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Tips and Tricks for TV Writing (PT93) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick offer tips and tricks to solve common TV writing obstacles. From procrastination, prose, and loglines, to characters, dialogue, and scene work, get actionable advice to troubleshoot your screenwriting problems. Can't find time or discipline to write? Having trouble coming up with ideas? Is your TV show premise unexciting? Does your TV script not have enough conflict? Are your characters uninteresting? Is your dialogue not working? Are your scenes running too long or too short?...


Breaking as a TV Writer Later in Life ft. J. Holtham (Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger) (PT92) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite J. Holtham, writer on Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, to discuss breaking into the TV industry later in life, and writing on a comic-based series. What is some important advice for people wanting to pursue TV writing later in life? How can breaking in older help in the writers' room? What is the process of writing for Marvel's Cloak & Dagger? What can writing plays teach you about screenwriting? The Paper Team powers up... SHOWNOTES Content Breaking in older, getting noticed,...


Audience Questions – TV Writing and TV Business (PT91) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick answer audience questions about television writing and the TV business. Is there a benefit to writing beyond the pilot? Do dramas have an equivalent to comedy "punch-ups"? What does an outline look like? How do you sell a TV concept? Where can you find networking events that TV writers go to? Plus, we look at two new Paper Tease entries. The Paper Team raises their hand... SHOWNOTES Content Paper Tease Session (00:56) 1 - Questions about TV writing (11:22) 2 - Questions about...


Rewriting Your TV Script (PT90) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick discuss everything you need to know about rewriting your TV script. Whether you’re working on a spec or in a writers' room, we look at reasons why you should rewrite and things to watch out for. When should you rewrite? Why are notes a critical part of rewriting? What edits should you do on the page? What if your script still runs too long or too short? Plus, we give feedback on four teasers in our inaugural Paper Tease session! The Paper Team goes back to the page......


Creating Animated TV Shows ft. Tom Ruegger (Animaniacs/Pinky & the Brain/Tiny Toon Adventures) (PT89) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick welcome Tom Ruegger, creator of iconic TV series Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures, Pinky & the Brain, and Histeria!, to discuss the process of writing and producing animated television shows. What is the process of generating and selling animated TV series? What makes for a great idea that can be succesful? What are the differences between storyboard-driven and script-driven shows? How was Animaniacs developed? How can you take established characters from franchises and give...


Perspective and POVs in TV Writing (PT88) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick discuss how to use your characters' perspectives and points-of-view to drive your episode narrative. From unreliable narrators and voice-overs, to POV on the page, see the world through your characters' eyes. What is a point-of-view in the context of a television story? How can you put your audience in the shoes of a character? What are interesting and unique ways of using POV as a narrative device? How can you translate a character's perspective to the page of a script? What...


From Intern to TV Writer ft. Bob Dearden (iZombie) (PT87) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite Bob Dearden, writer on the CW's iZombie, to discuss how he worked his way up from assisting Rob Thomas on the Veronica Mars movie to being staffed on a television show. What is the journey of becoming a television writer? How do you work in US TV as a Canadian? What is it like working with Rob Thomas and cowriting for Play it Again Dick? How was the transition to iZombie from writers' assistant to staff writer? How does the writers' room break episodes and arcs? The...


Branding Yourself (PT86) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick discuss the importance of branding yourself as a TV writer and ways to define why you write what you write. Why should you "brand yourself"? How are you able to drive the conversation about you? How to understand what you can bring to a writers' room? Why is it important to know your strengths and weaknesses in TV? How do you translate your personal story into your writing? What are ways of showcasing yourself online? Plus, an announcement about an announcement. The Paper...


TV Writing Programs and Fellowships ft. Andy Mathieson, Jenny Deiker Restivo and Thomas Reyes (PT85) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite three fellows of the network TV writing programs to discuss their experiences applying, being selected, and participating in the curricula. Guests include Andy Mathieson from the 2016 Disney/ABC Writing Program, Jenny Deiker Restivo from the 2018 FOX Writers Lab, and Thomas Reyes from the 2016 Warner Bros. Television Writers' Workshop. What is the selection process of the TV writing programs? What are the interview rounds like? What are the fellowships' requirements?...


TV Pilot 201: Keeping the Reader Interested (PT84) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick discuss how to be proactive in the way you write your TV pilot script, and how to keep the reader interested. Why are loglines and titles so important? How can you connect your script to your personal story? How do you set things up in a pilot? What are ways of counteracting reader fatigue? Plus, we take a look at the recent revelations about Amazon Prime Video's internal numbers. The Paper Team turns the page... SHOWNOTES Content Paper Scraps: Amazon Prime Video viewership...


