Writer/producer teams: develop your scripted series idea into a fully produced proof-of-concept through the new NSI Series Incubator program

NSI Series Incubator

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is now accepting applications for their new, one-of-a-kind program – NSI Series Incubator. By combining workshops, mentorships and hands-on training, this program will guide writer/producer teams as they develop their scripted series idea into a fully produced proof-of-concept film.

Four teams from *underrepresented communities will participate in this part-time, eight-month online program. Participants must apply as a writer/producer team with an idea and preliminary treatment for a series.

Selected teams will work through each step of the production process to develop their story, culminating in a completed series proof-of-concept film (a stand-alone short film, a scene from the series or a promotional trailer), a series bible and a final pilot script.

Each team will be awarded up to $28K in production funds and in-kind services to develop their scripted series with support and guidance from experienced industry professionals.

“NSI Series Incubator reimagines many of the beloved aspects of our past programs and elevates them to meet the needs of the industry today,” says NSI CEO Joy Loewen. “We worked with writing and producing professionals across Canada to custom design a program for participants to develop and produce a series proof-of-concept, while building their career through meaningful connections to industry professionals. We can’t wait to share NSI Series Incubator with storytellers across Canada.”

The application deadline is October 14. Read the full eligibility requirements and application information.

NSI Series Incubator runs from December 2021 to July 2022 and is divided into four phases:

Phase one

  • Writers work alongside a mentor to complete a series bible, episode outlines and begin work on their pilot episode.
  • Producers attend workshops focusing on creative process, development, pitching, financing, clearances, negotiating, human resources for producers, business and legal affairs.

Phase two

  • Writers experience a writers’ room simulation focused on the development of their project. They continue working with their mentor on the second draft of their pilot script.
  • Producers attend workshops about production, budgeting, marketing, distribution and insurance. Producers work to secure a director for their series and complete an internship with a leading Canadian production company.

Phase three

  • Writers finalize their proof-of-concept script and attend a pilot table read for their project.
  • Producers learn about production paperwork and develop a production plan and budget for their proof-of-concept film. Producers participate in a pitch simulation.

Phase four

  • Under the guidance of faculty advisors, teams will shoot and edit their series proof-of-concept film. Each team is awarded up to $28K in production funds and in-kind services.

*The National Screen Institute is committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices. To be eligible for this program, creators must identify as any of following: Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+), people with disabilities, those outside large urban centres (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver), people from regional and remote areas and various religious groups.

NSI Series Incubator was designed by the National Screen Institute, along with program faculty – alumni Jeff Peeler (NSI Global Marketing), Josh Epstein (NSI Drama Prize, NSI Features First, NSI Totally Television), Karen Lam (NSI Drama Prize, NSI Totally Television), plus Julie DiCresce, Linda Coffey and Morwyn Brebner.

All media inquiries:

Rachel Young – Alumni Outreach Coordinator

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NSI Series Incubator is funded by Program Partners Telefilm Canada, Bell Media; Strategic Sponsor Entertainment One (eOne); Supporting Sponsor Super Channel; Provincial Partners Manitoba Film & Music, Creative BC through the Daryl Duke and William Vince Scholarship Fund; Industry Partner William F. White International; Industry Supporters Company 3, Entertainment Partners, Line 21 Media Services, iSplice Films. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

About the National Screen Institute

Propelled by a visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, the National Screen Institute supports diverse creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories. Through industry-informed training and mentoring in film, television and digital media, NSI students and alumni find their voice and place on the global stage, inspiring us to shape a better world.

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