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Rideback
Rideback TV Incubator
2020
Our core mission is to financially and creatively support TV drama writers who seek to create their own premium cable/streaming drama series.
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About

Rideback, the production company founded by Dan Lin, the producer behind “Aladdin,” “The Two Popes,” and “The LEGO Movie” franchise, and MRC, the leading film and television studio behind the award-winning “House of Cards” and “Ozark,” and such films as “Ted” and “Baby Driver,” are launching the 2020 session of the Rideback TV Incubator (RTI), a creative incubator whose core mission is to financially and creatively support TV drama writers from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences who seek to create their own drama series for premium cable or streaming.

The Rideback TV Incubator offers a paid, six-month residency program to a curated group of five (5) writers (“Creators”). The Program targets writers (no writing teams) who have previously been staffed with credits of either Executive Story Editor, Co-Producer, Producer, Supervising Producer or Co-Executive Producer on a TV drama series and want to create their own dramatic show in a supportive and inspiring environment. With a focus on inclusion, RTI aims to develop the next generation of television creators from underrepresented groups including but not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQ, socioeconomic background, disability and age.

Semi-finalists will be required to submit a minimum of three (3) pitch ideas (original and/or IP-based). The five (5) selected Creators will be chosen based on the authenticity of their voice as well as the strength of their ideas. These Creators will then be paired with experienced showrunners and/or executive producers (“Producers”) who act as mentors. The curriculum focuses on story and character development and uniquely incorporates the writers’ room starting from the ideation/pitch stage of development with feedback coming from both Producers and fellow Creators.

Participants in the Incubator will work out of Rideback Ranch, a creative campus in LA’s Historic Filipinotown that provides dedicated workspace and other amenities. Creators will also benefit from Rideback’s culture of creativity, collaboration and community to tell stories that help shape television.  


Benefits


  • The goal for each Creator is to generate market-ready material (pilot script, format document and pitch) during the six-month program.  
  • Each Creator will receive a fee of $200K which will be paid weekly over the course of the program.  
  • Creators are non-exclusive and have the option to develop other projects so long as RTI remains in 1st position. That being said, please let us know if there are any pre-existing projects that would need to be carved out of this.
  • Each project will be produced by Rideback, with financing and other studio support by MRC, who is funding the Rideback TV Incubator. 
  • Creators whose projects successfully move to series become executive producers and are awarded writing credits as determined by the WGA. 
  • Producers will be attached to their respective projects as executive producers.
  • Rideback and MRC will jointly bring series-ready projects to market, with an option of adding other elements. 

Announcements

Oct 21st
Today

Rules

Please read all instructions and FAQs carefully before you begin your submission process. Applicants can only submit their application package once. Any errors or multiple submissions could disqualify your application.  

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age before the start of RTI (i.e., before April 1, 2020) and must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with unrestricted authorization to accept employment in the United States. Applicants are required to have been staffed on at least two (2) drama television series or two (2) seasons of a drama television series. The program targets writers (no writing teams) with credits of either Executive Story Editor, Co-Producer, Producer, Supervising Producer or Co-Executive Producer. For more eligibility and submissions information, please check the Frequently Asked Questions portion.

KEY DATES

  • January 13 -19 – Creator submission period.
  • Late-January – Notify thirty (30) semi-finalists to send in a minimum of three (3) pitch ideas and a 30-second video. Semi-finalists will have four (4) days to submit materials.
  • Mid-February – Select and interview top ten (10) finalists and then select five (5) Creators.
  • Early-March – Creators and Producers interview each other and then are paired. The final selected Creators and Producers will then be announced.
  • April 1 – Rideback TV Incubator begins.
  • September 30 – Rideback TV Incubator ends.

APPLICATION INFO

Applicants must submit a complete application package, which includes the following items:

1)  APPLICATION completed in its entirety. Failure to do so could disqualify your application.  

