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PARTICIPATE IN A REAL TV SERIES WRITERS ROOM! (BY ZOOM)
November 4, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 5:00 pm PDT
EVER SPENT THE AFTERNOON PLAYING TIDDLY-WINKS WITH A UNICORN?
DID YOU EVEN KNOW THAT UNICORNS PLAYED TIDDLY-WINKS?
WELL NOW HERE’S YOUR CHANCE, THANKS TO WRITER/PRODUCER BRIANA LANE ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF THE MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA NORTHWEST (MWA NW)!
ONE DAY ONLY — NOV 4, 2023 — FROM NOON UNTIL 4 PM — BY ZOOM —
FOUR SHOW RUNNERS AND YOU!
WELCOME TO A REAL LIVE TV SERIES WRITERS’ ROOM!
YOUR CHANCE TO BE A STAFF WRITER IN SITU, WORKING UNDER A HOT CURRENT SHOW RUNNER.
THIS IS A UNICORN YOU CANNOT REFUSE.
SEE, THE WGA STRIKE PUSHED BACK PRODUCTION SCHEDULES, SO WE HAVE EXCLUSIVE LIMITED TIME ACCESS TO FOUR TOP SHOW RUNNERS FOR THIS EVENT BEFORE THEY HEAD OFF TO LOCATIONS FOR PRODUCTION OF THEIR VARIOUS TV SERIES.
AND HERE’S HOW IT WORKS AND WHY YOU WOULD BE HIGHLY SUSPECT NOT TO HURRY AND SIGN UP:
1. The set-up: We have corralled four amazing and varied show runners (see below). On Nov 4 at High Noon, each Show Runner will have been assigned a brand new TV series idea and pitch pages. Each will then be assigned no more than seven of you as their “Staff Writers”.
2. The mission: Immediately after introductions all around, each Show Runner will go off with their Writers to a ZOOM breakout room — our Writers’ Rooms — and will have three and a half hours to work together to create/define the series franchise, the series characters, and the arcs for a ten-episode “first” season. This is exactly what happens in Writers’ Room Day One with every TV series you see.
PLEASE NOTE: In order to encourage a free flow of dialogue and ideas at the Writers’ Rooms, our event will NOT be recorded. So, be there live or miss out!
3. Do the math: There is room for no more than twenty-eight of you to be Staff Writers and be active participants in the Writers’ Rooms, so sign up fast.
HOWEVER, if you do not want to be an active Staff Writer or you miss out on the twenty-eight available slots, there is also room for Observers — whom we think of as our “Network Executives” (NE’s). The NE’s are able to drop in to any of the Writers’ Rooms to observe silently. IN ADDITION, at the conclusion of the Writers’ Rooms, the Show Runners and their Teams will all come back together, along with the NE’s, at which point each Team will present its work. The NE’s may then ask questions and make comments or suggestions during these presentations. When all the presentations are done, the NE’s will confer and vote on which series they would greenlight to production. The end.
4. Any questions? Sign up fast. When you sign up you will have the opportunity to indicate whether you want to be a Staff Writer or a Network Executive. The earliest sign-ups will get their choice. Once the twenty-eight Staff Writer slots are filled, all remaining sign-ups will be designated NE. There will be a waitlist of nine Staff Writers in case there are any no-shows on the day of the event. Your status determination as Staff Writer or as NE is not confirmed until you receive a separate email from us which specifically states the status determination awarded you. This confirmation email will be sent out on Oct 30, 2023. Ticket cost is $10 for MWA Members and $15 for non-MWA Members.
5. The series ideas and pitch pages will be made available to everyone several days before the event, so you will have time to read and ponder ahead of time.
6. OUR SHOW RUNNERS —
A VERY VERY BRIEF INTRODUCTION, IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER:
TOM BLOMQUIST — he is now known for his mystery novels of the last few years, but you are likely to think of him as a long-time mystery and drama writer and producer for innumerable TV series, and specifically as Show Runner for “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Swamp Thing” and “The A-Team”, as well as revered and much-awarded family drama “Christy” in its various series, mini-series, and movie incarnations.
ERICA SHELTON KODISH — currently on fire in the realm of suspense drama, her recent credits as Producer and Show Runner for award-winning series include “The Equalizer”, “FBI”, “Being Mary Jane”, “The Good Wife”, and “Cold Case”. At our event, Ms. Kodish will update you on her immediately pressing productions — we aren’t allowed to spill the beans, but we can tell you they are exciting and show off her range and voice as a writer, and her skills as a producer/ShowRunner.
JAMES KRAMER — starting as a playwright/director, he wound up in TV, winning multiple awards for writing and producing critical and audience favorites like “St. Elsewhere”, “Moonlighting”, “Judging Amy”, and “Diagnosis Murder” (for which he wrote the pilot). But perhaps his most intriguing credit is that he is one of less than a handful of writer/Show Runners who works with the studios to adapt American TV series to other countries and cultures and languages. That is, let’s say Ukraine buys “E.R.” from Warners and then produces the series from scratch in the Ukrainian language and the present day with Ukrainian actors. Mr. Kramer comes along with the material from Warners and serves as Uber-Show Runner to define the series and re-create it in Ukrainian, finding ways to adapt it creatively and in production, serving Ukrainian culture even as he schools and trains the Ukrainian writers and producers. Mr. Kramer has been doing this for every series you can think of, in countries and territories worldwide. We will leave it to him to tell you relevant anecdotes.
NICEOLE LEVY — an actress and police dispatcher, she quickly moved lock stock and barrel into a writing/producing career, known for writing TV series like “Ironside”, “Allegiance”, and “Shades of Blue”, and the feature “The Banker” (written with George Nolfi); and writing/producing/Show Runner for “The Recruit”, “SWAT”, “Fate: The Winx Saga”, and “Cloak & Dagger”. Ms. Levy is one of those non-niche writers who has series and feature and book projects all at the same time. Her next series — an adaptation of a visionary YA series — begins production on location in November 2023. Her book “The Writers’ Room Survival Guide” is considered THE handbook in the industry and THE official guide to our event.
7. DO WE REALLY NEED TO EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY YOU MUST DO THIS EVENT?
From Briana Lane:
OK, look, here’s what you will get from this event:
(a) If you ever wondered how your favorite series come to be, this is where the writing decisions are made… IN THE WRITERS’ ROOMS! Folks, this is how the sausage gets stuffed. It ain’t pretty but it is messy good fun, it is creatively and intellectually and sometimes morally challenging, and you’re responsible for your own apron but you get to wipe your hands on everybody else’s. I can’t think of any other experience that is like it, except good sex of course.
(b) If you are a successful novelist or short story writer (mystery or otherwise) and you are worried about what will happen if you option/sell your material to TV, this event will show you. Will that allay your fears or prove them out? Come and see.
(c) If you have narrative or other non-scripted material or just some pretty terrific ideas that you think would be great for a TV series, here’s a chance to learn how to analyze it, conceptualize it in TV, and then write up pitch pages and other materials needed to be able to sell it. A Writers’ Room is a tough crowd. If you can get them to buy into what you have to say about anything, Show Running is in your future.
(d) Tiddly-winks! By the time this event is done, you will know how to play tiddly-winks with a unicorn. That’s a promise. (Hint: did you know that a hoof is a big toe?)
8. TWENTY-EIGHT. That’s all the space we have for Staff Writers in the Writers’ Rooms. And this event will NOT be recorded for later viewing. So stop reading and sign up. Go. More info will follow in future emails from us between now and the event, keep your eyes peeled.