Scripted

series

lab

scripted series lab

At the core of the Pacific Screenwriting Program is a full-time 14 – week curriculum that polishes and prepares candidates for an entry-level writer position on a series. Every term, up to six committed writers receive the necessary support to expand their portfolio and pursue opportunities in the evolving TV marketplace. Throughout the program, participants hone their craft, strengthen their collaboration and presentation skills, and obtain a deeper understanding of BC’s television industry and how to market themselves within it. Through workshops, events and mentoring, candidates will also be connected with key industry professionals, including senior screenwriters, producers, and agents.

Applications Deadline:

Applications CLOSED

Program Dates:

January 7 – April 12, 2019

Fees:

Application Fee: $25

Program Fee: $1,500

Weeks 1–10

Story Room

For the first 10 weeks of the program, participants will work as a team to develop an original series concept brought to the team by an established showrunner. In a collaborative story-room environment led by the showrunner and following a story room’s rigorous schedule—the writing team will build out the concept, ultimately arriving at a fully developed series package that is ready to present to broadcasters.

Weeks 11–14

Original Series and Business of Writing

For the final four weeks of the program, working one on one with an experienced mentor, participants will develop their own original scripted television pilot script. During this time, through case studies, seminars, lectures, and workshops presented by industry professionals, participants will also be introduced to the business side of the  industry—everything from marketplace trends to project pitching.

Showrunner

Sarah Dodd

Principal and Executive Producer, Omnifilm Entertainment

Sarah Dodd is a BC-based TV writer, producer, and showrunner. Currently, she is an Executive Producer on the 6-part mini-series Cardinal (CTV/Hulu). She was Executive Producer and Showrunner on Zixx: Level Three (Cartoon Network/YTV), and Head Writer and Producer on The Saddle Club (ABC/YTV), which she created for TV.

Sarah has written and produced hundreds of hours of television, both hour-long and half-hour, including: Ransom (CBS/TF-1/Corus/RTL), Motive (ABC/CTV), Arctic Air (CBC), Primeval: New World (SyFy/Space), Endgame (Showcase), The Border (CBC), Falcon Beach (ABC Family/Global), Blood Ties (Space), The Shoebox Zoo (BBC One), Beastmaster (Endemol/Tribune), Code Name Eternity (SyFy), and PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (CBS/Global).

Sarah has also worked in film. She co-wrote the award-winning short The Sparkle Lite Motel with director Cory Kinney, and participated in the NSI Features First program with her horror feature Extinction. She has story edited numerous features, including DefendorWeirdsville, and Hank & Mike.

Sarah has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Creative Writing and History in Art from UVic.

2018 participants

Michael Orlando

@mike_works

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Tell us about yourself and your writing/professional background in 5 sentences or less:

Hi! I’m a graduate from UBC’s Creative Writing MFA program and UVic’s Creative Writing BFA program. A year ago I placed in the Top 5 of the Austin Film Festival’s spec script competition, which led to AFF inviting me to read for their competition this year. My debut short film ‘The Yoga Bridge’ screened at some prominent LGBTQ film festivals in the States, and I’m currently developing a show about the salacious world of professional wrestling.

What excites you most about starting the Scripted Series Lab?

It can be really difficult to get in a writers’ room, especially in Vancouver. I know how many skilled and talented screenwriters there are in this city, so to get the opportunity to work alongside them in a professional setting is just so exciting. And then of course there’s the showrunner, who may still be under embargo when these answers go up, so I’ll just say the showrunner is super cool. Like, ultra super cool. But what excites me most is the potential for this program to be a flag staked on the moon of Vancouver’s screenwriting landscape, signifying that there’s real potential here for the film and TV writing industry to thrive.

Petie Chalifoux

@PetieChalifouxpetie_chalifoux

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Tell us about yourself and your writing/professional background in 5 sentences or less:

Storytelling has always been a part of my life but it was only once I began my journey in obtaining my Bachelors Degree in Film that screenwriting really stood out for me. I have written a few short films, a feature film that was funded by Telefilm Canada and a proof of concept funded by TELUS’ STORYHIVE. I look forward to working with this group of writers to learn more and to gain more experience.

What excites you most about starting the Scripted Series Lab?

I am very excited to work in a writer’s room, this will be a first for me and I am looking forward to it. The project that we will be working on is also very exciting!