2)  ORIGINAL ONE-HOUR PREMIUM CABLE/STREAMING DRAMA SAMPLE. Pilot script adapted from IP will not be accepted. Scripts must be registered with the WGA prior to submission. On the title page, please provide only the title of your script and the WGA registration number. Do NOT include your name or any contact information (including any industry representatives) on the title page or anywhere within the script.  Failure to comply could disqualify your application.  

3)  RELEASE FORM must be completed, signed and dated in order for submission to be accepted. 

4)  RESUME outlining your professional writing credits and experience. Two (2) pages maximum.  

5)  PERSONAL ESSAY on life experience(s) you’ve had that influences your writing and the stories you want to tell. Five hundred words maximum.   

6)  TWO (2) LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION from entertainment industry professionals such as network, studio and production company executives, producers and showrunners. Those writing the letters should touch on the following:

  - How do you know the candidate?

  - What makes the candidate's voice unique?

  - What has the candidate done that demonstrates he/ she can both lead and follow?

  - What’s your favorite thing about the candidate?

Letters from agents, managers and other industry representatives will not be considered.  One (1) page maximum per recommendation letter.


After the application package is submitted and reviewed, chosen semi-finalists will be required to confirm availability for the duration of the program (April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020). Failure to do so could delay or disqualify the applicant. The semi-finalist candidate will then be asked to submit a 30-second video explaining why he/she is right for the Rideback TV Incubator along with a minimum of three (3) original and/or IP-based pitch ideas (one page maximum per idea). For IP-based ideas, please include the rights status of the material. 

RTI reserves the right to alter the submission process and requirements in its sole discretion. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Questions:

*What is the Rideback TV Incubator (RTI)?

The Rideback TV Incubator offers a paid, six-month residency program to a curated group of five (5) writers (“Creators”). The Program targets writers (no writing teams) who have previously been staffed with credits of either Executive Story Editor, Co-Producer, Producer, Supervising Producer or Co-Executive Producer on a TV drama series and want to create their own dramatic show in a supportive and inspiring environment. With a focus on inclusion, RTI aims to develop the next generation of television creators from underrepresented groups including but not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQ, socioeconomic background, disability and age.

*Is RTI a paid incubator program?

Each Creator will receive a fee of $200K which will be paid weekly over the course of the program.

*What makes a good candidate for RTI?

RTI seeks TV drama Creators from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences who seek to create their own drama series for premium cable or streaming. Candidates are required to have been staffed on at least two (2) drama television series or two (2) seasons of a drama television series. The Program targets writers (no writing teams) with credits of either Executive Story Editor, Co-Producer, Producer, Supervising Producer or Co-Executive Producer. The five (5) selected Creators will ultimately be determined based on their authenticity of voice as well as strength of pitch ideas.

*What is the goal of RTI?

The goal for each Creator is to generate a market-ready project for premium cable or streaming. Each project will be produced by Rideback, with financing and other studio support by MRC, which is funding the Incubator.

*What is RTIs time commitment?

RTI is expected to begin on April 1, 2020 and runs through September 30, 2020 (six months). Incubator hours and activities will vary, but regular meetings with Producers, Incubator executives, Rideback TV executives and fellow Incubator members are an intrinsic part of RTI and may require a time commitment of up to thirty hours a month. Additionally, to get the maximum benefits from RTI, participants should be available a minimum of four full days each week over the duration of the six months.

*Are there extensions past the six-month incubator commitment?

Incubator participation beyond the six-month incubator will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the project.

*What are the application requirements?

Applicants are required to submit the following: a Rideback TV Incubator application, an original one-hour premium cable/streaming drama script (pilot script adaptations will not be accepted), release form for submitted material, a current resume, a personal essay, and two letters of recommendation.

*What is the acceptable format for submitted material?

Original script, signed release form, resume, personal essay and recommendation letters must be submitted in PDF format on the application website.

*Is there an application fee?

No.

*When does the application process open?

Submissions open at 12:01 AM PST on Monday, January 13, 2020.

*When will the application process close?

Submissions close at 11:59 PM PST on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

*When will interviews be held?

Interviews will be held in mid-February, 2020.

