It’s always Pilot Season here at Chapman.
Project: Pilots, a new club on campus this year is making sure of that. Created as a space to workshop student written Television pilots, the club has already drawn in a dedicated group of writers in only its first few months on campus.
Emilie Evans, a junior Television Writing and Production Major and founder of Project: Pilots, recognized the need for a space on campus where students can work on original ideas that they are passionate about. While the majority of her in-class writing assignments consisted of spec scripts, Evans was looking for a way to build her writing portfolio with scripts that she could take out into the world and sell to a studio or producer.
“I decided to create a space for people to come in and have permission to fail. I didn’t want it to be some intense environment where you felt scared to pitch, or you felt scared to share your ideas. It’s an inclusive, supportive environment,” said Evans.
Each Tuesday night meeting kicks off with members practicing pitching and receiving feedback from peers. Members will then break up into groups based on which story elements they would like to work on, and bounce ideas off of each other to develop each person’s script.
Any student who wants to workshop an idea is welcome to show up to Beckman Room 106 on any Tuesday night, as there is no strict application process for the club.
“Do you have time? Do you have an idea? Do you want to work with people? Do you want to help other people as well? That’s really all it’s about,” said Evans.
And the club is not limited to Dodge Majors either. For Evans, a driving factor behind starting the club was to give people who are not in the Television Writing and Production major the opportunity to learn more about television, as it continues to take over the industry.
“At the Activities Fair, people would walk up and I’d say “What’s your major?” And no matter what they said, my answer was: that’s perfect. Perfect, because you clearly have an idea. You want to work on it, but you don’t get to take the Dodge classes, so come in,” said Evans.
In addition to providing a space for workshopping, Evans has worked to provide resources for students looking to learn more about technical aspects of television writing such as structure, pitch decks, grids, and more.
“I want to make it easy for people. There shouldn’t be a barrier to entry, especially when you’re at one of the top film schools,” said Evans.
In only a few months on campus, Evans is grateful for how quickly the club has grown and for the members who have shown up to workshop every week.
“I’m really grateful. The people that come every week are so great. They’re so passionate, they’re so helpful to others, and watching them grow as people is just more than I could have asked for,” said Evans.
And it’s just the beginning for Project: Pilots.