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TV Writers' Summit

At a Glance

  • Learn from 4 of the industry's most respected and sought-after working TV pros
  • Day 1 of the TV Writers' Workshop - is a crash course on developing, writing, producing and selling your TV show
  • Day 2 of the TV Writers' Summit, you must also attend Day 1 as the Pros will build on the concepts and lessons from that day, taking it to a whole new level as they utilize and share the knowledge and experience they have as real working writers and produ

The Premier TV Writing Conference

Learn from TV's top working writers and producers

Today's best writing is on television: The Walking Dead (AMC), Masters of Sex (Showtime), Breaking Bad (AMC), Game of Thrones (HBO), 2 Broke Girls (CBS), House of Cards (Netflix), Homeland (Showtime), Justified (FX), Duck Dynasty (A&E...Yes, it's written), NCIS (CBS), Major Crimes (TNT)...the list goes on and on. The best - and most - opportunities for writers to succeed today both creatively and financially can be found on television.

But how do you create a show? How do you develop your show idea? How do you structure your characters and stories over a full season? How do you pitch and know who to sell your show to? At the TV Writers' Summit, you'll learn from 4 of the industry's most respected and sought-after working TV pros - Jennifer Grisanti, Ellen Sandler, Troy DeVolld and Chad Gervich - how to create, develop, write, structure, produce, pitch and get your TV show on the air. From idea to airing, the TV Writers’ Summit is the premier event for aspiring and established (Emmy-winning writers regularly attend) TV writers.

The VP of Current Programs at CBS, Alix Jaffe, said, "Jen Grisanti has great insight into working with writers. She has a special ability to nurture their vision, while being true to story structure, character and dialogue.Her notes are always clear, insightful and productive." Legendary NBC President Warren Littlefield said, "Sitting in a classroom and listening to Chad Gervich teach gave me goose bumps - why didn't I have teachers like this? After his class I couldn't sleep that night - my mind was racing with possibilities. Must hear teaching!" Bestselling author and Emmy-nominated writer/executive producer Ellen Sandler has worked on over 25 prime-time shows, and has been called the “Dalai Lama of television writing" by Entertainment Today. Andrew Hoagland, Story Producer for hit shows like The Bachelor and Basketball Wives, said, "I doubt anyone knows more about the making of Reality television than [Emmy-nominated] Troy DeVolld."

If you have an idea for a TV show, or are currently working in TV and looking to learn more, the TV Writers' Summit is the only event in the world of its kind. And you have two options:

1. One-Day TV Writers' Seminar - A one-day, lecture-filled crash course on the craft of writing, story, creating and selling TV. Only $188. Course Outline

2. Two Day TV Writers Workshop - Includes Day 1 above, plus a second day of hands-on Writers' Room-type workshop where the audience is broken into groups, and works with each Pro in rotating 90-minute sessions creating and developing an original show idea. As Chad Gervich says, "Being a TV writer takes very different skills. You have to be 'good in a room.' You have to know when to speak up, when not to speak up. You have to know how to be encouraging of other people’s ideas. You have to know how to build on other people’s ideas, and not shoot ideas down." If you're serious about writing for TV, you won't want to miss this very hands-on day. Added Bonuses: In addition to the crash course on Day 1, and hands-on experience during Day 2, we will be recording the Day 2 sessions of all four groups throughout the day and making them available exclusively to you after the class! In short, that's an additional 18-hours of material you'll have access to. Add Day Two: Only $240 More.

Course Outline

Day 1 - TV Crash Course

The TV Writers' Seminar - Day 1 of the TV Writers' Workshop - is a crash course on developing, writing, producing and selling your TV show. Each speaker takes to the stage for almost 2 hours to cover a component based on their expertise. It's a fast-paced, non-stop day that'll give you the tools you need to start developing and writing your TV show.

Ellen Sandler - 9:00am to 11:00am

WHAT’S NEW? – CREATING A TV PILOT

An overview of what you need to know to develop and write a professional level original pilot for today’s series television marketplace. 

The 1 Key You Must Have to Create a Pilot - Focusing your Premise 

The 2 Essential Elements that Make a Series 

The 3 Pillars of Any Pilot - The Foundation Of Every Successful Show.

  • Defining Your Central Character
  • Building Your Show’s “Family”
  • Creating the World of Your Show

The 4 Support Beams of a Series Pilot

  • Defining Your Arena
  • Committing to Your Genre
  • Establishing Your Series Tone
  • Effecting a Style

Developing Your Story LinesWhat Makes a Great Pilot StoryTips on You Can Use Your Pilot To Advance Your Career

Troy DeVolld - 2:00pm to 3:45pm

WRITING AND PRODUCING REALITY TV

The Reality Effect

  • How Reality Has Changed Traditionally Scripted Shows

Creating Your Own Show

  • The Workable Concept, Sizzle Reels, The Pitch, The Payoff

Story is Story, and Story is Written. Sort of.

  • Why Don’t I See Writers Credited on Reality Shows?
  • What Does a Story Producer Do Exactly?
  • Timeline? What Timeline?
  • Authenticity
  • Continuity and Story Basics

The 7 Kinds of Reality Shows​

  • The Reality of Reality TV
  • The Story Department
  • The Politics of Reality
  • That Stuff Has Writers? – Building a Reputation on an Invisible Job
  • Thoughts on Networking

Chad Gervich - 11:00am to 1:00pm

SELLING A TV SHOW AND THE BUSINESS OF TELEVISION

In order to bring your show idea to life, you need to create it, write it, pitch it, sell it, and navigate TV's development process.

