Develop an original TV series concept that showcases your unique voice
Navigate the contemporary entertainment marketplace under the guidance of a TV industry professional
The Film and Television Summer Institute – Writing for TV: Big Ideas for the Small Screen introduces motivated high school students enrolled in 9th – 12th grade in Spring 2023 to writing for television in Hollywood. This track mirrors the practice of professional writers in the world of episodic television and digital media by teaching students how to develop original series concepts and how to navigate the contemporary marketplace. In the process, students learn how to identify and capture the tone, characters, dialogue, and themes that make their story unique while collaborating in a workshop environment with their peers.
Students will write a beat sheet and outline for the first act of their original pilot episode, a series treatment, and the teaser of the pilot script over the course of the class, while getting the feedback and tools they will need to further write their pilot episodes and develop future TV show ideas after the program. The program culminates in a table reading of a section of their script by professional actors. Previous experience in screenwriting is not required, just a passion for storytelling!
Students meet three times a week in a small workshop environment to discuss ideas, break stories, and give feedback and notes on each other’s work. This program carries four units of UCLA credit. Please note that this is an intensive course and students are expected to spend a minimum of 25 hours-per-week writing outside of class meetings.
Fees and Payment Info
The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.
Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.
Meet your instructors
Instructors for the UCLA Film and Television Summer Institutes are UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media faculty.
Daniel Christopher “D.C.” Rogers
Daniel Christopher “D.C.” Rogers was most recently a story editor on the Netflix series PARTNER TRACK. He was previously a staff writer on the CW drama IN THE DARK. His development slate includes a series with Will Graham’s Field Trip Productions and an adaptation of KNEE DEEP with John Strauss and Josephson Entertainment. A classically trained baritone, SAG Award-winning actor, and reformed pre-law student, Mr. Rogers is currently on the teaching faculty at UCLA and LMU.
Ryan Jennifer Jones
Ryan is a writer/director born and raised outside of Washington, DC. Ryan has worked on features for Gidden Media, Red Om, CBS Films, and Appian Way, and has directed projects for 20th Digital. On the TV side, Ryan wrote on the first two seasons of the hit HBO Max series, THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT. She is currently developing a thriller series for Hulu with EP Elizabeth Meriwether, and she has a half-hour comedy series in development with Alcon TV. During her time in UCLA’s MFA in Screenwriting program, Ryan’s thesis feature ON appeared on the 2017 Blacklist for the best unproduced screenplays.
Joey Siara is a New York based screenwriter. He spent his twenties performing in an indie rock band and has seen nearly every state in the country through the cracked window of a Ford Econoline. The band played over five-hundred shows including sets at Lollapalooza and Coachella. His music has been featured in several TV series – from SONS OF ANARCHY to PARENTHOOD to GOSSIP GIRL. Post-band, he received a Master’s from Harvard, an MFA from UCLA, and worked on shows for CNN, PBS, and DISCOVERY before focusing on scripted work. In the last few years, he’s been staffed on EMERGENCE for ABC, wrote a comedy feature for Limelight Pictures, and published a short-story — The Last of the Goggled Barskys for Slate. He is currently developing a comedy thriller with Littleton Road (DR. DEATH) and a new sci-fi comedy series with his brother Andy (screenwriter of PALM SPRINGS) and Drew Goddard (THE MARTIAN) for Hulu. And at this moment, he is staffed on THE RESORT, produced by Sam Esmail (MR. ROBOT) for Peacock. When not writing, you can probably find Joey teaching at UCLA, playing guitar, or searching for the best bagel in New York City.