Providing guidance and insight to writers looking to revise, refine and pitch their pilots
Designed to support writers with original long-form episodic projects, Film Independent’s Episodic Lab will accept a diverse group of 6–8 writers or writing teams and provide them with critical support and mentorship. Through personalized feedback from experienced showrunners, creative producers and executives, Fellows will gain the tools to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape.
The Episodic Lab helps to further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to industry veterans who can offer guidance on both the craft and business of writing episodic content. Each Fellow will be paired with a Creative Advisor with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to develop their project during the month of July. Additionally, guest speakers will screen and discuss their own work to offer insights into the creative process and industry best practices. A final networking and pitch event will offer Fellows the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work to studio and network executives.
For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.
Alfred P. Sloan Episodic Lab Grant
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will award one participant of the Film Independent Episodic Lab a $10,000 development grant.
To apply for the Sloan Episodic Lab Grant, apply to the Episodic Lab and provide a statement on how the project fulfills the mission of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in your cover letter. The applicant must possess the rights to the script with which they are applying. The teleplay should have a scientific, mathematical and/or technological theme and storyline or have a leading character that is a scientist, engineer or mathematician.
At this time, science fiction projects are not eligible for the Sloan Episodic Lab Grant.
About The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a New York based, philanthropic, not-for-profit institution that makes grants in three areas: research in science, technology, and economics; quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and public engagement with science. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience and to bridge the two cultures of science and the humanities.
Sloan’s Film Program encourages ﬁlmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past two decades, Sloan has partnered with some of the top ﬁlm schools in the country–including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USC plus six public film schools–and established annual awards in screenwriting and ﬁlm production, along with an annual best-of-the-best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, SFFILM, the Black List, the Athena Film Festival, the North Fork TV Festival, and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop over 25 feature films including Michael Almereyda’s Tesla, Thor Klein’s Adventures of a Mathematician, Jessica Oreck’s One Man Dies a Million Times, Michael Tyburski’s The Sound of Silence, Shawn Snyder’s To Dust, Logan Kibens and Sharon Greene’s Operator, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, and Matthew Brown‘s The Man Who Knew Inﬁnity. The Foundation has supported feature documentaries such as Picture a Scientist, Coded Bias, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, The Bit Player, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Particle Fever, and Jacques Perrin’s Oceans. The Foundation’s book program includes support for Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, which became the highest grossing Oscar-nominated film of 2017 and a social and cultural milestone.
For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, please visit www.sloan.org or follow the Foundation at @SloanPublic on Twitter and Facebook.
Who Can Apply?
The Episodic Lab is open to any emerging writer applying with a completed draft of a half hour or hour-long television pilot they wish to workshop during the program. Each applicant must be the author of the script he or she submits. The submitted pilot cannot have been pitched at any point to a studio or network.
Writing partners are welcome to apply as teams and need only submit a single application. International applicants are also welcome to apply. At this time, documentary and short-form digital series are not eligible to apply.
How to Apply
Please read over the application form before preparing your materials. Applicants must submit the following for consideration:
- A cover letter introducing yourself and your interest in the Episodic Lab
- One complete, original pilot
- A series logline and pilot synopsis
- A series description describing the story engine and series arc of the show
- Project status and history, including any industry exposure
- A series proposal document that includes brief descriptions of the world of the series and its premise and genre, as well as breakdowns for the show’s primary characters and their first season arcs
- FREE for Filmmaker Pro Members (limited to one waived fee per Membership year)
- $45 for Film Independent Members
- $65 for non-Members
Film Independent is looking for well-written, compelling, pilots with an original premise or vision. The submitted pilot may be original or adapted from optioned source material. Though applicants must submit a completed draft, the Lab is structured to support writers who are still creatively engaged in the writing process; those who welcome feedback and discussion will most benefit from the program as they further develop their work.
The Fine Print
Beyond the application fee, there is no cost or tuition to participate in any of Film Independent’s Artist Development programs.
Film Independent Membership is not required when applying to Artist Development Labs. However, all participants accepted into the Labs are required to join Film Independent at the standard annual General Membership rate of $95.
Applicants will be notified three to four weeks prior to the start of the program.
Until further notice, all Film Independent Labs will be held online.
For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Film Independent Fellows and their projects, visit our Talent Guide.