July 18, 2018
MIDPOINT TV Launch was established in 2015 and has been running as a three-workshop program since 2017.
For the upcoming 2019 edition, several additions and updates will be introduced – one of them being the collaboration with a brand new Head of Studies of the program: Gabor Krigler.
Krigler is not a new name in the European television industry: his career began in 1999 with Australian-German Grundy UFA, as a storyliner on their first Budapest-based serial drama. Since the inception of the Original Production department at HBO Europe in 2010, he has been working as a Creative Executive, shepherding all Hungarian-language shows from the earliest days of development into production. His latest show, the internationally successful series Golden Life, is now coming into its 3rd season.
Q: In the running 2018 edition of TV Launch, you’ve been involved as a Core Tutor. How would you evaluate this role – has there been a difference with your previous tutoring experiences?
TV Launch is quite a “pressure cooker” program, it’s quite unlike anything I had been involved with earlier, with its three highly intense workshops and the online sessions with their short deadlines. “Writers write” says the adage, and when you are at MIDPOINT you must focus and create. It’s very similar to working in a professional writers’ room environment and I find it incredibly useful for the participants and myself as well. It’s constant learning and it’s great to see the writers and their projects evolve.
Q: Which experiences from your previous work engagements are coming most in handy while raising the new generation of television writers and producer?
Collaboration is key. During my time as a writer-producer I’ve learned to listen keenly – there are no bad ideas. Everyone is encouraged to jump in and contribute, even if the idea is half-baked or seemingly all wrong for the issue at hand. Any seed of an idea can get someone else in the room to come up with the most brilliant solution to a problem. The best thing about writing for TV is the constant feedback and the ping-pong of ideas. There’s no time and no opportunity for writer’s block.
Q: Knowing the Central and Eastern European television landscape, what are the crucial skills to be trained and improved in order to strengthen the capacity of this region?
I find it quite infuriating that there is this automatic proposition that there are basic skills that are missing. Certainly, there is a lack of experience, but there is a multitude of talent with a very good understanding of storytelling principles. We have a lot of stories to tell and we have the tools to tell them; what we need is practice in the room, getting into the collaboration game. It’s imperative to play on our cultural, socio-economic differences and not just try to imitate the latest US/UK fare. We have a lot to offer to the international TV drama market, we just need to hone our skills of delivering professional level, well presented material on time and marketing these products.
Q: How do you feel will TV Launch impact this industry in the coming years?
In the region we have yet to make a true breakthrough – a hit that travels all over the world. But I am certain it is right around the corner, and when one project paves the way – like In Treatment did for Israeli television – then the floodgates will open and the world market will watch out for Central and Eastern European talent. TV Launch is spearheading this movement and I definitely hope that this breakthrough will happen with one of our projects.
Q: What are your goals for the 2019 edition?
Clearly what we are aiming for is to get all our projects into such a shape that they can contend on the world market. As a new goal we want to train the development executives of the future; people with proper TV drama development skills and a keen eye for selecting projects for their broadcasters. But to me what is most important is always the journey. Being in the room with the participants, keeping in touch with them between the residential workshops and just enjoying the ride. If you enjoy what you are doing, chances are the end result will be great too.
Apply for MIDPOINT TV Launch 2019 here!
Deadline: September 21, 2018
MIDPOINT TV Launch is realized with the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Czech Film Fund, the International Visegrad Fund, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Audiovisual Producers' Association. It is presented in cooperation with CHARACTER – Film Development Association, the Finale Plzen Film Festival, the Sarajevo Film Festival – CineLink Industry Days, HBO Europe, Serial Eyes, C21 Media, Series Mania, CANNESERIES Institute, MIA TV Market and AMU.