Everybody’s getting into the act:
European Writers’ Room Aims to Beat Americans at TV Game
by Naharnet Newsdesk
It could be a scene from a television drama: five Germans, three Frenchmen, a Briton, an Italian, a Bulgarian and a Hungarian, all cooking up a plot together in their London hideout.
But this not-so-dirty dozen are on the other side of the small screen, as they are taking part in Europe’s first postgraduate programme focused on writing and producing TV series.
Dubbed “Serial Eyes”, the nine-month course running between Berlin and London is a response to the new generation of TV series such as “Breaking Bad”, “Mad Men” and “The Killing”.
“Watch as many TV shows or movies as you can and you show us what you like,” special effects expert Erik Ellefsen tells the class at the London Film School in trendy Covent Garden.
The 12 students listen intently as Ellefsen uses a video sequence to demonstrate how to show a person shooting himself in the head in close-up. He then talks about special effects budgets, and about the working relationship with writers and directors.
“Collaboration is the key word,” adds Ellefsen, who created the effects in the British series “Misfits” and “Utopia”.
The course gives intensive training in the writing and production of series with a focus on European markets, but with elements of the “writers’ room” culture that lies behind many of the top U.S. shows.
The collaboration between the Deutsche Film und Fernsehakademie (German Film and Television Academy) in Berlin and the London Film School was launched in January 2013 at the “Totally Serialized” television festival in London by the German academy’s boss Jan Schuette.
“There was a realisation that there is a lack of training about how to make TV series in Europe,” Lorraine Sullivan, the director of the “Totally Serialized” festival, told AFP.
We are so the future!