In this crowded field of content, we can flip through endless channels and streaming networks but what makes us pause? Initially, it may be a quippy line. Amazing visuals. Action. But then, they need to make us lean in. Get addicted. And that’s all in the CHARACTERS.
Unforgettable character work can make your sample stand out, it can make an exec buy a pitch in the room, it can make an actor decide to take the role in your series and it can make an audience tune in each week. That’s why creating a unique, complex and compelling character to anchor your television series is one of the most important things, if not THE most important thing, to focus on when developing a pitch or writing a pilot. With TV you want your audience to fall in love with, and come back week to week for these characters, and see them grow over the course of several seasons.
That’s why if you tell an agent about your newest idea and describe the fascinating world and cases of the week, undoubtedly, they will say… uh-huh, great, but tell me about the characters. Because they know this: Plot is character and character is plot. Your expertly-crafted twists and shocking obstacles mean nothing if you can't first get the audience to care about what happens to your characters.
MAD MEN may have tanked without Don Draper, THE SOPRANOS without Tony isn’t even worth talking about, and the character of Dexter is the reason that show was a show in the first place. Not to mention Barry in BARRY, Joe Goldberg in YOU, SCHITT’S CREEK’s Moria Rose, or Jerry and Elaine, Ross and Rachel or Frasier and Niles. These characters feel so real they become like family, like loved ones, like friends we look forward to hanging out with in our living rooms once a week. What person wouldn’t die for a chance to join Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha for a drink at a NY hot spot? Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to tag along with Mulder and Scully on one of their investigations, or pay money to see a real GLOW wrestling match between Ruth and Debbie? We grow to love these people as much as we love our friends. We need to follow the stories of their lives, and that’s the key to getting a TV series sold and made.
So, how do you get started? In this 4-hour workshop (3-hour ONLINE) where you will learn how to develop a three-dimensional human being instead of just an archetype when you’re writing your main character. We’ll teach you how to create memorable, active characters with strong needs, wants, motivation and drive so that audiences fall in love with them and invest in their journey.
We can’t wait to see the amazing characters you have yet to create, and we’re excited to guide you!
Please continue to check our WORKSHOP EVENTS page for the next one.
THE NEW… TV FELLOWSHIP BOOTCAMP
Instructor: Hollie Overton (In-Person)
2 classes / 4-hour sessions / 10 writers max
An extended companion to the Fellowship Bio & Essay Workshop
There is no clearer path to a TV writing career than the fellowships and writing programs.
35 Script Anatomy writers have won coveted spots in Fellowship and writing programs. That's 10-12 writers per year who qualify for HBO ACCESS, Warner Brothers Writers Workshop, Disney|ABC Writing Program, FOX Writers Intensive, NBC Writers on the Verge, CBS Writers Mentoring Program, Sundance Episodic Lab, Nickelodeon Writing Program, The Cape and National Hispanic Media Coalition. Given our size, that's an unprecedented number.
Now, that Fellowship Season is upon us - it always comes faster than you think! - let us help you get those applications ready.
As always, we still offer our much-touted One-Day Bio/Essay Fellowship Workshop. But now we're offering a supplementary course - a 2 Session, 4-hour, FELLOWSHIP BOOTCAMP as a companion to the workshop taught by Instructor Hollie Overton, an alumnus of the 2008 Warner Brothers Writers Workshop and currently a Supervising Producer on CBS ALL ACCESS’s “Tell Me A Story”. In this fun and lively two-week Bootcamp, she guides you through the process of finding your unique and compelling personal story and then executing it in your submission materials. Those of you have applied before know just how grueling the application process can be, but Hollie makes it fun and engaging.
Every year, the number of applicants keeps going up, so it's more important than ever to make your resume, personal statements, bios and essays stand out from the crowd. For the next TV Fellowship Bootcamp, please check our WORKSHOP EVENTS page.
Join us for a special workshop on how to craft a compelling Fellowship Bio and Essay, the precursor to so many successful writing careers.
Since 2014, Script Anatomy alums have won 31 major studio fellowships,18 of them since 2017 (see alumni accomplishments for details)… and many non-studio fellowships besides. This workshop is one of the reasons.
In this 3 hour TV Writer Workshop (2.5 ONLINE), we will deconstruct successful TV writing fellowship essays, analyze why they work, and help you articulate the symbiotic relationship between your life story and your brand as a TV writer in 500 words or less.
Alum Felicia Pride said, “this workshop is very helpful when it comes to applications.” Felicia became a 2017/2018 NBC Writer on the Verge. Also see alum Brian Shin’s endorsement on our testimonials page.
In LA, this workshop is taught by Hollie Overton (left), an alumna of Warner Brothers Writers Workshop.
Online, this workshop is taught by the founder, Tawnya Bhattacharya, an alumna of both NBC Writers on the Verge and Fox Writers Intensive.
For our next workshop, please check our WORKSHOP EVENTS page.
PILOT KICKSTART WORKSHOP
Instructor: Ali Laventhol (also ONLINE)
For an introduction to what we do at Script Anatomy - a quick immersion - then this dynamic and comprehensive 4-hour TV pilot workshop (3 hours online) is just the thing.
We’ll give you a toolkit covering the critical elements needed in the pilot development and writing process, including loglines, conceits, what makes a compelling main character, flaws, core wound, redeemable traits and goals, how to create a strong story engine, stakes, antagonists and theme, as well as core structural beats.
MARKETING TOOLS FOR THE EMERGING TV WRITER WORKSHOP
Instructor: Gil Hizon (also ONLINE)
To be a TV writer means navigating a new industry - a world of reps, meetings, all kinds of Do’s and Don’ts. In this 3 hour TV Writer Workshop, Gil Hizon demystifies the critical day-to-day aspects that can have a huge impact on your career.
You’ll learn how to find representation and how to deal with your reps. When to follow up with an executive, and how to behave in a general meeting. You will learn how to build last relationships with industry connections, and how to generate more of those connections.
Whether you have a couple of scripts under your belt or an entire body of work, the tools you’ll learn in this Los Angeles writing workshop will stand you in good stead when it comes to managing your TV writing career.
Please continue to check our WORKSHOP EVENTS page for the next workshop.
INSIDE THE WRITERS ROOM WORKSHOP
Instructor: Kevin Townsley
Your dream has come true. After years of grinding you have finally got staffed! But then fear sets in: what’s it like in the writers’ room? How should I behave? Am I talking too much or not enough?
“Inside The Writers Room Workshop” pulls back the curtain on this elusive world. In this 3 hour TV Writer Workshop, all of your questions will be answered, and you will also experience what’s it’s like to “break” a story with other writers.
This workshop is available in two versions - for COMEDY rooms and DRAMA rooms.
Every writer thinks they’re going to be staffed on “This is Us” (drama) or “Search Party” (comedy). But the harsh truth is you’ll probably get staffed on a show you’d never watch, don’t like, or that will be cancelled after it’s first season. Still, you have to be passionate about every opportunity.
Your homework will be to watch the pilot (and ONLY the pilot) and read the script of a cancelled show the teacher will select. The workshop will be a “mock room” of your first day on the job where we will break a NEW episode two of the series as if the actual 2nd episode never aired.
The spirit of this three-hour workshop is to learn and have fun, but most importantly you’ll get insight into your future career and who you’ll be in the room. After the mock room session everyone will be given individual feedback and the instructor will go over the Dos and Don’ts of being in a writers room.
You will receive the pilot script and streaming links TWO WEEKS BEFORE the start of the workshop. Please read and watch the pilot before class.
*Limit is 15 writers.
Please continue to check our WORKSHOP EVENTS page for the next workshop.