Reimagined for TV: Writing Shows Based on Popular IP – Paper Team Live at WonderCon 2018 (PT83) - Paper Team

For the second Paper Team Live event, Alex and Nick head to WonderCon 2018 to host a panel on adapting IPs to television. From books, to comics and movies, it seems that all your favorite TV shows are adaptations of existing properties. But writing a fresh story within well-known worlds poses its own set of challenges. That's why we've invited an all-star panel of TV writers and producers to hear their thoughts on this topic. Panelists include Michael R. Perry (Altered Carbon, The Dead...


TV Pitch Documents (PT82) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick discuss the content and formats of successful TV pitch documents, from one-pagers to pitch bibles. How do you effectively communicate the vision of a TV show? What are the different formats of TV pitch documents? What should you include in your pitch? How do you structure a pitch document? What are the burning questions you need to answer? How do you write your pitch in a compelling and unique way? Plus, we talk dramedy script categories. The Paper Team gives their sales...


TV Criticism ft. Heather Mason (SyFy Fangrrls/Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls) & LaToya Ferguson (The A.V. Club/IndieWire) (PT81) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite Heather Mason (from SyFy Fangrrls & Amy Poehler's Smart Girls) and LaToya Ferguson (from The A.V. Club & IndieWire) for a lighthearted conversation about the current state of TV criticism in the era of peak content and serialized storytelling. What does TV criticism look like today? What is the process of reviewing a TV show? What can writers learn from critics? When are shows reviewed as a whole as opposed to episodically? How can critics review so much content in the...


Digital Content & Emerging Platforms ft. Eva Miller (Canvas Media Studios) (PT80) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite Eva Miller, Manager of Development at Canvas Media Studios, to discuss digital content and cross-platform storytelling. What does the digital landscape look like for scripted content? How do stories evolve with the format? What genres are more suited to online formats over traditional linear forms? How can interactivity drive narratives in unique ways? How are digital content or creatives discovered? What is the development process for digital shows? Plus, a special...


TV Spec Script 201: Starting Your Research (PT79) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick discuss how to start researching your TV spec script and the show you selected. Which episodes and scripts should you watch and read to prepare? Where should your spec script fit within a show? How do you research the structure, characters and stories? What should you look for in scripts of the show you want to spec? Plus, we answer more voicemails. The Paper Team does some reverse-engineering... SHOWNOTES Content Paper Scraps: Spec script headers (01:11) 1 - Preparing the...


Acting for TV ft. Jona Xiao (Halt and Catch Fire/Being Mary Jane) (PT78) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite Jona Xiao (Halt and Catch Fire, Being Mary Jane, Gifted) to discuss acting for television, and what writers can learn from actors. What is the casting process like in TV? How are character descriptions influenced by the script? What preparation can actors do before going into production? What makes an interesting character and compelling scenes for an actor? What can TV writers learn from performers? The Paper Team gets set to recur... SHOWNOTES Content Early...


Analyzing Great TV Scenes: Case Studies of Deep Space Nine, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Good Place, The Good Wife, Lost and The Simpsons (PT77) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick break down six iconic TV scenes to look at what makes them engaging and unique. The moments explored in this episode include scenes from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Good Place, The Good Wife, Lost, and The Simpsons. What makes for a great TV scene? How can a simple exchange play off character and story? How can dialogue be used to define a moment? What are ways acting, directing and editing influence the impact of a scene? What TV writing...


Being a TV Showrunner’s Assistant ft. Sydney Mitchel (NCIS: New Orleans/Outcast) and Zimran Jacob (Marvel’s The Punisher) (PT76) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite Sydney Mitchel from NCIS: New Orleans & Outcast, and Zimran Jacob from Marvel's The Punisher, to discuss the responsibilities, duties, and opportunities of being a TV showrunner's assistant. What does the job of a showrunner's assistant entail? How do you get hired on a show? What does a typical work-day look like? How do assistants communicate with their showrunner? How creatively involved are showrunner's assistants? What amount of notes and feedback do showrunners...


Putting Yourself Out There (PT75) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick discuss how you can put yourself out there as a creative and TV writer. From proactive networking to content generation, learn ways of staying in the loop and in people's minds. How do you build new connections and foster meaningful professional relationships? How do you stay in the conversation for new jobs and opportunities? What are ways of putting your content out there and creating a presence? What should you look for in a mentor? Plus, we talk finding a first agent. The...


TV Production Companies ft. Logan Kriete (Producer & Development Executive) (PT74) - Paper Team

Alex and Nick invite Logan Kriete, producer and development executive at Escape Artists (and formerly from Superb Entertainment/Baer Bones), to discuss how TV production companies work and find their projects. What are overall deals or "PODs" and why are they important? How is material turned into a TV show? What makes a script stand out for an executive? How does the development and notes process work? How do production companies sell shows to studios and networks? How does the evolving...