Masters of Craft: Writing & Producing Compelling Television for Today's Market with David Weddle

Hosted by David Weddle

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David Weddle

Webinar hosted by: David Weddle

Producer & Writer for Apple TV's For All Mankind and Guillermo Del Toro & Carlton Cuse at Apple TV

David Weddle is a prime time Producer and Writer with an impressive career spanning over two decades on award winning shows. David is currently a Co-Executive Producer and Writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind. Prior to this new Apple show, David was a Co-Executive Producer and writer on The Strain – a primetime television series created by the acclaimed writer/director Guillermo del Toro, based on his series of best selling novels, co-written with Chuck Hogan and showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) who served at the helm. He was also co-executive producer and writer on USA's Falling Water.  David began his career working on shows such Falling Skies, CSI, and Peabody Award-winning Battlestar Galactica. He has also written and produced for such series as Alphas, Defiance, The Fearing Mind, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is the author of two books: the critically acclaimed "If They Move... Kill 'Em!" The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah, and the best seller, Among the Mansions of Eden. As a journalist, he has written for such publications as:Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, L.A. Weekly, Sight & Sound, Film Comment, and Variety. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

It's an undeniable fact, there is no hotter market right now than television. Over the last year, over 600 shows were broadcast on TV networks, basic cable, premium cable, and the streaming platforms. And this isn't even counting limited series, docu-series and other short form content. And with new platforms like Disney+, Apple, Facebook TV and others diving into original content, there is no peak in sight or end to this gold rush on the horizon. If anything, we may just be getting started. In fact, most streaming platforms like Netflix have made a pledge to have their entire libraries consist of over 50% original content in just a few years. Think about that! So how can you take advantage of this incredible buying and producing spree, get in a writers room, work your way up to an executive producing/showrunning position and run your own show? We're glad you asked. 

David Weddle has been at the television game for over 20 years. Over a prolific and well documented career, David has worked on some of the most highly acclaimed and longest running shows of all time including Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Guillermo del Toro's award winning and ground-breaking series, The Strain. David has worked side-by-side with some of the top showrunners in the business including Cartlon Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, Jack Ryan). Currently, David is a co-executive producer/showrunner and writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind.

In this exclusive special event Stage 32 Masters of Craft Webinar, David will take you to what it takes to build a career from writer to showrunner. He will explain the entire landscape and give you a full understanding of who does what and why. He will explain how to get into a writer's room and what to do (and not to do) once you get in. He will show you how to play the political game, climb the ladder, and earn respect. He will teach you how to think and work like an EP until you become one.

As if that wasn't enough, David will then take you through the world of showrunning. He will explain how writer's rooms are staffed. How seasons are laid out, how arcs are created and how episodes are broken down. He will explain budgets and scheduling, using real world examples from The Strain, Battlestar Galactica and CSI. He will talk hiring directors, getting your cast and making sure your show runs like a Swiss watch. And he will take you through the days and nights of being an EP and showrunner, so you know exactly what to expect and how to navigate the playing field.

Joining David to moderate this exclusive Stage 32 Masters of Craft webinar is our very own CEO, Richard Botto, a writer and producer himself with a television pilot in development. 

 

The world of breaking in and staying in television doesn't need to be complicated.

David will show you the tricks, tips and, most importantly, the facts you need to shorten your path to success.

 

 

"I was in a writer's room for 9 weeks and then our show got cancelled. I learned more today than I did being in that room for those 9 weeks."

Anthony P.

What You'll Learn

David will begin by discussing the evolution of the television industry over the last 2 decades and how he’s seen it change and evolve.

The Hierarchy of the Roles in the TV Landscape:

  • Staff Writer, Script Coordinator, Writers Assistant, Writers PA
  • Progressing to the next level: Showrunner, Executive Producer, Supervising Producers, Executive Story Editor/Story Editor
  • How the chain of command works and who does what

How To Ascend To The Top Spot - Paths to Becoming A Writer/Executive Producer For Television

  • What was David’s path to EP?
  • Why the writer is the king in television (as opposed to the director)
  • How to work your way up through the writer’s room
  • What are some other paths to make it?
  • Upon being hired what are EPs concerned with first and foremost? What are David’s first priorities?

Overview Of Expected Responsibilities Of An Executive Producer On Primetime Television:

1) Staffing and Running The Writers Room:

  • Not every room is organized the same.
  • Learn what is most important to Executive Producers and Showrunners when staffing their writer’s room. Is what’s on the page most important? Or, is it all about who you know and what you’ve done?
  • Learn how an Executive Producer/Showrunner will guide their writers room through setting out the season arcs, outlining episodes and breaking them down by theme as well as assigning episodes to writers.
  • David will lead you through the experiences he has had on both sides of the table as a writer and as the man doing the hiring. Learn how to impress and what you can do as a writer to establish a positive relationship with your EP or Showrunner.

2) Scheduling:

  • Gain an in-depth look at how TV shows are run day in and day out. David will walk through how a TV show gets organized and provide examples from his time on FX’s The Strain created by Guillermo del Toro, Battlestar Galactica, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

3) Budgets:

  • Learn how budgets are put together, who oversees them, and what happens when you go over budget. David will give a thorough look at how Executive Producers manage their budget, wrangle for more and deliver everything on time.

4) Getting The Directors And Crew Set For The Show:

  • David will speak to the priorities and challenges Executive Producers and Showrunners face when building the team. He’ll give an overview of working with directors, the art department and everything else vital to producing the TV show. He’ll talk about building the team and deciding on how to delegate responsibilities

5) Casting:

  • Gain insight on how some of the most iconic shows make their casting decisions. How much importance is placed on finding the right guy/gal? Who’s in charge of casting main parts? Does an EP decide before or after other departments?

7) Bringing It All Together: The Life Of An Executive Producer:

  • Daily operational tasks and how to accomplish them
  • Handling the Network: How to interact with the network executives, build beneficial relationships, taking notes for episodes
  • Planning for the long-term needs of a project
  • Dealing with the unforeseen and any hidden responsibilities

Plus, exclusively for Stage 32 David will open the floor to answer any questions you have!

About Your Instructor

David Weddle is a prime time Producer and Writer with an impressive career spanning over two decades on award winning shows. David is currently a Co-Executive Producer and Writer for the Apple TV hit For All Mankind. Prior to this new Apple show, David was a Co-Executive Producer and writer on The Strain – a primetime television series created by the acclaimed writer/director Guillermo del Toro, based on his series of best selling novels, co-written with Chuck Hogan and showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) who served at the helm. He was also co-executive producer and writer on USA's Falling Water

David began his career working on shows such Falling Skies, CSI, and Peabody Award-winning Battlestar Galactica. He has also written and produced for such series as Alphas, Defiance, The Fearing Mind, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

He is the author of two books: the critically acclaimed "If They Move... Kill 'Em!" The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah, and the best seller, Among the Mansions of Eden. As a journalist, he has written for such publications as:Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, L.A. Weekly, Sight & Sound, Film Comment, and Variety.

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Testimonials

"This truly was a masterclass. I learned so much."

- Rebecca C.

 

"I was in a writer's room for 9 weeks and then our show got cancelled. I learned more today than I did being in that room for those 9 weeks."

Anthony P.

 

"David, you're a rock star."

- Pam J.

 

"Rewatching. Rewatching. Rewatching. Thank you, David and Stage 32."

- Annette F.

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: 3 out of 5

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