Kicking off with a wine and cheese reception at the Woods Hole Inn on Friday night, writers will meet for two sessions on Saturday (2/23) plus a wrap up session on Sunday morning (2/24) making for a packed and fun-filled weekend of learning and excitement.
A vivid introduction to the inner workings of dramatic network television, this two-day Symposium will dissect all the pieces of success in hour-long drama writing.
Meet TV drama veteran P.K. Simonds (executive producer of “Ghost Whisperer” and “Party of Five”) who will lead your journey. Film writing gets more attention in teaching programs and in the media, but the majority of jobs and income are derived writing for network and cable TV. Simonds has spent over 25 years in the network TV trenches and he will share his experience with you!
The Symposium will go from macro to micro, beginning with an overview of the industry, exploring the differing roles of the writer in TV versus ﬁlm, then deconstructing the process of writing and producing a single TV episode. Says Simonds, “I want to break the business down and make it more understandable. How does a writers room work? How are stories developed and seasons planned? Who is responsible for a single script? What is the balance of power between the players? Is it possible to do your job in Hollywood without selling your soul?”
To illustrate the creative process in action, participants will be invited to share their stories with the group. Simonds will lead a story discussion, the same way it happens in professional writers rooms, to try to help writers develop their ideas. We’ll conclude by discussing important first steps for writers to take to break into the industry. Writers will network, share ideas and enjoy the stark beauty of Cape Cod in winter.
Applications are currently being accepted via the Woods Hole Film Festival website and include submitting a writing sample. Fee to attend is $150 per writer. Accepted attendees will be offered a discounted lodging package at the Woods Hole Inn in Woods Hole. Book the Woods Hole Inn by calling (508) 495-0248, based on availability.
Fifteen writers gathered in Woods Hole last weekend (Feb 4-6, 2011) for a symposium on writing for television lead by P.K. Simonds (“Ghost Whisperer” and “Party of Five”) and Laurie McCarthy (“CSI,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Windfall.”) The group gathered Friday night at the Woods Hole Inn for wine and cheese, introductions and ice breaking as the sun set over Woods Hole’s Great Harbor.
The next morning, the writers gathered in the Quicks Hole restaurant while Laurie and P.K. presented their take on the current TV business, everything from the recent writers strike, to the pressures of show-running, to how to handle network notes. The information-packed morning and afternoon sessions were broken up by a break for lunch. In the evening, most of the crew headed to the Captain Kidd for “Dinner and a Movie” led by Judy Laster of the Woods Hole Film Festival.
The series, a joint partnership of the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Woods Hole Inn, continued on Sunday with a final session focusing on how to break into the business. With plenty of time for Q&A from the experienced writers, most of the participants spoke of feeling jazzed about the process, and said they were energized to go home and keep writing. See their actual comments here.
Enjoy the photo essay of a weekend of good conversations, insightful questions and continuing learning about the nexus of art and commerce in the loveliest little village on Cape Cod: