Screenworks 2018 Writing for TV Intensive
Observe, participate & progress your own project in a two-day Writers Room Workshop
Fri 15 June & Sat 16 June 2018
Screenworks’ Writing for TV Intensive is a 2 day professional development workshop designed to give regional writers the opportunity to observe the process, techniques and dynamics of developing a TV drama in a writers room environment.
Presented by Screenwriter/Story Producer Alexa Wyatt and Producer/Director Karl Zwicky, this workshop will give selected applicants the opportunity to participate in story and character development for a TV drama as a mini bible and pitch documents are developed for the TV comedy drama Win for ABC TV.
Screenworks has selected Win as the project to be used to demonstrate the workings of a writers room. Win is TV comedy drama series created by Jo Coby about a cantankerous, politically incorrect blind guy who just happens to be Australia’s most up and coming romance writer.
Selected applicants will also participate in a consultation with a guest speaker, where they will receive advice to assist in the development of their own scripts.
This workshop is most relevant to early-career regionally based writers who have some experience in writing drama and an ambition to write drama for TV. This workshop will help writers to understand how to prepare a mini bible for a TV drama and how to prepare for the opportunities in television writers’ rooms.
Applicants will be asked to submit a TV drama writing sample and it must demonstrate that the applicant is aware of where their drama could sit in the current TV landscape.
Applications are open to writers living in regional NSW, regional Queensland and regional South Australia.
Deadline for applications is 5pm Thursday 17 May 2018. Selected applicants will be notified by Friday 1 June 2018.
The cost to selected applicants from regional NSW is $200* which includes tuition, an assessment consult and catering. Selected applicants from regional Queensland will be supported by Screen Queensland and selected applicants from regional South Australia will be supported by the South Australian Film Corporation.
Applications will be assessed by a panel made up of Screenworks staff, the guest speakers and state funding body representatives.
In the room
- Screenwriter / Script Producer; Alexa Wyatt (Janet King, Home and Away, McLeods Daughters)
- Producer / Director; Karly Zwicky (Janet King, The Secret Daughter, McLeods Daughters)
- Concept Originator; Jo Coby
- Story Generator; Ben Coby
- A note taker
- 12 Selected participants
The story being developed
Win (8 x ½ hour comedy drama series)
To navigate through this jungle we call life is hard enough for a person with vision, but try doing it as a blind guy. A cantankerous, politically incorrect blind guy who just happens to be Australia’s most up and coming romance writer.
Win Bryston (late 20s) – grizzly and acerbic – is an equal opportunity Grinch. He hates everyone … most notably the cute, the cuddly, and the adorable. Completely blind by seventeen due to a rare genetic syndrome, all Win thinks he wants is to be left alone to write his romance novels and disappear into the fantasy world he creates, where he is the sexy man of desire who always gets the girl. Instead of the disabled guy who is often overlooked or worse, pitied. What he really wants is for that fantasy to happen in real life. Not that he’d ever admit it. And the easiest way to stay in denial, is make out you hate that real world and want nothing to do with it.
Each episode will deal with Win’s issues as a blind man navigating a world designed for people with sight. Bringing together fantasy (his contemporary erotic romance novels – think ‘50 shades’) and true storylines, we can access Win’s subtext and secret desires by dramatising extracts from his romance novels where he gives full flight to everything he can’t experience or achieve in real life. The dichotomy reveals his vulnerability and yearning for what daily life can’t give him. There’s physical vulnerability in the real world, but the fantasy world of his novels reveals – via wish fulfilment – his true emotional vulnerability.
Then there are the people in Win’s life who consistently plague his very existence, such as Julie – his perpetual “down-on-her-luck”, co-dependent sister. A highly strung diva agent – Ms. Pearl. Security guard, mate, and world’s worst wingman – Pete… and Rachel – the woman who is totally out of reach.
Scriptwriter / Story Producer
Alexa has worked as a story liner, script editor, script writer and script producer for over 20 years on series including E Street, Heartbreak High, Big Sky, Police Rescue, All Saints, Home and Away, Water Rats, Neighbours and Rescue Special Ops. She worked on the hugely successful series McLeod’s Daughters from conception, helping write the bible that saw the show commissioned by the Nine Network, to writing the final script, 224 episodes later, and held the position of Script Producer on the series several times. Recently she was script producer and script writer on series 3 of Janet King for the ABC and Screentime, and was senior script editor on 3 series of Mako Mermaids and season 1 of The Bureau of Magical Things, for Jonathan M Shiff Productions and Netflix. She has worked as a documentary script writer for Foxtel’s History Channel, and is currently a scriptwriter for a children’s animation series 100% Wolf for Flying Bark Production
She has developed numerous television drama series for producers and television networks in Australia and New Zealand, received funding for a children’s television drama series from Screen NSW, and for a feature film from Screen Australia (Executive Producer James M Vernon).
She is the recipient of a Distinctly Australian Script Editing Fellowship which allowed her the opportunity to live in London whilst working on attachment to two major British film and television production companies, Red Rooster Film and Television (a subsidiary of Chrysalis Entertainment) and Portman Productions, working on a diverse slate of film and television projects.
