Keys To Delivering Exceptional Sci-Fi Writing for Film, TV, and Beyond

Hosted by Marc Zicree

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Marc Zicree

Webinar hosted by: Marc Zicree

Veteran TV writer (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, BABYLON 5)

Marc Scott Zicree has written and produced hundreds of hours of drama series TV for most of the major studios and networks, including Paramount, Universal, Disney, Sony/Columbia Tri-Star, MGM, Castle Rock, New Line, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, WB, UPN, Showtime, PBS, Turner, USA Networks, Syfy, Discovery, Nickelodeon, the BBC, Marvel and NPR. Zicree’s landmark book The Twilight Zone Companion has been credited with creating the modern genre of books on TV series and inspiring a generation of series creators and filmmakers, including J.J Abrams and Damon Lindelof. The Companion was an instant bestseller (over a half million copies to date) and named in 2006 by the New York Times one of “ten science fiction books for the ages,” the only non-fiction book on the list. Zicree has been nominated for the Hugo Award, American Book Award, Humanitas Prize, Nebula Award and Diane Thomas Award, and has won the prestigious Hamptons Prize, Rondo and Saturn Awards. In 2014, he was named a Writers Guild Diversity Honoree. Zicree’s most recent book, co-written with director Guillermo del Toro, is Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities for HarperCollins (which debuted as the number one movie book on Amazon at Christmas). Zicree is currently writing, directing and producing Space Command, an epic science fiction series starring Doug Jones (Falling Skies, The Strain, Pan’s Labyrinth), Mike Harney (Orange is the New Black), Christina Moses (Containment), Faran Tahir (J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, Iron Man, American Crime), Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine, Buffy), Mira Furlan (Lost, Babylon 5), James Hong (Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, Elementary), Bill Mumy (Lost In Space, Babylon 5), Robert Picardo (Star Trek Voyager, Stargate Atlantis, Hail Caesar) and Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine, Buffy). He is currently in post on the first two-hour story, Space Command: Redemption, and has just shot one-third of the second, Space Command: Forgiveness, at Space Command Studios in Southern Calif. One of Zicree’s recent credits is the Hugo and Nebula Award nominated Star Trek New Voyages “World Enough And Time,” starring George Takei, which Zicree executive produced and directed. Zicree co- wrote the script with Emmy-winner Michael Reaves. Zicree is regarded as one of the country’s top media experts and has been interviewed by hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio shows, including The Today Show, American Masters, All Things Considered, Entertainment Tonight, E! True Hollywood Story, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Variety, New York Times and L.A. Times. Beyond his three-year stint as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, he is a regular guest on Coast To Coast, one of the country’s top-rated night-time radio shows. In addition, Zicree is a lauded novelist with the bestselling Magic Time trilogy, published by HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio. Zicree has lectured at many colleges, professional conferences, and museums in America, Europe and Asia, including USC, UCLA, Stanford and Ithaca, where he was a keynote speaker. Zicree is also founder and for the last twenty-two years has run The Table, which has provided a supportive community to thousands of Industry professionals in Hollywood and around the world, at no charge. (The documentary on the Table won Best Documentary Award at the SoCal Film Festival and has been screening on Hulu and Netflix and via iTunes.) Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Ever since Georges Méliès’ iconic LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE came out in 1902, science fiction has had an indelible mark on pop culture and has become a multi-billion dollar industry, evidenced by such popular recent projects as THE MIDNIGHT SKY, TENET, DEVS and BLACK MIRROR. Science fiction doesn’t just offer escapism, but also a unique lens through which to see our own lives and world. As a result, audiences are always going to have an appetite for this type of content, and sci-fi stories and scripts will continue to be discovered, picked up, and produced. If you are a sci-fi writer, there is always opportunity for your work to find success. First, it’s important that it’s what people are actually looking for.

Almost everyone is a fan of science fiction in some form or fashion, but we can all attest to the fact that not all of the sci-fi content out there today is exactly good. So what is it actually that separates good sci-fi writing from the bad? And what can you do to not only elevate your own science fiction writing, but find the best medium or platform for it to flourish? Good science fiction will always be a challenge to write, but it’s absolutely possible, especially with guidance from a practiced and proven sci-fi writer.

Marc Scott Zicree has written and produced hundreds of hours of drama and science fiction TV for most of the major studios and networks, including Paramount, Universal, Disney, MGM, New Line, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, Showtime, Syfy, and Marvel. He has written for such sci-fi classics as STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE 9 and BABYLON 5, and his landmark book The Twilight Zone Companion has been credited with creating the modern genre of books on TV series and inspiring a generation of series creators and filmmakers, including J.J Abrams and Damon Lindelof. Marc’s most recent book was co-written with director Guillermo del Toro and debuted as the number one movie book on Amazon. Marc’s decades of writing in the sci-fi space has made him a foremost expert on the art form of science fiction writing, and he has brought his extensive knowledge to the Stage 32 community.

Marc will give you the lessons and tools you need to know to deliver exceptional sci-fi writing for film, television and beyond. You will learn the tools necessary to apply to your writing that will help improve the essence and marketability of your sci fi script. Marc will even walk through how to build out your world and what to do continue finding stories in the universe you created. You will walk away with a clear path to identifying your story and incorporating elements to strengthen your characters, story and dialogue.

 

Praise for Marc's Stage 32 Webinar

 

"EXTREMELY USEFUL points!! Loved hearing stories about behind the scenes stuff on Star Trek and his take on why different films worked or didn't. Would love to have a beer with this guy!"

