Fast track the development of your scripted series and career with customized hands-on training and mentorship
NSI Series Incubator is an eight-month, four-phase, in-depth training program for producer / writer teams from underrepresented communities to meaningfully develop a scripted series with support and guidance from experienced industry professionals. The program culminates in the creation of a series proof-of-concept film (a stand-alone short film, a scene from the series or a promotional trailer). Participants receive up to $28K in cash and in-kind support.
Teams are divided into producer and writer streams. Participants will engage in workshops, presentations, masterclasses and hands-on learning with the support of targeted, one-on-one mentorship.
This training will empower participants to learn the steps of how a series makes it from pitch to production. Teams will learn the system and their role in it.
At the end of the program, you will have a completed series proof-of-concept film and we will provide you with the knowledge and tools for you to tell your story, your way.
Program dates: December 2021 to July 2022
Application deadline: October 14, 2021
Cost: $100 non-refundable application fee per project; $500 tuition per participant
You qualify for this training if you:
- Identify with one of the following underrepresented communities: 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 (Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal), people from regional and remote areas, and various religious groups
- Have an idea and preliminary treatment for a series
- Possess the rights to the idea
- Have some demonstrated experience as a writer or producer
- (Producers) have production or craft experience, or business affairs/legal experience, or marketing/distribution experience, or some combination of these
- (Writers) can demonstrate storytelling ability with past works (ie: short film, short story, journalism or another creative writing endeavour)
- Can commit the necessary time to complete the training
All dates below are subject to change
One-week online training (December 6 to 10, 2021)
Ten weeks of homework (December 13, 2021 to February 11, 2022)
- Learn from experienced producers and writers
- Learn about working with producers
- Learn about pitching, selling yourself and your project
- Have one-on-one mentorship from an experienced writer while developing your series
- Learn from experienced producers, writers, legal and business affairs experts
- Learn about working with writers
- Learn about the creative process, development, pitching, financing, clearances, negotiating, human resources for producers, business and legal affairs
Classes will be held online from December 6 to 10, 2021 including approximately 30 hours of training and assigned homework to be completed outside the scheduled sessions.
Attendance at all online training sessions is mandatory.
At the end of phase 1, writers will have completed a series bible, episode outlines and have started work on a pilot episode. Producers will have attended workshops on creative development, pitching, financing, and business and legal affairs.
One-week online training (February 14 to 18, 2022)
Seven weeks of homework and a producer internship (February 21 to April 8, 2022)
- Experience a writers’ room simulation focused on the development of your project
- Participate in writers’ room simulations for other projects
- Continue one-on-one mentorship from an experienced writer as work on your pilot script continues
- Learn about prep, production and post-production, budgeting, marketing, distribution and insurance
- Discuss the role of look books when pitching
- Secure a director for phase 3
- Complete a hands-on internship at a leading Canadian production company
Each writer and producer team will work together to conceive a proof-of-concept film for your series.
Classes will be held online from February 14 to 18, 2022 including approximately 30 hours of training and assigned homework to be completed outside the scheduled sessions.
Attendance at all online training sessions is mandatory.
At the end of phase 2, writers will have completed a second draft of a pilot episode, and producers will have completed their producer internship and identified a director to join the team for phase 3.
Directors brought on to the project will receive a week of boot camp training in the following phase.
Writers online training (April 11 to 15, 2022)
- Finalize your proof-of-concept script
- Attend a pilot table read of your project
Producers are invited to listen to the table read and will be available for any changes that may arise with the proof-of-concept.
Producers online training (April 18 to 22, 2022)
- Participate in a pitching simulation
- Learn how to work with composers and editors, and the role of an assistant director
- Learn about production paperwork
- Develop a production plan and budget for your proof-of-concept film
At the end of phase 3, teams will have a final draft of their proof-of-concept completed and a shooting plan.
Prep, production and post-production of a proof-of-concept film (April 2022 to July 2022)
All four teams will advance to phase 4.
Under the guidance of faculty advisors, teams will shoot and edit their series proof-of-concept film.
A cash award and in-kind services (up to $28K in total) are provided towards the production of your series proof-of-concept film. The award must go towards the cost of producing the video and not towards payment for your services.
At the end of phase 4 teams will have a completed proof-of-concept, a series bible and a final pilot script.
Jeff Peeler, Linda Coffey, Morwyn Brebner, Karen Lam and Josh Epstein.
Our commitment to underrepresented voices
We are committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including 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, those from regional and remote areas, and various religious groups.
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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.