EDIT: Thanks for a great first AMA everyone! We're signing off. If you have any further questions, let us know: Ask NYTVF


Hello redditors! We are the New York Television Festival, the television industry’s first recognized Festival dedicated to independent TV, and the premier destination for emerging artists, new voices, and storytellers working in the episodic space. The NYTVF is like no other Festival in the world: offering year-round opportunities to submit original, independent TV and digital projects, providing unprecedented access to development executives, TV buyers, agents, and managers, and facilitating meetings, collaboration, education, and guaranteed development opportunities with networks, studios, and platforms.

We are currently accepting submissions for our annual Independent Pilot Competition (IPC) and the inaugural NYTVF Scripts competition. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got!


More info on the IPC here: http://www.nytvf.com/2016_ipc.html (Final Deadline June 30)

More info on NYTVF Scripts here: http://www.nytvf.com/2016_scripts_competition.html (Final Deadline June 15)


Current slate of Development Partners (offering guaranteed deals and development opportunities): http://www.nytvf.com/deals.html

The 12th Annual Festival will be held October 24 – 29, 2016 in New York City. We hope to see you there!


Comments: 85 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

jbrukner11 karma

Hey team, big fan of the festival.

I'm submitting to the Script Competition and was wondering if you could provide a little more guidance on exactly what you expect from a 'series overview' - are there any strict limitations?

nytvf8 karma

Hey there jbrukner! Thanks for being a big fan of the Fest!!

The overview simply serves as supplemental material to your script. You can include ideas for future episodes, a longer synopsis, character outlines, etc. It’s really up to you. The overview is a great place to showcase the overall tone of your show.

neevarpsnilloc6 karma

There seems to be a growing trend of professional creators and actors submitting their works to these independent festivals. What would you say to young artists with little resources who are discouraged by the presence of all the professional competition?

nytvf7 karma

neevarpsnilloc - Good question and while there’s not exactly a secret recipe, we can absolutely assure you that newbies/emerging creators have gotten into the Festival and leveraged that experience in big ways. In terms of advice, we encourage you to keep working - whether it’s as a producer or writer — the more you can hone your project, the greater the likelihood for success. Finally, even if you’re not selected, we hope you’ll join us for the Fest in October. We host a number of events (both during the Festival and throughout the year) geared toward providing guidance, insight, and advice.

purplesnowcone6 karma

Be original and have something to say. That's the one thing you can control that is not dependent on financial or personnel resources.

Your audio can somewhat sound like shit and the video can shake like a Parkinson's patient, but if the content is good then a lot of that is forgiven.

Not having good content means everything else that sucks is compounded into unwatchable.

And as a side note, I would first invest in good audio gear before a great camera. Most of the basic cameras out there are good enough to get you started, even a smart phone. Decent mics will do wonders for your production value.

nytvf2 karma

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves - fantastic advice (and we second it!)

nytvf3 karma

Thanks for weighing in.

laffwriter5 karma

I'm submitting to the IPC and have six eps of my web series. Should I submit all of them? Should there be credits after each or should I edit them into one long episode?


nytvf4 karma

Thanks for tuning in laffwriter!

We recommend submitting the episodes that you feel best represent your show, and we recommend including AT LEAST two episodes. If that means 3 episodes or all six episodes of your web series (and the total runtime is under 60 minutes), then that’s great.

In terms of credits, we recommend putting the credits between each episode to make it clear that it’s a web series. But that’s totally up to you, and we’ve definitely had Official Selections that did it both ways.

laffwriter3 karma

Thank you. Is there any issue if the project is also up Vimeo/Youtube?

nytvf5 karma

Good Q - and there are no issues whatsoever. As long the project wasn’t financed by one of those digital platforms (or a network or studio), you’re in the clear.

alrightnowoldsport3 karma

Really excited about the new Script Competition! What was the reasoning behind the addition, and how will the selected scripts be highlighted at the fest?

nytvf3 karma

Thanks alrightnowoldsport (great handle, btw) - we’re excited too. The Official Selections in NYTVF Scripts will get the same pre-Festival exposure that our IPC selections receive, which means that they’ll be available via NYTVF Connect’s Exec Hub to all of the sponsors, accredited Industry pass-holders, and jury members in the six weeks leading up to the Fest. Last year reps from over 75 companies (ranging from networks, to studios, digital platforms, agencies, management companies and prod cos) participated in NYTVF Connect - and we anticipate an even higher number this year.

