TV Writing Group Help
November 11, 2006 12:20 PM   Subscribe

what is the best way to form a TV writing group?

I'm an 'experienced' screenwriter with acredit and some good marks in contests. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to write a pilot for a new tv show. I know, the 'Conventional Wisdom' is to write a spec for an existing show...I don't watch that much TV. I formed a group of gifted writers and set up a kind of 'Fox Force Five'. Only problem was that one person was a nihilist, another was worried about what success would do for us and the other stopped talking for six months...yes, I know: pretty good fodder for a comedy in itself. I'd like to try the process online or face-to-face. Advice? Applicants?
posted by tristanshout to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've posted a similar request in the past regarding screenwriting and gotten very little response from MeFites and nothing materialized. I'm still interested, but I think it's important to have a clear understanding of what one's looking for. I was trying to form a group of 4 - 10 online screenwriters who'd share pages and feedback on a weekly basis.

I'm uncertain what you're after. Are you saying you want the same thing, but for television, or are you seeking co-writers for the show that you yourself have "developed"?

Also, just my opinion, but saying 'I don't watch much television' is not the best way to interest other people who do wish to make their livings in television.
posted by dobbs at 12:48 PM on November 11, 2006

Frankly, if you have a tv pilot idea, it's best for you to just write the TV pilot, sell it, try to become the head writer, and *then* get a group of people to write the rest of the episodes for you...and after all, then you'll be able to pay them. Otherwise, what's the plan?

I don't have any credits, but I'm 'experienced' in the sense that I've written some specs under the guidance of professionals, went to film school, and been a paid creative consultant and coverage writer. If you have resources at your disposal to actually make something happen, I might be interested. If you're just trying to get a bunch of chefs together to finish baking something that you yourself have half-baked, it's kind of a recipe for...problems.
posted by bingo at 1:17 PM on November 11, 2006

This would be a very good question to send to Jane Espenson.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:23 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

I currently run a great screenwriting group in NYC, consisting of ten members. Most of us are grads of NYU or Columbia's film or dramatic writing programs, though the age range is about 25-45.

The group was formed by posting on both universities' alumni sites and then interviewing the people beforehand, getting a writing sample from them, and then having them audit two group meetings and giving their comments/notes before they are voted in or out of the group.

Also unless you're in LA you might want to open it up to more than TV writing. We have a good mix of short filmmakers, feature length screenwriters, TV writers and people who only ever write treatments. It's good practice and exposure to all kinds of writing, which is surprisingly helpful.
posted by np312 at 3:35 PM on November 11, 2006

Comedy or drama?
posted by I Foody at 4:10 PM on November 11, 2006

I wrote a pilot for a sitcom and interested in this, but I have little interest in dramatic television writing.
posted by I Foody at 5:11 PM on November 11, 2006

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