Program helps scribes build skills necessary to become TV titans
Though the Canadian Film Centre’s Showrunner Bootcamp boasts an intimidating moniker, its benefits are well worth the effort. TV scribe Daegan Fryklind will attest to that — when she’s not busy sitting in on vfx meetings or buying wolf art for her brand-new office.
Fryklind’s series “Bitten,” which centers on a female werewolf, was given a full-season, 13 episode order by Canada’s Space channel (hence the lupine office). Entertainment One is handling worldwide rights on the series, which is based on the “Women of the Otherworld” novels by Kelley Armstrong.
Fryklind attributes her success to the bootcamp and serves as a testament to the program’s inaugural run.
In collaboration with Bell Media, CFC’s second Showrunner Bootcamp sets off this year to help scribes like Fryklind build the skills necessary to become successful showrunners. Applicants must be referred by a Bell Media exec, TV exec producer or literary agent, and must hold episodic credits in scripted drama or comedy. If accepted, participants learn everything from managing development to business considerations — such as producer and network relationships — to hiring creative keys.
Participation in the CFC offers industryites “automatic legitimacy,” per Fryklind, and her three-week program ran the gamut of learning industry do’s and don’t’s from established honchos such as Kurt Sutter (“Sons of Anarchy”), Alexandra Cunningham (“Prime Suspect”), Tim Minear (“American Horror Story”) and Hart Hanson (“Bones”). The bootcamp was jam-packed with meetings, allowing Fryklind and her group to network with and learn from established showrunners in both Toronto and Los Angeles.
Dennis Heaton and Shelley Eriksen, two of Fryklind’s co-bootcampers, created skeins out of the program as well: Heaton’s “Motive” sold to ABC and Eriksen’s “Continuum” is rolling Stateside on SyFy.
“I’m still wrapping my head around it every day, even though I’m sitting in this office,” Fryklind says. “Every single day I’m just like, Wow, this is happening.’ ”