nytvf5 karma

Thru NYTVF Connect Exec Hub, industry decision-makers can pre-screen Fest material and request meetings with artists/writers of interest, and those meetings are facilitated by us the week of the Festival. Last year we scheduled almost 450 meetings between Official Artists and industry participants.

nytvf2 karma

Finally, officially-selected writers will enjoy exclusive access to all NYTVF Connect events, which is an exclusive track that includes small group meetings with development execs and agents/managers, networking mixers, and more.

denverdelia2 karma

How important is production value? Also, how many selections will you make in both the pilot competition and the script contest?

nytvf3 karma

Hi denverdelia!

For production value, it just can’t be distracting. You need to make sure that the characters, dialogue, and world are clear, and that means having a certain level of sound and video quality.  

There are a ton of tutorial videos to help you, and it’s amazing what can be accomplished with a lav mic and an iPhone.

nytvf2 karma

RE: Selections - we don’t have a pre-set number of selections determined and our primary objective is to put together a competition slate (in both the IPC and NYTVF Scripts) that represent the very best of what is submitted. In 2015 we had fifty official selections in the IPC.

Monkey_Deee_Luffy2 karma

buttermilk bisucuits or cornbread?

nytvf3 karma

Again with the hard questions! Office poll is 8 to 5 for buttermilk biscuits.

ellecreates2 karma

Hi there! I'm planning on submitting a comedy script to your script competition. Do I have to be finished with my upload at noon on the 15th or can i still finish my upload as long as I'm already on the submission page?

I'm hoping to have it ready early, but I have lots of editing to do! Thanks!

nytvf2 karma

Thanks for your question ellecreates! We recommend submitting and your script before the 12pm deadline in case of any technical difficulties that may arise.

However, if any problems or questions come up as you're submitting, just let us know! Ask NYTVF

ellecreates2 karma

One more question I just thought of ---> can you explain what should go in my C.V.? Does it need to be all writing stuff or...

nytvf3 karma

Good question, the Writer C.V. only comes into play once the script has been selected as an Official Selection as supplemental material for our industry partners. The C.V. can include a brief account of your education, qualifications, and previous experience (writing or otherwise). And we’re stealing that definition from Wikipedia, so you know it’s legit.

Bettergetdemdollas2 karma

First time on Reddit -

I noticed for NYTVF Scripts that we're only allowed to have two credited writers. I'm part of a 4 person team... what do I do?!?!?!?

nytvf2 karma

Thanks for your great question! Unfortunately, we have a limit of 2 credited writers per script submission. However, you can submit as a writing team if submit with your team name.

brianthecoolestinter2 karma

Hi! I LOVE the festival. The Jamz is the coolest thing on Netflix since they got the rights to 30 Rock.

I was wondering what you think makes a good pilot/pilot script? What are you looking for that makes you stand out?

nytvf2 karma

Thanks brian! We’re psyched about THE JAMZ, too! Thx for watching.

RE: What makes a great pilot/script - we could (naturally) talk about that all day, but mostly, we’re looking for creators and writers with a great voice.

nytvf1 karma

Here are some other points to consider:  

  • Clear, Well-Defined World  

  • Characters with Unique Points of View  

  • Decent Sound and Audio Quality (shouldn't be distracting)  

  • Consistency of Tone

nytvf2 karma

Also, don't worry about making a 22 minute or 44 minute pilot. Make what you can on your budget. Often, a 10 minute pilot is just as (if not more) exciting for a development exec.

Martinkill2 karma

What ever happened to the media page you guys used to have with festival pilots to watch? And the comedy central contest you did like twice.? Lastly, have you ever considered an online competition with voting similar to how the doritos super bowl commercial contest is done.?

nytvf2 karma

Hi Martin - You can check out our 2015 Festival Recap here or look at our YouTube page for trailers of all Official Selections.


