TV Series Development course

Department overview by David Elkaïm, Vincent Poymiro, and Xavier Matthieu, Heads of the TV Series Development Department.

"Over the past several years, the TV series has become an important area of development. Original series set in strong universes are constantly coming to our screens from the US and all over Europe. In France, we are seeing a new generation of writers emerge, eager to pursue a career in the format. Lagging behind for many years, French television now seems capable of inventing shows that are popular and imaginative.

However, despite a handful of recent successes, there is a general sentiment in France that TV is still way behind: while we cannot deny the talent is there, the know-how in terms of serial writing, the relationship between the executive and artistic producers and the intimate understanding of broadcasting constraints is under developed. By introducing this new training dedicated to TV series, La Fémis set out to participate in the development of this know-how that is crucial to the revival of French series that so many TV viewers are hoping and waiting for.

A one-year programme composed of classwork, case studies and masterclasses with professionals - French but also from across Europe and the US, the training is devised around four key components:

  • in-depth teaching of dramatic composition for TV series (all genres and formats combined);
  • a comprehensive presentation (economic, legal and other aspects) of the specific French television and European co-production environments;
  • special training modules on editing, executive producing, artistic producing, directing and working with actors;
  • writing projects, from writing an episode of a series already on air to the creation of a new series (writing the programme bible and a pilot episode).

The TV series is a distinct genre that requires a constant stream of creativity, humility at every step, continually high standards and a genuine sense of team spirit, between writers, but also between the writer and the other stakeholders such as the producer, the director and the distributor, not to mention the actors and technicians.

Creativity, high standards, humility and team spirit: four cardinal virtues that we strive to place at the heart of the programme, together with the ambition to promote the emergence of new writers, equally capable of joining the production teams of existing series as creating their own original and ambitious TV shows.

Inspired by writing and production techniques that have made contemporary television so successful in France and elsewhere, these new writers will have the tools necessary to find their place in the broad spectrum of audiovisual production to take part, we hope, in the rise of a French television series industry destined to find an essential place in our country’s popular culture."

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