MIDPOINT teaches TV
by Martin Kudláč
- MIDPOINT rounds up seven European television projects in order to polish their development
The MIDPOINT International Script Programme is holding the MIDPOINT TV Launch educational workshop (15-21 April) alongside the 29th edition of Finále Plzeň (read the news). The international screenwriting workshop focuses on the development of television series. In this way, the MIDPOINT platform reacts to the increasingly growing demand for television projects and high-quality episodic storytelling, helping the submitted projects to grow from an idea to a fully elaborated concept while maintaining their international appeal.
Alan Kingsberg, who has been teaching writing at Columbia University since 1999 and worked as a showrunner on five animated television series, with producing or writing credits for just under 220 half-hour episodes, and Steve Matthews, consulting producer on television series The Borgias, who also produced the award-winning gangster series Love/Hate, will come to Plzeň to tutor 17 selected filmmakers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Romania and Serbia, and help them to polish their television projects. MIDPOINT TV Launch consists of master classes led by guest tutors Ben Harris and Michael Rauch. The former, an assistant director of the UCLA Producers Program, will dissect the script of legal drama How to Get Away with Murder’s pilot in order to show how the traditional procedural format was revamped through a complex storyline and an ethnically diverse cast, among other changes to the norm. Rauch, executive producer of USA Network original series Royal Pains, on the other hand, will focus on the process from selling a pitch to running a show, which is also the title of his master class.
Among the submitted projects is The Invisible, which revolves around a WWI veteran struggling to find a decent job, so he goes into opportunistic mode after meeting a rich entrepreneur’s daughter and eventually settles into their home. He soon discovers a family secret, a crazy uncle who believes he is invisible. While the family humours him, not believing him to be dangerous, the situation goes against the protagonist's principles. Czech writers Kristína Dufková, Václav Hašek, producer Tomáš Hrubý, of Czech outfit nutprodukce, and Ondřej Hudeček, the director of Peacock (read the news), are attached to the project. German filmmaker Till Kleinert brings the mystery drama Hausen, which follows a widowed engineer who takes up a new job in a rundown housing complex where his teenage son starts to feel an evil presence feeding on the spirits of the block's inhabitants. Polish series The Agreement examines the mysterious world of prostitution in communist Poland through Andrzej’s (a policeman whose daughter was murdered, but the culprit never captured) investigation of a case involving a dead prostitute that nobody cares about. Polish writer Malgorzata Biedronska and producer Katarzyna Janiak will represent the project at Plzeň. The politics of Yugoslavia's rise in the 1950s to its demise in the 1980s serves as the backdrop for Adriatic Inc, a series that follows the titular Yugoslav film company and its employees. Croatian writer Ozren Marod and filmmaker Vanja Miljak, a director who spent six years working for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, will develop the project at MIDPOINT TV Launch.