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Beginner's Guide to Writing a TV Pilot

19 Apr 2020
9.30am - 5.30pm Sunday 19 April
Got an idea for a great TV series? This ONLINE one-day workshop is designed to show you the how and why of writing a professional TV pilot.
Event type: 
General $245.00
Your Place
Auckland, Waikato


TV shows are now more in demand than ever.

But before you spend weeks and months trying to work out how to write your awesome TV show - you need to know the basics.

Like whether or not your series ideas has legs, how TV episodes are structured, what a TV pilot needs to include the difference between a series proposal and a series bible – and how the local market works.

This practical one day workshop guides you through the key elements of creating a television show and how to start writing an attention-grabbing pilot episode.

Facilitators: Kathryn Burnett and Rachel Lang

"I assess TV projects from new writers all the time – and I can tell you hand on heart, you will save yourself so much time and money by investing in this one day BEFORE you start creating. One of the unique aspects of this workshop is that it gives you insider information about how to avoid newbie mistakes." Kathryn Burnett

Participants (that’s you, aspiring writer) will:

  • Learn how to generate a compelling series ideas.
  • Learn the essential components of a TV series
  • Learn the key elements of writing a TV episode – episodic structure, character, characterisation, formatting, dialogue and big print.
  • Learn the difference between writing for TV and film.
  • Learn how to storyline your pilot episode. And start writing it.
  • Learn the function of the script documents involved in TV production
  • Learn how and when to pitch your idea.
  • Leave with your pilot outline.
  • Have the opportunity to pitch their project to a panel of TV Creators~

Facilitator: Kathryn Burnett

Kathryn is an award-winning screenwriter who has worked in the NZ television/film industry for over 20 years. She has significant television and film credits and has developed numerous television series for NZ’s major production companies. Her most recently produced TV projects include – “Fresh Eggs,” “The Sounds” and multi-award winning series “The Cul de Sac.” In 2019 she co-wrote TVNZ telefeature "The Tender Trap" and is currently on the development team for an HBO sci-fi series and has a comedy series in development with Warner Brothers.

Facilitator: Rachel Lang MNZM

Rachel Lang is the multi-award-winning writer and producer, known for "Outrageous Fortune", "Nothing Trivial", "Bad Mothers" and "Filthy Rich" to name just a few of the jewels in her extensive TV career. She currently splits her time working on creating primetime drama in NZ and Australia.

What people are saying:

"Kathryn Burnett is the bombdiggity. She brings amazing experience, intelligence, and passion to her teaching. She has a comprehensive understanding of movies, cinema history, and storytelling technique, and is effective and engaging when sharing that knowledge with her students. Kathryn is to storytelling tutors as Carlos the Jackal is to international assassins. I can't recommend her highly enough." Steve Barr - screenwriter, producer, and development executive

“Kathryn's screenwriting workshop was brilliant. I loved learning from her and would sit at the front of the class, furiously jotting down notes like a nerd. Kathryn has a natural ability to connect with an audience. She teaches with patience and humour and she provides cake for morning tea! I'd recommend the workshop for anyone wanting to learn more about screenwriting.” Jaquie Brown – Presenter, Actor, Screenwriter

“As someone new to screenwriting this was the perfect introduction to the foundations of writing a script, as well as fantastic discussion on industry insights.” – Emily McKenzie, Actor

“In two days I’ve gone from being too intimidated to write a scene, to feeling equipped to take on a feature! Thanks so much!” – Angus Dreaver - Actor

Congrats on a great workshop. I’ve done a few and think yours is by far one of the most comprehensive. Really enjoyed it - you really know your stuff. " - Scott Butler - Advertising Guy

"Loved it! Kathryn gets straight to the point and gives clear, practical advice about screenwriting. She demystifies the process." Rebecca Barry Hill - Journalist/Screenwriter


Written by

Kathryn Burnett

25 Feb 2020