The eight teams selected for Episodic Lab Aotearoa will develop their skills and their projects with guidance from eight experienced television writers from New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and United States during a five-day immersive lab. We are so excited to bring these exceptional advisors together for the first Episodic Lab.

A full list of their biographies can be found here

We are able to bring this remarkable depth and breadth of advisor experience together thanks to support from NZ on AirLightboxNew Zealand Film Commission and Images & Sound.

Thank you to everyone who applied to our first ever EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA this May. Over 95 teams submitted 116 series concepts, showing a real hunger for development opportunities in writing for the small screen.

The selection panel of Australian-based writer/development producer Katherine Fry, writer/director/actor Oscar Kightley and writer/director Fiona Samuel were impressed by the calibre of the ideas and the talented teams behind them. They had a very difficult job choosing only eight projects to be developed in the lab.

Fiona Samuel said on behalf of the selection panel, “We could easily have chosen twice the number of proposals from this crowded and talented field. There are so many entertaining and compelling stories waiting to be told and so many writers with the potential to take on episodic drama and bring something new to our screens.”

The eight selected teams will develop their skills and their projects with guidance from experienced television writers from New Zealand, Australia, USA and Denmark during the five-day immersive lab.
Writers and teams who will be participating in the inaugural Episodic Lab in Auckland July 23-27 are:

Participants biographies can be found at here

The Episodic Lab Aotearoa is made possible thanks to the generous support from NZ on AirLightboxNZ Film Commission and Images & Sound.

EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA is for writers or teams who have already demonstrated talent and tenacity writing or creating for television, web series, theatre or film.

If you are applying as a team, the team should include those who are actively working on the story only. You may be a team of writers, or your team may include a director, producer, and/or actor(s) but only if they play a central part in story generation. You cannot apply without at least one writer.

Each writer or team can submit one or two episodic concepts.

The independent selection panel will consider the strength of applicants’ prior produced work, the quality and originality of the episodic concept, the craft ability of the writer(s), and the feasibility of getting the series up onto the screen.

Applications opened: Thursday 29 March, 2018
Applications close: Monday 7 May 2018, 10pm
5-day immersive lab: July 23-July 27, 2018, Auckland*

*Travel and accommodation will be provided for participants who live outside of Auckland

To apply you will need to provide the following in one .pdf document:

There is a $20 application fee. Please deposit this to the following account: Script to Screen Te Tari Kupu A Whakaahua – 0302550178775-00 Ref: Episodic Lab – Applicant name.


Note: Script to Screen and its EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA partners, selectors, participants and advisors are contractually bound to confidentiality in relation to all projects submitted and workshopped as part of the lab. Participation in the lab does not require writers or teams to share or relinquish any intellectual property rights in relation to their projects.

The EPIDOSIC LAB AOTEAROA is made possible thanks to generous support from NZ On Air, Lightbox, the New Zealand Film Commission and Images & Sound.

Script to Screen is delighted to launch a brand new pilot programme to develop distinctive writing talent in television drama. EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA is the first programme of its kind in New Zealand.

“Globally, this century has seen an explosion of television storytelling. In New Zealand we have diverse talent coming through in the web sphere and the question is, where next? The Episodic Lab will increase the number of New Zealand writers – and the types of writers – creating longer form work that reaches the screen” says Script to Screen’s Executive Director Esther Cahill-Chiaroni.

“NZ On Air is supporting the Episodic Lab initiative as a way to encourage writers with fresh ideas that add to the range of television storytelling options. Better options for development was a key theme that came through the industry drama day we hosted last year,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson. “We hope to see great New Zealand stories come through this initiative that win platform and financing support.”

Writers and/or teams with a track record will compete for 8 places in the pilot Episodic Lab, where they will workshop their concepts with experienced television writer advisors from New Zealand, Australia and beyond. The programme starts with five immersive days working on story after which participants go on to receive follow up mentoring and support, including introductions to the executives of episodic television platforms, production houses and funders.

NZ streaming service Lightbox, announced earlier this year, their commitment to invest in local content and continued support of homegrown talent. Lightbox Head of Content Charlotte Hill commented, “As fellow lovers of TV storytelling, Lightbox is delighted to play a part in cultivating the next generation of New Zealand writing talent and fostering the important growth of NZ voices on screen. We are proud to support the inaugural Episodic Lab and applaud Script to Screen for developing this groundbreaking initiative.”

Applications will be open from late March until the end of April, and the five-day lab takes place in Auckland July 23-27.

Esteemed international and local Episodic Lab advisors will be announced over the coming months.

The EPIDOSIC LAB AOTEAROA is made possible thanks to generous support from NZ On Air, Lightbox, the New Zealand Film Commission and Images and Sound.

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