*What is the selection process?

In late-January, we will choose up to 30 (thirty) semi-finalists who will be required to confirm availability for the duration of the program (April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020). Failure to do so could delay or disqualify the applicant. The semi-finalist candidate will then be asked to submit a 30-second video explaining why he/she is right for the Rideback TV Incubator along with a minimum of three (3) original and/or IP-based pitch ideas (one page maximum per idea). For IP-based ideas, please include the rights status of the material. Of the 30 (thirty) semi-finalists, up to 10 (ten) finalists will be asked to interview in person with RTI and MRC where candidates must discuss their pitch ideas. Ultimately, five (5) Creators will be selected into RTI.

*Will I have to pitch an idea?

Semi-finalists will be asked to submit a minimum of three (3) original and/or IP-based pitch ideas (one page maximum per idea). For IP-based ideas, please include the rights status of the material. Anyone chosen to advance to the final round of interviews will then be asked to interview in person with RTI and MRC where candidates must discuss their pitch ideas.

*Who owns the rights to the materials that I pitch?

You will retain ownership of your material. If chosen as a Creator, any materials you create as part of RTI (including the script and other related materials) shall be on a work for hire basis owned by MRC. 

*May Creators be staffed during the Incubator or participate in other incubator programs in concurrence to RTI?

No.

*May Creators work on other projects during the Incubator?

Yes. During the Incubator, Creators are non-exclusive and have the option to develop other projects so long as RTI remains in 1st position. That being said, please let us know if there are any pre-existing projects that would need to be carved out of this.

*How many Creators will be selected?

RTI will select five (5) Creators.

*If selected for RTI, what types of writing assignments will I receive?

During the Incubator, Creators will be required to complete one (1) original hour-drama script for premium cable/streaming along with a pitch and other related materials (ex. pilot outline and format document) to bring to the market.

*If selected for RTI, will I be guaranteed a produced script?

No.

*How are the matches made between the Creators and Producers?

Matches are made based on career interests and Producer availability. Finalists will meet with several Producers before being matched.

*When and how will I be informed as to whether or not I have been chosen to participate in the Incubator?

Selected creators will be notified directly via phone and/or email as well as through their reps.

*Where will RTI be located?

RTI is based at the Rideback Ranch located in Historic Filipinotown just south of Silver Lake and northwest of DTLA.

*If Im selected as a finalist to participate in the in-person interview, will RTI reimburse my traveling expenses?

No.

*If Im selected into RTI but do not live in Los Angeles, will RTI reimburse my relocation costs?

No.

*Must I reside in Los Angeles for the duration of the Incubator?

Yes.

*May writers participate in RTI remotely from other locations?

No.

*How do I know my submission has been received?

Once you click on “Complete Order,” you should see a message on your computer verifying receipt. You will also receive a confirmation email.

*Will you contact me about the status of my application?

No. Due to the large volume of submissions, we cannot provide status updates or notify those who have not been accepted.

Eligibility related:

*Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age before the start of RTI (i.e., before April 1, 2020) and must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with unrestricted authorization to accept employment in the United States. Applicants are required to have been staffed on at least two (2) drama television series or two (2) seasons of a drama television series. The Program targets writers (no writing teams) with credits of either Executive Story Editor, Co-Producer, Producer, Supervising Producer or Co-Executive Producer.

*Do I need to have professional TV writing experience to apply?

Yes, applicants are required to have been staffed on at least two (2) drama television series or two (2) seasons of a drama television series. The Program targets writers (no writing teams) with credits of either Executive Story Editor, Co-Producer, Producer, Supervising Producer or Co-Executive Producer.

*Are feature writers, playwrights and novelists with no TV staffing experience eligible?

No. Applicants are required to have been staffed on at least two (2) drama television series or two (2) seasons of a drama television series.

*Can writing teams apply?

No.

*May I apply to RTI using a script I co-wrote?

No. You must be the sole author of any original material submitted with your application.

*Do I need to have literary representation (agent, manager, and/or lawyer) to apply?

