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Taught by Audrey Knox

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Class hosted by: Audrey Knox

The Cartel at Literary Management Co.

Audrey Knox is a TV literary manager at The Cartel - a management and production company. Audrey most recently staffed her client on the series SINGLE DRUNK FEMALE, GINNY & GEORGIA, P-VALLEY, GROWN-ISH, HACKS, and UPSHAWS for Netflix. Audrey recently signed a writer she met through a Stage 32 Script Service consultation. The writer's Feature project was produced by The Cartel -- CRUSHED, is currently available to watch on Tubi! Audrey has a background in both scripted and unscripted television, on set, in production, and in writers’ rooms. Prior to joining The Cartel Audrey worked in development at WWE and Lighthearted Entertainment and in the literary department at Gersh. In television Audrey’s worked in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation writer’s room and was the showrunner’s assistant for the hit Bravo show Millionaire Matchmaker. Full Bio »

Summary

A New Exclusive Writing Class!

Payment plans are available - please contact Sam at edu@stage32.com for more information

Learn How To Set Your TV Pilot Up For Success With A Literary Manager Who Recently Staffed Clients On SINGLE DRUNK FEMALE, GINNY & GEORGIA, P-VALLEY, GROWN-ISH, HACKS, UPSHAWS, and more.

Last year, a record number of 559 original scripted shows aired on broadcast, cable, and streaming television. From Game of Thrones and Stranger Things to Friends and The Office, the most successful TV shows in history can capture a generation of fans and generate cultural conversations. And every show started with a great pilot script that launched the series. 

Television pilot structure can be complex but there are several principles that should always be followed. Writers who dream of that coveted “Created By” credit must first develop a sellable concept and compelling characters, then tell a self-contained story in either thirty or sixty minutes that sets up a larger story with an engine strong enough to carry it for multiple seasons.

In this exclusive 4-part Stage 32 class, Audrey Knox, a literary manager at The Cartel, will teach you all of the basic steps required to write a strong TV pilot script. 

Audrey has recently staffed her writers on series such as SINGLE DRUNK FEMALE, GINNY & GEORGIA, P-VALLEY, GROWN-ISH, HACKS, UPSHAWS, and more. 

Whether your goal is to write a pilot script that sells or to write a sample that gets you staffed in the writers’ room of a TV show, the first step is to learn the basics of writing a TV pilot. Many showrunners only give your script five pages before deciding whether you’re worth hiring, and thousands of writers attempt to get their foot in the door in Hollywood every year. Knowing the challenges new television writers face when starting out in TV is essential for building a writing process and knowledge base that helps you overcome them.

This class is ideal for feature or novel writers that are looking to write their first TV pilot, TV writers who are looking to take their pilot writing skills to the next level, and new writers who are looking for how to start writing for TV. 

What You'll Learn

Week 1 – Introduction to Basic Story

In this first session, we will get everyone up to speed on storytelling basics and the elements of a television show that must be incorporated into your pilot script. We will discuss how to generate winning TV show concepts, worlds, and characters. We will do a deep dive into the most central bit of television structure: the Central Dramatic Question.

  • Narrative Visual Storytelling basics
  • Basic TV structure
  • What is a pilot?
  • What does a pilot need to accomplish?
  • Concept
  • World
  • Characters
  • Character Arcs
  • Plot vs. Character
  • Central Dramatic Question

Q&A With Audrey

Assignment – Reading: Basic Story Shit by Dan Harmon. Watch a pilot that’s similar to the one you’re writing for this course. Write down what happens in every scene (Try to get a copy of the pilot script and read it if you can). Read a few pilot scripts that are similar to the one you’re writing this course. Writing: Choose a premise. Make it personal. Write the Central Dramatic Question of your series.

 

Week 2 – Finding Your Pilot Structure

This week, we’ll delve into some of the common pitfalls surrounding pilot and series Central Dramatic Questions. We’ll dig deeper into Conflicts, Concepts, and Characters, and we’ll discuss how to capitalize on dramatic tension in your stories, characters, relationships, and events.

  • Words to watch out for
  • CDQ (Central Dramatic Questions) in novels, books, and movies
  • Pilot CDQ
  • Concepts
  • Where does tension come from?
  • Character Voice
  • Conflict

Q&A With Audrey

Assignment – Watch: Three different pilot episodes that match the style and genre you’re currently working on. Highlight the characters’ worldviews, flaws, and humanity. Identify the Central Dramatic Question of the Series and the Central Dramatic Question of the Pilot. Does the Pilot CDQ launch the Series CDQ?

Writing: Know your characters. Write character breakdowns for 1-3 of the main characters in your pilot. Make sure you include what their goal is for the series, why they want to achieve it, and what will happen to them if they don’t. Revise the Central Dramatic Question of your Series. Write a Central Dramatic Question for your Pilot.

