Make your series idea a marketable project. Learn how to improve your script as well as your skills, and find out possible funding opportunities. Both limited and ongoing series projects are welcome.
MIDPOINT Series Launch 2023
Nine promising series projects
Participating projects are divided into three groups of three, and each group's development is overseen by both a group leader and participating development executive.
Behind the Wall
I Seek a Kind Person
Love is a Pitch
The next generation of Central and Eastern European series-content professionals
Development Executive Participants
Inspirational professionals with passion for sharing their experience
To ensure the most complex approach to training, Series Launch works with established and well-respected industry names coming from Central and Eastern Europe, Western Europe, USA or Australia.
Head of Studies
The Head of Studies oversees the general methodology of the program, ensures the needs of the participants are met in the most effective way, and guarantees the practical value and industry impact of the training delivered.
Gabor is a trailblazing professional: showrunning three seasons of the HBO Europe high end drama Golden Life, he boldly went where no man has gone before!
The Group Leaders oversee the development of projects in their group from the very beginning of the training until they graduate from the program. They also coach the development executive participant assigned to their group.
Development Executive Mentor
The Development Executive Mentor attends and co-creates the training program for the development-executive participants, ensuring that it's implemented into group work and that the collaborative set-up simulates a real-life industry environment.
These established professionals attend one of the workshops to share their particular professional expertise.
A year long intensive program combining various formats
The 9 creative teams, split into 3 groups, work under the guidance of internationally renowned and experienced tutors and in close collaboration with development executive participants who are involved in all parts of the program.
All ParticipantsProject Pre-trainingMarch 14 - 17, 2023 | Online
Project team members are introduced to serial storytelling with lectures and dramaturgical consultations addressing the structural differences between features and series, and tackling the subject of the series concept and a pilot.LecturesFormats and Genres in Drama Series
Benjamin HarrisTuesday, March 14, 11:30 - 13:00 CET | Online
How do anthology, continuing and limited series work? What are common TV drama genres? Examining the formal structures and common story elements that compose the “DNA” of a series, we will look for the ‘engine’ that powers the storytelling in each series format and genre: the careful interplay of character, theme, arena and plot.So, What Makes It a Series?
Cyril TyszTuesday, March 14, 14:30 – 16:00 CET | Online
At the core of each series lies an engine, a central question, a central conflict that, unlike in a movie, must not be solved. Stretching a movie for 8 hours might not be the solution either, for a series is NOT a long film chopped into small pieces. So how do you provide the fuel to go beyond the pilot? What sustains the conflict and makes the audience want to watch the next episode?
While in film, the legendary chicken and egg question of which comes first: the plot or the character remains unanswered, in TV series, CHARACTERS are the way to go: they are the reason we come back to watch the show.
In this lecture, Cyril will study the specifics of series characters. How they have to be approached, how they must be combined and confronted with one another in order to sustain conflict and generate situations and scenes for a long time. He will also discuss how they affect the narrative specifics that are at the core of any series, whether procedurals or serialized, all that good stuff that makes a series – a series.The Alpha and the Omega
Maggie MurphyTuesday, March 14, 16:30 – 18:00 CET | Online
Ms. Murphy will discuss the highlights of the most powerful and critical parts of your script… The beginning and the end. In this market of television where there are hundreds of shows to watch - how can you break out of the clutter. It is critical to hook the audience in the first 10 or 15 pages. This is the heart of your show… the make it or break it. Maggie will screen an assortment of iconic pilot openings and analyze why they keep the audience mesmerized. There will also be discussion on the ending of your pilot and how it must also be equally strong to bring the audience back for more.SUSTAINAWHAT
Tim WagendorpWednesday, March 15, 10:00–11:30 CET | Online
What is sustainability and how can it be applied within the AV industry? Are the environmental challenges limited to production only, or do writers also play a role? We will jointly dig deeper into these topics using hands on examples from Flanders.
Development executive participantsPre-Training for DE ParticipantsMarch 13 - 17, 2023 | Online
Development Executive participants, guided by their mentor, are briefed and pre-trained in their basic script-editing skills.
