OVERVIEW AND GOALS
The CBC Development Workshop for Diverse Creators is a series of training sessions offered by the CBC for those with a special interest in scripted content. It is designed to help mid-level creators from diverse backgrounds expand their network, sharpen their professional skills, and bring new perspectives and ideas to the CBC.
Over five full-day workshops, participants will be connected with CBC decision makers and our partners in production, who will provide guidance as well as tools and resources to help participants develop their own pitches for original programming. The pitches will be presented at the end of the series, after which CBC will offer the one participant whose project best aligns with the CBC’s programming strategy and mandate the opportunity to enter into a “development deal” which will include a bible and pilot script.
Up to eight applicants will be selected to attend the Workshop on the basis of the following submissions: 1) letter of interest and intent; 2) curriculum vitae; 3) letter of reference; 4) sample of work; and 5) optional synopsis (candidates are best served if they apply with an idea in mind that they would like to develop at the workshop – see more details on submissions below).
The goals of the CBC Development Workshop for Diverse Creators are:
- To act as an incubator for innovative programming opportunities at CBC while also contributing to vital career growth for some of Canada’s top diverse creative minds.
- To provide mid-level diverse creators with practical and theoretical knowledge to help them advance as creators of compelling scripted content.
- To help mid-level diverse creators develop materials for a professional pitch.
- To connect experienced Canadian television professionals with rising and diverse creative talent.
Phase 1 – Friday January 29 to Sunday January 31, 2016
Three-day intensive session with industry professionals.
Phase 2 – Monday February 1 to Friday March 4, 2016
Participants work independently to develop their pitches.
Phase 3 – Saturday March 5 to Sunday March 6, 2016
Two-day intensive session where participants refine and present their pitches.
The Workshop will take place at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto (250 Front Street West). Out-of-town creators are encouraged to apply, however, if selected, participants will be required to make their own arrangements for travel / lodging accommodations and will be responsible for all costs incurred to attend each phase of the Workshop.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
We are interested in developing an original scripted comedy or drama for conventional and/or digital delivery. We are looking for a unique, compelling, entertaining and above all, distinct program that is scripted and can be scalable. The idea should be a character-driven series with a strong story engine that will appeal to Canadians. We are open to a wide variety of genre programming.
Mid-level creators (minimum 5 years industry experience or equivalent) with a special interest in scripted content.
Eligible applicants must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Reside in Canada.
- Be over the age of majority in their province of residence.
- Not be enrolled in any full-time school or university program.
- Be able to commit to the five full day-long sessions at the CBC Toronto Broadcast Centre and other activities required as part of the Workshop.
- Demonstrate in their submissions an understanding of the fundamentals of television storytelling.
- Demonstrate ownership of all underlying rights to any ideas / pitches.
- Identify as part of an aboriginal, disability or visible minority community.
- Application and Submission Release Form – See the explanation below in the “TO APPLY” section.
- A letter of interest and intent that outlines why this program is a good fit for you, based on your diverse background and career objectives. Please describe your background (as part of an aboriginal, disability or visible minority community) and comment on how you feel your diversity is or is not currently reflected on television. Please also describe your goals and objectives for the next year of your career, and what appeals to you about working with CBC.
- A curriculum vitae that includes screen credits as well as relevant education and training.
- A current letter of reference (no older than January 2015) from a recognized industry professional.
- One sample of work: (Includes an original television spec script; or link to a web series, a short film, a feature film, or an episode of television).
- (OPTIONAL) A short synopsis that describes the original scripted comedy or drama series that you would like to develop at the workshop (please see “WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR”).
- Experience – Does the creator have a special interest in scripted, with experience in drama, comedy, factual/lifestyle, online/web-series, short film, and/ or documentary production?
- Mid-Career level – Do they have 5 or more years of experience and have completed one or many of the following: episodes, web-series, short films, a full feature/documentary?
- Recognition – Does this creator’s work display reach and impact? This helps determine whether the creator should be considered emerging, mid-career or established.
- Quality of Work – Is the work of a professional standard? Does it exhibit excellence? Is there attention to detail? Has careful consideration gone into how the final product is delivered?
