Jan 4 - Feb 28
TV Writing: Core Elements (Self-paced | 8 Weeks)
Registration is now closed for this session.
Angela LaManna

Course applications are now closed. Applications close 2pm PT, Dec. 14, 2020.

Create an outline for your TV pilot idea in eight weeks with an accomplished TV writer as your guide. In this self-paced course, you will take this important first step for your original pilot script and learn a set of tools to help you ask the important questions of every scene and character that will get you past "stuck" when writing future episodes. 

In weekly sessions, you will view pre-recorded lectures structured around key topics, analyze clips from half-hour and full-hour sitcoms and dramas, and complete exercises that will allow you to apply the concepts to your own project. Homework after each session is designed to move your pilot idea through to your beat sheet, and then your completed outline. Your course advisor will give you detailed feedback on your project in its developmental stages: on your beat sheet (in weeks 4 and 5), and again on your final outline (week 8). You will also have the opportunity to join weekly office hours, held by the course advisor, to ask questions and discuss concepts.

The course includes resources such as pilot scripts, beat sheets, and outlines for major series. 

Along the way to creating your outline you will:

  • find your most effective creative writing process.
  • develop and hone your characters.
  • learn how character drives the plot.
  • be able to identify three-act structure and have it be the backbone of your pilot.
  • identify A/B/C stories and break story in your own pilot.
  • create the tableau and tone for your pilot.
  • write your beat sheet.
  • understand how to receive notes and approach a rewrite.
  • identify a longer story arc for your series.

This course is ideal for:

  • Television writers with an idea for a series or pilot who could use help with structure, world-building, character development, and deadlines
  • Creatives new to TV Writing who want structured direction for crafting their project with a flexible schedule for completing weekly lectures and exercises.


What is a “self-paced” course?

In a self-paced course, you can complete weekly pre-recorded sessions, and the exercises associated with them, at your own pace. Sundance Co//ab’s self-paced courses provide flexibility to complete the work on your own time, but also a structured timeline in which you’ll receive feedback on homework that advances your project. If the schedule is followed, you’ll have a completed outline within eight weeks.

How many hours of lecture are there each week?

Each week includes one to four lessons, each focusing on a specific topic. Combined, they equal about an hour of lecture each week. We recommend spreading the lessons out over the week, allowing yourself the opportunity to do the exercises after each lesson before diving into the following week’s work.

These sessions are pre-recorded. Will I still be able to ask questions about concepts or assignments?

Yes. The course advisor will hold weekly office hours. You can join these office hours to ask questions about the concepts you’ve learned, any of the exercises, or the assignments for feedback. 

Will I be able to meet other students in the class?

Yes. Each session will be taken by a group, or cohort, of writers who will complete the same assignments over the eight-week period. You can meet, ask questions, and discuss concepts with your cohort on the discussion board and in the weekly office hours.

Angela LaManna grew up in Syracuse, New York. She was an English major at The University of Texas at Austin, where she took courses in creative writing for fiction, poetry and screenwriting. more...
Vanessa Matsui is a writer-actor-director from Toronto of Japanese descent. She created, wrote, and stars in the short series GHOST BFF, which streamed on Elizabeth Bank's Whohaha.com and won Best Web Series at the LA Femme International Film Festival. It was also nominated for Best Web Series at the Austin Film Festival and two Canadian Screen Awards in 2019 (Best Digital Program Fiction and Best Performance by a Leading Actor for Matsui). more...

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