All participantsWorkshop 1: Series ConceptMarch 27 - April 2, 2023 | Prague, Czech RepublicTEAMS WITH PROJECTS
The creative teams are led to defining their series concept and theme, and outlining their pilot scripts. The workshop consists of group work, individual consultations, lectures and series analysis.DEVELOPMENTS EXECUTIVE PARTICIPANTS
Each Development Executive is assigned to the group of projects and observes the group work led by the group leader. The participants get acquainted with the dynamics within the creative team. Their learning process is debriefed within meetings with the development executive tutor, as well as the project teams themselves.LecturesThe Narrative Foundations of a Series Project
Gabor KriglerTuesday, March 28 | Prague, Czech Republic
Gabor Krigler, the founder of Joyrider TV and former Creative Executive and Producer at HBO Hungary, will explain how the pilot episode of a drama series must serve many different needs. It has to be a great story itself but it also must set up a long, ongoing narrative. He will be looking at the various elements that need to be introduced in a pilot to hook the audience and create an emotional experience they want to return to. The second part of the discussion focuses on the creative processes behind the show bible and what it needs to contain to help sell your project first, and then serve as a springboard for further development.TV Series with No Expiration Date
Tatjana SamopjanTuesday, March 28 | Prague, Czech Republic
Understanding deep structure in serial storytelling
What makes some TV series last and get better with each season, while others start dying after just a few episodes? Why do some affect us deeply, while others are temporary entertainment? What are the necessary ingredients in a high-quality series – the kind that does not have an expiration date?
As it turns out, the answers can be found in patterns bursting out of a fiery volcano…
This lecture is an exploration of deep structure in serialised stories of lasting quality.
All participantsOnline ConsultationsApril - June, 2023 | Online
All participantsWorkshop 2: Season Arc and Mini-BibleJune 12 - 19, 2023 | Czech RepublicTEAMS WITH PROJECTS
Creative teams work on completing their pilots, and creating their season arc and season outlines. They focus also on the role of a director, the project pitching documents, production aspects as well as the financing strategy.DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE PARTICIPANTS
Development Executive participants continue the involvement in the group, serving as script editors, observing the work on the pilot episode, and getting trained in the financing strategies and production issues together with the creative teams.LecturesFire in the Eyes - from generic to authentic storytelling
Tatjana SamopjanTuesday, June 13, 10:30 - 12:00 CET | Prague, Czech Republic
Are your eyes a projector or a camera? All the storytelling skill, experience and craft in the world is not worth much if the story is not burning with the fire of clear vision and deep insight. These are developed in life, not in the writers’ room. We’ll be looking into how the vibrancy of our lived experience and the quality of our perception influence the authenticity, depth and resonance of the stories we create.Financing European TV Shows: A Peptalk
Marike MuselaersTuesday, June 13, 13:30 - 15:00 CET | Prague, Czech Republic
Let’s talk financing! From getting over that extremely difficult first development money hump to pitching your show to a European broadcaster, an international distributor or a global streamer – Marike will give an overview of the current landscape and discuss financing opportunities for European TV projects in the rapidly changing global industry. How can producers from all European territories navigate this jungle, find the right partners and eventually benefit from smart collaborations? How do you pitch to different partners? Which coproduction partners go together and how do you keep them all aligned? What about the role of the international distribution partners?
Marike will provide examples of European co-productions and their financing plans, including deals with global streaming platforms, territory-by-territory deals with broadcasters and some of the in-between options, and discuss how different co-productions and deal structures can impact the creative process, long-tail revenue, control, ownership, marketing, distribution and a possible 2nd season commission.Roundtable Lecture for Producers
Nebojsa TarabaTuesday, June 13, 15:30 - 17:30 CET | Prague, Czech Republic
Many of us are already familiar with how to prepare and organize a feature film shooting and postproduction, but when it comes to series, it can be a slightly different process with its own specifics and rules. This roundtable will try to shed a light on the most important moments of the production that will help to achieve a satisfying result. Time is the key factor in the production of series and in order to find out how this “alchemy” of turning words in picture works.Case Study: The Winner
Zuzana Dzurindova, Steve Matthews, Peter Nagy, Tereza PolachovaFriday, June 16, 09:30 - 10:45 CET | Prague, Czech Republic
Case study of the development of THE WINNER, HBO Europe’s first production from Slovakia, created and written by the MIDPOINT TV Launch 2017 alumni: Zuzana Dzurindova and Peter Nagy.