Yes.

Original Script related:

*What would be an appropriate original writing sample?

An appropriate writing sample would be a one-hour drama script suitable for premium cable or streaming. Pilot script adaptations will not be accepted. 

*May I submit a script thats being produced or has been produced by a studio or network?

Writer’s draft for a produced pilot based on an original television series idea will be considered. Produced episodes part of a television series, specs of existing shows, feature-length scripts, short stories, novels, graphic novels, plays, blogs, animation scripts will not be considered.

*May I submit a script thats currently being considered at a studio or network?

Yes, the script must be an original, and pertinent information such as producer, studio, network attachments must be disclosed in the application process.

*May I submit more than one script to apply for RTI?

No. We will accept only ONE original script per applicant.

Other Materials related:

*Who owns the rights to the material that I submit with my application?

Applicants retain ownership of original material submitted.

*If selected into RTI, will I need to disclose current projects in development and attachments?

Yes. Any projects in development must be disclosed in writing during the application process.

*Are scripts registered outside the WGA prior to submission acceptable?

No. All submitted scripts must be registered with the WGA prior to submission. Scripts registered with any other organizations or affiliations will not be accepted.

*Who will review my submission?

A combination of producers and executives affiliated with Rideback and MRC along with professional readers will review all submissions.

Release Form related:

*Do I have to submit a release form for my original script?

Yes.

*Where can I find the Legal Release Agreement form?

Release Agreement form can be found at the application phase. 

*How do I submit the release form?

After you have read and approved the release agreement, please print the form and fill out all required fields. The completed and signed agreement should then be scanned and uploaded as a PDF document onto the application submission site.

*Are digital signatures acceptable?

No. The release form must be hand-signed. Applicants who fail to upload a completed and hand-signed agreement will be disqualified.

Resume related:

*What is the purpose for providing a resume?

Your resume will provide understanding of your work history and insight to your individual life experience.

*How long should my resume be?

Your resume should be no longer than two (2) pages.

*Do I need to provide a cover letter?

No.

*Should I provide a list of my completed scripts in my resume?

No.

*Should I provide a list of my references in my resume?

No.

*Should I include an objective line in my resume?

No.

Personal Essay related:

*What should I focus on when writing my personal essay?

The personal essay is an opportunity for RTI producers and MRC executives to know you as a storyteller. Thus, as you prepare your essay, consider what makes you and your voice unique and sets you apart from other writers/creators.

*What should I be cautious of when writing my personal essay?

Be careful not to repeat your professional history in your essay as that information will be represented by your resume.

*How long should my personal essay be?

Personal essays should be written in 500 words or less.

Letters of Recommendation related:

*Are letters of recommendation mandatory?

Yes. Two (2) letters of recommendation are necessary to be considered into RTI.

*How is industry professionaldefined?

Industry professionals are persons who currently or previously worked in entertainment media (e.g. film, television, streaming services, etc…). Examples are network, studio and production company executives, producers and showrunners.

*May I submit a letter of recommendation from my literary representatives?

No. Letters from representatives (e.g., agents, managers or attorneys) will not be accepted.

*To whom should the letters of recommendation be addressed?

Letters of recommendation may be addressed to “Rideback Television Incubator” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

*How should I submit recommendation letters?

Recommendation letters should be submitted online with the application. Please scan and upload the letter(s) as a PDF document onto the application submission site. Letters emailed or mailed will not be accepted.

Pitch Ideas related (for semi-finalists):

*If I am selected as a semi-finalist, what makes a good pitch idea?

Pitch ideas should be built on a Creator's strong voice and specific point of view while bringing new perspectives on concepts, characters, themes, genre and/or worlds. Pitch ideas should feel commercial, distinct and premium.

Bringing Projects to Market related:

*What happens to the projects at the end of the Incubator?

Creators whose projects successfully move to series become executive producers and are awarded writing credits as determined by the WGA. Producers are attached to their respective projects as executive producers. Rideback and MRC will jointly bring projects to market, with an option of adding other elements.