-Karyn F.

 

"Very interesting webinar Thanks!"

-Ron H.

 

"Very informative and inspiring - I learned a lot and also feel motivated to act upon the information I learned."

-Nancy G.

 

"Marc has always been an extremely generous, informative and entertaining mentor/instructor. This webinar is just one more example of that."

-Matthew M.

What You'll Learn

  • How to Know What Works and What Doesn't in a Science Fiction Story
  • Bad Sci-Fi vs. Good Sci-Fi
  • Should Your Idea Should Be a Movie, TV Show or Book?
    • Or none of the above
  • How to Avoid Having the Tech Overwhelm the Characters and Story
  • What's a Cliché and What's Fresh
  • Extrapolating From the Past and Present to Create a Believable Future
  • Science Fiction vs. Fantasy vs. Horror
    • And how and when to mix characters
  • Writing for Specific Actors -- And How to Write Roles They'll Say Yes to
  • Knowing When Your Story Is Over
  • Spin-Offs: You've Got Your Characters and Story, but Your Universe Cries Out for More
  • How to Collaborate in Building Your Universe and Writing in it
  • STAR WARS vs. THE MARTIAN-- When to Obey the Laws Of Science, and When Not to
  • Writing Dialogue that Rings True – Even for an Alien
  • Q&A with Marc

About Your Instructor

Marc Scott Zicree has written and produced hundreds of hours of drama series TV for most of the major studios and networks, including Paramount, Universal, Disney, Sony/Columbia Tri-Star, MGM, Castle Rock, New Line, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, WB, UPN, Showtime, PBS, Turner, USA Networks, Syfy, Discovery, Nickelodeon, the BBC, Marvel and NPR. Zicree’s landmark book The Twilight Zone Companion has been credited with creating the modern genre of books on TV series and inspiring a generation of series creators and filmmakers, including J.J Abrams and Damon Lindelof. The Companion was an instant bestseller (over a half million copies to date) and named in 2006 by the New York Times one of “ten science fiction books for the ages,” the only non-fiction book on the list.

Zicree has been nominated for the Hugo Award, American Book Award, Humanitas Prize, Nebula Award and Diane Thomas Award, and has won the prestigious Hamptons Prize, Rondo and Saturn Awards. In 2014, he was named a Writers Guild Diversity Honoree. Zicree’s most recent book, co-written with director Guillermo del Toro, is Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities for HarperCollins (which debuted as the number one movie book on Amazon at Christmas).

Zicree is currently writing, directing and producing Space Command, an epic science fiction series starring Doug Jones (Falling Skies, The Strain, Pan’s Labyrinth), Mike Harney (Orange is the New Black), Christina Moses (Containment), Faran Tahir (J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, Iron Man, American Crime), Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine, Buffy), Mira Furlan (Lost, Babylon 5), James Hong (Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, Elementary), Bill Mumy (Lost In Space, Babylon 5), Robert Picardo (Star Trek Voyager, Stargate Atlantis, Hail Caesar) and Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine, Buffy). He is currently in post on the first two-hour story, Space Command: Redemption, and has just shot one-third of the second, Space Command: Forgiveness, at Space Command Studios in Southern Calif.

One of Zicree’s recent credits is the Hugo and Nebula Award nominated Star Trek New Voyages “World Enough And Time,” starring George Takei, which Zicree executive produced and directed. Zicree co- wrote the script with Emmy-winner Michael Reaves. Zicree is regarded as one of the country’s top media experts and has been interviewed by hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio shows, including The Today Show, American Masters, All Things Considered, Entertainment Tonight, E! True Hollywood Story, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Variety, New York Times and L.A. Times. Beyond his three-year stint as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, he is a regular guest on Coast To Coast, one of the country’s top-rated night-time radio shows.

In addition, Zicree is a lauded novelist with the bestselling Magic Time trilogy, published by HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio. Zicree has lectured at many colleges, professional conferences, and museums in America, Europe and Asia, including USC, UCLA, Stanford and Ithaca, where he was a keynote speaker. Zicree is also founder and for the last twenty-two years has run The Table, which has provided a supportive community to thousands of Industry professionals in Hollywood and around the world, at no charge. (The documentary on the Table won Best Documentary Award at the SoCal Film Festival and has been screening on Hulu and Netflix and via iTunes.)

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars 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 webinar.

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 webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the 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.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Enchanting stories on how working with some sci-fi greats, and how to assemble your story and ideas to craft compelling messages in the medium.
  • Ron H.
    Very interesting webinar - Thanks!
  • Matthew M.
    Marc has always been an extremely generous, informative and entertaining mentor/instructor. This webinar is just one more example of that.
  • Thomas H.
    I thought it was great. I can't think of anything else at this time to add to it.
  • Derek S.
    Very interesting and informative. a lot of good and helpful info. Unfortunately I was late joining but will re-watch ASAP.
  • Marc is a great communicator - I learned a lot of excellent "inside" information that is very applicable and I also left motivated to get to work - not only did this webinar help me improve my craft - it inspired me to do so. Thanks Marc and Stage 32 for a very beneficial experience - I highly recommend.
  • Really enjoyed this class. Will need to watch it three or four more times to get all the info. :)

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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. Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Skype 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 Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information This lab is limited to 10 people ***Lab spots filled - Join our next TV writing lab with literary manager Spencer Robinson - learn more here*** 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.

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