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MIDPOINT Smash Cut 2023

Series
Previous Edition

Creative incubator for fresh new voices.

Benefits

An initial step for filmmakers who would like to learn the craft of episodic storytelling. The short-form series has established themselves as the great modern incubator of fresh, new voices of a generation of creators with something different to say.
Thanks to its diverse approach, the program caters for independent indie projects of solo creators as well as projects of creative teams. 
The program provides you with all the necessary tools on how to write top-level storytelling for episodes ranging from 1 to 20 minutes.

  • experience the most efficient series storytelling format on the current market.
  • develop your series concept, outline of the pilot script and season under the guidance of an experienced tutor.
  • gain a deeper understanding of the creative aspects involved in the work, as well as insights into financing, and distribution strategies.
  • access inspirational lectures and the possibility to receive tailor-made feedback from tutors during individual consultations. 
  • meet industry professionals thanks to the partnership with Serial Killer International Series Festival 

Fee and how to apply

Fee

700 EUR
per participant
The fee includes accommodation, board, and tuition during the residential workshop. Travel costs are NOT included.

CLOSED

May 17 - July 13 (postponed deadline)

Who can apply?

• writer/s with a project
• teams of writer/s and producer with a project (up to 3 team members)
• eligible countries:
open to projects from the whole world with a focus on CEE region

Application requirements

To apply for the workshop, please create an account on the MIDPOINT Visitor Page and follow the instructions within the submission form.

Application process:

The multi-stage application process runs online. Applicants are asked to fill out the application form and submit all attachments in PDF format (if not stated otherwise).

The application materials consist of:

/ basic info on the project

/ logline

/ short and long synopsis of the series 

/ series pitch

/ description of 1 – 2 main characters

/ statement of purpose 

/ moodbook – optional

/ writing sample of the writer/s on the team 

/ bios and photos of the attending team

Projects

Three promising short-form series projects

Caretta Caretta

Caretta Caretta is a mini TV series, consisting of eight 20 minute episodes, which follows Sonia, a free-spirited, spoiled 35 year-old woman who refuses to grow up at any cost. The series begins ...
Project detail

Last Before September

Last Before September is an anthology series that intertwines eight stories together about life and living during the final days of summer. The calendar pages following August have been colored ...
MIDPOINT participants: Nora KuusistoPetra Koivula
Project detail

Spectrum

Series follows the story of two boys studying the last year of their high school. Each of them with a different upbringing, Dávid coming from a conservative Slovak religious family and Viktor from a ...
Project detail

Participants

Tutors

Inspirational professional with a passion for sharing experience

Group Leader

Sullivan Le Postec
France  
Sullivan Le Postec has had a lifelong passion for TV series. He started out as a TV critic and journalist before becoming a TV writer himself, penning episodes for French series Dernier Recours and ...
Complete bio

Guest Tutors

Kirsten Loose
Germany  
After studying Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Practices at Hildesheim University, Kirsten started her career in TV ...
Complete bio
Gerhard Maier
Germany  
After working in the film and TV industry for over a decade, where he escorted movies and series through their life ...
Complete bio
Hyppe Salmi
Finland  
Hyppe Salmi is working as an executive producer In YLE’s Drama department specializing in young adults. Hyppe is ...
Complete bio

Experts

Matus Krajnak
Slovakia/UK  
Complete bio
Vivian Sade
Estonia  
Complete bio
Sara Zeithammerova
Czech Republic  
Complete bio

Structure

Three-phase short-form series development program

3 short-form series projects working in a group, each project’s development is overseen by experienced tutors, as well as ongoing peer-feedback by fellow participants. 

  • All participants
    Online pre-training
    September 4-5, 2023 | Online

    Aimed as an introductory meeting of selected creators of short-form series (up to 20 mins per episode) with a background in the audiovisual industry that want to shift to short-form series development. 

    Lectures
    History of Web Series
    Sullivan Le Postec
    Monday, September 4, 2023, 11:00 - 12:30 CET | Online

    Streaming video became possible in the late 1990s and, almost instantly, creators started experimenting with new ways of telling stories online. From the original boom of the do-it-yourself webseries, to Hollywood companies investing in the millions, online short-form series have made the most of their creative freedom and the possibility to connect directly with their audience.

    They have proven to be a unique opportunity for creators to curate their own voice and gave birth to a young, innovative and vibrant generation of news talents.

    Finding the Right Partners - A Guide to Financing and Distribution for Web Series
    Kirsten Loose
    Monday, September 4, 2023, 13:30-14:30 CET | Online

    Web series offer great opportunities for storytelling. But how to bring those projects to life? This lecture will give an overview on financing and distribution models for web series, look at potential partners, platforms and networking opportunities and get you into the mindset for defining the potential of your project, identifying target audiences and developing a strategy to find the right partners.

