August 06, 2018
For the 2019 edition, MIDPOINT TV Launch is announcing a number of programming updates: one of them being a specialized training for so-called development executives.
MIDPOINT TV Launch 2019
This part of the program is intended to raise a new generation of broadcaster executives and commissioning editors in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region.
MIDPOINT has recognized the demand for training of future or junior development executives since it started working with talents and projects in the CEE region. The role, which has been under a tremendous amount of pressure due to the dynamically changing industry and the rise of new development processes, is rapidly being transformed and is going through a period of constant re-definition.
The development executive, which is sometimes called the commissioning editor within some broadcasting structures, provides a crucial communication bridge between the writer(s) and the production company or broadcaster. Their role is not only to assess and recommend scripts as they come in, but most importantly, to work with the writer(s) while also providing guidance and support. The essential role of these executives is to be “on the writer’s side.” Trust is crucial in this process: even when having a passionate disagreement or delivering negative notes from the “big bosses,” the writer(s) have to understand that the development executive is on their team. The role can be incorporated within a drama department of a broadcaster or an independent production company, or even as a freelance hire for a singular project.
During the TV Launch training, aspiring development executives will acquire a number of skills: it is essential that they understand the nuts and bolts of storytelling and writing. However, perhaps an even more important skill is learning what could be called the “bedside manner.” There’s no point in being “right” in a script discussion, if it means that the writer is left confused or demoralized. A significant part of TV Launch’s aim is to convey how to talk to a writer, how to deliver harsh notes without destroying morale, learning where the line is between telling a writer what to do and making suggestions to help them better achieve what they were trying to achieve in the first place, and how to help shape a script in rewrites without squashing the writer’s voice.
MIDPOINT’s plan is to incorporate the development executive training into the regular project development program of the TV Launch. The practical tutoring approach is to try to work with the participants in a way that as closely as possible resembles the reality of the industry, so the development executive participants will be involved in that process organically as the program goes along. Their progress will be reviewed, and the participants will also have their own special lectures and exercises, delivered by a specially designated tutor.