TV Drama Writers Room

WITH: Jonathan Redding

Only Three Spots Left!
Starts April 3rd
Meets twice a month on Wednesdays
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PRICE: $450/mo
(12 mo minimum commitment)

What is the TV Drama Writers Room?

The TV Drama Writers Room is a collaborative experience in which student writers will collaborate to create an original hour drama, just like in a real a TV Drama Writers Room.

Acclaimed TV Drama writer Jonathan Redding (Homeland) will play the role of Showrunner, setting the agenda for each session and leading the story break. The students in the workshop serve as the writers, and will pitch story ideas, characters, arcs, dialogue runs, and develop each episode of an original show, under the guidance of the Showrunner.

The workshop will move through various phases of pitching, story refinement, document generation and approval, and finally drafting and revision of scripts.

The class will “break” a pilot script, as well as multiple episodes of the first season of the series, allowing each student the chance to collaborate on the development and writing of the pilot script (which will have everyone’s name on it) as well as the opportunity, if they choose, to write (or collaborate with another writer in the class) on their own episode.

About the Showrunner/Instructor

Jonathan Redding is a screenwriter, playwright and classical dramaturg, whose most recent credits include the final two seasons of Showtime’s HOMELAND.

Before transitioning to the film and television industry, Jonathan served as Resident Dramaturg to The Broad Stage, in Santa Monica, where he worked with premiere performing artists from around the world including Mikhail Baryshnikov (Chekhov’s Man in a Case), Anna Deveare Smith (Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education), Denis O’Hare (An Iliad), and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre of London (Hamlet; King Lear; King Henry VIII).

A graduate of West Virginia University’s School of Theatre, Jonathan is the son of two career firefighters and the eldest of seven children. Jonathan is represented by Circle of Confusion.

To get to know Jonathan, check out this podcast.

FAQ

The writers will learn each step of story development in a Professional Writers Room, developing skills that will not only help them as writers, but also as collaborators within professional Writers Rooms they advance in their careers.

There are a number of phases to the Writers Room Process, many of which are non-linear, moving in and out of one another as the “assembly line” of stories moves along. 

BLUE SKY: Just like on a real TV Drama series early in its development, the Showrunner will present the writers with a simple conceit within which to work. Writers will then pitch macro-level possibilities for the show. This can include articulating engine, dreaming up characters, plot scenarios, exploring themes, and generally “finding the heart of the show.”

TRANSCRIPTION OF WRITERS ROOM SESSIONS: Each session, a different writer will be in charge of transcribing and distributing notes, providing a valuable opportunity to develop these skills which are so important for writers getting their first job in a professional Writers Room. You’ll receive instruction in how to use various AI tools to speed up this process, putting you on the cutting edge in the industry.

PILOT BREAK: The writers will work together under the guidance of the Showrunner to craft the pilot, which will establish the key elements of the show, the engine and tone, the characters, and platform into the season.

SEASON STRUCTURE: The writers will collaborate breaking the tentpoles of the season story — i.e., what are the major arcs? What are the stars we’re navigating toward? Just like on real shows, this is a phase the Writers Room will move in and out of, as often the latter portions of a season come into focus later in the process, after the initial episodes are broken. We will “work big to small”, and placeholder ideas will come into focus as we grow nearer to them.

EPISODE BREAKING: The writers will collaborate to break the overall structure of individual episodes as the Season Structure unfolds.

PITCHING OUT EPISODES: The writers will learn the vital skill of how to “pitch out” an episode break to the Showrunner, essentially presenting the story of the episode in real time, to get approval to move to the next phases of generating story documents.

STORY AREA DOCUMENTS: The writers will learn how to write a Story Area document, a 4-8 page narrative explaining the story of an episode in simple prose, broken into A, B and C stories. This will help writers develop the real world skills they need to present to Showrunners and Studio Executives and Executive Producers for notes and approval. Once an episode’s Story Area is approved by the Showrunner, the writer (or writing team) assigned to a given episode will then move to Outlining.

EPISODE OUTLINES: The writers will learn to Outline in the 24/Homeland style, a more refined document usually between ten and fifteen pages, which fleshes out the story area into a more fulsome execution of each scene. This will provide another invaluable skill for writer’s who wish to join a professional Writers Room or become Showrunners themselves, teaching them how to navigate  the chain of approval, take notes, and earn the “green light” to draft their episode.

EPISODE DRAFTING: Writers will collaborate on the Series Pilot (which will bear everyone’s name) and have the opportunity to write their own episode from the season, either individually or in collaboration with another writer. 

EPISODE NOTES AND REVISIONS: The writers will receive feedback from the Showrunner on both the pilot and their individual episodes, in the form of notes on their pages.

Students will complete the class having collaborated on a sample pilot bearing everyone’s name, as well as sole credit (either individually or with their collaborator) on a sample episode, providing a valuable writing sample.

There is a minimum commitment of 12 months for each writer, however, in order to successfully immerse students and build the experience and skills of functioning in a real Writers Room (without making the class a full time job!) we expect this to be a multi-year experience. It’s the first class of its kind, so we’ll be figuring it out together.

Just like in a Professional Writers Room, writers depend upon each other, so while you can leave at any time after your initial commitment, we ask that you join the class with the intention of seeing it through to the end.

The good news is, in the unlikely situation that a writer does need to leave the workshop, it will provide an opportunity to simulate another common Writers Room experience of onboarding a new writer to the room.

Note, writers who leave before the pilot is completed will receive shared “Story By” credit rather than shared “Written by” credit on the pilot. 

In the beginning, you will only need only your imagination, the capacity to take notes, and whatever time you can spare to read source material and come up with ideas in between our twice-a-month sessions.

