1. What are the dates of the Episodic Makers Lab?

The Episodic Makers Lab will take place April 6–9, 2020, followed by the Episodic Makers Lab Intensive June 20–21, 2020, at the Sundance Institute offices in Los Angeles, California.

  1. What are the eligibility requirements for submitting a project to the lab?

    • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.

    • The project must be the applicant’s original creation.

    • The project must be written in the English language.

    • The project must be new: not previously submitted to Sundance Institute, not already produced, not already sold to a third party, and not distributed online or otherwise.

    • The project shall not infringe the copyright or any other proprietary right of another individual or entity. The creator/applicant is responsible for all rights pertaining to the project.

  2. What is the submission period for round one of the application process?

October 9–November 13, 2019

  1. What must be submitted for round one of the application process?

    • Contact Information for Creator(s): We allow for up to 2 creators per project; however, you must choose one person to be the primary applicant and your designated point of contact.

    • Bios of Creator(s) (no more than 250 words) 

    • Series Logline: a one-sentence description of your series (no more than 50 words) that conveys what your project is about

    • Pilot Synopsis (no more than 500 words): a summary of your pilot episode

    • Series Overview (no more than 500 words): a one-page description of your series that gives the reader a feel for its main characters, the basic plot and themes, ands the tone and format. Imagine you’re describing your series to a friend in a way that conveys your excitement, clearly explains what your series is about, and gives them a reason to want to watch it.

    • Personal Statement (no more than 250 words): a brief written response to the following questions—

      • Why are you interested in telling this story?

      • What is your personal connection to the material?

      • Why are you the best person to tell this story?

      • Why tell this story now?

    • Thematic Statement (no more than 250 words): a brief written response to the following questions—

      • What is the theme of your series? That is, what is the central idea or big question you are exploring? (e.g., “In the wake of the ultimate betrayal, how does one continue to trust others?” OR “Are criminals born or are they made?” OR “Can a modern family still function as a traditional family?”)

      • How is this thematic question explored on an episode-to-episode basis in your series? (e.g., “In each episode, the betrayal is seen through the eyes of a different character as its ripple effect permeates more and more lives” OR “In each episode, we focus on a different criminal and the path that led to their crimes” OR “In each episode, an unconventional family struggles to overcome conventional problems”)

      • How does this theme inform each of your characters and their journeys over the course of the series? How does the theme connect emotionally to what your characters are going through? 

    • Video Pitch (no more than five minutes in length) that gives us an overview of your project. This is your opportunity to show off your video-making skills, tell us a little bit about your background, and let us know why you are interested in telling this story. It should include your name(s), the title of your series, and a short description of the project, including the story, world, setting, tone, genre, and main characters. Please include a password, if needed. 

    • Samples of Previous Work: Provide one to three links to samples of your previous work (not to exceed 10 minutes total in length). Samples may include short films, web series episodes, or other digital content. Please include passwords as needed.

    • YouTube Channel(s) (optional): Provide a link (or links) to your YouTube channel(s) if you or your fellow applicant have one.

    • Demographics: to be filled out by the primary applicant and additional applicant (if applicable)

    • Application Terms: to be signed by the primary applicant

    • $40 Non-Refundable Processing Fee payable by credit card via the online application

  2. When will I be notified if I have advanced to round two?

Applicants will receive email notification about whether or not they have advanced to round two of our online application process by December 4, 2019.

  1. What must be submitted for round two of the application process?

    • After they receive email notification, applicants who are selected to advance to round two are required to upload the full pilot script for their original series and up to two additional episodes (not to exceed 40 pages in total) through our online application system by December 19, 2019, in order to be considered for the lab.

  2. Is there an application fee to apply for the Episodic Makers Lab?

Yes, for round one only, there is a $40 non-refundable processing fee, payable by credit card via the online application.

  1. What does the program cost?

Aside from the $40 application fee, there is no charge for participation in the Episodic Makers Lab.

  1. Do participants pay for travel and accommodations?

No, domestic airfare and accommodations will be provided for all participants who do not live nearby.

  1. Does Sundance Institute own my project?

No, Sundance Institute does not have an ownership stake in any projects that are submitted to or selected for the lab, nor are we attached in any producorial capacity. All lab fellows must own their projects or have approval from the project owner to participate.

  1. Will you consider co-creator teams?

Yes, we will consider co-creator teams of up to two people.

  1. Will you consider animated series?

Yes; however, the candidate must notify us of this intention prior to applying, as we will require supplemental materials.

  1. Will you consider nonfiction series?

Yes; however, the candidate must notify us of this intention when applying, as we may request supplemental materials.

  1. Will you consider adaptations of other material (novels, magazine articles, films, etc.)?

Yes, we will consider adaptations as long as the rights to the original source material have been secured and applicant(s) can disclose the legal rights for review. The creator/applicant is responsible for all rights pertaining to the project.

  1. Will you consider international series?

Yes; however, the project must be in English and we are not able to provide for international travel at this time. We will, however, cover the cost of the domestic portion of international airfare.

  1. When does the application open?

The application for the 2019 Episodic Makers Lab opens on October 9, 2019, at noon PT

  1. What is the application deadline?

The deadline for project submission is November 13, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. PT.

  1. Is it possible to get an extension? What’s the final, final deadline?

No, it’s not possible to get an extension. You must turn in your application by November 13, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. PT.

  1. When will final decisions be made?

Applicants will receive email notification about whether or not they have been selected for the lab by February 26, 2020.

Still don't see your question answered here? Email episodicprogram@sundance.org with further questions.