She has also worked as a script editor on numerous feature film projects, as a script assessor for government bodies including Screen Tasmania, the South Australian Film Corporation and the Australian Writer’s Guild. She is also a playwright with productions at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Stables Theatre, Sydney, Melbourne Writer’s Festival and the Bridewell Theatre, London. She has taught scriptwriting and editing classes for AFTRS, Screenworks and the Australian Writer’s Guild.
An AFTRS graduate, Karl Zwicky is an award-winning producer and director. He was Series Executive Producer and Supervising Producer on McLeod’s Daughters (Millennium/Nine Network) and Series Producer on Crownies and the spinoff three series of Janet King (Screentime/ABC). Most recently he produced Underbelly Files: Chopper (Screentime/Nine). He also produced A Model Daughter:The Killing of Caroline Byrne Story (Screentime/Ten Network). Karl’s diverse directing credits traverse adult and children’s drama, live action and animated feature films. His feature Paws starred Billy Connolly (a UK theatrical success) and Vicious (which he also co-wrote) was invited to ‘Un Certain Regard’ at the Cannes Film Festival.
He directed the award-winning series McLeod’s Daughter’s as well as US productions Farscape, The Lost World and Beastmaster. He created and directed The Miraculous Mellops I & II (44 episodes for Network 10), directed the mini-series The Cut for ABC television, was foundation director on Hi-5 as well as directing episodes of City Homicide, Police Rescue, Flying Doctors, Heartbreak High, Short Cuts, Ship to Shore and Home & Away. Most recently, Karl directed Underbelly:Squizzy, Fat Tony & Co., House Husbands and The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
Jo Coby is a 30-something creative type who in a former life managed two large banks. When “the heist” seemed unlikely, Jo gave the gig up for a less “socially acceptable” form of income – trying to make money doing something she truly loves.
Jo managed to connect with her younger self, her more exciting, daring self (who, on a side note was strapped into her rollerblades and sent down the freeway at 80km/hr powered by a giant motorised fan, the Joey Jetpack, thanks to her crazy inventor father when she was just seven), who loved drama and writing.
It seemed that finding herself again in her thirties would bring Jo back to a wonderful life full of extraordinary events.
Jo wrote her second novel, ‘VSC’ in 2015/16, and polished up an adaption of her first novel, ‘Away’ – a feature film screenplay of the same title. She also created a world-first reality television format with a team of industry goers, and she is now hard at work creating an original Australian Comedy Drama series based on real events.
Jo is also an experienced marketing-type, having worked for some big-fancy companies like Coca-Cola, EMI Music and APN Media … but Jo obviously prefers to be her own boss and bring forth hilarious and inspiring stories that the world will embrace.
More recently, Jo’s slate includes an adaption of VSC, a TV Drama series in early development, in the growing Cli-Fi genre
Ben Coby is a 30-year-old with more knowledge than anyone else in the world of music. Ben became heavily involved in the music scene when he began to slowly lose his vision in his early teens (due to retinitis pigmentosa), and since has devoured thousands upon thousands of albums, live concerts and music festivals.
After finishing year 12 in 2005, Ben went on to study Law at Southern Cross University, Lismore. He found a love for radio during that time, and hosted multiple radio shows across a variety of stations. Ben also originated and conducted private interviews with some of the world’s best known bands and artists for a plethora of media outlets. Most of the time, the band or artist didn’t know Ben was blind, and didn’t have a clue that he had memorised every question and was typing their answers with an earplug in and JAWS (the screen reader program for the visually impaired) harping on in his head. Ben is a brilliant multi-tasker, and listener.
Ben isn’t your average blind guy. He gets on buses or trains alone weekly from Lismore (where he lives with and looks after his sister Nikki who is also blind) to Brisbane, his favourite Aussie City, to catch live music. When he needs a hand he will simply call out to strangers on the street. At gigs, he is greeted by his many loyal managerial, security guard and bartender friends who always have time to help him out.
Ben was best man at his best friend Ashley’s same-sex wedding and keeps his friendships to those that are meaningful and true. Ben is a natural, dry comedian and he and his sister Jo share the same dark sense of humour, which they hope to bring forth in bucket-loads for the authentic original dramedy, Win.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q Could you explain in more detail what you are wanting to see in the drama writing sample?
A We are looking for 5 page extracts from applicants original TV drama or comedy scripts. The scripts need to demonstrate an understanding of what could work on Australian television. The script should have a solid and original story idea and potential to be developed as a comedy or drama series for television.
The assessors and facilitators are experienced TV writers and producers and will be looking for writers that have some ability in generating scripts and story ideas that have broadcast potential.
Screenworks’ 2018 Writing for TV Intensive is proudly supported by the Linnaeus Estate Education Fund.
Screenworks’ 2018 Writing for TV Intensive is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW
Two regional Queensland participants will be supported by Screen Queensland
Two Northern Territory participants will be selected by and supported by Screen Territory
Two regional South Australian participants will be supported by the South Australian Film Corporation
Published on April 24, 2018 7:07 am