Kat Sieniuc

@katsieniuc, katilllac

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Tell us about yourself and your writing/professional background in 5 sentences or less:

Kat Sieniuc is an award-winning screenwriter who creates well-defined, complex characters. Kat began her career as a journalist covering local politics, crime and the courts in New York City and Toronto. Her legal dramedy pilot GUTS ‘N’ GLORY won the Gold Prize in the Page International Screenwriting Awards and the Grand Prize in the WeScreenplay Television Competition.

What excites you most about starting the Scripted Series Lab?

Kat is very excited to meet everyone and solve a crime together.

Todd Ireland

@ToddIreland

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Tell us about yourself and your writing/professional background in 5 sentences or less:

Todd Ireland is a Métis screenwriter based in Vancouver, BC. He is one of the writers of “ReBoot:The Guardian Code” and “Continuum.” He is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada Diverse Screenwriters Program.

He is the creator of Indie comics, “Outnumbered” and “Redacted”.

What excites you most about starting the Scripted Series Lab?

I am most excited about getting to work, learn and grow with other BC based writers to create a sustainable pool of talent in order to bring more writers rooms to Vancouver area. Working in BC is a dream come true and I want to make sure other writers get to experience it.

Shawn Tolleson

@shawntolleson

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Tell us about yourself and your writing/professional background in 5 sentences or less:

Shawn Tolleson is an accomplished director, writer and producer who divides her time between Vancouver, British Columbia and Los Angeles, California. She worked for 8 years as a producer and production manager on 100+ projects including commercials, has directed 5 short films, wrote and directed 13 webisodes, and worked on music videos and high fashion stills with such talents as the Rolling Stones, Steven Meisel, Jennifer Aniston, and Gwen Stefani. She is the screenplay writer of “Saturn Returns” and recently directed the made-for-TV movie “Deadly Sorority.”

What excites you most about starting the Scripted Series Lab?

As a writer who has written both solo and as part of a team, I’m eager to participate in the team experience of creating a show.

CorEy Liu

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Tell us about yourself and your writing/professional background in 5 sentences or less:

Hello! I’m a writer based in Vancouver and Toronto. I’ve written for shows like Mysticons, The Next Step, and Dino Dana, as well as a few other shows in development. I also like to take those online quizzes that tell you which Golden Girls character you are. I am Sophia.

What excites you most about starting the Scripted Series Lab?

I’m especially excited to work in a simulated writers room for a one hour format series. I’d like to learn how to sustain a serialized arc over a season while still keeping the story fresh episode to episode. I’m also hugely excited for stage 2, where we’ll get to work on our individual series pitches. It’s always valuable to get feedback on your samples from industry professionals. And of course, I want to meet the other participants and talk about story with them. I’d love to build a solid network of emerging writers in the West Coast!

Selection Process

All complete applications submitted by the September 21th, 2018 deadline will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of board members and industry experts.

Applicants who are not chosen to advance to the interview stage will be notified by email; unfortunately, we will not be able to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. 

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by phone to confirm their interview date and time. We will make every effort to conduct interviews in person; where this is not possible, interviews will take place via Skype/video call. After all interviews have been conducted, the selection committee will determine which candidates will be best suited to the program, and will notify all remaining candidates of their decision.

Your Application

Please include the following, in PDF Format:

  1. Writing Sample: An original series pilot script (half-hour or one-hour comedy or drama) or feature script, properly formatted (cannot be co-written]
  2. Paragraph synopsis of the original series pilot or feature film script
  3. An original series synopsis for a TV idea not yet developed. You may submit more than one [up to two] synopses at a maximum length of two pages each.
  4. A letter of intent outlining what you hope to achieve by attending the program, both during the program and after
  5. A letter of reference from an industry professional
  6. Your resumé 
  7. Completed application information
  8. $25 application fee (paid in the application form below with Stripe)

Eligibility

  1. You must be 19 years or older
  2. You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  3. You must be a resident of British Columbia
  4. You must have completed some post-secondary training or have some work experience in the craft of writing. (This includes everything from a journalism degree to creative writing workshops.)

If you meet all of these requirements, you are encouraged to apply. To reflect BC’s rich diversity, we welcome applications from writers of all backgrounds.

Successful applicants who show proof of financial need may be eligible for tuition scholarships and/or travel bursaries (if you are from outside Greater Vancouver). Please indicate on your application form if you would like to be considered should you be successful.

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Your Application

2018 applications for the Scripted Series lab are now closed.

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© 2018 Pacific Screenwriting Program