Team Writing For Television is  a level 10 Module I  deliver along with my colleagues Dr Jill Jamieson and John Quinn  as  part of the Film Making and Screenwriting and Broadcast Production Programmes at the University Of The West Of Scotland at the Ayr Campus.

We investigate the theoretical underpinning of shows such as Glee (Brennan et al 2009) ,  True Blood (Ball 2008) and E 20, the BBC’s  new web delivered teen drama, and then apply these lessons  to the practical task of writing a long running TV series.

The students  have all been trained in using Screenwriting Formatting software (such as CeltX and Final Draft, )  and  have learned elementary Screenplay Narrative  Structure in previous Modules. In week one they  take part in an initial skills audit where we assess their likes, dislikes, preferred genres and technical skills and even character traits. From this data we    form them  into hopefully coherent  teams whose task is to create  the  Bible for a long running TV Series,  which they will eventually  pitch to Industry Professionals.

After the pitching session in week 9, each team   designs an appropriate Series and Character Arc, and each member  then writes an individual Episode of the Series. They also contextualise their learning by researching and writing a 2,500 word essay on a specific theoretical aspect of Team Writing.

Each of the teams nominates a scribe whose task it is to record and publicise the discussions and action points of the individual groups online on our VLE , Blackboard.

The teams  are  now  in week three of the  fifteen week TWFTV process , and at  the moment , there are 51 projects which will be whittled down to 9 by week 5 .

I have just had a look at the student blog for the TWFTV projects, which is fairly bristling with creativity. The ideas range from Dark Comedy, Zombie Thrillers, Whodunnits and cross-genre projects such as Time Travelling Sit Coms and Musical Vampire Blood-fests.( Oh no, not that old Musical Vampire Blood-Fest chestnut, I hear you cry.)

I can honestly say that each time I read the students work I come away turbo-charged with enthusiasm at the sheer breadth and imagination of their ideas. I will keep blog readers abreast of developments as the module continues.

We are carrying out research at all stages of the process and hope to present and publish the results at an appropriate time.