FTVM 421 - TV Pilot Production
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Film, Television, and Media Std (FTVM)
Department: LSA Film, Television, and Media
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


With permission of instructor.
Lab Fee:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


FTVM 421 TV Pilots is a hands-on production/writing/ course in which students write and produce a full-length TV Pilot. The course is highly collaborative in nature, bringing together television writers, actors from Theatre and Drama and Musical Theatre, and production students from WOLV, FTVM, PAT, Stamps, and other schools and colleges across the University to produce a pilot conceived in FTVM’s 411 TV writing II course. Students are admitted from any U of M unit based on appropriate skills; by the permission of the instructor. This course prepares you for a lifetime of sustainable creative work in TV and Movies. TV and Movies are made by crews working collaboratively across Writing, the seven production departments (Producing, Art Dept: “Production Design”, Directing, Directing Photography, Lighting, Camera Operation & Sound) plus Editing. The goal of the course is to provide the screenwriters, the actors, and the production crew with the most integrated production environment possible. The writers re-write based on feedback from the actors, production crew, and table readings of the scripts. The production crew works closely with the writer and actors to produce the full-length Pilot. Students pitch for positions on the productions in late March or early April. The course starts by workshopping advanced drafts of the telescript and the writers perfect them over the first few weeks. During this process, the production team and actors develop an in-depth production design based on an intimate knowledge of the script. Working with the actors the script will be rehearsed, and the production design, directorial, cinematographic, and acting approaches will be revised and developed as necessary to convey the full meaning of the script to the screen. As the scenes are shot the editors present rough cuts and the short is finished in time for a showing at Lightworks in December.

Course Requirements:

Assessment is based on participation (20%), peer evaluations (10%), and the final Pilot (70%). Screenwriters are graded on their contribution to the script (70%) and their participation in the production. (30%)

Intended Audience:

Undergraduates interested in working in, or having a sustainable career in, any aspect of Television and/or Film. Preparation for FTVM 404 TV Pilots can be FTVM 300, Cinematography, Editing, Television Production, Screenwriting, or any related field including Art, Photography, Music, Business, Communications, Acting, or stage production and design. Writers and the Pilot teleplay come from FTVM 411 and, possibly, 311.

Class Format:

Class meets for four hours once a week. During this time there are table reads, discussion, lectures, equipment workshops, production meetings, rehearsals, preparation for shooting, and editing. Additionally, writers and production/post departments will meet with the instructor for 30 minutes per week.


FTVM 421 - TV Pilot Production
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
F 2:00PM - 6:00PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for FTVM 421.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for FTVM 421 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)