1. The Story Questions
5. Character Descriptions
6. Season Summaries
7. Potential Episodes
Once these creative sections have been specifically defined and explained in lectures, the participants will present their own TV series concept and then analyse to what extent their present concept can answer the questions the Netflix criteria requires. The process of answering the questions directly develops principal characters, their central conflicts, their motivations, and the stakes involved in failing to achieve the narrative goal. They also integrate character action with theme meaning.
Participants will then have time in Week One to integrate narrative adjustments developed by the story questions into the overview and the character descriptions sections of their own pitch document. Participants will then get feedback on the sections at the end of Week One.
This narrative core will allow the participant in Week Two through to Week Seven to further develop the overview and character description sections of the pitch document and to also develop the beginnings of the other sections of the pitch document - world, tone, season summaries, and potential episodes.
One of the principal differences between the Netflix approach and a traditional series bible is the focus on character descriptions (not character biographies) and season summaries to identify central conflicts and the narrative drive of the series. A core aspect of a traditional series bible, episode outlines, are relegated to one or two sentence bullet points.
In Week Eight participants will have completed the first draft of their pitch document. All participants will get feedback on their own individual document in preparation for a second draft rewrite that will occur in Weeks Nine and Ten. In addition, there will be a lecture on TV series structure, the season map, and Netflix’s preference for Dan Harmon’s Story Circle. Harmon’s story prompts are a different way of looking at structuring multi-episodic narratives in TV series.
In Week 11 participants will have completed the second draft of the pitch document with a length of between five and 15 pages, as would be required by Netflix. There will be a final set of feedback on draft two of the pitch document.