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MIDPOINT Series Launch 2023

Series
Archive

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.

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. 

Arizona Joe

A young man in search of his lost father. An actress willing to do anything to become a movie star. A director in the making of his final film. They meet under the roof of a Soviet-era film studio ...
MIDPOINT participants: Dace SiatkovskaMatiss Kaza
Project detail

Behind the Wall

Before he dies, apartment complex owner wants to see his estranged daughter. Triska Rose abides, flying to Prague for the first time since leaving for the states as a teenager. But he dies while ...
MIDPOINT participants: Vasco VianaIuliia MamaevaLia Berger
Project detail

Vertebrae

In a quiet village by the Black Sea, local police officer Cosmina assists in investigating the suspicious death of a construction worker. The homicide unit quickly closes the case just as she ...
MIDPOINT participants: Ioana LascarAndrei Epure
Project detail

Welcome, Kinder!

Berlin, 1938. Life became unbearably difficult for Jewish citizen, peaking in the November pogroms. While an outrage goes through the world, Great Britain is the only country to take action. They ...
Project detail

Kilwater

During one of the first rescue missions under Marta command, a Swedish yacht mysteriously goes missing. This incident hooks the attention of Zora, Swedish prosecutor. The women join forces to ...
MIDPOINT participants: Kaja JalochaMalgorzata Pilacinska
Project detail

Rainbow Gravity

One night, after stealing illegal stash of hormones hidden in a panda sex toy, Ash, a gay drug dealer, and his lesbian friend Lily, along with their LGBTQ+ acquaintances in Belgrade, rush to sell ...
MIDPOINT participants: Andjela LazicSara SaricSara Saric
Project detail

Brain Drain

It's 2023 and Serbia is becoming a luxury travel destination thanks to Playground, popularly dubbed “Air BnB for bodies”. Wealthy tourists are pouring in for short term accommodations in the bodies ...
Project detail

Love is a Pitch

A group of quirky, dubiously skilled women in their 30s joins a second league football championship. Just as the reality of muddy pitches and experienced opponents sobers them up, they realize that ...
Project detail

The Fassbinds

Two brothers from the eccentric Fassbind family inherit the distillery and Grand Hotel. As genius businessmen, Siegfried invents the first distillery on rails, while Junior fights for the ...
Project detail

Participants

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

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.

Christopher Haug
Norway  
Christopher Haug is a Norwegian screenwriter, consultant and executive producer. Haug began his career in television ...
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.

Benjamin Harris
Germany  
Complete bio
David Kavanagh
Ireland  
Complete bio
Ben Morris
United Kingdom  
Complete bio
Maggie Murphy
United States  
Complete bio
Cyril Tysz
France  
Complete bio
Tim Wagendorp
Belgium  
Complete bio

Experts

Zuzana Dzurindova
Slovakia  
Complete bio
Peter Nagy
Slovakia  
Complete bio
Tereza Polachova
Czech Republic  
Complete bio

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 14 - 17, 2023 | 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 14, 11:30 - 13:00 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 14, 14:30 – 16:00 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.

    The Alpha and the Omega
    Maggie Murphy
    Tuesday, March 14, 16:30 – 18:00 CET | 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.

    SUSTAINAWHAT
    Tim Wagendorp
    Wednesday, March 15, 10:00–11:30 CET | Online

    What is sustainability and how can it be applied within the AV industry? Are the environmental challenges limited to production only, or do writers also play a role? We will jointly dig deeper into these topics using hands on examples from Flanders.

  • Development executive participants
    Pre-Training for DE Participants
    March 13 - 17, 2023 | 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 27 - April 2, 2023 | 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
    Tuesday, March 28 | 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
    Tatjana Samopjan
    Tuesday, March 28 | Prague, Czech Republic

    Understanding deep structure in serial storytelling

    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.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    April - June, 2023 | Online
  • All participants
    Workshop 2: Season Arc and Mini-Bible
    June 12 - 19, 2023 | 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
    Fire in the Eyes - from generic to authentic storytelling
    Tatjana Samopjan
    Tuesday, June 13, 10:30 - 12:00 CET | Prague, Czech Republic

    Are your eyes a projector or a camera? 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.

    Financing European TV Shows: A Peptalk
    Marike Muselaers
    Tuesday, June 13, 13:30 - 15:00 CET | Prague, 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
    Tuesday, June 13, 15:30 - 17:30 CET | Prague, 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.

    Case Study: The Winner
    Zuzana Dzurindova, Steve Matthews, Peter Nagy, Tereza Polachova
    Friday, June 16, 09:30 - 10:45 CET | Prague, Czech Republic

    Case study of the development of THE WINNER, HBO Europe’s first production from Slovakia, created and written by the MIDPOINT TV Launch 2017 alumni: Zuzana Dzurindova and Peter Nagy.
    During an informal discussion, creators Zuzana Dzurindova, Peter Nagy, Tereza Polachova, and Steve Matthews will speak about the exciting journey of the series, soon to be aired on SkyShowtime.

    So You've Written a Great Pilot...
    Steve Matthews
    Friday, June 16, 11:00 - 13:00 CET | Prague, Czech Republic/ Studio FAMU (open lecture)

    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.

    The lecture is open to local professionals, members of the audiovisual industry, and students

    Form & perform your pitch
    Agathe Berman
    Saturday, June 17, 14:00 - 15:30 CET | Prague, Czech Republic

    Interactive pitching exploration with Agathe Berman
    • Browsing issues about pitching: trepidation, traps, tips, tools
    • Key visuals perspectives
    • Experimenting: speed pitching trials & one on one assignments
    for further steps

    Crafting Compelling Pitch Documents and Unleashing Teaser Videos
    Gabor Krigler
    Saturday, June 17, 15:45 - 16:30 CET | Prague, 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. 

    Roundtable Lecture for Writers
    David Kavanagh
    Sunday, June 18, 10:30 - 12:30 CET | Prague, 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.

  • All participants
    Online Consultations
    July-November, 2023 | Online
  • All participants
    Workshop 3: Pitching and Acquiring Partners
    November 9 - 15, 2023 | Tallinn, Estonia
    TEAMS WITH PROJECT

    Each project arrives with a revised pilot script and a completed pitch book/mini-bible. Workshop focuses on creating marketing strategies, refining pitching skills and familiarizes participants with the specifics of different segments of the series market. It concludes at the Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event and its TV Beats market, offering debates, panels, lectures, case studies, master classes and the pitching presentation of all projects and participants within.

    DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE PARTICIPANTS

    The Development Executive participants are present at the pitching training and rehearsals of the projects and also prepare for their own presentations, to pitch themselves as industry professionals. They will also use the networking opportunities at the event for their future careers.

Gallery

References

A pushing experience that gives you confidence

Successful series

Selection of our successful alumni

FAQs

  • 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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