During an informal discussion, creators Zuzana Dzurindova, Peter Nagy, Tereza Polachova, and Steve Matthews will speak about the exciting journey of the series, soon to be aired on SkyShowtime.So You've Written a Great Pilot...
Steve MatthewsFriday, June 16, 11:00 - 13:00 CET | Prague, Czech Republic/ Studio FAMU (open lecture)
Steve Matthews, the former executive producer for scripted at HBO Europe, now working at Banijay as scripted Content Executive, will discuss the process from pitching your project through series development, production and beyond. What to expect, the stages in the process, the pitfalls to watch out for, and learning to love notes.
The lecture is open to local professionals, members of the audiovisual industry, and studentsForm & perform your pitch
Agathe BermanSaturday, June 17, 14:00 - 15:30 CET | Prague, Czech Republic
Interactive pitching exploration with Agathe Berman
• Browsing issues about pitching: trepidation, traps, tips, tools
• Key visuals perspectives
• Experimenting: speed pitching trials & one on one assignments
for further stepsCrafting Compelling Pitch Documents and Unleashing Teaser Videos
Gabor KriglerSaturday, June 17, 15:45 - 16:30 CET | Prague, Czech Republic
When it comes to show bibles, pitch books and similar sales documents, there are as many variations as writers, companies and pitching gurus. The key is always to be concise and visually arresting. We’ll address the essential skills as a TV writer and producer to confidently wear the marketing hat and elevate your series pitch with captivating visuals both in pitch decks and teaser videos. By looking at winning examples, we’ll explore brevity, wit, and unpredictability to stand out.Roundtable Lecture for Writers
David KavanaghSunday, June 18, 10:30 - 12:30 CET | Prague, Czech Republic
How do screenwriters in Europe earn a living from their work? How much work is there and what will be the trends for the coming years? How important are contracts and what can you do to ensure you get the best deal you can? An open discussion with lots of room for questions (before and after) with David Kavanagh of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe.
All participantsOnline ConsultationsJuly-November, 2023 | Online
All participantsWorkshop 3: Pitching and Acquiring PartnersNovember 9 - 15, 2023 | Tallinn, EstoniaTEAMS WITH PROJECT
Each project arrives with a revised pilot script and a completed pitch book/mini-bible. Workshop focuses on creating marketing strategies, refining pitching skills and familiarizes participants with the specifics of different segments of the series market. It concludes at the Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event and its TV Beats market, offering debates, panels, lectures, case studies, master classes and the pitching presentation of all projects and participants within.DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE PARTICIPANTS
The Development Executive participants are present at the pitching training and rehearsals of the projects and also prepare for their own presentations, to pitch themselves as industry professionals. They will also use the networking opportunities at the event for their future careers.
A pushing experience that gives you confidence
Selection of our successful alumni
After his mother's death, teenager Juri and his father relocate to a rundown housing complex - but there is more here than meets the eye.
The ER doctor, Kristin, in the wake of her divorce moves to her home village with her teenage daughter. Completely out of her comfort zone as she deals with her old lover and her psychic mother, forcing her to face the ghosts of her past.
Kyiv, 2020. Natasha has created Babyland, a luxury hotel where fertile women give birth for infertile couples. When a tragic event from Natasha’s past comes back to haunt her, Babyland’s future is threatened and Natasha’s soul is at stake.
Aging mobster Dragan struggles to adapt to the new times by fighting teenage-hot-shots on the rise – realizing that his son is becoming the very face of this emerging “turbo-generation”.
I have an idea of a series but it's still early development. Can I apply anyway?
Absolutely! The sooner in the development process you apply, the better. Series Launch is designed as a "bottom-up" training program, and will help you create your show from scratch.
What the fudge is a development executive?
In our region, you might know the profession under the term "television dramaturg" or "commissioning editor". It basically is the script consultant and person who oversees the creative development of series. He/she stands on the broadcaster's side mostly, but could also easily be a development producer at a production company. Read more by clicking on the links stated in the "Overview" folder of this page, or simply ask us.
I'd like to apply with a limited series. Am I eligible?
Sure! But before you apply, take a moment and first think about why is a series format the one you're thinking of as opposed to a feature film. Is there an engine moving your story? Are you working with a more complex world? (...) Took that moment? Okay, so now apply.
Once selected, how much time should I allocate to the training?
