TV writing classes I’m teaching for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program:
Writing the One-Hour Pilot II – X422.4
7pm-10pm Tuesdays, March 31 – June 2, 2020, via remote instruction (Zoom)
This workshop guides you through writing a solid draft of an original pilot script from your one-hour outline created in a previous course. You start by reworking your story idea and outline as needed, fixing story problems and maximizing the drama potential. Special attention is paid to refining the world, characters, tone, and story of your pilot. You then move toward completing a first draft of your script, working on scenes, dialogue, and action, until it captures your original vision and matches a network’s likely requirements. You must bring a completed story outline and first 10 pages to the first day of class. Registration: NOW OPEN!
Please note: Due to adjustments made to the Spring quarter, this course is now scheduled to be delivered in a synchronous online format. Classes will be delivered weekly in an online forum at the scheduled time assigned to the course. Further adjustments may be made by the instructor in order to best serve the course material. Please check Canvas regularly for updates.
7pm-10pm Tuesdays, June 30 – September 1, 2020, via remote instruction (Zoom)
Modeled directly on how writers write in the real world of one-hour dramas, this course focuses on what is most central to creating a strong script as well as the largest piece (40 percent) of the writer’s deal with any show: the story and outline. You learn to choose the best story for your spec script, map it out from beginning to end, and write a strong outline in proper script format. In the process, you learn how to identify and capture the tone, characters, dialogue, and themes of any one-hour drama series–the key to breaking into the field. Also covered are the various genres (police procedurals, medical, legal) and their specific rules; what’s popular in the current marketplace; and how to work within the special requirements of timeslots, outlets, and styles. The course goal is to master the process of constructing an airtight story and detailed outline so you are ready to write a script for any current show as quickly and expertly as possible. All student projects must focus on current shows; no pilots. Registration: Enrollment opens 27 April 2020!
All classes provide notes, feedback, and help on students’ works-in-progress in a constructive and supportive workshop setting that mimics the freewheeling creative collaboration of a professional TV writers’ room, whiteboards and all.