Rideback, the production company founded by “The LEGO Movie” franchise producer Dan Lin, 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,” have launched the Rideback TV Incubator, a new creative incubator whose core mission is to financially and creatively support TV drama writers from diverse backgrounds who are seeking to create their own series for cable or streaming.
The Rideback TV Incubator offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a curated group of eight writers (“Creators”) who have each previously been staffed on series and want to create their own dramatic show in a supportive and inspiring environment. Creators are paired with experienced showrunners and/or executive producers (“Producers”) who act as mentors, and also get feedback from their fellow Creators.
The Incubator’s mission is to nurture talented television writers from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences and encourage them to trust their voices as they create their own shows. The curriculum focuses on story and character development and uniquely incorporates the writers’ room starting from the ideation stage of development. Creators will also benefit from Rideback’s culture of creativity, collaboration and community to write television that will shape culture.
Participants in the Incubator will work out of Rideback Ranch, a new creative campus in LA’s Historic Filipinotown that provides dedicated workspace and other amenities.
The goal for each Creator is to generate a market-ready, straight-to-series material (pilot, format, pitch) during the eight-month program. Each Creator will receive a fee of $150K which will be paid weekly over the course of the program. Each project will be produced by Rideback, with financing and other studio support by MRC, which 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 non-writing executive producers. Rideback and MRC will jointly bring projects to market, with an option of adding other elements.
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.
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the end of the application calendar year and are US Citizens or Permanent Residents with unrestricted authorization to accept employment in the United States. Applicants will also need to have been staffed on a one-hour or half-hour television series prior to applying. For more eligibility and submissions information, please scroll down and read the Frequently Asked Questions portion.
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 OR HALF-HOUR DRAMA SAMPLE that tonally matches cable and streaming audiences. Scripts must be registered with the WGA prior to submission, and the applicant must be the sole owner of the original material submitted. 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. You may access the release form by cutting and pasting the following URL: https://rideback.com/incubatorform
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. 500 words maximum.
6) TWO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION from entertainment industry professionals such as network, studio, and production company executives, producers and showrunners, episodic and feature directors, line producers and editors. 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 application package is submitted and reviewed, you may be selected to prepare a 30-second video telling us why you’re the right candidate for Rideback TV Incubator along with two pitch ideas (one page maximum per idea). Interviews will take place in March and the final selected Creators will be announced in April. The incubator starts on May 1, 2019.
RTI reserves the right to alter the submission process and requirements in its sole discretion.
HOW TO APPLY (Part A & Part B):
Part A. Create a Project on FilmFreeway:
1) Create a Project on FilmFreeway by logging into your FilmFreeway account and clicking “My Projects.” If you don’t have a FilmFreeway account, click on “Sign Up” (upper right-hand corner).
2) After creating an account, click on “My Project” (upper right-hand corner).
3) Click on “Add a Project.”
4) Under “1 - Project Information,” make sure you check “Script.” Then provide the title of the sample script you are submitting in “Project Title.” You can leave the rest of the fields blank (Brief Synopsis, Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
5) Under “2 – Submitter Information,” please provide your email, best phone number to reach you at, and your mailing address. Birthdate and Gender are optional.
6) You may skip “3 – Credits” and “4 – Specifications” and “5 – Screenings/ Distribution”
7) Click on “Save Project”
8) Click on “Add Project File”
9) Upload Script: Under "Upload Script File," please upload the sample script you are submitting. 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. Additionally, your file name should only state the title of your script and the WGA registration number (ex: Title Of Script - WGA 1234567). Failure to comply could disqualify your application.
10) Upload Release Form: After you’ve uploaded your script, click on “+ Add Another Script File.” Here, please upload your completed, signed and dated Release Form. The file name should only have your name followed by “RTI Release Form” (ex: Jane Doe - RTI Release Form).
11) Upload Resume: On the lower right-hand corner under “Files & Attachment,” click on “Add File.” Please upload your resume outlining your professional writing credits and experience. The file name should only have your name followed by ““Resume” (ex: Jane Doe - Resume). Two (2) pages maximum.
12) Upload Personal Essay: Click on “Add File” again and upload your Personal Essay about your life experiences and how that has influenced your writing and the stories you want to tell. The uploaded file should only have your name followed by “- Personal Essay” as the name of the file (ex: Jane Doe - Personal Essay). 500 words maximum.
13) Upload Two (2) Letters of Recommendation: Click on “Add File” again and upload your two (2) letters of recommendation. The uploaded file should only have your name followed by “- 2 Letters of Rec” as the name of the file (ex: Jane Doe - 2 Letters Of Rec). One page per recommendation maximum.
Part B. Submit Your "Project" and Application to Rideback TV Incubator:
1) After you have uploaded your Script, Release Form, Resume, Personal Essay and Two (2) Letters of Rec, now use the link https://filmfreeway.com/RidebackTV
2) Click on “Submit Now”
3) Make sure you answer ALL questions on the pop-up page.
4) Click on “Add to Cart & Checkout”
5) Click on “Complete Order”
You should receive an email receipt of your application.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
*What is the Rideback TV Incubator (RTI)?