  • All participants
    Workshop
    September 18-24, 2023 | Brno, Czech republic

    The workshop will help the participants define their series concept, outline their pilot script and season, and will train and explain the specifics of short-form series and the difference between long-form series in storytelling. Each project will receive a tutor´s in-depth guidance as well as peer assessment from fellow participants. 

    Smash Cut uses lectures, group work, and individual consultations as its methodological tools. The participants will also be actively writing during the workshop working days, under the supervision of the tutors.

    The program is conducted in English. 

    Lectures
    Web Series - An Exercise in Narrative Efficiency
    Sullivan Le Postec
    Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 17:00-18:30 CET | Brno, Czech Republic

    The episodic length of web series has tended to grown in recent years. Still, most web episodes fall between 5 and 20+ minutes. Their core audience watches them mostly on phone and computer screens, sometimes on the go.

    For those reasons, web series need to catch the attention of the audience quickly – there are always millions more YouTube video waiting to be seen. Web series must deliver as much emotions, drama, comedy and thrills than TV episodes two or three times longer. They require an intense narrative efficiency : the shorter the set-up, the longer the engaging pay-off can be!

    10 Lessons Everyone Should Learn from Short Form Storytelling
    Gerhard Maier
    Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 09:00-10:00 CET | Brno, Czech Republic

    From a very early stage on, short form series were the sandbox for creative talent and platform for topics that dared to be different. Following and understanding the logic of engagement and attention far before streamers and broadcasters entered the digital fray, short form series harnessed the democratizing power of the internet and its communities. What was 15 years ago called “web series” evolved into a wide field where short form storytelling, social media, experimental sensibilities, marginalized voices and big budget investments intersect to from an exciting melting pot of formats, ideas and forms of expression.

    The keynote will spotlight the evolvement of short form series and which factors are currently molding the medium before diving in some of the current questions: What did big streamers and broadcasters learn from web series and how did they integrate it into their strategies? How does the market for short form content look like globally? What big trends will form the future of short form content? And how can clever writers, film-makers and producers profit from anticipating these trends?

    The New Generation of Central and Eastern European Series Creators
    Matus Krajnak
    Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 16:10-16:50 CET | Brno, Czech Republic

    After his comedy web series Sexfluencing successfully traveled across the festival orbit, Matus Krajnak (Slovakia, UK) will reveal the process behind its creation. In his case study, he will focus on both, the joyful and the not-so-joyful aspects of low-budget independent series-making.

    The panel will be followed by a discussion with other two up-and-coming series creators from the CEE region - Vivian Sade (Kalamaja Blues / EST, FN) and Sara Zeithammerova (TBH, Five Years / CZ) who will join the stage to share their series-making experience. 

     

    How to engage the audience in advance
    Hyppe Salmi
    Thursday, September 21, 2023, 09:00-10:00 CET | Brno, Czech Republic

    YLE has been successful in creating short form dramas for teens and young adults. Two case studies will depict how Yle Drama is engaging young adults on Instagram, starting with the script all the way to the release of the series and beyond. Executive producer Hyppe Salmi is opening the strategy of an Instagram account @areena.stories as a tool to research, pilot and find new talents.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    December 12, 2023 | Online

References

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FAQs

  • What is a short-form series?

    In the olden golden world, you might've known these formats as "web series". The world is changing, though, and to reflect that it is the length of an episode that matters, not the channel it is delivered on (television or streaming), these are now called "short-form series".

  • What is the length of a short-form series episode?

    A few years back, these were ranging up to 10 minutes. There is a general tendency for the episodes to grow in length, that's why we are accepting anything up to 20 minutes.

  • I'm developing a 10-minute per episode online show. Am I eligible?

    You are our dream applicant! Smash Cut is designed specifically for short-form series. So hurry up with that application.

  • 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. Smash Cut will help you create your show from scratch.

  • Can I apply with an animation or documentary series project?

    Sadly, Smash Cut does not work with animation or documentary projects, as these require a different set of skills and address a different market.

  • Does MIDPOINT offer scholarships?

    Sadly, not for this particular program. We HIGHLY recommend to submit an application to a national organization (fund, institute, ministry) at the same time you're applying to MIDPOINT Institute. 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.

  • What exactly is a "series pitch" or "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 intructions in the "Application" folder). 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!

  • I'm a writer. Can I apply myself?

    Sure. That said, we generally support and recommend arriving in a team – either of writers, or a writer and producer. It simply makes the brainstorming and creative process easier and more effective, particularly when it comes to series. But you're most welcome to apply as a single writer as well.

  • Can I apply with more than one project?

    Of course – but we'll only choose one. :)

Contact

Did we forget something? Don't hesitate to ask

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

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