Heather Hale is a qualified independent Producer in the IFTA/ NBCUniversal Partnership Program. She directed the thriller Snitch, starring Edward Furlong, Meatloaf Aday and Ed Asner. Her over 50 hours of produced television credits include the $5.5M Lifetime Original Movie, The Courage to Love, that resulted from her attaching Vanessa Williams to her spec screenplay. This 2000 MOW also starred Diahann Carroll, Stacey Keach and Gil Bellows. Her other television credits have won a pair of Emmys, Tellys and Ace Awards each. Tim McGraw renewed his option on one of her spec, true life biopics and three of her TV pilots have been optioned (two sitcoms, one one-hour dramedy). Ms. Hale is a highly sought after speaker and has taught all over the world. She served as a judge for the ABC Disney Fellowship, the college Emmys and for the Marseille WebFest. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from SDSU with a double minor in Linguistics and Journalism, a Screenwriting Certificate for Film and Television from UCLA and she is currently pursuing her Fine Arts Certificate from Otis College of Art and Design. Ms. Hale served as the Vice President and Director of Event Programming for the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) where she helped create what is now PitchCon (formerly the LA TV Fest and the TV Producers Boot Camp). She is a member of the TV Academy and Show Biz Mensans.
In this workshop, writers will learn all the key elements to a successful “episodic spec,” and will receive ongoing instructor guidance in building their own—from basic idea through finished outline. It begins with knowing how to choose the right kind of show to spec, then understanding which elements to study, in order to really grasp how a typical episode functions – well enough to write one. Students will then learn the elements of great story ideas for a spec, and be given a chance to pitch and re-pitch multiple ideas for their episode, before finally settling on one to write. At that point, they will begin “breaking story” (figuring out the key “beats” of each “act”) over several weeks, getting instructor feedback along the way. Finally, they will be guided in crafting a scene-by-scene outline, from which they could then go on to write the actual script.
Writers—if they’re paying attention—come across a dozen potential story ideas every day, from snippets of overheard conversation, or an unusual headline, or a single image or gesture glimpsed out of the corner of the eye that starts the mind wandering. The real question is, How do we recognize those ideas that have the potential to be something more than a pleasant momentary distraction…that contain enough intrinsic intrigue, possibility, and tension to build a full story and even a full world around them, and which offer the writer ways of finding new dimensions of story and character throughout a long writing process? This course will examine all of the above, from paying attention to—and seeking out—those initial sparks of inspiration which might launch a screenplay to finding ways not just of sustaining the story but building its potential, forward momentum, and meaning.