NMU students partake in TV pitch fest

NMU students partake in TV pitch fest

Ryan Spitza

Many people have dreamed of one day being a member of a live studio audience or just seeing a television show taped in person. Well now, NMU and Marquette community members can, sort of.

NMU English Professor Monica McFawn and her EN495/595: The Writer’s Room: Episodic Screenwriting in the Age of Prestige Television class have invited the campus community and citizens of Marquette to come and watch the “TV Pitch Fest,” that will be held at the Ore Dock Brewing Company on May 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is free to attend and will feature students’ pitches of future TV show concepts.

“The pitch fest will consist of eight TV Show concept ideas, presented to the public as a kind of live trailer,” McFawn said. “Students will both pitch the show to the audience and present a short live performance to give the audience a sense of the tone and style of the show.”

Nine different pilots will be featured at the event. Each student had the opportunity to work as a group or individually on the project.

“The entirety of the class is very collaborative so we all get to help each other out, but there are some groups and some single individuals,” senior English writing major Olivia Kingery said.

Kingery created her pilot titled “Entranced” with a partner. The story’s main character is a hypnotist that has to make a big decision that will affect her personal life and career.

Kingery said the process has been a good one.

“The experience has been really fun,” Kingery said. “Not only fun working with new material but working in a collaborative environment.”

Dezireé Brown, who is in her second year pursuing a Master of Fine Arts with a focus in poetry,did her pilot titled, “Ella & Jade” individually and didn’t spoil much more.

“Think “Being Mary Jane” mixed with “Insecure” mixed with “Master of None,” Brown said. “Come out to the Ore Dock and find out more.”

Brown added that the show will get attendees brain going along with the hops.

“We’re going to take you deep into the conflicts of our work and pull you out just as quickly,” Brown said. “Expect for your head to spin a little bit, but in a good way. Like a roller coaster.”

McFawn added that writing for TV in Marquette may seem like a niche, but nevertheless she still believes the class is beneficial to students and careers are possible.

“I believe the class will empower students to think large-scale about their art and goals,” McFawn said. “Writing for TV may seem like an absurd dream in Marquette but the TV industry is actively looking for new, diverse voices. With new TV shows like “Detroiters” set and cast in Michigan, students should feel emboldened to create shows that reflect their region and experiences.”