Quite honestly - a lot. Series Launch is an intensive training, and apart from the assignments and work done during the residential workshops themselves, it operates with a system of tasks and deadlines in between the three workshops. So clear that calendar out a bit.
Can I apply with a short form series (web series/digital series)?
Not for this particular program. But brace yourself! We are also offering a special training for the short form series (under 20 mins per episode) creators! Check it out here.
I'm developing a 90-minute 3-part mini-series. Am I eligible?
Sadly, no. Based on our experience, the series rules do not quite apply to formats running over an hour and tend to behave more like feature films. It certainly is a format finding its place on television, we've however opted to focus our training to projects that are series in their core.
Can I apply with a reality show, documentary or animation series project?
Sadly, this program does not work with reality show, animation or documentary projects, its focus are fiction series projects (drama, comedy, etc.).
I’m a writer. Can I apply myself?
Apply yes. But please note that to be able to enter the training, you'll have to partner up with an independent producer. This is important as the creative collaboration between the writers and producers represents the core of MIDPOINT Institute in general and moreover, it is an essential part of the development process.
What is the ideal number of project team members?
Taking into account the methodology of collective group work, we strongly recommend applying as a project team consisting of 2-3 creators, ideally consisting of writer, (co-writer), and producer.
I have difficulty finding a producer: Can I still apply with my project?
The way how Series Launch is designed, a producer is really needed to be on board. You can consider coming as a writer-producer yourself and taking on another co-writer. It would only mean that you'd have to take over the position of the producer at a certain point of the training and focus more on production planning.
I'd like to apply as a writer and a producer at the same time.
This is of course possible, but as series writing, in general, is team-based, we really really really suggest bringing another writer with you. During the workshop, you'll be asked to brainstorm and come up with new, and then some new, and then other new ideas, and this is difficult to do in a one-man-show set-up. It might come in handy to have somebody to bounce off your ideas along the way.
Can we replace the members of our project team in the course of the training?
The continuity of work of specific persons during the entire program is essential. Therefore, it is not possible to add (or replace) the team members during the program.
The creator is a novelist/playwright.
We embrace all kinds of talent coming from different types of backgrounds. But because we actively and intensely work during the run of the program (both during and outside the residential workshops), it might be a good idea to bring an actual screenwriter – somebody who's familiar with screenwriting structure and formatting and used to day-to-day deliveries, as the tempo and demands during the workshop might seem a bit overwhelming for a first-time writer. This person can be added to the team alongside the creator.
I have this great idea for a show based on a historical figure...
Great! We love those. But don't forget that you're not writing a Wikipedia profile for a specific person or event in history, you're telling a story. Don't describe it; narrate it. Pitch it to us as if we were the viewers already watching the show on the screen.
Do I have to pay the whole amount of the participation fee at once?
It is possible to pay the participation fee in three instalments corresponding to the three parts of the training program (i.e., 3 * 600 EUR per participant).
Does MIDPOINT Institute offer scholarships?
It does. However, these are only partial, cannot be allocated to all participants, and their granting therefore considers various criteria. We HIGHLY recommend applying to a local supporting organization (national or local funds, ministries of culture or education, professional associations, etc.) at the same time you're applying to MIDPOINT Series Launch. You can always withdraw your application if not selected, but as the processing time of this support can be rather long, it might be quite late to do this once we confirm you're in.
Am I eligible to apply for a scholarship?
We don't have a particular list of eligible countries, as basically the entire region we work with is eligible. We do give out scholarships; their allocation and value depend on the selected projects and teams - based on how many of them come from countries with no system of support.
How do I write my biography/resume?
Be clear about which of the projects you're mentioning were actually produced/released and which are being developed, and with the ones already made, name a few specific results (festivals, awards, number of viewers, etc.).
Also be clear what specifically your role was in these projects. Mention relevant international training programs you've participated in the past, interesting collaborations you've been
a part of and in what role, industry events / presentations you've taken part in and in which capacity.
What exactly is a “series pitch” and “statement of purpose”?
You can find a detailed description on all the requested submission materials on the first page of your submission form. You can access the form once you've created a profile at the MIDPOINT Visitor Page (see instructions in the "Application" segment of the program’s web profile).
No worries! You can save the form anytime you like and come back to it later, and you can also save or submit any number of applications you like!