Inside the TV Drama: Writing the Best Shows on Television
ABOUT THE WEBINAR
The reason why they’re calling our era of television the new “Golden Age” of the medium is because of the sheer amount of great shows airing across several different networks and platforms. Shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Game of Thrones demonstrate some of the best screenwriting today, on the big or the small screen. The talented writers of these shows build sprawling worlds, juggle large ensembles, inspire cinematic production values, and develop compelling anti-heroes—all while advancing a 10, 13 or 23 episode season with heart-tugging cliffhangers and brilliant story engines galore.
Serialized storytelling is a different animal than feature screenwriting, which is why Daniel Calvisi, creator of the Story Maps system, adapted his method to break down and analyze the one hour drama series. He will take you on an exploration and dissection of many great shows, using examples from The Sopranos, Homeland, Dexter, The Bridge, The Americans, The Good Wife, The Closer and more. This webinar will mark the first time Daniel (or anyone?) will offer a Story Map beat sheet analysis of television screenplay structure.
This OnDemand webinar will also pay particular attention to the pilot episodes of these great shows, because that’s what YOU need to write to break into television. In fact, it’s because of prestige dramas like the ones named above that writers are now asked to submit original pilots rather than spec’d episodes of existing shows. Every studio, network and digital platform is on the lookout for high-quality, character-based content that will suck in audiences and inspire them to remain loyal to a show for years to come.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- How to analyze and identify the characteristics of a top-quality one hour drama
- The main genres in use today in one hour scripted television
- How to structure a one hour pilot
- Television script format and how it differs from movie script format
- How to use act breaks, theme, setups/payoffs and escalating conflict to strengthen your protagonist’s pursuit of their dramatic goals
- Procedurals vs. Serials
- The importance of a concept that can generate that all-important “100 episodes”
- The characteristics of each crucial story beat in the “TV Story Map.” Not only where to place them, but how to use them in your narrative
WHO SHOULD WATCH?
- Writers who want to utilize the TV structure used by Hollywood pros
- Writers who aspire to Emmy greatness
- Writers looking for a more practical, industry-based approach to teleplay structure and outlining that applies to all genres of television
- Writers who are developing a new pilot concept and want to begin with the strongest foundation possible
- Writers with a completed pilot script who want to locate issues that are holding the script back from reaching its true potential
Daniel P. Calvisi is a story analyst, speaker, screenwriter and the author of Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay, Story Maps: TV Drama: The Structure of the One-Hour Television Pilot, Story Maps: 12 Great Screenplays and Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan. He is a former Story Analyst for major studios like Twentieth Century Fox, Miramax Films and New Line Cinema. He coaches writers, teaches webinars on writing for film and television and speaks at writing conferences. He holds a degree in Film and Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He lives in Los Angeles.
The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.