Script University is thrilled to present the one-day Script University TV Writing Virtual Conference on November 5, 2022. Our one-day virtual conference will equip scribes with fundamental tools to initiate their TV career, with insight provided by FOUR leading industry professionals and screenwriters on how to craft a crowd-pleasing binge-worthy TV crime drama, learn tips and tricks on writing and pitching a series for streamers, and how to become a showrunner in the new golden age of TV.
All participants will benefit from:
- FOUR all-new, one-hour webinar presentations provided by industry professionals and screenwriters, all examining different aspects of television writing from pitching to writing a binge-worthy crime drama. Each session will include an opportunity for live Q&A with the speaker!
- The ability to network with other screenwriters via discussion boards that will be open throughout the day. Share ideas, and even your work if you choose.
- Unlimited OnDemand viewing! All conference sessions will be made available for download in the week following the live presentations. Even if you can’t attend every session live, you will be able to view each lecture on your own whenever you choose.
OPENING KEYNOTE with Bruce Miller (The Handmaid's Tale)
Bruce Miller is creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the critically-acclaimed, Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s groundbreaking novel, which returned for a fifth season on Hulu on September 14, 2022.
The series received 21 Emmy nominations for its fourth season, joining the numerous Emmy nominations garnered in previous seasons. The show was the recipient of multiple Emmy awards for season one, including Outstanding Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Miller.
The Handmaid’s Tale won the Peabody Award; the Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Drama; the Critics Choice Award for Best Drama Series; the PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama; two WGA Awards, for Best Drama Series and Best New Series; and was honored by AFI as one of the top ten TV programs of the year.
Miller began his writing career on NBC’s long-running hit “ER,” and has been a writer/producer on Syfy’s “Eureka” and “Alphas,” and the CW’s “The 100.”
25 Essentials for a Binge-Worthy Crime Drama with Jennifer Dornbush
What elements go into a top box office thriller? How do you craft a crowd-pleasing TV crime drama? Crime dramas, mysteries, and procedurals are a staple in our entertainment diet. Flip through the guide on your Roku or Direct TV and you will find a crime show any hour of the day or night.
From to NCIS to Stranger Things, there truly is a crime story out there for everyone. Great crime stories are engineered, not just imagined and competitive writers know what it takes to kill it (pun intended)! This seminar offers 25+ professional tips and practices for penning your most compelling crime story to date.
Writing and Pitching a Series for the Streamers with Lynn Grant Beck
The golden era of television dawned with the rise of cable and streaming networks. Not only did these networks change the way we view television, but they’ve also changed the way writers craft them. Audiences now have access to series created around the world, so TV writers are literally competing with the best writers in the world. In this seminar we will look at how to cater a series to the streamers, how to write the pilot, as well as a bible or pitch deck. Traditional broadcast networks were funded by advertisers, who were targeting a specific demographic, often resulting in generic and limited programming. But streamers can target micro-niche audiences resulting in a plethora of specific and creative series. The broadcast networks often launched a series with 22 episodes, but the streamers launch a series with far more limited episodes, usually under 10. Then if it’s successful, they’ll greenlit another season. Instead of focusing on individual episodes, an entire season is now one layered, three act story.
The secret to writing a new and unique story is to cloak it in the tropes of old, popular stories, but give it a distinctive specificity. Finally, we’ll look at dramas vs. comedies and explore why there are far more dramas on the streamers than comedies.
Become a Showrunner in 55 Minutes or Less with Guillermo Escalona
When Netflix flipped the switch in 2016 and launched in 130 countries, television content changed forever. Globalization triggered the public's appetite for production in the local language. The Internet has uniquely enabled a new golden age of television. But, although the content is local, the tools to develop and write television want to be universal. If you use those standard elements, like documents used in pitches with a character breakdown, pilot synopsis, and season overview, you will have the best chance of success. Another element you want to be universal is the showrunner's elusive "unofficial" figure.
Because our audience is likely to be made up of writers at all different levels of their careers, I'm going to speak in general and a bit more specifically to newer writers. The structure of the talk is based on reverse engineering; we start as accomplished showrunners and analyze how in the world we were able to get a show and what skills and opportunities you needed for a network or a streamer to deposit such trust in you. By the end of the class, you will have a path and a laundry list to become a showrunner. It will likely take you more than 55 minutes, probably years, but at least you will know where you are going.
NOTE: Conference schedule and speakers subject to change.
Learn Valuable Techniques to Hone Your Craft
Our craft-focused conference schedule is designed to provide the kind of education that all screenwriters can use to take their work to the next level.