Creating TV Formats
From Inception to Pitch
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Creating TV Formats: From Inception to Pitch takes the reader through a step-by-step process of how to generate ideas, develop story lines and characters and hook an audience, whilst staying aware of the realities of the media landscape.
Beginning with a discussion about what a TV format is, each chapter then introduces a key aspect of the development process, such as looking for ideas, shaping the underlying story and thinking about participants. Practical exercises guide the reader through each stage of turning an initial idea or subject matter into a hook or insight; the importance of incorporating storytelling principles and techniques for designing and populating a story world. Examples from successful television formats such as First Dates and The Great British Bake Off are interwoven throughout the book alongside exclusive insights from the key industry professionals who brought them to the screen.
From short-form digital content to longer unscripted series, this is an essential guide to discovering and developing formats for any media or television production student or early career development professional.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – What is a format?
Chapter 2 – Be Creative
Chapter 3 – Do Creative
Chapter 4 – Shape It
Chapter 5 – Build It
Chapter 6 – Design It
Chapter 7 – Populate It
Chapter 8 – Drive It
Chapter 9 – Get Out There!
Catriona Miller, PhD, is a professor in Media at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she teaches on creativity and media content development. Her research interests include storytelling and the archetypal dimensions of science fiction, horror and fantasy genres, publishing her monograph Cult TV Heroines in 2020. She also publishes on Jungian film theory and co-edited Exploring Depth Psychology and the Female Self: Feminist Views from Somewhere with Leslie Gardner in 2021. She is a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Hazel Marshall is a writer, story trainer and consultant with a diverse background in the craft of shaping narratives across a wide range of factual genres and platforms. She ran popular, practical storytelling workshops for almost ten years at the BBC, training hundreds of programme makers in her time there. She continues to train production teams making series for multiple channels and streamers and has been a story or script consultant on numerous award-winning landmark series.
Linda Green is Founding Director of Leading Creative Talent helping to develop and sell formats in the UK and internationally, providing creative development and pitch coaching for major broadcasters and production companies. Prior to this, as Head of Creative Leadership at the BBC, Linda designed the BBC’s Creative Leadership Programme which delivered new ideas and talent for the UK’s top formats. Linda speaks regularly at industry events and has delivered creative ideas and leadership seminars for universities across Europe.