The Rideback TV Incubator (RTI) offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a curated group of writers (“Creators”) from diverse backgrounds who have each previously staffed on series and want to create their own dramatic show for cable or streaming. With a focus on inclusion, RTI aims to mentor 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 $150K which will be paid weekly over the course of the program.
*What makes a good candidate for RTI?
RTI seeks diverse Creators with voices that reflect the variety of audiences across every demographic. Candidates will need to have been previously staffed on a one-hour or half-hour television series and want to create their own dramatic show for cable or streaming
*What is the goal of RTI?
The goal for each Creator is to generate a market-ready, straight-to-series project for 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 RTI’s time commitment?
RTI is expected to begin on May 1, 2019 and runs through the end of the calendar year (approximately eight months). Incubator hours and activities will vary, but regular meetings with Producers, Incubator 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 eight months.
*Are there extensions past the eight-month incubator commitment?
Incubator participation beyond the eight-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 or half-hour drama script, 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?
*When does the application process open?
Submissions open at 9:00 AM PST on Thursday, February 7, 2019.
*When will the application process close?
Submissions close at 11:59 PM PST on Friday, February 22, 2019.
*When will interviews be held?
Interviews will be held in March/ April of 2019.
*What is the selection process?
In March, we will choose up to 50 semi-finalists who will be asked to submit a 30-second video telling us why you’re the right candidate and two (2) original drama television series ideas (no more than one page for each idea) suitable for cable or streaming. Of those 50, up to 30 will be asked to interview in person and/or over the phone with Rideback and MRC executives. Ultimately, 6 to 10 writers will be selected into RTI.
*Will I have to pitch an idea?
Anyone chosen to advance to the semi-final round of interviews will be asked to submit two (2) original drama television series ideas (no more than one page for each idea), which could be developed during the eight-month incubator. Concepts must be suitable for cable or streaming.
*Can I pitch more than 2 ideas?
*Who owns the rights to the materials that I pitch?
You will retain ownership of your material.
*May Creators be staffed during the Incubator or participate in other incubator programs in concurrence to RTI?
*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. However, RTI projects require a first-position commitment.
*How many Creators will be selected?
RTI will select between 6 and 10 Creators.
*If selected for RTI, what types of writing assignments will I receive?
During the Incubator, Creators will be required to complete one original hour-drama or half-hour drama script 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?
*How are the matches made between the Creators and Producers?
Matches are made based on career interests and Producer availability. Finalists will meet with a potential Producer.
*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 I’m selected as a finalist to participate in the in-person interview, will RTI reimburse my traveling expenses?
*If I’m selected into RTI but do not live in Los Angeles, will RTI reimburse my relocation costs?
*Must I reside in Los Angeles for the duration of the Incubator?
*May writers participate in RTI remotely from other locations?
*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.
*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.
*Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the end of the application calendar year and are US Citizens or Permanent Residents with unrestricted authorization to accept employment in the United States. Applicants will also need to have been staffed on a one-hour or half-hour television series.
*Do I need to have professional writing experience to apply?
Yes, applicants will need to have been previously staffed on a one-hour or half-hour television series.
*Can writing teams apply?
Yes. However, no more than 2 people can constitute a writing team.
*Do both members of a writing team need to file individual applications?
No. Writing teams should submit one (1) application on behalf of the team. Within that one application, please submit two (2) separate resumes for each member of the team, two (2) separate release forms signed by each member of the team, and two (2) letters of recommendation for the team. The team should submit only one (1) original drama sample written by the team and one (1) personal essay.
*Do writing teams turn in two letters of recommendations total or can each writer submit two letters each?
Writing teams should submit no more than two (2) letters of recommendation total from entertainment industry professionals who can attest to the writing of the team and not as individual writers.
*May I apply to RTI using a script I co-wrote?
Yes, but only if you are applying as a part of a writing team. Otherwise you must be the sole author of any original material submitted with your application.
*Do I need to have literary representation (agent, manager, lawyer) to apply?
Original Script related:
*What would be an appropriate original writing sample?
An appropriate writing sample would be a one-hour or half-hour drama script suitable for cable or streaming.
*May I submit a script that’s being produced or have been produced by a studio or network?
Writers draft for a produced pilot based on an original idea of a television series will be considered. Produced episodes part of a television series, specs of existing shows, feature-length scripts, short stories, novels, graphic novels, blogs, animation scripts will not be considered.
*May I submit a script that’s 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?
*Where can I find the Legal Release Agreement form?
The Legal Release Agreement form can be downloaded by copying and pasting the URL into your web browser: https://rideback.com/incubatorform
*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.
*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?
*Should I provide a list of my completed scripts in my resume?
*Should I provide a list of my references in my resume?
*Should I include an objective line in my resume?
Personal Essay related:
*What should I focus on when writing my personal essay?
The personal essay is an opportunity for RTI and MRC producers and 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 professional” defined?
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, episodic and feature directors, line producers and editors.
*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.
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 non-writing executive producers. Rideback and MRC will jointly bring projects to market, with an option of adding other elements.