemt”; HBO's "The Deuce", "Big Love", and "Vinyl"; Showtime's "The Chi"; NBC's "This Is Us"; The CW's "Jane the Virgin"; Direct TV's "Kingdom"; AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead”; PBS' "Mercy Street"; and more.

Anna has projects currently in development around the world. She is currently developing procedurals, crime thrillers, dark comedies, YA and Millennial-focused projects, character-driven sci-fi, and recent period. She is a member of HRTS Associates and Greenlight Women.

Schedule

SESSION 1 – Introduction, Elements of a TV Series - 3/20/21

(week break)

SESSION 2 – Pilot Structure and Story Mapping - 4/3/21

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

SESSION 4 – Acts One and Two - 4/17/21

SESSION 5– Writing Effective Scenes - 4/24/21

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

SESSION 7– Acts Three, Four and Five - 5/8/21

SESSION 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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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.

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