This program helps series creators to develop their ideas into marketable projects and aspiring development executives to enhance their craft and learn new skills.
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.
The next generation of Central and Eastern European series-content professionals
Development Executive Participants
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
These established professionals attend one of the two workshops to share their particular professional expertise.
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.
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 ParticipantsPre-Training for DE participantsApril 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 ParticipantsWorkshop 1: Series ConceptMay 3–14, 2021 | onlineTeams 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.LecturesThe DNA of Television SeriesMay 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 ProjectMay 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 EyesMay 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 OmegaMay 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 NotesMay 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 ParticipantsOnline ConsultationsMay-June 2021 | online
All ParticipantsWorkshop 2: Season Arc and Mini-bibleJuly 19–30, 2021 | onlineTeams 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.LecturesMake Your Pitch Custom-MadeJuly 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 WritersJuly 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 PeptalkJuly 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 ProducersJuly 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 buckJuly 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...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 ParticipantsOnline ConsultationsAugust-October 2021 | online
All ParticipantsWorkshop 3: Pitching and Acquiring PartnersNovember 15–21, 2021 | Tallinn, EstoniaTeams 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.LecturesCase Study: The PaperNovember 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: FracturesNovember 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.
A selection of our successful alumni
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.