RE: Comedy Central, they’re offering a deal inside our Independent Pilot Competition, which allows creators to not only get their work in front of Comedy Central, but all of our other partners, accredited pass holders, and juries, as well. You can check out Comedy Central’s creative brief here.

beni_hannah1 karma

When do you announce selections? Will the creators get called in advance?

nytvf2 karma

Hi Beni - we anticipate that Official Selections in both the IPC and Scripts will be announced in mid- to late-August. And yes, the submitters of selected projects are notified shortly before the announcement.

filmonthebeach1 karma

Hey I was wondering if anything came out of this festival and is on TV?

nytvf1 karma

We’ve had a number of success stories come out of the Festival, with writers and producers gaining connections and moving on to jobs and the four major networks, The CW, A&E, truTV, Comedy Central, and a plethora on online platforms (Fullscreen, Amazon, Netflix, etc.).

Additionally, some great shows out of the Festival have moved on to TV. Most recently, Animals got a 2-season pick-up at HBO, and The Jamz premiered its first season on Netflix!

TravelMike20051 karma

I don't have a grasp on the financial potential of television. I'm interested in the world of documentary/educational TV. I can budget out how much a show would cost but I have no idea on if it would be profitable to do so. Where can I find some information on how much networks are willing to pay for a series? So far I've not been able to even identify a ballpark figure.

nytvf2 karma

TravelMike - this is not really something we’re experts in, as deals range pretty dramatically from network-to-platform-to-cable. If you’re looking for specific guidance, we’d recommend reaching out to a line producer - that’s the person on any given production that oversees spending. One thing we can offer, if you have a project that gets into the Fest, as an Official Artist, you’ll get to participate in NYTVF Connect, which includes a wide range of programming from network, studio, and production company execs. Hope this is helpful!

traderbeau1 karma

How do you work with agencies? Is it possible to get an agent if my project gets in? Do I need one before hand?

nytvf1 karma

Beau - we have a great relationship with a number of agencies, as well as management companies. Reps participating in the Fest have the same access to projects that network/studio/platform execs have and we see a lot of Official Artists get signed out of the NYTVF. And you absolutely don’t need to have an agent before you get here - but if you do, that’s totally fine, as well.

MaesterMagoo1 karma

How close are you to 1500 submissions?

nytvf3 karma

Maester - we don’t release submission data while we’re still accepting submissions, however I will say we’re very pleased with the response so far - and if you’re thinking about submitting, we’d recommend sooner rather than later.

MaesterMagoo2 karma

Thanks I'm getting started now so I doubt I'd make the deadline though I am trying. How important is a quality CV? I have no professional writing experience.

nytvf3 karma

The C.V. can include a brief account of your education, qualifications, and previous experience (writing or otherwise). The Writer C.V. only comes into play once the script has been selected as an Official Selection as supplemental material for our industry partners.

beni_hannah1 karma

If you get close to 1500 will you let people know?

nytvf2 karma

We most likely won’t. Again, we recommend submitting sooner rather than later. The deadline is next Wednesday, June 15 at 12:00pm (noon) EST.

katmarie1231 karma

What can a costumer do to help?

nytvf1 karma

Hi katmarie, we recommend signing up for our Newsletter to stay up-to-date about upcoming NYTVF events, which are great places to meet collaborators for future projects.

ConvenienceStoreDiet1 karma

Super stoked on the festival this year! I'm looking to submit my cartoon for the festival, it's a 15 minute animated pilot. We're finishing up our final touches right now.

Three questions: - 1) Should I be concerned with content? There are no close up shots of buttholes or graphic depictions of babies being eaten, but a few dirty words here and there. Would I be best to bleep those out for the screening?

-2) Are there other opportunities that someone in my position should be particularly mindful of, especially with an animated show? I planned on just submitting on Without a box the pilot itself, but should I prepare other pitch materials or things like that as well for different submissions?

-3) We'll also be submitting on the late deadline so we can put more effort into our sound mix/music. Should I be concerned about submitting past the capacity of what you will be able to accept?

nytvf1 karma

1) In terms of adult content, totally fine for your pilot to contain strong language or adult themes. Previous Official Selections that have screened at the Festival have contained both.

2) A complete submission on Withoutabox is all you need at this stage. If your pilot is named an Official Selection, there may be further opportunities to pitch your project or other concepts at the 2016 Festival via NYTVF Connect.

3) There is no capacity for the Independent Pilot Competition, so no worries there.