- Goal/Objective – Are the creator’s goals/objectives in line with CBC’s needs?
- Diversity – Is this creator/group part of a visible minority, disability, or aboriginal community?
- Download the fillable Application and Submission Release Form here.
- Complete the form, filling out all fields in pages 2, 3, and 4.
- Print a copy of your completed fillable forms and provide a handwritten signature in the spaces provided (you will have to agree to the Terms and Conditions, found here.)
- Scan and save as Lastname_Firstname_Forms.pdf.
- Compile and save your support material as one PDF in the following order: letter of interest/intent, curriculum vitae, letter of reference, sample of work (or link to sample of work), and synopsis (optional). Save as Lastname_Firstname_Submissions.pdf
- EMAIL both PDFs to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Application” as the subject, no later than Monday November 23, 2015 at 9 a.m. EST.
PLEASE NOTE: Incomplete applications or incorrect file types/formatting will not be considered.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How will my project be evaluated?
Applications will be reviewed by a jury made up of CBC executives and creative decision makers.
How will participants for the program be chosen?
Participants will be selected to attend the Workshop on the basis of the following submissions: 1) letter of interest and intent; 2) curriculum vitae; 3) letter of reference; 4) sample of work; and 5) optional synopsis.
How will I know if I’ve been selected?
If you are selected, you will be notified by phone and/or email.
May I send in additional support material beyond what is required?
No. The jury will only review the required materials.
What do you mean by ‘mid-level’ creator?
A mid-level creator has a minimum 5 years industry experience or equivalent in drama, comedy, factual/lifestyle, online/web-series, short film, and/ or documentary production. A mid-level creator has also completed one or many of the following: television episodes, web-series, short films, a full feature/documentary.
How is diversity determined?
For the purpose of this program, diversity refers to aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.
Do I have to identify my diversity?
The program was specifically developed to bring more diverse creators into the industry. If you do not identify, we will have no way of knowing if you are eligible for the program.
Will my diversity affect the evaluation of my application?
Eligible applicants will be evaluated solely on the material they submit along with their application.
May I apply if I am a non-diverse creator but have an idea that features diversity?
No. The program is aimed specifically at diverse creators.
What do I need to include in my letter of interest and statement of intent?
The letter of interest and intent is used by the jury to determine if this program is right for you and that you have the motivation to follow through with the required work. We want to make sure that you are serious about your career in television. We would also like to know whether you currently see your particular diversity reflected on television, and, if applicable, how you might bring that perspective to the screen. Finally, your letter should reveal your personality (including humour) so that the jury has a good idea of who you are.
What are the acceptable program genres for the original synopsis?
You may submit drama or comedy projects – live action. Formats include hour-long dramatic series and half-hour series. Ineligible formats include feature films, talk shows, game shows, reality-based series, including home improvement and food shows, documentaries, documentary series, news shows and stand-up. Please refer to the “WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR” section of the application for more information.
May I apply with more than one original synopsis?
No. We will accept only one project per applicant.
May I apply if a producer has already optioned my project?
No. Projects that have already been optioned are not eligible. You may, however, apply with a different project.
May I apply with a co-creator?
No. If you are a co-creator on a project that you intend to use as your original synopsis, you will need to secure a release from your co-creator giving you the right to submit the project to the program. Also, co-created samples of work are not accepted.
What financial assistance will I receive?
The program is free of charge and offers no financial assistance. Out-of-town creators are encouraged to apply, however, if selected, participants will be required to make their own arrangements for travel / lodging accommodations and will be responsible for all costs incurred to attend each phase of the Workshop.
What is my time commitment if I am accepted into the program?
The five-day workshop (Phase 1 and 3) is a full-time commitment daily. The schedule for the independent working period (Phase 2) is up to the discretion of each participant, as this will entail working on your own time and in your own space to develop your pitch.
What if I’m selected and then can’t make it. Will I be able to enter the program the following year?
No. You will not automatically be accepted for the following year. You will need to re-apply and your project will be evaluated with other projects from that year.