The program that helps series creators to make their idea become a marketable project & aspiring development executives to enhance their craft and learn new skills.
9 promising series projects
The selected projects are divided into 3 groups per 3 projects, while each group's development is overseen not only by an assigned group leader tutor, but also a development executive participant.
The next generation of the Central and Eastern European series content professionals
Development Executive Participants
Inspirational professionals with a passion to share their experience
To ensure the most complex approach to training, TV 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!
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.
Development Executive Mentor
The Development Executive Tutor attends and co-creates the training for the development executive participants, ensuring these are organically implemented into the working groups and the collaborative set-up simulates a real-life industry environment.
Steve’s incredible passion for stories and years of experience in high quality television makes him a true expert when it comes to nurturing projects and ensuring their development progress.
Shedding a light on the director’s role in series, and the way it differs from feature films, the Director Tutor introduces the participants into the workflow and responsibilities of a director of serial narratives, and how the process might influence the script itself, as well as 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 tutor prepares the projects and participants to present themselves not only for the final pitching of the program, but for the general presentation of the project ranging from an elevator pitch to a detailed business meeting. Warning: some unorthodox training practises included!
Utilizing the vast experience in financing and distribution, this tutor attends to the projects in order to set up a financing strategy and distribution models that would work for the projects’ best advantage: in an ever-changing market, several options are to be considered!
Established professionals arriving usually for one of the workshops to share their dramaturgical, professional, practical or legal 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 months 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.
Development Executive ParticipantsPre-Training for DE participantsApril 26–27, 2021 | online
Development executive participants, guided by their tutor, in collaboration with the group leaders, are briefed and pre-trained in their basic script-editing skills.
All ParticipantsWorkshop 1: Series conceptMay 3–14, 2021 | onlineTeams with project
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.Development 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.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
Creative teams work on completing their pilots, and creating their season arc and season outlines. They focus also on the role of a director, 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.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 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 & Baltin Event and its TV Beats market, offering debates, panels, lectures, case studies, master classes and the pitching presentation of all projects and participants within.
The HBO Europe Award is handed out to celebrate the Best Series Project of the MIDPOINT TV Launch 2021 program.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.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.
Selection of our successful alumni
After his mother's death, teenager Juri and his father relocate to a rundown housing complex - but there is more here than meets the eye.
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.