Writing Television the American Way: TV Land

New Dates TBC

Writing Television the American Way: TV Land

Date: (awaiting dates)
Duration: 2 days
Times: 10am-4pm
Capacity: Max.12 participants
Fee: £250
20% discount off total when booked together with Writing Television the American Way: Pilots & Pitching.

Everyone is tuning in to the Renaissance in American Television and around the world. Why has one-hour narrative become so popular? How is American television written? How is it sold? What is The Netflix Effect on the existing TV model? Why are Walter, Tony, Frank and Claire, Tyrion and Carrie so compelling? What makes a great television pilot? What is a pitch?

Perhaps you have an idea for a new series or maybe you are just curious about the brave new world of television. So why not take a break from Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and Sky (if you possibly can) and come join the conversation with American writer, Hal Cantor.

Hal’s teaching style is very much a conversation; a combination of participative lecture and interactive exercises. The goal is to get students up on their feet and talking about ideas and concepts so that you walk away with a significantly greater understanding of the way television is pitched, written and sold.

Writing Television the American Way can be taken as a two-weekend deep-dive into TV or as standalone weekends. Book onto part two of the series, Writing Television the American Way: Pilots & Pitching, and receive a 20% discount on the total fee.

Enter discount code americanway at checkout.


So, what will the TV Land weekend cover? Here is a breakdown of the intensive TV weekend:

• The revolution is being TELEVISED! A look at what’s going on in the mad mad world of TV.
• TV vs. Film Storytelling. What are the structural differences? What is the greatest challenge in creating a TV series?
• BINGING: a look at the verb of the moment and why CONTENT is king.
• TV types and formats. Where does your idea fall? What’s the difference between serialised and closed-ended storytelling?
• What’s so funny? A serious look at comedy. After an identity crisis of sorts, comedy is coming back.
• How is television bought and sold? What are the roles of a production company, studio and network?
• The Writing Room and staffing of a TV series.
• The three most important words in television: CHARACTER. CHARACTER. CHARACTER.
• How do you develop a compelling character? What is the best way to introduce a character in a TV series?
• TV characters vs. film characters: what are the differences?
• Your chance to create characters from scratch, looking at backstory and other essentials in character development.
• What is a logline? Why is it essential in the development of a series idea?
• A preview of weekend two: Pilots & Pitching.

Tutor profile: Hal Cantor, Screenwriter

Hal Cantor writes for television, film, theatre and fiction. He is currently developing a half-hour comedy with SONY PICTURES TELEVISION. He wrote on FUSION channel's acclaimed special, THE NAKED TRUTH: DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, which broke The Panama Papers story. Prior to that, his drama pilot MOUTHPIECE was bought by FOX TELEVISION STUDIOS. He wrote THE LAKE EFFECT, a one-hour drama pilot for SHOWTIME, developed with Emmy-winning director Scott Winant. Hal also sold the drama pilot TWILIGHT to SONY PICTURES TELEVISION. In features, he developed a comedy with John Davis Productions, based at TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX. 

Hal has had multiple plays produced. CUBICLES, which he directed, was presented by ALLIANCE REPERTORY THEATER in Los Angeles, where it garnered seven Valley Theater League nominations including Best Play, Best Writing and Best Director. He's currently adapting his play, THE BONUS ROUND, into a musical with a UK composer.
On the teaching front, Hal has developed and presented courses at London Film School, Met Film School: Berlin & London, Central Film School, and Raindance: Berlin.  He represented Met Film School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in collaboration with PINEWOOD STUDIOS.