The Television Writing Intensive is a six week, concentrated and encompassing introduction into the field of television writing, designed to prepare students for the professional worlds of half-hour comedies, one-hour dramas and police / medical procedurals. In an interconnected program consisting of two intensive writing workshops and a lecture series with guest writers and professionals in the field, students gain the knowledge and authority to explore, examine and create the kind of groundbreaking work that is taking over cable and making its way onto the Networks, here and around the world.
The Television Writing Intensive focuses on two specific tracks. One track is the half-hour comedy; the other is the one-hour drama. These two formats, although having much in common, come out of different traditions and are conceived and written in different ways.
* This intensive course will meet 15 hours per week, on Mondays and Wednesdays for six hours during the day, and Thursday evenings for three hours. These times are probable but subject to change based on availability of guest speakers and other opportunities which may arise, but the general format will stay the same if changes do occur. Meaning, the course will meet for two week days for six hours and one week night for three hours, avoiding Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
THREE HOURS, TWO TIMES A WEEK, SIX WEEKS.
We will examine the fundamental tools of the craft of television writing while developing and completing the steps towards an original one-hour drama or half-hour comedy pilot.
With the pilot as focal point, we will explore the opportunities and challenges of telling and sustaining a story episodically (one episode per week) and over a long period of time (a year, two years, five years, etc,) with an emphasis on the creation of the quintessential premise and the on-going conflict, be it thematic or literal, behind a successful series.
Over the first week of the course students will be required to present/pitch their series idea. During the subsequent week or two, students will be required to create and present a “show bible” for their developing idea; (the “show bible” being the foundation and blueprint of any potential series.)
As part of the show bible, students will present a synopsis for the project’s pilot. This synopsis is the jumping off point for next two to three weeks of work; a required step/beat-sheet (outline) of that pilot.
The beat-sheet, therefore is, our first step towards the goal of the final weeks of the course which is the beginnings of a finished pilot/teleplay.
Additional course work includes weekly examinations and analysis of successful one hour teleplays, well established series, and the role of the writer-director/executive-producer in the medium.
THREE HOURS, TWO TIMES A WEEK, SIX WEEKS.
We will examine the fundamental tools of the craft of television writing while developing and completing a speculative script for an existing television series.
In this course, the spec will be the focal point for an examination on the opportunities and challenges of telling a story within the given limitations of the series and of the form; the emphasis being on the creation of the script's stories. The story, as defined in the industry, is the elemental unit of a television episode.
The goal of the course is to create a professional entry-level sample teleplay.
Additional work includes weekly examinations, analysis of successful teleplays and well-established series, and the role of the writer in relation to the series and its staff.
THE WRITER’S ROOM:
THREE HOURS, ONCE A WEEK, SIX WEEKS.
Course work focuses on the weekly examinations, analysis of specific successful half-hour teleplays and well-established series from that week’s quest lecturers; which will include working writers, producers, directors, executives, and actors from the field.
The online application is now available. Please click here. The priority deadline of March 1st has passed, but applications to the Television Writing Intensive will be accepted on a rolling, first come/first served basis until the start of class.
Admission to the Television Writing Intensive is competitive and by application only. Students will be asked to submit a writing sample, a CV, and a short statement about what you would like to work on during the intensive.
Program Fee: $6,290 *
Materials Fee: $150
* $6,290 represents the non-credit tuition rate. For those wishing to take this course for 6 credits, the Columbia University standard Summer Sessions tuition rate will apply. 2012 Summer tuition rates have not yet been posted by the University, but 2010 rates are available here.
About the Instructors
Frank Pugliese is a graduate of Cornell University where he won the Forbes Herman award for playwriting and was artistic director of the Whistling Shrimp Theatre Co. His plays for the New York stage include Aven'U Boys (Off-Broadway, Obie Award), The King of Connecticut,The Talk, The Alarm (all with Naked Angels); The Summer Winds (NY Stage and Film); Hope is the Thing with Feathers more > >
Joe Cacaci co-created the CBS prime time series The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, starring Sharon Gless and has been the Executive Producer of two prime time series, SHOWTIME ‘s The Hoop Life and CBS’s The Education of Max Bickford, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Marcia Gay Harden. He was an Executive Producer with David Black and Mr. Dreyfuss of Mr. Black’s PBS series Copshop, and directed the pilot episode, which starred Mr. Dreyfuss, Blair Brown and Jay Thomas. more > >
Alan Kingsberg has written for numerous network and cable shows including NBC's Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? As a showrunner on five animated TV series including the hits Winx Club, Pokemon and Cubix, he produced or wrote over 220 half hour episodes. more > >
David Klass is a screenwriter and a novelist. He has written more than thirty feature screenplays for the Hollywood studios, including Kiss the Girls and Walking Tall. His TV credits include a year on staff as a writer-producer for “Law and Order: Criminal Intent" more > >