As the process unfolds, students will be expected (within reason) to conduct their own research, prepare pitches, draft story documents, and (if they wish) write their episodes and integrate notes.

Perhaps the most important thing students need to bring is their mindset:

This is an experiential workshop; the true value is in the learning-by-doing, not in the work product at the end. You will become a better writer by doing this, learn to think about story in new ways, and have a much greater understanding of how a season of television is put together on the page.

If you can’t attend live, you can watch replays of any class you wish. However because students are dependent on each other for feedback, habitual absences will lead to you being removed from the class.

Some screenwriting experience is required, however, we are more interested in your passion, your voice and your ability to contribute to the group, than in your level of experience. We are confident the Writers Room will help writers of all levels bring their writing to the Professional Level.

Simply fill out this application form to begin the application process.

COURSE PARTICIPANT AGREEMENT

Participant Agreement

By registering for the course, you are agreeing to the following terms, which form a legal contract between you and Jacob Krueger Studio, LLC (“Company”) and govern your attendance at and/or participation in Company’s course (the “Course”). 

  1. Course Participation.
    1. Admittance.  Your registration entitles you to admittance to the Course.  Any and all other costs associated with your attendance (including, without limitation, any travel or accommodation expenses) shall be borne solely by you and Company shall not be liable for any such costs.
    2. Media.  For good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, you grant Company the right to record, film, photograph or capture your likeness in connection with the Course, in any media now available and hereafter developed (“Course Footage”).  You further grant to Company in perpetuity the rights to use, license, edit, copy, distribute, publicly display and make derivative works of the Course Footage, including exploitation for marketing, advertising or merchandising related to the Course, throughout the universe.  You hereby waive any and all approval rights you may have over Company’s use of the Course Footage and acknowledge these rights are granted without any payment, including royalties or residuals, to you.
    3. Conduct.  You acknowledge that Company reserves the right to request your removal from the Course if Company, in its sole discretion, considers your presence or behavior to create a disruption or to hinder the Course or the enjoyment of the Course by other attendees or speakers.
  2. Fee(s).
    • Payment.  The payment of the applicable fee(s) for the Course is due upon registration or per your payment plan.  If such payment is insufficient or declined for any reason, you acknowledge that Company has the right and sole discretion to refuse your admission to the Course.
    •  
    • Taxes. The fee(s) may be subject sales tax, value added tax, or any other taxes and duties which, if applicable, will be charged to you in addition to the fee(s).
  3. Intellectual Property. All intellectual property rights, including trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and patents, in and to the Course, the Course content and all materials distributed at or in connection with the Course (the “Course Materials”) are owned by Company. You may not use, license, copy, display, or make derivative works of the Course Materials without the prior written permission of Company.  For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this agreement shall be deemed to vest in you any legal or beneficial right in or to any trademarks or other intellectual property rights owned or used under license by Company or grant to you any right or license to any other intellectual property rights of Company, all of which shall at all times remain the exclusive property of Company.
  4. Warranties; Limitation of Liability.
    • Other than to the extent required as a matter of law: (i) neither Company nor its employees, agents or affiliates (“Company Parties”) shall be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential costs, damages or losses arising directly or indirectly from the Course or other aspect related thereto or in connection with this agreement.  The maximum aggregate liability of Company Parties for any claim in any way connected with therewith or this agreement whether in contract, tort or otherwise (including any negligent act or omission) shall be limited to the amount paid by you to Company under this agreement to attend the Course.
    • You represent and warrant that you have the full right and authority to grant Company the rights provided in this agreement and that you have made no commitments which conflict with this agreement or the rights granted herein.  You agree that your participation in the Course is entirely at your own risk and accept full responsibility for your decision to participate in the Course.  In no event shall you have the right to enjoin the development, production, exploitation or use of the Course and/or your Contributions to it. 
  5. Governing Law and Venue.  This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York without regard to its conflict of laws provisions.  The parties hereto agree to submit to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in the federal or state courts located in the City and State of New York, United States of America.
  6. Dispute Resolution.  All claims and disputes arising under or relating to this agreement are to be settled by binding arbitration in the state of New York or another location mutually agreeable to the parties.  The arbitration shall be conducted on a confidential basis pursuant to the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association.  Any decision or award as a result of any such arbitration proceeding shall be in writing and shall provide an explanation for all conclusions of law and fact and shall include the assessment of costs, expenses, and reasonable attorneys’ fees by the winner against the loser.  Any such arbitration shall include a written record of the arbitration hearing.  An award of arbitration may be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction.
  7. Miscellaneous.  Company may transfer and assign this agreement or all or any of its rights or privileges hereunder to any entity or individual without restriction.  This agreement shall be binding on all of your successors-in-interest, heirs and assigns.  This agreement sets forth the entire agreement between you and the Company in relation to the Course, and you acknowledge that in entering into it, you are not relying upon any promises or statements made by anyone about the nature of the Course or your Contributions or the identity of any other participants or persons involved with the Course.  This agreement may not be altered or amended except in writing signed by both parties.
  8. Prevention of “Zoom-Bomber” Disruptions; Unauthorized Publication of Class Videos. Company will record each class session, including your participation in the session, entitled “The Videos”. To prevent disruptions by “zoom-bombers” and provide Company and

    participants the legal standing to remove unauthorized content from platforms such as YouTube and social media sites, you agree that

    (1) you are prohibited from recording any portion of the Course;

    (2) in exchange for the opportunity to participate in the Course, you assign to Company your verbal contributions to the session discussions.

    To be clear, you assign to Company only your oral statements during recorded Course sessions. You retain all copyright to any and all written materials you submit to the class and the right to use them in any way you choose without permission from or compensation to the Company.

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