For filmmakers and creatives who are into telling original stories with complex characters, TV has been the platform on which to do it. This is why the Sundance Institute began the Episodic Story Lab last year, to help writers cultivate and learn the skills it takes to construct a serialized program on TV and online through intensive training.

This 6-day immersive experience takes place in the Fall of 2015 at the Sundance Resort in Utah. Ten chosen writers will work with show runners, TV execs, and producers, attend one-on-one story meetings, pitch sessions, and many other activities that will help them develop their projects. But it doesn't end there. Writers will get "customized, year-round support" after completing the Lab; this includes creative and strategic advice from mentors, introductions to showrunners, networks, agents and other creative and business professionals.

Now, having an idea for your project is great, but you'll need a little bit more when you apply. Here's some of the more labor intensive things you'll need to complete beforehand:

  • The first 5 pages of your spec pilot script
  • Pilot synopsis (no more than 500 words) 
  • 2-3 page series overview (between 1000-1500 words). Your overview should include the following elements:
    • The series title
    • A series logline: 2-4 sentences that give an overview of the premise, genre, and world of the series
    • A brief description of the central character(s)
    • A brief summary of the story and character arcs for first season. 

If you're interested in earning your spot in the Episodic Story Lab, you can submit your application here. (You'll need to register, if you haven't already, to enter.) Entering does require a $40 processing fee. Remember, though, the Sundance Institute is only taking applications from now until February 11th, 5:00 p.m. MT, so be sure to check out the Episodic Story Lab's website for information on eligibility and how to apply.

2015 Episodic Story Lab Application -- Sundance Institute

Episodic Storytelling Program -- Sundance Institute