Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program Showcase

Overview
HOW IT WORKS
APPLY

    2022 PROGRAM DATES

    APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN

    APPLICATION DEADLINE:

    JUNE 20, 2022 @ 4PM ET

    PROGRAM START:

    October 3, 2022

    PROGRAM END:

    March 24, 2023

    To receive email notifications regarding key program dates, please SIGN-UP HERE.


WHAT IS IT?

The fall 2022 cohort of the Bell Media Prime Time Television Program is a 5 ½ month, full-time offering for six Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized writers. The program provides participants with the opportunity to:

  • Be immersed in a professional comedy series writing room
  • Build confidence by exercising story room skills
  • Establish strong relationships through collaboration with other writers and key creatives
  • Define your unique offerings within the screen industry
  • Develop work that showcases your voice and comedy series writing
  • Help package your original series project for the marketplace
  • Showcase your written work onscreen, including a teaser to promote your original series

IS THIS THE PROGRAM FOR YOU?

This program is designed for emerging/mid-level Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized writers who are self-driven and committed storytellers, open and ready to engage in a collaborative comedy series story room, keen to expand their skillsets and TV portfolios, and eager to establish strong creative and industry partnerships within the evolving television marketplace.

We are looking for Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized writers who have:

  • Some professional writing experience and a growing body of onscreen work
  • A strong desire to collaborate with other writers/creators, and broaden creative and business relationships
  • A desire to increase your understanding of the changing television marketplace and professional opportunities
  • A comedy series project and/or slate that you are eager to further develop

We are looking for writers who bring different points of view, different types of stories, and different experiences and skills to the table.

You can have experience in various forms of writing, or can be transitioning from other forms of writing (plays, novels, journalism, video games, etc.), but your focus while in the program will be on scripted comedy series.

Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.


TUITION & FEES

Tuition for the 2021 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program is $8,000.00 CAD.

Thanks to the generosity of CFC donors, including longstanding donors to our endowment fund, we are pleased to share that all tuition fees for the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program will be covered through a full scholarship awarded to all incoming residents. In addition, for the 5.5 months of the program, participants will receive a monthly $750.00 CAD bursary, prorated for the half month ($4,125.00 CAD total). For individuals from outside of Ontario who are relocating to Toronto to attend the CFC, they will receive a fixed, one-time relocation bursary of $1,500.00 CAD.

Please note that there is a $100.00 CAD application fee via PayPal for all Bell Media Prime Time TV Program applications. If the application fee is a barrier to applying, please contact:  programs@cfccreates.com.


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process, or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations, please contact Deborah Fallows, Executive Lead, People & Culture, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact:   programs@cfccreates.com.


PROGRAM PARTNERS


HOW IT WORKS

The Bell Media Prime Time TV program balances the collaborative and technical work of a comedy story room with the commercial aspects of the television industry. The program is designed to nurture individual creative aspirations and help develop exciting new television projects.

The first part of the program is focused on the story room process. This team-based approach to series writing is delivered under the mentorship of an experienced television Executive Producer. The Comedy Story Room component runs for 10 full weeks, and will be primarily delivered in-person at the CFC campus, with some writing assignments and notes delivered virtually.

Writers are asked to sign a Rights Agreement for their participation in the Story Room component and the development of the Executive Producer’s series. 

Throughout the second part of the program, writers will participate in a series of workshops, case studies, and sessions on the creative, practical and business aspects of writing and creating for television. We will also provide writers with individual mentorship for their own original pilot scripts.

Writers retain all IP to the original projects and work you bring into the program to develop. The CFC does not take any ownership of underlying IP, but we do own the completed proof of concepts/promotional teasers, as all insurance, agreements, and ongoing liabilities are with the CFC.

The program is full-time, with the expectation that this is a priority for participants. In general, the program runs Monday to Friday during business hours, with exceptions made for guest availability, writing assignments, and for production activities as necessary. We cluster in-person program activities wherever possible, and reserve other days for virtual/remote participation as appropriate.

We do not operate with a full-time/permanent faculty: this program is designed to engage a multitude of working professionals on short-term contracts as key mentors and workshop leaders. Guests and mentors change annually.

We do not have a set curriculum, however the program’s core components are outlined below. Adjustments are made as necessary to reflect the unique needs of each new cohort.


1.THE STORY DEPARTMENT

The first part of the program immerses writers in a story room experience on a new series, under the leadership of the Executive Producer. This component develops a writer’s technical, story, and collaborative skills, while providing them with an understanding of the tools required for series development with professional turnaround expectations.

  • The Executive Producer introduces their show, its characters, and stories. They strategically build their concept, breaking stories with the writers all working collaboratively as a story department.
  • Program participants will break episodes, write, and rewrite, learning to balance the demands of the story room, story editing notes, as well as broadcaster feedback and potential production concerns.
  • The Executive Producer works closely with the team of writers to deliver solid drafts of the scripts for six (6) episodes, which are mounted as professionally cast actor table reads, as a final phase of this process.

2. PROJECT ACCELERATION & PACKAGING

In the second part of the program, writers are focused on developing their original series concepts. You will work to identify and articulate the distinctive elements of one of your series, while developing the pilot script and the pitch. You will constantly pitch, turn around written materials, and round table the scripts while receiving group feedback from key mentors and fellow program participants, as well as individual story editing mentorship from seasoned TV writers and creators. This process culminates in a professionally cast actor reading of your pilot script.

