Introducing the Sundance Episodic Story Lab, a Place for TV Writers to Cut Their Teeth
VOD platforms are beginning to change everything about the creation and consumption of TV shows and movies, with one of the big changes being the sheer amount of media audiences are wanting to consume in a single binge. "TV" shows are making out like bandits, attracting more and more filmmakers to work in the world of "television", and the Sundance Institute wants to lend a hand to them with their newly announced Episodic Story Lab, which will teach writers how to develop stories and characters that grow and develop over the course of a series.
TV has been churning out some excellent content, both online, on VOD, and the good ol' fashioned way, over the past several years. Shows have become known for their excellent cinematography, complex characters, and unique stories. That means that there is more demand for talented writers now than ever. The Sundance Institute, recognizing that there aren't many places or opportunities for writers to learn the skills it takes to construct a serialized program on TV and online, has decided to offer training at their Episodic Story Lab.
Sundance Institute's Episodic Story Lab will provide independent and underrepresented writers the opportunity to learn how to develop stories and characters that play out over multiple episodes, working in a setting where they can hone their writing skills and gain insight into navigating the business with accomplished creative and strategic mentors. Our world-renowned Screenwriters Lab will serve as a model as we identify and develop new writers, compelling stories, and showrunners/creators for the burgeoning opportunities for episodic storytelling on all platforms.
Ten writers will participate in this immersive experience over a 6-day period at the Sundance Resort in Utah, and will be offered training in drama and comedy episodic storytelling, as well as a bunch of skill-building activities, including one-on-one sessions with Creative Advisors, small group sessions, and presentations. You will get to workshop your original pilot with advisors and peers, work through the kinks, and learn the tools that will, hopefully, make your work better.
Though this inaugural year for the Lab is invitation only, that doesn't mean that you should pack up, go home, and forget about it. With plans to have an open application next year (and every following year), that gives all of you writers who have been working (or not working, but wanting to) on a pilot idea to get it ready for the Lab to come around in 2015. It's an incredible opportunity for those who want to write for TV -- or "TV" -- episodic shows. So, pour some coffee, work on your show's bible, finish your pilot, and gear up for the 2015 Episodic Story Lab.
Check out the Lab's website for more info.
Do any of you want to write for TV, as opposed to film? Does the Sundance Institute's Episodic Story Lab seem like an opportunity you'd be interested in? Let us know in the comments below.