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Running the Show

The training

A Jeff Melvoin Programme presented by John Yorke Story in association with MediaXchange.

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 9 weeks
  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Sessions: 8

Gain key insight into the creative and management best practices that make the US showrunner model so successful and learn practical ways to use those processes and apply it to your own work.

This advanced CPD training distils the knowledge of Jeff Melvoin, one of the US’s most experienced showrunners and educators, and John Yorke, the UK’s leading story expert.

It’s perfect for writers, producers and those in related roles who aspire to take the next step into the lead creative role, and who are looking for a greater understanding of the producorial process for scripted TV drama series.

You’ll work in a small group of dedicated creatives with your teaching team on-hand throughout. By the end you’ll have a clear understanding of the skills you need to develop to advance your career as a showrunner or writer-producer. 

Entry criteria: To get the most out of this training, we ask that you please have at least two years of experience working in film/TV production as a writer, producer or in a similar creative role.

In association with MediaXchange

We deliver this course with TV drama accelerator and international media consultancy MediaXchange.

Find out more

ScreenSkills bursaries

You may be eligible for a ScreenSkills training bursary for this course.

View ScreenSkills' bursary page

Our team

Meet the experts

Jeff Melvoin - credit: Martha Melvoin

Jeff Melvoin

Course Director

Jeff Melvoin is an Emmy-winning showrunner, writer-producer and educator. His extensive career includes Designated Survivor, Army Wives and Northern Exposure and as executive producer on Killing Eve (Season 3). Melvoin is also founder and chair of the Writers Guild of America West’s celebrated Showrunner Training Program and has taught at USC, UCLA, Harvard and the Sundance Institute.

More about Jeff

John Yorke

Course Consultant

John is widely acknowledged as the UK’s foremost expert on story and Into the Woods is the bestselling book on the subject in the UK. John’s worked on some of the world’s most lucrative, widely viewed and critically acclaimed TV drama, from EastEnders to Shameless, Life on Mars and Wolf Hall.

More about John

Maria Pace

Course Moderator

Maria holds an MA in Publishing Media from Oxford Brookes University and lives in Malta. She’s passionate about creating online learning communities that enable students to find their full potential and leave their course with the tools and motivation to continue working towards their goals.

More about Maria

Things to know

Running the Show is an advanced training course for head writers, producers, established writers, or those in similar creative roles who have experience working in TV production.

It’s suitable if you’re:

  • Looking to accelerate your career and take the next step into the lead creative role
  • Interested in the US showrunner model and want to know how to apply it to your work as a writer or producer from wherever you are in the world
  • Seeking a greater understanding of the producorial process for scripted TV drama

This professional training allows you to:

  • Understand the multiple roles and functions of a successful showrunner within the constraints and specific opportunities of the studio system
  • Become familiar with the development process and the vocabulary, business models, production set-up and team structure of this system
  • Identify and suggest good story solutions, in outlines and scripts and when giving and receiving notes
  • Practise the range of creative, practical, management and critical-thinking skills required to run a show
  • Understand how to apply the theory to practical tasks within your own professional context
  • Develop a plan to accelerate your career

Session 1: From Writer to Manager

Gain an overview of the role of showrunner, explore the business models and psychological, personal and cultural transition required to step up from writer to writer-producer.

Featured guest speaker: Jeppe Gjervig Gram, Screenwriter (Follow the Money, Borgen)

Session 2: Managing Writers and the Writing Process – Part One

Learn how to set up a productive writing room and writing process, with emphasis on how to apply the fundamentals of storytelling and analysis.

Featured guest speaker: Frank Spotnitz, Writer, Producer, Chief Executive of Big Light Productions

Session 3: Managing Writers and the Writing Process – Part Two

Take an in-depth look at outlines and the script-drafting process, giving effective notes, and handling writer-related problems. As an exercise you’ll create a writers room schedule based on projected production and air dates.

Featured guest speaker: Emma Frost, Writer, Showrunner (The Spanish Princess, The Man in the High Castle)

Session 4: Managing Production and Budgets

Gain an overview of the key players in your production team, how to manage them, and how to make shows on time and on budget.

Featured guest speaker: Craig Siebels, Director, Executive Producer (Good Sam, Burn Notice)

Session 5: Managing Executives and Crises

Develop effective strategies for building constructive relationships with executives, and to learn how to handle the unexpected.

Featured guest speaker: Alexander Carey, Writer, Producer (Homeland, A Spy Among Friends)

Session 6: Managing Directors and Actors

Gain a working understanding of directors and actors, and how to communicate effectively with both.

Session 7: Managing Postproduction

Understand the work flow in postproduction and how to take an episode from director’s cut through final mix.

Featured guest speaker: Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul, Director (The Rookie, All American)

Session 8: Managing Yourself

You’ll apply all the learning to assess the skills you have and those you need to develop further as you compile a personal game plan to take your career forward. Jeff explains why there’s never been a better time to write for television and looks at work-life balance.

Featured guest speaker: Sumerah Srivastav, Writer (Lupin, Manifest)

ScreenSkills – This course has been made possible by the support of ScreenSkills, and has been approved as part of an informal or formal continuing professional development (CPD) programme. You may be eligible for a training bursary for this course. Apply direct to ScreenSkills here, at least four weeks before the course start date.

Fully-funded in-house bursary – For each iteration of the course, we will fully fund one applicant’s place who’s in need of financial support. Please use the relevant section of the course application form to explain why you meet this criteria. Please note that the bursary will be awarded 8 weeks before the course start date, so please submit your application before then to be considered for the funding.

As this counts as CPD training, you may also be able to get funding from your employer to do it.

Join our alumni – After your course, you can join our online alumni community where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. You’ll be able to.

  • Rejoin your classmates in a private forum
  • Continue to access an archived version of your course materials
  • Meet alumni from other courses and share work for feedback
  • Join discussions about screenwriting, script editing and the industry
  • Attend live chats with guest writers and industry folk

Mentoring and one-to-one feedback – Our team offer mentoring, script reads and consultancy. We are happy to quote by job or script, or to arrange a longer mentoring scheme as you work on a specific project. We’ll create a package to suit you, so please email [email protected].

Further learning – Explore other story training courses from John Yorke Story, or industry professional courses provided by our partners MediaXchange.

DOWNLOAD OUR PROSPECTUS

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How it Works

Our training’s taught 100% online in small groups with a designated tutor and moderator on-hand throughout.

It’s an active learning experience where you’ll read, watch and practise exercises in your own time before submitting assignments for peer and tutor feedback. You’ll then review and refine your work as you get better and better.

Fit the course around your work and time zone – just allow 5-7 hours a week to work through each session.

It’s both flexible and structured. Social and yet gives you space. Find out more about how we teach.

Our Alumni

What people say

Articles

More on Film & TV

ITV’s Iain MacLeod on Running the Show

Iain MacLeod, Executive Producer for Continuing Drama at ITV Studios, signed up for our online Running the Show training and here’s what he learned.

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