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MIDPOINT TV Launch 2021

Archive

This program helps series creators to develop their ideas into marketable projects and aspiring development executives to enhance their craft and learn new skills.

Projects

Nine promising series projects

Participating projects are divided three groups of three, and each group's development is overseen by both a group leader and a participating development executive.

Amrita

Indian-Hungarian painter Amrita Sher-Gil (India’s Frida Kahlo) arrives in Paris in 1929 to attend art college and discovers her secret power: no one can resist her magnetic charm. Against the ...
MIDPOINT participants: Zita KisgergelyKristina Jilly
Project detail

The Last Baroness

Young, free-spirited Babu seeks freedom and independence from her constricted life as a baroness. While the monarchy is collapsing, totalitarian Communists try to wipe off the aristocracy from the ...
MIDPOINT participants: Katarina KrnacovaDiana Kacarova
Project detail

Elephant

Anna dedicates her life for her perfect family. She keeps everything under control and in return she provides a convenient life for her husband and their three kids. However Anna is a functioning ...
MIDPOINT participants: Balazs ZacharDavid Csicskar
Project detail

Offside

Sasha, a young football betting kingpin, runs an impressive illegal gambling and match-fixing empire. But his Hamburg-based operation is growing too big to handle and he finds himself assailed from ...
Project detail

'C' FOR CANCEL

Cancelled for defence of a suicidal woman, Elena looses her TV career which equaled her life. She fights to get it back but angry mobs ignore her arguments and only need a scapegoat to vent out ...
Project detail

The Marcelots

When her mom kills herself and she finds out she might have a twin sister, Eva (32) becomes the unassuming guru of a community made up of her newly discovered brothers and sisters. Caught in between ...
Project detail

NON-CITIZENS

The plans of four flatmates from Lithuania, Poland, and Romania to build better futures for themselves in Glasgow turn into a hot mess when one of their mothers unexpectedly shows up on their ...
MIDPOINT participants: Margarita VeberaiteAiste Ptakauske
Project detail

Killswitch

Lea is a cyber security expert on her way to a sabbatical. Nina is a rising star of investigative journalism with a grudge against her colleague Peter. When Peter is found dead and Lea’s only friend ...
Project detail

SABRE

SABRE is based on real events that happened in Serbia in 2003, when the Serbian Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic, was assassinated in front of the government building in broad daylight. While in the ...
Project detail

Participants

The next generation of Central and Eastern European series-content professionals



Development Executive Participants

Tutors

Inspirational professionals passionate about sharing their experience

To ensure the most comprehensive approach to training, TV Launch works with establish and respected industry veterans from Central and Eastern Europe, Western Europe, USA and 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 Krigler is a trailblazing professional. As the showrunner of 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 a Creative Executive at the Budapest office of HBO Europe in 2010, responsible for all creative aspects ...
Complete bio

Group Leaders

The Group Leaders oversee the development of projects in their group throughout the duration of 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 a Creative Executive at ...
Complete bio
Ben Morris
United Kingdom  
After studying drama at Bristol University, Ben’s first industry job was as a runner at ITV Studios Drama. ...
Complete bio
Cyril Tysz
France  
Cyril Tysz is a French screenwriter and head writer. After graduating from both La Sorbonne and UCLA film departments, ...
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.

Steve Matthews' incredible passion for stories and years of experience in high-quality television makes him a true expert in nurturing projects and ensuring their progress.

Steve Matthews
United Kingdom  
Steve was Consulting Producer on all three series of Neil Jordan’s series The Borgias for Showtime Networks, and ...
Complete bio

Director Tutor

The Director Tutor introduces the participants to the workflow and responsibilities of a director of serial narratives, how that differs from features, and how the process might influence the script and the production.

Harald Hamrell
Sweden  
Complete bio

Producer Tutor

Placing a finger onto the difference of the feature film and series production, the Producer Tutor makes sure the projects prepare solid production plans and would budget their series in a most effective and realistic way.

Nebojsa Taraba
Croatia  
Complete bio

Pitching Tutor

The Pitching Tutor prepares participants to pitch their projects not only at the end of the program but more generally, whether for an elevator pitch or for an actual business meeting. Warning: some unorthodox training practices included!

Michaela Sabo
Slovakia  
Complete bio

Financing Tutor

Using their vast experience, the Financing Tutor helps participants set up financing strategies and distribution models to position their projects in an ever-changing marketplace.

Marike Muselaers
Netherlands  
Complete bio

Guest Tutors

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

Jeff Bell
United States  
Complete bio
Benjamin Harris
Germany  
Complete bio
Rudolf Leska
Czech Republic  
Complete bio
Maggie Murphy
United States  
Complete bio

Experts

Kolbrun Anna Bjornsdottir
Iceland  
Complete bio
Eva Sigurdardottir
Iceland  
Complete bio
Nebojsa Taraba
Croatia  
Complete bio
Vala Thorsdottir
Iceland  
Complete bio

Award

HBO Europe Award

5,000 USD will be handed out by the partner of the workshop, HBO Europe, to celebrate the Best Series Project of the MIDPOINT TV Launch 2021 program, within the Awards Ceremony of Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event.

Structure

Eight-month-long intensive program that combines a variety of formats

Nine teams of creators, split into three groups of three, work under the guidance of internationally renowned and experienced tutors, in close collaboration with development-executive participants who are involved in all aspects of the program.

  • Development Executive Participants
    Pre-Training for DE participants
    April 26–27, 2021 | online

    Development executive participants, guided by their tutor and in collaboration with group leaders, are briefed and pre-trained in basic script-editing skills.