As part of the packaging process, writers also have the opportunity to showcase your writing and series concept through the development and production of a 3-minute promotional piece called a "TV Teaser."


3. UNDERSTANDING THE BUSINESS OF SERIES WRITING & THE MARKETPLACE

Also in the second part of the program, writers will meet with a range of industry professionals, creating a forum for the exchange of ideas and information to gain valuable insights and perspectives on TV content creation, key business aspects, best and evolving practices, and career strategies.

These sessions and meetings are meant to help bridge the gap between your creative aspirations and the television business, while also expanding your own professional network.


4. BUILDING COMMUNITY & STRONG CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS

Throughout the entire program, writers will expand your understanding of how best to work with a team of other writers, and how best to engage with other working professionals and key creative partners.

The program also offers opportunities for you to meet and interact with the residents in CFC’s other core programs (The Norman Jewison Film Program, The CBC Actors Conservatory, and The Slaight Family Music Lab), in order to expand your creative and professional community.


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process, or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations, please contact Deborah Fallows, Executive Lead, People & Culture, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact: programs@cfccreates.com.

APPLY

WHAT YOU NEED

This program is open to emerging/mid-level Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized writers. As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete an online form, as well as upload a PDF comprised of your Resumé/CV and Filmography/Writing Credits,  and an Original Script.

1. LETTER OF INTENT [MAX 1000 WORDS]

This is our introduction to you! Please include a description of what your immediate and long term goals are as a writer/creator. How might the program specifically help you advance your goals, and what aspects of the comedy story room, series development process, and television writing business do you want to focus on?

2. RESUMÉ / CURRICULUM VITAE [MAX TWO (2) PAGES]
AND FILMOGRAPHY / WRITING CREDITS [MAX ONE (1) PAGE]

Your Resumé/Curriculum Vitae should contain an up-to-date account of your experience, education, and/or training.

Your Filmography/Writing Credits are a rundown of your work to date, listing any applicable credits you have from film, television, theatre, novels, short stories, published writing, etc.

Your Filmography should include:

  • The title of the project.
  • Your role(s) on the project.
  • The year the piece was written.
  • The format of the project (feature, short, series, play, novel, article, etc.)
  • Other key creatives you worked with (writer, director, producer, editor, if applicable).
  • The development or production status (was it produced/performed/published?)

Please upload a single PDF file [MAX THREE (3) PAGES]. Be sure to include your full name at the top of each page, as well as the title of the document.

3. Top Ten (10) TV List

A list of your ten all-time favourite television programs, using criteria of your choice.

4. Two (2) Original Comedy Series Ideas

Please share two un-produced original television series ideas you are interested in developing further. These should both have a comedy focus.

For each, you will be asked to provide:

  • The title of the project.
  • Your role(s) on the project.
  • Other key creatives affiliated with the project (writer, director, producer, editor, if applicable).
  • The format of the project (half hour, one hour, limited series, etc.)
  • The genre.
  • A synopsis [MAX 300 WORDS].
  • The development stage (outline, treatment, draft, etc.)
  • The development history (if applicable).
  • The funding history (if applicable).
  • If the project is an adaptation.
  • If you have the option/rights to the material.
5. Original Script

Submit the script that you believe best showcases your writing and original voice. Submissions should be an un-produced half hour, one (1) hour, or feature script in proper screenplay format. This script cannot be co-written. Your script should be proof-read and clearly marked with your name, the title, and draft date on the cover page.

You will be asked to provide the details below. If this is the same as one of your original comedy series ideas (above), you may use the same description:

  • The title of the project.
  • Your role(s) on the project.
  • Other key creatives affiliated with the project (writer, director, producer, editor, if applicable).
  • The format of the project (half hour series, one hour series, or feature).
  • The genre.
  • A synopsis [MAX 300 WORDS].
  • An artist statement explaining your creative vision [MAX 500 WORDS].
  • The development stage (draft number, etc.)
  • The development history (if applicable).
  • The funding history (if applicable).
  • If the project is an adaptation.
  • If you have the option/rights to the material.
6. Your Advocates

Please provide us with contact information (phone and email) for up to two (2) people who are familiar with you, your work, your process, and/or your creative aspirations. We may reach out to your advocate(s) to arrange a phone or video call.


SELECTION PROCESS

APPLICATION

Please review the application requirements in advance of submitting.

All applicants will be notified via email of their application status throughout the process.

Due to the high volume of applicants, feedback will only be offered to shortlisted applicants.

INTERVIEW

A pre-selection committee comprised of industry professionals and key program staff will be assembled to create a shortlist of applicants selected for a final interview, after a thorough review of your application materials.

Our pre- and final selection committees will reflect a cross-section of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, and will include CFC alum and working professionals. We will share in advance who is on the final selection committee, but it will include the Executive Producer, a Bell Creative Executive, and a member of the CFC Programs team.

We will notify shortlisted applicants of interview dates and times via email. The 30-45 minute interview is structured as a conversation with each writer, as a way to get to know more about your work, your process, and your goals. It is a key step in helping the committee determine their final decisions.

The CFC will set up virtual/remote interviews with all shortlisted applicants.

The CFC will provide feedback to all shortlisted candidates who request it, regardless of the outcome.

Applicants selected for the program will be contacted shortly after the interview. 


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process, or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations, please contact Deborah Fallows, Executive Lead, People & Culture, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact: programs@cfccreates.com.