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MIDPOINT Series Launch 2024

Series
Now Running

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.

Structure

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 PARTICIPANTS
    Project Pre-Training
    March 5 - 8, 2024 | 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.

    Lectures
    Formats and Genres in Drama Series
    Benjamin Harris
    Tuesday , March 5, 10:30 - 12:00 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 Tysz
    Tuesday , March 5, 13:00 - 14:30 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.

    My Protagonist
    Sari Azoulay Turgeman
    Tuesday , March 5, 15:00 - 16:30 CET | Online

    How well do you know your protagonist?

    This is the person that you are hanging around with most of the day. You think about him/her, you dream about him/her, you write his/her story, you have feelings about him/her, but how well do you really know your protagonist? And why is this so important?


    In a fascinating and surprising lecture, Sari Azoulay Turgeman will expose the importance of developing a relationship between you and your protagonist and also to other characters. How does this relationship affect the dramatic plot. How it helps you to write better and faster. You'll get some easy tools in order to know him/her better. You will discover that the more you are aware to this connection between you and your protagonist, the more your story becomes personal and therefore universal.

    AI & Creativity - Integrating Generative AI into Screenwriting and Production Workflows
    Gerhard Maier
    Wednesday , March 6, 10:00 - 15:00 CET | Online

    “AI & Creativity” is designed to introduce screenwriters and producers to the potential of generative AI technology. After gaining a solid understanding of the basics of generative AI, including its underlying principles and common terminology, the course will explore practical applications of generative AI in concept and script development. With a focus on learning how to use AI models for brainstorming ideas, structuring narratives, and generating dialogue, participants will learn how AI powered tools can help in the concept and writing process as well as in the creation of pre visualization and pitching materials. By the end of the course, participants will be able to experiment with integrating generative AI into their workflows. 

  • DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE PARTICIPANTS
    Pre-training for DE participants
    March 4, 2024 | Online

    Development Executive participants, guided by their mentor, are briefed and pre-trained in their basic script-editing skills.

  • All participants
    Workshop 1: Series Concept
    March 10 - 17, 2024 | Prague, Czech Republic
    TEAMS 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.

    Lectures
    The Narrative Foundations of a Series Project
    Gabor Krigler
    Monday , March 11 | 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 - Understanding deep structure in serial storytelling
    Tatjana Samopjan
    Monday , March 11 | Prague, Czech Republic

    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.

    The Art of TV Development: Where Creative meets Business
    Sasha Vyshnevska
    Tuesday , March 12 | Prague, Czech Republic

    This lecture explores the intersection of creativity and business in TV
    development.

    While the creative process is undoubtedly at the heart of TV development,
    the ultimate goal is to forge a pilot script that earns a greenlight, leading
    to the project being ordered for production.

    We'll discuss the art of balancing passion and practicality in creative
    pursuits, broadcasters' and other stakeholders’ bottom line business
    needs. And how the Development Executive can steer projects to meet
    these needs and strike a balance between artistic vision and financial
    success.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    April - June, 2024 | Online
  • All participants
    Workshop 2: Season Arc and Mini-Bible
    June 9 - 16, 2024  | Brno, Czech Republic
    TEAMS WITH PROJECTS

    Creative teams work on completing their pilots, and creating their season arc and season outlines. They focus also on 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.

    Lectures
    Rediscovering Life
    Tatjana Samopjan
    Monday, June 10 | Brno, Czech Republic

    In a time when powerful tools of audiovisual creation are put into hands of everybody and their uncle, which storytellers will still be able to pierce through the noise? Maybe even get paid for their work? The most tech-savvy ones or the ones who are the most… alive?

    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.

    So You've Written a Great Pilot...
    Steve Matthews
    Monday, June 10 | Brno, Czech Republic

    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.

    Lecture for Writers
    David Kavanagh
    Wednesday, June 12 | Brno, 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.

    Financing European TV Shows: A Peptalk
    Marike Muselaers
    Thursday, June 13 | Brno, 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 Taraba
    Thursday, June 13 | Brno, 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.

    The role of a TV series producer is not only to prepare and lead the production process in its complexity but also to understand and navigate through very complicated market conditions which are much more unstable and fluid than in the film industry. We will try to understand who our main clients are, what are trends at the moment, the European legal framework for independent producers, etc.

    Crafting Compelling Pitch Documents and Unleashing Teaser Videos
    Gabor Krigler
    Thursday, June 13 | Brno, 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.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    July - November, 2024 | Online
  • All participants
    Workshop 3: Pitching and Acquiring Partners
    November 15 - 20, 2024  | Tallinn, Estonia
    TEAMS WITH PROJECT

    Each project comes with a revised pilot script, a completed bible, a 3-pager, and a teaser. The workshop emphasizes the creation of marketing strategies, the refinement of pitching skills, and familiarizes participants with the specifics of different segments of the series market.

    The workshop concludes at the established industry market of Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event and its series conference TV Beats, offering debates, panels, lectures, case studies, master classes, and the pitching presentation of all projects and participants.

    DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE PARTICIPANTS

    Development Executive participants attend the pitching training and rehearsals of the projects while also preparing for their own presentations to pitch themselves as industry professionals. They will leverage the networking opportunities at the event for their future careers.

Projects

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. 

The Art of Magdalene

In 2022 a Polish middle-aged woman and her son were arrested in Spain on charges of fraud, embezzlement of over 300m EUR and money laundering. An international manhunt succeeded thanks to a lead ...
Project detail

As If Nothing Had Happened

Cristina, working-class and aspiring writer, and Nana, communist elite and aspiring actress, are best friends in their final year of high school in the early 80s Romania. They fall in love, but ...
MIDPOINT participants: Eva TodicaIoana Bogdana
Project detail

Black Winds

ADAM (30) a young and promising Israeli-Ethiopian, returns to his home town after years of studying away. A celebratory night with his friends ends up with a clash between Adam, his best friend ...
Project detail

Bloody Dunes

When a group of friends decides to skip their prom after-party and spend the weekend on the mystical Curonian Spit, they stumble upon a Russian organ trafficking network operating on the border ...
Project detail

Cathedral

A group of young men and women gather in the club, where they escape from the conservative society. This is a place, where everyone enjoys their time, but some people start to abuse the given ...
Project detail

The Guide

Ukraine. In a busy hospital, a mysterious case emerges: a baby without a soul puzzles everyone. Zhenia, a lovesick med student, takes a morgue job to be able to ask out on a date Rita. But a tragic ...
MIDPOINT participants: Svitlana SoloviovaOksana Artemenko
Project detail

Hotel Love

Step into the seductively analog world of Hotel Love. We are in the early 70s and a young woman named Alice is about to date a mysterious man... who turns out to be Leonard Cohen... who turns out to ...
MIDPOINT participants: Gyorgy Barathy
Project detail

Mild Miracles

Every second there are thousands of prayers sent to Go. He’s got no time to answer all of them so he has his “emissaries” all around the world to attend those prayers. Every prayer sent to God is a ...
MIDPOINT participants: Danijel PekRene Gallo
Project detail

Tremor

Mara, a young female architect stumbles upon remarkably preserved buildings in the heart of Bucharest. Her curiosity deepens when she suspects something links these structures to the mysterious ...
MIDPOINT participants: Iulia WeissTudor Ganea
Project detail

Participants

The next wave of professionals specializing in series content from Central and Eastern Europe.

Development Executive Participants

Tutors

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!

Gabor Krigler
Hungary  
Gabor’s career began in the writing staff of a daily serial at Grundy UFA in 1999. He became Creative Executive at the Budapest office of HBO Europe in 2010, responsible for all creative aspects of ...
Complete bio

Group Leaders

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.

Gabor Krigler
Hungary  
Gabor’s career began in the writing staff of a daily serial at Grundy UFA in 1999. He became Creative Executive at the ...
Complete bio
Steve Matthews
United Kingdom  
Steve Matthews is Banijay’s Content Partnerships Executive, where he acts as a key facilitator in the group’s ...
Complete bio
Tatjana Samopjan
Sweden  
Tatjana Samopjan's impactful lectures explore the interplay between storytelling, science, spirituality, social ...
Complete bio

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.

Sasha Vyshnevska
Ukraine  
Sasha started her career as an International Activities Manager at FILM.UA Group, one of the biggest media groups in ...
Complete bio

Financing Tutor

Marike Muselaers
Sweden  
With almost 20 years of experience in the international film and TV industry, Marike recently joined the Nordisk Film ...
Complete bio

Producer Tutor

Nebojsa Taraba
Croatia  
Nebojša Taraba, producer & partner, production company DRUGI PLAN, ZAGREB (CROATIA). Drugi plan is a leading ...
Complete bio

Pitching Tutor

Agathe Berman
France  
Agathe Berman a.k.a The Pitchologist Pitch expert/producer/writer/teacher/artistic consultant. She trains and curates ...
Complete bio

Guest Tutors

These established professionals attend one of the workshops to share their particular professional expertise.

Sari Azoulay Turgeman
Israel  
Complete bio
Benjamin Harris
Germany  
Complete bio
David Kavanagh
Ireland  
Complete bio
Gerhard Maier
Germany  
Complete bio
Cyril Tysz
France  
Complete bio
Navid Zargham
Sweden  
Complete bio

Advisory Board

Gabor Krigler
Hungary  
Complete bio
Steve Matthews
United Kingdom  
Complete bio
Marike Muselaers
Sweden  
Complete bio
Nebojsa Taraba
Croatia  
Complete bio

Gallery

References

A pushing experience that gives you confidence

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Successful series

Selection of our successful alumni

Contact

Did we forget something?

Alexandra Gabrizova
Program Coordinator
alexandra.gabrizova@midpoint-institute.eu

FAQs

  • My English no good. Me can apply?

    Sadly, no. As the entire training runs in English, and during the working days you'll be asked to write directly in English, we require an intermediate level of these language skills. This simply means: your grammar doesn't have to be perfect, but you need to talk/write fluently and have the vocabulary to do so.

  • 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!

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