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Many of our best screenwriters learned their craft in serial drama. It is a world which is highly competitive, and it can also be highly rewarding – which is why plenty of the best stay working there. It’s also one of the reasons why it’s a difficult world to break into. This course with writer/producer Neil Arksey aims to boost your chances.
The course is aimed at experienced writers in theatre, prose, radio, comedy, advertising, or related fields, who wish to discover how TV serial drama works.
On six Saturdays, over four months, six participants will gain a thorough understanding of how continuing and serial dramas operate. The group will be taken though a step by step introduction to the various techniques and methods employed to put together these dramas.
The course will be delivered from the point of view of a writer, with an emphasis on three main areas:
  • What is required of screenwriters who are contracted to write for continuing and serial dramas.
  • Developing your own original idea for a drama.
  • Translating that idea into synopses, outlines, storylines, beats, scene-by-scenes and scripts.
In addition to a group project designed to enable writers to swiftly absorb some of the techniques and processes they will need to develop their own projects, each writer will also develop their own serial drama outline package, complete with a first draft pilot episode. Participants will leave the course much better equipped to understand and work in the script and story offices of a continuing/serial drama.
COURSE OUTLINE
Topics covered in the classes include:
  • Serial versus Series, Continuing versus Returning
  • Team Story Development
  • Original Drama Ideas
  • Character, Setting and Story
  • Plot and Structure
  • Pitching
  • Beats and Storylines
  • Scene by Scenes
  • Script Editing, Revising and Redrafting
  • Script Reports
  • Industry insights
The course will examine the development of a continuing serial drama in depth and trace each step of how productions are managed in-house, from initial idea to full concept, storylines, block outlines, futures and scripts. In parallel with this, each participant will also be given the opportunity to develop an original serial drama idea of their own.
Applicants will be expected to have had some (not necessarily professional) writing experience. They will be required to complete substantial in-class and homework assignments in order to achieve the course objective of completing a full outline package and draft pilot script. Email access and sharing email contact are essential.
The course has been designed with lengthy breaks between sessions to maximise writing time and allow participants to complete the scripts of their original drama projects.
By the final week, writers that have completed all their assignments will have developed their own serial drama idea all the way to a first draft pilot script and received one-to-one feedback on their project from Neil. 

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Attendees — 45

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PITCH TO PILOT: WRITING TV DRAMALondon, United Kingdom