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Series Lab

Series Lab

Start date:
Jan 09, 2018
Ability Level:
Intermediate to Advanced

This lab is based on the IFP Screen Forward Labs, whose third edition was held in New York in April, 2017.

Working in partnership with the IFP, the Web Series lab is meant to discover and foster new talents working with serialised content in Qatar and other MENA countries.

The Lab is a private programme dedicated to teams working on innovative serialised scripted projects created on all platforms and formats including, but not limited to, television and web series, VR, or app-based work (Instagram, Snapchat, etc). The goal is to support the teams of creators by brainstorming development and execution strategies that can bring their projects out into the world and to the viewers who seek independent and diverse voices in storytelling.

The intensive one-week ‘bootcamp’ programme takes place in Doha and focuses of the main aspects of working on a serialised project, from development all the way to distribution. Attendees gain a deep knowledge of the state of the industry by attending workshops, panels and case study discussions led by experts. Breakout sessions allow for a more informal discussion and elaboration of ideas in groups.


Dates: 9 to 14 January, 2018
Hours: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Language: English
Lab Fee: 2,000 QAR
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Group Size: 8 – 10 projects will be selected with a maximum of two attendees per project


Eligility

The workshop is designed for digital creatives, producers, writers, directors, or anyone interested in scripted serialized projects created on TV and web series, or app-based platforms

  • Candidates must have a fiction or non-fiction project in development with a director/screenwriter/producer associated to the project
  • Candidates should have produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film in the past
  • Candidates must be Qatari nationals or residents of the MENA Region
  • Candidates from the MENA region are responsible for funding their own travel and accommodation

Submission Requirements:

Please send the following in Word or PDF format to training@dohafilminstitute.com
Please include your full name, email and contact number in all text documents

  • Short synopsis of the project in development (maximum one page)
  • Long synopsis
  • Treatment of the film – visual concept (mood board, story board) or any visual representative that have already been executed if available
  • Résumé and short biography of the Director, Producer, Writer or any members of the team associated with the creative development of the project
  • Script (if available)
  • Detailed information about what is required for the project’s development
  • A letter outlining why you want to participate in this workshop
  • Any of the following, if available/applicable – Provisional budget and financing plan (in USD) – Technical specifications, including filming locations – Current state of the project (please note any secured professionals, possible co-producers, attached talent or other potential partners) – Director’s statement, covering project virtues (one page maximum) – Stills, concept art, mood boards etc. – Links to teasers, trailers, demo reel or samples of previous work of both the director, producer and/or creative developers

PROGRAMME

  • Introduction to the main aspects of the television, digital and serialised content landscape
  • How to develop and fund a serialised project, including crowdfunding, and working with production companies and platforms
  • Developing tools to build a community and engage with audiences, including the use of social media
  • Understanding of the distribution possibilities in the marketplace, from digital platforms to networks
  • Knowing the episodic festivals where content can premiere
  • Pitch training, consisting of in-depth, tailored strategies on how to pitch at markets and how to pitch to specific industry players


Daily Schedule

Day 1 – Development and Goals: dedicated to understanding the main goals of the projects and the as independent filmmakers and content creators. The goal of the day is to define the next steps for each project according to stage of development and needs.

Day 2 – Funding: all the possibilities available for funding a serialised scripted project. Includes case studies of successful crowdfunding series, workshops on how to work with production companies and platforms, and how to work with agencies and managers. The goal of the day is to generate production strategies tailored to each project.

Day 3 – Audience Engagement and Marketing: how to build a community and reach audiences, via social media, digital channels and other platforms. The goal of the day is to explore the audience potential of each project via one-to-one sessions, and to understand how to brand attendees as filmmakers and content creators for long-term career sustainability.

Day 4 – Festivals & Distribution: gaining familiarity with the episodic festivals in the USA and around world where a series might be premiered, and the benefits of participating in festivals and their markets. On the distribution side, the goal of the day is to study in-depth the different kinds of distribution platforms, from digital to traditional networks in order to develop awareness not limited to the projects participating in the programme.

Day 5 – Pitching: learning the ABCs of the pitch, and how to pitch a series project in different scenarios, including the elevator pitch. The goal is to create the best possible presentation for each project, learning how best to present it in formal meetings and during networking events. This includes how to define the nature of a project and how to use proper language. Another goal of the day is to learn how to use the pitch as a tool to confirm goals and define next steps and strategies.


MENTORS

Amy Dotson
Head of Programme

Amy Dotson is the deputy director & head of programming for IFP, where her responsibilities include the creative oversight of all domestic and international programming. She is also one of three group leaders of the prestigious Venice Biennale College – Cinema, as well as senior programme advisor at the new ‘Made In NY’ media centre by IFP in DUMBO, Brooklyn. She was the keynote speaker at this year’s Seattle Film Festival prestigious ‘Catalyst’ programme and has served as a juror at a wide variety of film festivals such as Atlanta, Ashland, IDFA, Indie Memphis, Istanbul, Karlovy Vary, Slamdance, Sidewalk, SXSW, and Woodstock.


Gabriele Capolino
Programme Producer

Gabriele Capolino is a programmer at IFP, where he works on the International feature film and series projects’ programmes, as well as contributing to other programmes year-round, including the IFP Gotham Awards and the Narrative Labs. He also produces the Screen Forward Labs, an intense ‘boot camp’ programme dedicated to independent content creators working on serialised content. He manages the international and series projects (both long and short forms) at IFP Week, the signature programme of the organisation that connects independent filmmaker and creators to key players in the industry.


Jordana Mollick
Lab Leader

Jordana Mollick is a partner at Haven Entertainment in Los Angeles where she manages writers & directors, and produces films, plays, television, and digital media. Jordana created the ‘Unscreened’ play series, an annual development and presentation of four world-premiere short plays by some of Hollywood’s fastest rising screenwriters and television writers featuring a multi-star cast. Through this project, Jordana has produced work written and directed by Leslye Headland, Dahvi Waller, John Whittington, Michelle Morgan, Will Graham, James Ponsoldt, Susanna Fogel & Joni Lefkowitz, and Robbie Pickering, among others.


Bassem Breche
Writer Mentor

Bassem Breche is an Emmy Award-winning scriptwriter. He began his career as an actor in Lebanon and the UK, appearing in John Furse’s ‘Blind Flight’ (2003) and Antonia Bird’s ‘The Hamburg Cell’ (2004). His first short film, ‘Both’ (2007), was selected for the Critics’ Week at the Festival de Cannes. From 2009 through 2011, Breche worked on the Emmy Award-winning web-drama ‘Shankaboot’ as Lead Writer and Online Content Producer. He also worked as a scriptwriter on the award-winning web series ‘Fasateen’. In 2013, Breche won the Robert Bosch Foundation Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival for his short film ‘Free Range’ (2014). He is the director of the screenwriters’ collective Scenario Beirut.