Episodic Lab

An intensive workshop where Fellows will gain the tools needed to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape

Designed to support writers with original long-form episodic projects, Film Independent’s inaugural Episodic Lab will take place in Los Angeles in September and October of 2017. The lab, which will meet several nights a week, 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 further develop their project over the course of the program. 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.

The Episodic Lab is supported by Lead Artist Development Funder the Time Warner Foundation and Founding Sponsor Netflix. Additional support is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.

Please note: The general application period has passed. We are only accepting applications that qualify for the Sloan Episodic Grant at this time.

Benefits

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, a filmmaker must apply to the Episodic Lab and provide a statement on how the project fulfills the mission of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 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 New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology and economic performance. 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.

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 15 years, Sloan has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country–including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USC–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, the San Francisco Film Society, the Black List, and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop such film projects as Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Matt Brown ‘s The Man Who Knew Infinity, Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide to Everything, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess.

For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, please visit www.sloan.org.

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:

Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in the Episodic Lab
  • One complete, original pilot
  • One 3-5 page series proposal that includes brief descriptions of the world of the series, the series premise and genre as well as character breakdowns for the show’s primary characters and their first season arcs
  • A logline and synopsis for the pilot
  • Project status and history, including any industry exposure

Application Fee

Selection Criteria

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 membership rate of $95.

Those applicants who are invited to participate in the program should plan to be in Los Angeles for the four-week duration of the Lab. Film Independent is unable to subsidize any travel, lodging and/or visa expenses for any participants attending from outside of Los Angeles. Participants are expected to attend all sessions in person.

For more information, please email: [email protected].