Tuesdays: November 20, 27 & December 4, 11, 18 | 7pm – 10pm
A 5-week course designed to take aspiring TV writers from concept to first draft.
Participants will be required to arrive with a concept in mind for a scripted TV series – either a half-hour comedy or a one-hour drama. The group will be run in a manner similar to a real life Writer’s Room, with group discussion being a key factor in the development process. Students need not have any prior screenwriting experience, though basic knowledge of style and format is ideal.
Week 1 – Developing the Concept & Character
Discussion will focus on developing a concept that could make for a strong TV Pilot script and crafting a Series Bible that outlines the concept, the characters, the world and tone of the series as well as a brief overview of the Pilot episode.
Week 2 – Writing the Beat Sheet
Discussion will focus on developing the plot of the Pilot episode in order create a Beat Sheet that provides a basic overview of the entire story, broken down Act by Act.
Week 3 – Writing Act 1
Discussion will focus on writing the first Act of the Pilot and ensuring that it’s strong enough to command the reader’s attention and opens the story in an engaging manner.
Week 4 –Structuring Acts 2-5
Discussion will focus on striving to complete the script, be it a three-Act half hour or a 4-5 Act one-hour with the intention of completing the script.
Week 5 – Analyzing the First Draft
Ideally, students will have completed their first draft and group discussion will focus on peer review and analysis in order to give students a sense of how to move forward with rewrites.
Instructor Bio: Liam Brennan is an experienced screenwriter and development associate who began his career working as a freelance journalist over twelve years ago, publishing regularly for various broadsheet newspapers and arts magazines across Canada, the United States, and Ireland. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Manitoba in 2007, Liam became a fulltime fiction critic for Publisher’s Weekly Magazine, where he also served as a manuscript judge for Amazon.com’s annual Breakthrough Novel Award for five years.
In 2010, Liam returned to his roots in Dublin, Ireland to pursue a Master’s Degree in Journalism with the Irish Independent’s journalism and law school, Independent College. It was in Dublin that Liam rekindled his childhood love of cinema and television, studying screenwriting with the Irish Film Board while serving as a film critic for Filmbase Ireland Magazine. After completing his Masters, Liam began his career in the film industry with Frantic Films in Winnipeg, where he helped develop numerous television projects in development and served as a researcher and script coordinator for “CBC’s The Winnipeg Comedy Festival.”
In early 2013, Liam accepted a position as a Development Associate with Buffalo Gal Pictures, helping to develop feature films and television projects for production while also contributing creatively. The following year Liam served as the story coordinator for the first season of the Canadian Screen Award-winning series, Sunnyside. In late 2014, Liam developed his own original drama series entitled “Recovery” in the National Screen Institute of Canada’s prestigious Totally Television Program. The script landed him a full scholarship in the Serial Eyes TV writing program, a Berlin-based development program overseen by The X-Files’ Executive Producer, Frank Spotnitz.