  • All Participants
    Workshop 1: Series Concept
    May 3–14, 2021 | online
    Teams with project

    The teams are guided in defining the concept and theme of their series, and in outlining their pilot episodes. The workshop consists of group work, individual consultations, lectures, and analyses of series.

    Development Executive Participants

    Each Development Executive participant is assigned to a group of projects and observes their work, becoming acquainted with the dynamics within the creative team. Their learning is facilitated through meetings with both the development executive mentor and the teams of creators.

    Lectures
    The DNA of Television Series
    Benjamin Harris
    May 3, 2021, 11:30 a.m. | 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.

    The Narrative Foundations of a Series Project
    Gabor Krigler
    May 4, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | online

    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.

    Running the Genre Room - in partnership with Serial Eyes
    Jeff Bell
    May 10, 2021, 6:00 p.m. | online

    Veteran US showrunner Jeff Bell discusses running a US-style writers’ room for a genre show. How do you manage writers and get the best out of people? And how much does the genre influence how you approach specific stories and arcs?

    The Alpha and the Omega
    Maggie Murphy
    May 6, 2021, 7:00 p.m. | 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.

    Both Sides of the Table - Dealing with Notes
    Ben Morris
    May 5, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | online

    Wherever you’ve come from and wherever you’re going as a screenwriter, one thing is certain: notes will be coming your way- and from all angles! Ben will use his experience working on both sides of the table - in development/production and also as a writer - to discuss how to give and take notes in a way that is productive, collegiate and fun.

  • All Participants
    Online Consultations
    May-June 2021  | online
  • All Participants
    Workshop 2: Season Arc and Mini-bible
    July 19–30, 2021 | online
    Teams with project

    Teams work on completing their pilots and creating season arcs and outlines. They also begin to focus on the role of the director, documents needed for pitching and promotions, and production and financing strategies.

    Development Executive Participants

    Development Executive Participants continue working with their groups, serving as script editors and observing work on the pilot, while joining in training on production and financing strategies.

    Lectures
    Make Your Pitch Custom-Made
    Michaela Sabo
    July 30, 2021, 1:30 p.m. | online

    Whenever you do something from the bottom of your heart all the great energy you put in reflects in a form of an excellent result. There are no general rules that define a great pitch. The only rule is to know your story well and be able to have your heart present while pitching it. During her lecture, Michaela Sabo will guide the audience to find their strengths and weaknesses and make an advantage of both of them, to create a custom-made pitch. And last but not least, Michaela will give useful tips on how to overcome jitters, how to stay focused, how to find the core elements of the story and how to transfer it to the pitch audience.

    Roundtable Lecture for Writers
    Rudolf Leska
    July 23, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | online

    What is the position of a writer in the European ecosystem, what to look out for when it comes to contracts and which expectations to have? We’ll discuss all this and more in a closed session where there are no bad questions with Rudolf Leska, an established copyright lawyer with international experience.

     

    Financing European TV Shows: A Peptalk
    Marike Muselaers
    July 22, 2021, 10:00 a.m.. | online

    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 CEE 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
    July 21, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | online

    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.

    Directing TV-series and getting bigger bang for the buck
    Harald Hamrell
    July 20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. | online

    What are the secrets to manage the work of a long TV-series as a director? How do you make the best out of your resources? The Swedish director, Harald Hamrell, who has been director on around twenty TV-series and feature films, will tell you all about his experience over the years and show case studies of his latest productions.

    So You've Written a Great Pilot...
    Steve Matthews
    July 19, 2021, 11:00 a.m. | online

    Steve Matthews, an experienced expert, now the Executive Producer of Drama Development at HBO Europe, 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.

  • All Participants
    Online Consultations
    August-October 2021 | online
  • All Participants
    Workshop 3: Pitching and Acquiring Partners
    November 15–21, 2021 | Tallinn, Estonia
    Teams with project

    Each team arrives to this workshop with a revised script of their pilot episode and a pitch book/mini-bible. The workshop focuses on creating marketing strategies, refining pitching skills and familiarizing participants with different aspects of the series marketplace. It concludes with a pitching presentation hosted by the TV Beats Forum of the Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event, at which participants can also attend a series of panels, lectures and master classes.

    The HBO Europe Award is given to the Best Series Project of the MIDPOINT TV Launch program.

    Development Executive Participants

    The development-executive participants attend the pitching training and project rehearsals while also preparing their own presentations, during which they'll introduce themselves as industry professionals. They'll also take advantage of the networking opportunities on offer to enhance their future careers.

    Lectures
    Case Study: The Paper
    Nebojsa Taraba
    November 20, 2021, 2:15 p.m. | Tallinn, Estonia (Nordic Hotel Forum) & online

    MIDPOINT TV Launch tutor and Croatian producer Nebojsa Taraba (Drugi Plan) and distributor Rose Hughes of Keshet International will speak about the international appeal and distribution possibilities of Eastern European shows and how the successful series "The Paper" became the first ever Balkan show to be distributed by Netflix.

    Case Study: Fractures
    Kolbrun Anna Bjornsdottir, Eva Sigurdardottir, Vala Thorsdottir
    November 20, 2021 , 4:00 p.m. | Tallinn, Estonia (Nordic Hotel Forum) & online

    Writers Kolbrun Anna Bjornsdottir and Vala Thorsdottir together with the director Eva Sigurdardottir, MIDPOINT TV Launch 2017 graduates, offer a unique insight into the development process of their TV Launch alumni project Fractures, which is to be released in 2021.

Successful series

A selection of our successful alumni

References

A motivational experience that elevates your project and skills

Funders

General Partners