McKee’s TV Week is a Hit in Rio de Janeiro; Next Stop, NYC.

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Legendary writing instructor Robert McKee taught TV Week for the first time ever. The seminar was held over four 11-hour days in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sponsored by GLOBOSAT, the pay TV market leader in Latin America.

Robert McKee teaches the substance, structure, style, and principles of story. He believes writing can be taught. With his method, with talent, and with hard work, writers gain insight into the truths they have to share and learn how to share them through story. His past students– including Peter Jackson, William Goldman, the entire writing staff of Pixar, Paul Haggis, Jane Campion, Akiva Goldsman, Joan Rivers, Kirk Douglas, Meg Ryan, John Cleese, Drew Carey, Russell Brand, and over 100,000 others– tend to agree.

From January 23-26, 2014 Robert McKee conducted the first ever TV Week, a writing seminar featuring a full day dedicated to writing television. McKee dubbed the seminar ‘TV Week’ as the first three days focus on writing thrillers, writing comedies, and writing love stories, and these are the primary content of television programs. The final day tied the first three days together with ‘The Art of the Long Form’, a deep study of writing for television. The seminar was held over four 11-hour days in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sponsored by GLOBOSAT, the pay TV market leader in Latin America. The event hosted over 350 students who were sponsored by GLOBOSAT to learn how to create long-form scripts for production on Brazilian television channels.

Mr. McKee’s former students have written hit shows such as Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, 24, Damages, Veep, and many more. Mr. McKee explains that the ‘long form’ multi-season story is in some ways a rebirth of the epic poem. Mr. McKee is best known for teaching film, but he explains that film is limited in that filmmakers can only create as much complexity in their characters as can be showcased in two hours. Television series however, fluid in their duration, can reach Mr. McKee’s predicted gold-standard length in television: 100 hours. This gives the writer the opportunity to create characters more complex than anything we have seen before, which gives the audience an opportunity to immerse themselves into a show in a way they cannot immerse themselves into a film.

TV Week is constructed around Mr. McKee’s highly in-demand GENRE Seminar. The GENRE Seminar was developed for McKee’s STORY Seminar students who wanted to dive deep into the study of particular story types. The Rio de Janeiro seminar held four separate days for Thriller: The Art of Suspense, Love Story: The Art of Emotion, Comedy: The Angry Art, and Television: The Art of the Long Form. New York City’s spring GENRE Seminar / TV Week will add a brand new fifth day on Action: The Art of Excitement.

Mr. McKee has said that if he were a young writer starting out he would look to work in television. He believes television has progressed further than the big screen in the USA in recognizing the importance of writers and in giving writers the power they deserve by making them writer-producers. With the power in the hands of the writers, we are seeing ever-more creative leaps in television that the purse-string-holders simply won’t risk in film. It is for this reason and thanks to the richness of the characters, Mr. McKee says, that we are entering the Golden Age of Television. Writers can join Mr. McKee in New York City from April 9-13, 2014 to hone their craft.

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Robin Carey
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