 

Week 3 – Introducing Your Audience to Your Story

Once you know exactly what your TV show is going to be about and how your pilot is going to launch it, it’s time to strategize how to set up these characters and events in the opening of your script. We’ll talk about character scripts and TV formatting specifics like act breaks and A vs. B stories.

  • Inciting Incidents
  • Goal/Stakes/Reward
  • Setting up the “why”?
  • Act Breaks
  • A & B stories
  • Outlines
  • World-building
  • Proof of Concept

Q&A With Audrey

Assignment – In broad strokes, in prose, write what happens in each act of your pilot.

 

Week 4 – Escalating Audience Interest

Once your audience is hooked into your pilot, how do you keep them coming back for more? How do you bring the experience of reading your pilot script to a satisfying close while still leaving them wanting to know more about what happens in the rest of the series?

  • Complications
  • The All is Lost moment
  • Comedy vs. Drama
  • Superpower
  • A, B, and C Stories
  • Plant and Payoff
  • Denouement

Q&A With Audrey

Assignment – Now you have all the basic tools and knowledge you need to write a successful pilot script. But to realize that goal, you’ll have to get to work and practice. Don’t delay any longer! It’s time to start your pages.

About Your Instructor

Audrey Knox is a TV literary manager at The Cartel - a management and production company. Audrey most recently staffed her client on the series SINGLE DRUNK FEMALE, GINNY & GEORGIA, P-VALLEY, GROWN-ISH, HACKS, and UPSHAWS for Netflix.

Audrey recently signed a writer she met through a Stage 32 Script Service consultation. The writer's Feature project was produced by The Cartel -- CRUSHED, is currently available to watch on Tubi!

Audrey has a background in both scripted and unscripted television, on set, in production, and in writers’ rooms. Prior to joining The Cartel Audrey worked in development at WWE and Lighthearted Entertainment and in the literary department at Gersh. In television Audrey’s worked in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation writer’s room and was the showrunner’s assistant for the hit Bravo show Millionaire Matchmaker.

Schedule

Tuesday February 7th 3pm-5pm PST

Tuesday February 14th 3pm-5pm PST

Tuesday February 21st 3pm-5pm PST

Tuesday February 28th 3pm-5pm PST

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.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

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Stage 32 Screenwriting Class: How to Better Approach and Sign With a Literary Manager to Advance Your Screenwriting Career - With a Query and Writing Sample Workshop

All writers think they have the next great screenplay or series. And maybe you do! But to get the proper feedback, get the script into market shape, and have a confidant on the business side of your pursuits to get your work out there, having a great manager who's plugged in can make all the difference. It’s your manager who often is the key to getting in front of execs, getting staffed on a TV show, and building your career to writing full-time. But as most writers can attest, finding a manager can be HARD. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. It’s more in your power than you may think. Most managers will tell you that most newer writers make the same mistakes when looking for a manager that can prevent them from ultimately finding representation. The good news is that these mistakes are easily avoidable and can be replaced with effective strategies and actions that can greatly help your chances. It’s time to hear from a successful literary manager herself on how she finds clients and what you can do to find the representation you need for your own career. Audrey Knox is a TV literary manager at The Cartel, a premiere management company with clients on shows including the Emmy-nominated IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, Golden Globe winning CALIFORNICATION, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, BONES, LUCIFER, HAPPY!, BLACK LIGHTNING, STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, and more. For years, Audrey has been helping clients get their work in front of execs and networks and most recently staffed one of her clients on the new series THE UPSHAWS for Netflix. As an established and successful literary manager, Audrey has seen more than her fair share of queries and writing samples and has met her fair share of hungry writers. She knows very well what mistakes most writers make and how the writers she ends up working with find success. And now she’s going to lay it all out for the Stage 32 community. In a special and exclusive 2-part class, Audrey will give you the tools you need and the strategies you’ve been lacking to put your best foot forward and better your chances of getting a great literary manager for your own screenwriting or TV writing career. In the first session, Audrey will walk you through how to approach managers the right way and explain the proper approach to query letters, writing samples, bios, and loglines. She even dissects brave volunteers’ own query letters and writing samples. After laying out this approach, Audrey will leave you to put these skills to use and actually reach out to managers on your own! The second session will discuss how the new approach worked and then dive into next steps you can take as a writer once you have an interested manager, including signing, how to be a good client that your manager will want to keep on board, and the other members of your team you may or may not need, like agents and lawyers.   If you’ve been struggling to find representation, there are likely things you can be doing differently to better your chances. here’s no one better than Audrey to help you adjust your approach and ultimately get the representation you’re looking for.

Write Now Webcast - Describe Tools, Mechanisms, Machinerly or Complex Ideas

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12/12/18 Tiegen Kosiak, Producer & Former Development Executive for Zoe Saldana

Producer Tiegen Kosiak joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.

First Impressions: How to Create Memorable Character Intros - Includes Case Studies

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