How to Get Staffed as a Comedy TV Writer for a Streamer like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu

Hosted by Spencer Robinson

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Spencer Robinson

Webinar 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 20 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, among others. Spencer’s clients have also recurred on series for Freeform, TNT, AMC, Showtime, and more. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, another shot her first film for Netflix last year, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Jason Bateman's Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. Art/Work's writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

People are glued to streaming platforms more than ever and desperate for a show to make them laugh. Everyone who's read your script knows you're funny. Why can't that show be yours? We're giving you the expert tools to get in the room and make this the year you launch your television comedy career.

Do you dream of your joke being the next viral meme?

Or your show being the next awards-sweeping TED LASSO?

Are you unsure how to navigate comedy audiences in a world where tastes and platforms are rapidly changing?

No matter what your style or skill set, there's an audience out there for you. But you won't find them until you put yourself out there with the right tools to get staffed or sell your brilliant comedy.

Every day there's a new streamer with its own brand and audience to cater to. From TED LASSO to PEN15 to SPACE FORCE, there have never been so many opportunities available. But while making someone laugh gets you a career, it takes more to get you in the door, and these digital players aren't following the rules of traditional networks.

In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you'll learn the ins and outs of streaming writers' room styles and how to be effective within them so that your jokes get airplay.

You'll understand how to write stories that will thrill a showrunner and get you staffed in a room. You'll have the chance to analyze your pilot to consider where it fits in the marketplace, how to view it as though you're the executive, and determine how to strengthen your concept so that it's ready to sell. You'll discover the differences between platforms, budgets, schedules, audiences, and development needs, and more.

Most importantly, you'll learn how to get your work into the right hands and snag that comedy gig at a top streaming platform.

Taking you through the state of streamer staffing season and pilot selling is literary and talent manager Spencer Robinson of Art/Work Entertainment. With over 20 years of experience, Spencer has had clients in films from directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski, and more. His clients have worked on projects from Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few.

Using his extensive experience helping writers get staffed and sell their pilots, Spencer teaches you the do's and don't of writing for streamers vs. network and how to tailor your script to make the best impression on executives at the biggest streamers in town. He lays out how streamers differ from the formatting to structure and specifically analyzes what you should consider before tackling your pilot.

Spencer also dives into staffing and sales, and what approach is best for you, with the opportunity to ask Spencer any questions about yourself and your comedy career pilot during the Q & A. He'll also debunk common misconceptions about selling a comedy series in today's market and how you can use IP to sell your show.

Whether you have the next great comedy series are ready to land a spot in a streaming room, this webinar ensures you walk away prepared for success.

 

 

Spencer was awesome! Super informative and detail-driven - providing great insights. Packed so much into a short amount of time which I'm super grateful for!

-Eric C.

 

What You'll Learn

Different Streaming Platforms

  • How do the streaming platforms differ from one another?

Script Structure and Format

  • Before you write your pilot
  • What should your pilot be about?
  • Characters
  • What structure should your pilot script follow?
  • How do comedy scripts for streaming platforms differ from broadcast pilots?

Staffing on a Streaming Show

  • How does staffing work?
  • What materials do you need to get staffed?
  • Diversity hire
  • Personal Connection to the show
  • Getting your material to the right people
  • Showrunner meetings

Selling A Streaming Show

  • When is the right time to sell a streaming show?
  • What materials do you need to sell a pilot?
  • Importance of IP
  • What are some common misconceptions about selling a TV series?

Streaming Writers Rooms vs. Broadcast Writers Rooms

  • Writers Room schedules
  • Taking episode budgets into consideration
  • What happens when the show goes into production?
  • Time between streaming seasons

Q&A with Spencer

 

 

Like what you hear from Spencer during this webcast?

Send your script to Spencer and speak with him for an hour by clicking here.

 

About Your Instructor

Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over 20 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, among others. Spencer’s clients have also recurred on series for Freeform, TNT, AMC, Showtime, and more. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, another shot her first film for Netflix last year, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Jason Bateman's Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. Art/Work's writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms.

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Testimonials

Spencer was awesome! Super informative and detail-driven - providing great insights. Packed so much into a short amount of time which I'm super grateful for!

-Eric C.

 

Spencer Robinson has high energy and packs a ton of information in his lecture. Most importantly Spencer gives realistic advice while encouraging writers to move forward fully informed of the terrain.

-Oweeda N.

 

Spencer opened my eyes to how the TV world works with broadcast and streaming. What a great crash course!

-Ricki L.

 

"Very enlightening. Gave a realistic view of how difficult it is to get a pilot made but was just inspiring enough to give hope. :)"

-Clive M.

 

Incredibly insightful. Appreciate the affordable cost for this webinar. Would have paid double.

-Jacqueline S.

 

A lot of great insights. Learned a lot.

-Eric M.

 

I thought Spencer was very informative and obviously knows the industry and what is happening. What he shared was sobering but I appreciated that he gave us a REALISTIC viewpoint of what is going on in the industry and HOW to get to where I want to be.

-Stephanie B.

 

Spencer gave very detailed and informative notes. He was very open and honest in answering questions, similar to RB! :)

-Rashika R.

 

Spencer was really insightful and open. The topics and advice was exactly what I needed to hear!

-Gabrielle H.

 

 

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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.    

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