Track 6: Pre-College Writing for TV - Big Ideas for the Small Screen
The Pre-College Writing for TV Summer Institute introduces motivated high school students enrolled in 9th - 12th grade in Spring 2023 to writing for television in Hollywood. This track mirrors the practice of professional writers in the world of episodic television and digital media by teaching students how to develop original series concepts and how to navigate the contemporary marketplace. In the process, students learn how to identify and capture the tone, characters, dialogue, and themes that make their story unique while collaborating in a workshop environment with their peers. Previous experience in screenwriting is not required, just a passion for storytelling!
Students will write a beat sheet and outline for the first act of their original pilot episode, a series treatment, and the teaser of the pilot script over the course of the class, while getting the feedback and tools they will need to further write their pilot episodes and develop future TV show ideas after the program. The program culminates in a table reading of a section of their script by professional actors.
In small workshops, students meet three times a week to discuss ideas, break stories, and give feedback and notes on each other’s work. This program carries four units of UCLA credit. Please note that this is an intensive course and students are expected to spend a minimum of 25 hours-per-week writing outside of class meetings.
This program will be offered on-campus at UCLA and online via Zoom.
This program carries 4 quarter units of UC credit. Students in this track are enrolled in the following class:
FTV 37: Introduction to Writing for Television: Big Ideas for the Small Screen (4 Units)
Students will explore the career of the screenwriter in the professional development workshop Writer as Entrepreneur. This workshop prepares students for a future in the industry by bringing in working screenwriters/TV writers to talk about their career paths and the experiences of being a writer in Hollywood.
On-campus students will also tour a major Hollywood Studio and have opportunities to connect with other pre-college Summer Institute students.
Both on campus and online offerings of the Film and Television Summer Institute finish with a table reading of a section from students’ scripts by professional actors, a closing ceremony, and a networking mixer for students of our program. Friends and family are welcome!
Admission to the program is by instructor consent only. This track is open to high school students enrolled in 9th - 12th grade in Spring 2022.
NOTE: All course meeting times are in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). If completing the program in a different time zone, please make sure to account for the time difference. The program schedule is subject to change.
Due to the rigorous and intense nature of the program, the residential plan, which includes a meal plan, is mandatory for all on-campus participants. Participants will be housed in one of the UCLA residence halls, comfortably furnished and conveniently located within easy walking distance of classrooms, libraries, and recreational facilities.
TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS: Access to a laptop/computer with reliable wi-fi is mandatory. You will be given access to Zoom and the course site on Canvas through your UCLA Bruin ID (instructions will be sent with orientation information). You will also need access to screenwriting software such as Final Draft or Celtx. (Check in with your instructor if you wish to use another program to make sure it adheres to proper screenplay format).
TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS: Students will need access to a laptop/computer with screenwriting software like Final Draft or Celtx and access to the internet to connect to the class Canvas and email for assignments. Students can choose to bring their own laptop with Final Draft software or Celtx (recommended) or use UCLA campus resources to access computers/laptops and use a web-based program like Celtx for assignments needed in screenplay format. If choosing to use campus resources, the student is responsible for finding the correct resources in a timely manner for assignments. Be mindful of the summer hours for campus libraries and give ample time for any laptop lending requests.
More information on campus libraries and computers:
UCLA library laptop lending program information:
Information on Student Technology Center in UCLA housing:
Registration opens February 15, 2023. Please check back for more updates or visit the Summer Sessions website for more information.
Grades and Transcripts
Program participants will earn units of credit on a letter grading basis and will be recorded on an official University of California transcript. Please note that official transcripts are not automatically sent to students. To request a transcript, please contact the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Summer Scholars Support
Scholarship support may be available for continuing California high school students with a family annual adjusted gross income of $115,000 or less. For deadlines, eligibility requirements and application information, please visit the Summer Scholars Support page.
UCLA Summer Institutes
1332 Murphy Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1418
Tel: (310) 825-4101
Fax: (310) 825-1528