Business success in the screen industries: how to pitch your script and self-produce

Abigail Docherty, UniversityofCambridge

Learn how to network in the creative industries, how pitch your film to a producer, and how to hold your own in a TV writers’ room. Acquire the basic skills for setting up your own production company and learn how to transform creative ideas into work of commercial value.

This course will broaden your understanding of how to maintain a career successfully as a professional screenwriter, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.

This course is part of the University of Cambridge’s MicroMasters programme in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries.

How can you build a secure business base for your screenwriting career? What tools do you need to start your own production company? Which techniques do you need to learn in order to pitch ideas effectively to producers and directors? How important is networking in the film and TV industries, and what skills can you develop in order to do it successfully? What is a ‘writers’ room’ and how can you learn to collaborate in time-pressured environments? In this course, we will be looking in depth at how create the best commercial platform in order that your creative work may flourish in the wider world.

We will be looking at business models for the writer-entrepreneur, and considering how other successful writers, animators and producers have found commercial outlets for their creative practice. Learn how to maintain your resilience and motivation within a demanding profession; find out how to create a market for your own work and how to use social media to build an outstanding professional profile. Expert networking and business skills are an important part of maintaining a successful career as a screenwriter. These are now essential skills in a diversifying global job market.

You will be set reflective writing exercises over the course of the module, and you will asked to keep a brief business journal to note how your creative work may have commercial value. By the end of this module, you will have reflected on your strengths as a producer of your own work, and have learnt practical tools about how to manage your career after you have finished that script!

What will you learn

  • Specialised knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for film and TV, as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within performance; of contemporary critical, analytical, and narrative theories of performance;
  • developed advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty and unfamiliarity;
  • how to create effective structure within a scene; how to edit your scene and think like a dramaturg; how to create effective characters.
  • advanced awareness of the relevant market and distribution demands of the film and TV industries.

Dates:
  • 1 February 2021
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb

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