Scripted Digital Series Incubator

The Scripted Digital Series Incubator is a four-day intensive program for writers and producers focused on script development, casting, audience development/discoverability, pitching, and financing for digital platforms.

  • Incubator-style group sessions on script development, financing, marketing and pitching.
  • Up to six producer/writer teams will be selected.
  • Limited enrollment for an intimate learning experience.

2018 news: Six producer-writer teams selected for inaugural Scripted Digital Series Incubator | Flickr Album

The Scripted Digital Series Incubator is an intensive four-day program that introduces emerging content creators to the key aspects required to ensure the successful development of an original scripted digital series. 

Up to six teams, each consisting of a producer and a writer, will be selected to participate in this program.


  • Script development
  • Casting
  • Audience development/discoverability
  • Pitching 
  • Financing


  • Create a more polished and marketable script with stronger characters and a narrative arc that is ready for the next stage of funding applications.
  • Gain the knowledge needed to create a strong funding application and learn about available funding options.
  • Build a marketing and audience engagement strategy.
  • Strengthen your industry network.


Following completion of the in-class sessions, participants will take part in a camera information session. Through instruction and hands-on opportunities, this 4-hour session is designed to familiarize participants with the various uses of and differences between the most popular cameras and lenses, as well as useful lighting setups. This hands-on module will provide teams with valuable insights into the creative uses of the equipment as it pertains to their project and its impact on both the creative development and financing/budgeting considerations.

The Scripted Digital Series Incubator is recommended for screen-based professionals with a minimum of five years’ experience in the film, television or digital industry who meet all other requirements as noted in the guidelines. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact Laurie Januska, Director of Programming.

Call for applications opens: NOW

Deadline: 11:59 PM (EDT), Friday, July 10, 2020


Thanks to the Foundation for WIFT Toronto, a bursary is available to cover the program fees for one team. Apply online by Friday July 10, 2020.


Both team members are expected to attend all sessions.

ZOOM Sessions

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM | Monday August 10, Tuesday August 11, Thursday August 13 and Friday August 14, 2020

Post-program Session: On-site camera workshop

Date & location TBA


Up to six teams, each consisting of a producer and a writer, will be selected to participate in this program.

Producer and Writer (both) applicants must have:

  • ‍Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Resident status
  • At least one digital series in development
  • Production experience demonstrated by produced credits in at least one of these formats: feature film, television movie, television series, television one-off, original short-form digital/web series, documentary OR two short films
  • Ability to attend all four days of in-class programming plus post-program camera information session

Producer applicants:

  • ‍Must be an independent producer
  • Must submit the application on behalf of the team
  • Cannot be the sole writer of the project with which you are applying
  • Must provide Chain of Title documentation that expires no earlier than December 31, 2020

Writer applicants:

  • ‍Must have signed agreement with producer to participate in program

Successful candidates must be prepared to submit a Non-Disclosure Agreement, produce a final report (a format will be provided), and provide a testimonial upon completion of the program.

WIFT Toronto members and non-members can apply, providing they meet overall eligibility.

2020 FEES


The rates for this program remains the same as last year.

WIFT Toronto Members: $500 (+ HST)/team

(at least one member of the team must be a WIFT Toronto member to get this rate)

Non-Members: $650 (+ HST)/team

* There is a $25.00 non-refundable application fee per team.


Complete the online application, then submit the following supporting documents:

  • Letter of Intent (max. two pages): What are your objectives for participating in this program? What is your development experience and how can this program increase your knowledge?
  • Professional bio (150 words max.) for each team member
  • CV/Resume including education and professional work experience (max. two pages) for each team member
  • Filmography (for each team member)
  • Log-line (one-sentence summary of your project)
  • Synopsis of your project (one-pager)
  • Development history, including strategy for long-term development of project
  • Script (at least 2 episodes)
  • Development budget (top sheet only)
  • Chain of Title documentation
  • applicants that have been selected will be asked for headshots for promotional use

Applications will be reviewed for eligibility, and successful applicants will be notified by end of day July 24, 2020. Program tuition will not be processed until enrollment is confirmed.


Thanks to the Foundation for WIFT Toronto, a bursary is available to cover the program fees for one team. Apply online by Friday July 10, 2020.

The Scripted Digital Series Incubator is comprised of four consecutive days of in-classroom learning led by industry practitioners chosen for their expertise in each subject area. In addition, guest speakers will share practical tips and best practices through case studies that highlight their experience in digital series production. 

Peer-to-peer learning among program participants will be encouraged and facilitated by group exercises and group critique/feedback.

Note: Instructors/Presenters are subject to change. Guest speakers will be announced at a later date.


Script Development

Jamie Gaetz | Script Reader, Story Editor, Consultant

An immersive first day inviting participants to not only work on their own projects, but also workshop other projects in the room. The goal is to bring the scripts to the next level. Through general discussion and small group sessions, relevant case studies, and exercises, Jamie Gaetz will guide participants as they:
  • Further understand how to create a more developed theme
  • Focus on character development
  • Gain a greater understanding of the implementation of plots and subplots, and how they work in tandem to build character dimension



Instructors TBA

Casting for your project has greater scope than finding and securing the right person for the part. It also has financial implications. This session starts with a discussion of the different budget considerations at play when signing an ACTRA contract and addresses the following topics:
  • The casting process;
  • How to work effectively with casting directors;
  • How to refine character descriptions; and,
  • How to best identify and book talent.
Audience Engagement/Discoverability

Kelsey Aikman | Director of Marketing and Communications, Marblemedia

Audience Engagement and discoverability have never been more important to the success of your project than they are now. Standard marketing strategies won't always work for new formats or distribution channels. A proper discoverability plan is key to attracting funders. Through exercises and cast studies, participants will:
  • Learn the importance of social media community-building and the major platforms involved;
  • Explore audience engagement strategies and the role of influencers
  • Create and implement a discoverability plan

READ: Audience Building: Meeting Fans on Their Own Terms (CMF Trends, June 2017)


Budgeting and Financing

Sasha Boersma | Co-Founder/Producer, Sticky Brain Studios

While many financial elements for content creation remain the same for most formats, there are some specific considerations for short format content creation. This session will explore both, outlining financial elements before delving into those specific to short format. Through relevant case studies, exercises and group discussion, the following topics will be addressed:
  • Available funding options for short format content creation;
  • Non-traditional funding (crowdfunding, crowdsourcing);
  • Budgeting (creating breakdowns and schedules; understanding how tax credits fit in; and gaining more insight on cash flow, insurance, bank financing, and more);
  • Reporting requirements; and,
  • Overview of federal and provincial regulations.


Persuasive Pitching

Instructor TBA

In this intensive full-day session, we will lead the participants through key persuasive modes of packaging andpitching—from the “how to position marketing,” to “attracting the decision makers and key talent,” to “learning thefeatures & benefits of a verbal and written presentation.” Participants can expect to learn in depth information throughcase studies and modules, as well as enjoy an interactive presentation session. Step up your pitching skills to getcloser to the YES.
Ready to bring your digital project to the next level?
Ready to bring your digital project to the next level?