Thursday, May 5, 2011

CTV Diverse Screenwriting Immersion ROCKED!

The first week of April saw me herd 8 emerging screenwriters of diverse backgrounds - defined as race, sexual orientation or disability - into a window less room at the Hilton Garden Inn and bombard them with everything I know - or the expert colleagues I brought in know - about writing series TV.

After leaving the issue of diversity at the door, we broke the week down into 5 days:

Day 1 - Story, structure and the writing room
Day 2 - Pitching
Day 3 - Drama and comedy specs, and a success case study, "Flashpoint"
Day 4 - Pitching specs, kids/animation
Day 5 - Writing room simulations

At lunch, every day we had another expert colleague come in to provide personal insight into a show they created.  Or we had my agent and another agent discuss the writer-agent relationship.

It was an incredible week for me and I know that the friends and colleagues I leaned on to come in enjoyed themselves.  Most importantly, the 8 participants from around the country blossomed from being naive and a bit precious about their writing on day 1 to being really capable of delivering at a professional level.

After the immersion the 8 will writing specs and polish their series pilot/pitch under the guidance of Writers Guild of Canada member mentor - some of the best writers in the business - and one will be receive a paid internship in the writing room of a CTV show.

I'm so proud of the program, I wish I could have taken it!  The 8 participants have a lot of opportunities that have been given them as a result of making it this far and I know they're all going places.  (Just hope they remember to hire me when they get there!)
The 8 participants plus program co-ordinator Elke Town and myself

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