During Chad's session, he details the main steps of selling a TV show in today's global broadcast and cable landscape. He'll discuss the elements of every successful TV show, how to develop and
organize them into a pitch, and when, where, and how to get them to the most appropriate buyers. You'll also learn:

  • Networks, cable networks and studios' secret schedule for buying projects… and why timing is essential
  • Creative ingredients every producer or exec looks for… and how to insert them into your pitch
  • The most important element of any TV show or pitch… and how to convince execs you have it
  • Which tools and secrets help your pitc and which will undermine it
  • Where and how to get an agent or manager… and when to find the right representative for you
  • The structure of TV’s network/studio/pod system…How it's changing…And how to navigate it
  • How to find, meet, and network with TV's power-players… and who you don't need to meet
  • How the business is changing, and why these changes can help you

Jennifer Grisanti - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

STORY DESIGN & CHARACTER

Loglines

  • A Logline for your Life
  • A Logline for your Script

Story Structure for TV Spec and Pilots Scripts

  • Powerful Dilemma
  • Clear Goal Stemming from the Dilemma
  • Act outs need to connect back to the goal

Fictionalizing Your Truth

Writing The Spec Script

Writing Your TV Pilot Script

  • Writing the opening
  • Identifying an external goal that stems from the opening dilemma
  • Scene Construction
  • Writing each act
  • Writing toward the external goal in the A story
  • Writing the external stakes arc
  • Writing with a theme
  • Writing the resolution and setting up the series

Day 2 - TV Writers' Room Workshop

Day 2 of the TV Writers' Summit is a fun and intense hands-on workshop where you'll be able to expand and develop your idea for a show.

The audience will be broken up into groups and work with each Pro throughout the day as they take you through the paces to help develop and flesh out your show ideas, and even how to sell them. To be covered:

Jennifer Grisanti Learn how to tell and sell your story. In Jen Grisanti's workshop, she will show you how to structurally frame your story in your log line, your Log Line for Your Life, and the opening of your pilot story. She will take you through exercises and formulas as a way to teach you the techniques that will lead you to success with your script and your personal story. These tools have led many of the writers that she's worked with to sell pilots and get staffed.

Ellen Sandler Once you’ve got your story engine up and running, you need a driver if you’re going to get anywhere. Every network exec and every showrunner will tell you: Characters drive (and sell!) a series—they are the beating heart of a show and what the audience comes back to see. In your workshop with Ellen you’ll discover simple techniques on how to make your characters multi-dimensional, how to give them emotional life and how to get them into action; crucial tools that let you put your characters where they belong: In the driver’s seat!

Chad Gervich The most important part of any TV show -- and the thing that makes TV its own unique medium, distinct from film, theater, or literature -- is its ability to generate an endless number of stories. If your show doesn’t have that, a powerful story generator, you ain’t got nothin’. In your workshop with Chad, you’ll gain the tools you need to sharpen your characters and create compelling conflicts. You’ll also give your concept a writers-room litmus test to determine whether its strong enough to generate the right stories to sustain an entire series. If it’s not -- we’ll discuss how to whip it into shape. If it is -- go sell it for a 22-episode order and a million-dollar overall deal.

Troy DeVolld Story is story, and story is written... and no matter what you've heard, you can't rely on your characters to tell you what they want or dictate storylines themselves. Whether you're working on traditionally scripted series or reality shows, one thing's for sure --- your characters need direction. In your workshop with Troy, you'll learn how to collaboratively map out a full season and beyond, setting up your characters -- real or fictional -- for engaging journeys that will keep your viewers riveted season after season.

And, of course, in between sessions, you'll be able to ask the Pros any questions you may have.

Product Details

  • Date available: 01/20/2014
  • Publication date: 01/20/2014
  • Return policy: This item is not eligible for return.

Return Policy

Your satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please return the item(s) for an exchange or refund within 30 days from the purchase date, unless otherwise noted on the product page.

Ship the item(s) to The Writers Store via a traceable and insured method. You will be responsible for return shipping fees.

Please include a completed Return Form with your shipment. Refunds take up to one week to process once we have received the item(s).

Software returns must be deactivated and uninstalled from your computer before a refund may be issued. Please contact the software manufacturer if you need assistance uninstalling or deactivating your software.

The following items are not returnable: Hollywood Creative Directories, DVDs (opened), and Gift Certificates.

Meet the Author: Chad Gervich

Chad Gervich has worked as a TV writer, producer, and executive. He’s written, developed, and produced shows for the Littlefield Company, Fox Television Studios, Paramount Television, NBC, Warner Bros., ABC, Fox Reality Channel, E! Entertainment Television, and 20th Century Fox.

Meet the Author: Ellen Sandler

Ellen Sandler was nominated for an Emmy as a Co-Executive Producer of Everybody Loves Raymond. She has created over 20 pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox Family, Oxygen and the Disney Channel and has consulted internationally on pilots for the ABC Australia; the CBC Canada; Media Marketing, Dubai; and MediaCorp, Singapore. A writer/producer on more than a dozen prime time TV shows, she is the author of The TV Writer’s Workbook (Bantam/Dell).

Ellen is also a playwright and director. Her most recent theatrical project was her adaptation of N.Y. Times food writer Mimi Sheraton’s book, The Bialy Eaters, which st...

Meet the Author: Jen Grisanti

International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.

Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years, and she quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ra...

Meet the Author: Troy DeVolld

Troy DeVolld survived careers as an executive assistant and comic book artist before finding his way into Reality Television, where he currently works as a Supervising Producer. Since relocating to Los Angeles from Tampa, Florida, in late 2000, Troy has worked on many top Reality shows including The Osbournes, The Surreal Life, Dancing with the Stars, Flipping Out, and Basketball Wives. He shared a Daytime Emmy® nomination in 2009 as a Producer on Style Network’s Split Ends.

Troy has had the pleasure of lecturing on the topic of Reality Television production...