Thanks for your questions and we're happy to hear you're excited about the fest -- we are too!

Dezib1 karma

If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do they all drown?

nytvf2 karma

Depends on how good they are.

DiskFelcore1 karma

What are your all time favorite television shows and why?

nytvf2 karma

DiskFelcore - whah. That is literally the hardest question we’ve ever gotten. Do you have a few days to discuss??

A quick survey of our office came up with a shortlist as follows: Cheers, Seinfeld, Arrested Development, The West Wing, The Good Wife, SNL, 30 Rock, Brooklyn 99, Broad City, and GoT. But check back with us tomorrow and we’ll add 100 or so to the list. :)

robmox1 karma

With the growing popularity, why doesn't the NYTVF accept web series? In recent history, several web series have been picked up by cable and premium networks. It seems only natural.

nytvf1 karma

Robmox - we agree! We absolutely accept web series (submissions can be between 4-60 minutes in length) and we present a “short-form” award as part of our category awards. A number of projects that have found success at the NYTVF have web series roots. Hope this helps to clarify!

robmox1 karma

Oh thanks. I only scanned your submission guidelines and must have missed that part. Follow-up: does it matter what platform the web series was distributed on?

nytvf1 karma

Not all all, as long as you have the rights to the project.

kxw36561 karma

Hey guys -- you said ask you anything, so here goes:

Would you be hiring anyone? I just interviewed for a role with a different show as a Partnerships Manager (basically the point-of-contact between artists, brands and sponsors, and then the show itself,) only to find out today they went with an internal hire, (which they were going to all along, but told me they still wanted to keep me around for a different show in the fall.)

If you're interested, shoot me a PM and let's talk! I have a marketing and sales background, have experience doing exhibitions and the like, and love pop culture. Also, I write scripts in my free time.

nytvf1 karma

kxw3656 - Sorry to hear that you didn’t get the position. We’re not currently hiring, but if you follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our newsletter, we host staffing notices there. Good luck - and keep us posted!

tjburr1 karma

I have a script that was under contract at a production company, but the option expired. Does that make it ineligible?

nytvf2 karma

As long as you have the rights to your project you can submit the script.

AminusBK1 karma

Me and my wife have a cooking show called "A Couple o' Cooks" ("Kitchen Kooks" and "Kookoff!" are other possible titles)...we don't have a script, pilot, or anything written or filmed; we just talk to ourselves and eachother and pretend there's an audience when we're cooking. We're super charismatic and funny and sweet...I love meat, she's a vegetarian. Fun cooking times all around...can we have a show now please?

nytvf2 karma

AminusBK…ummm…WE LOVE IT! Point a camera at yourselves and send us something! #TeamMeat

alesiar1 karma

Hi there! This sounds like an incredible opportunity, and I'll try my best to make it. Had a question about networking opportunities for musicians like me who want to get into the music for television business.

I'm a young composer and singer-songwriter who's been working on student films, podcasts, small/large ensemble/orchestral works and such, and I also recently interned with composer Carl Thiel during his work for the TV adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn

I would love to get a chance to work with some of the filmmakers in the independent TV world, and gain entrance into this industry. What would be some of your suggestions as far as networking is concerned, and what are some of the events / opportunities that exist (to that end) at NYTVF?

nytvf1 karma

Great questions - and congrats on the internship, sounds awesome. As we mentioned to katmarie123 above, the Festival is really designed to build bridges between artists on all sides of the TV spectrum and we’re always heartened to see collaborations stem from Festival meetings. Sign up for our newsletter for the most up-to-date info about Festival events.

EricT591 karma

Where do you draw the line?

Independent TV can be pretty broad. Does someones shitty you tube channel count? What about quality but no one has ever seen it?

Does it have to be broadcast? If so does Public access count?

nytvf2 karma

Videos that have been on YouTube are definitely allowed. We’ve had Official Selections that originated on YouTube and other online platforms.

We’re looking for quality above all else. Submissions are allowed to be on Public Access and have visibility on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. But we’re looking for independent TV, not series that originated from the network or studio system.

EricT59-1 karma

So Define TV?

nytvf3 karma

We consider TV to be episodic storytelling - whether for traditional ad-supported broadcast/basic cable, premium cable/SVOD platform, or shorter-form web content.