What TVWriter University is All About
by Larry Brody
TVWriter University has existed on the web for almost twenty years. (Which pretty much blows my mind, but that’s another story.)
I began teaching online TV and screenwriting classes in the late 1990s as a way of thanking the universe for the good fortune I had when I first started in the Biz. I sold my first series idea and got my first paying feature film writing gig at MGM after just three months of moving to L.A. and hitting the hustings.
What happened after that was luckier still because although I was so inexperienced I didn’t even know what the producers I met with were talking about three-quarters of the time, my first agent, the wonderful Sylvie Hirsch, made sure I got on-the-job training.
Using the only spec script I’ve ever written in my life, she opened doors for me with some very understanding – and forgiving – producers and story editors (I’m talking about you, Stan Kallis and Mark Rodgers and Bill Blinn, as well as many others) who took me under their wings and paid me to write and learn for the next half century…literally.
That kind of thing didn’t happen very often back in the day, and by 1997, when I started TVWriter™ as a web site as part of a search for new writers to work on several series I was producing it was even rarer. And as of this writing (in December of 2016), well, I’d call such an event a singular miracle.
The competition’s too fierce. The insecurities plaguing so many of today’s working writers are too strong. Fewer feature films appear in theaters every year, and although there are more TV (and internet) series than ever before there are fewer companies to sell to or work for.
Hell, five big corporations own 90% of the market! Unless you’re a dedicated Indie creator, when you meet with the corporate executives and producers you’ve got to be able to prove you’re ready – because if you don’t there’s no place else to go.
That just doesn’t sit well with me. In 2000 I added TVWriter University to the TVWriter™ website as way of giving back to new writers the kind of help I had received. A way of aiding and abetting their own learning process about the art, craft, and, yes, the business, of writing.
I’ve used that awkward phrase “aiding and abetting their own learning process” deliberately. Because one of the first things I discovered when I started offering online classes was that no one can teach anyone else how to write.
What I can teach is how to think and work like a professional. How to write so that executives will read what you’ve written. How to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous producer and editor notes, change what needs to be changed so you can get, or keep, your job, and still feel true to yourself.
In other words: How to make the best possible use of your talent.
I don’t mean to sound arrogant, just realistic. Most writing teachers haven’t spent much time in the professional TV and film trenches. That’s a big part of why they’re teachers.
And I can’t think of a single teacher, in any university or on the web, who has spent as much time in the trenches as I have. We’re talking just a tad under 50 years from that first MGM deal to my most recent gig as an owner and executive producer at an Asian animation studio with three series on the web.
You can check out what I’ve done in between on every fan’s favorite web site, IMDB.
And I really hope you’ll also check out the workshops and classes TVWriter University currently is giving:
- TVWRITER UNIVERSITY: Online TV and Film Writing Workshop
- TVWRITER UNIVERSITY: Larry Brody’s Master Class
- TVWRITER UNIVERSITY: Professional Read and Critique
- TVWRITER UNIVERSITY: Larry Brody’s Writing & Career Coaching
- TVWRITER UNIVERSITY: Student Central (password protected)
- TVWRITER UNIVERSITY: Special Discounts (password protected)
And there we are. I hope you liked what you’ve just seen and read, and I’m looking forward to working with you to achieve your dream (and, who knows? It just might do my karma some good as well).
The sign-up for each of TVWriter University’s offerings is on each link above. If you have any questions, including about the “Discounts” page, that’s more than cool. Just email me.