The Merge Summit Extension Program


introduction to television & film

The world of television and film entertainment is an onion with unlimited layers. This module will provide an overview of the key elements and processes of developing an original idea into a screenplay, script, or treatment and understanding studio/network delivery. Students will have guided development through their own project for the duration of the course.

Entertainment & artistry

If you are not in front of the trends, you are behind them. Learn how to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant in an ever-evolving social culture. This module is an introduction to mediums, platforms, and formats of artistic expression that are constantly evolving in the digital space. During this course, students will do intense studies on industry trends, budding new media, and gain a better understanding of consumer marketing, digital financing and more. Industry experts will share their insights and experiential knowledge to help students master navigating the digital worlds for themselves.

The independent way

From script to screen, studio to airways, and treatment to series the worlds of film and music have shifted. There is now more room for you to chart your own pathway than ever. You must learn how to navigate The Independent Way! This module explores the avenues artists and content makers take to chart their own paths in film and music. Aspiring filmmakers will learn about the innovative ways independent filmmakers are creating business models outside the studio system's tangle of finance and distribution. Aspiring artists will study success models of some of today’s and yesterday's biggest artists who have proven indie can still be major. All students will study independent distribution channels and hear from professionals that have already found success in independent commerce, other moguls and content giants.

Entertainment forward

Entertainment is no longer linear and confined to small stages and screens. Today entertainers can be found in every field from music to film to television to the theater to wrestling and tennis. Still, there remains a difference between entertainment and artistry. This course will provide an in-depth study of how to build an amazing career in entertainment by expanding on general industry knowledge for students. Students will learn how to hone their craft, find or build a lucrative management team, understand “the business” and the ever-changing standards of Hollywood, and continue to chart their own success plans. Through readings, class collaboration, discussion, and lectures from leading entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry, students will leave with an expanded view of how to visualize and establish a foundation for a career in the music industry, gain strategies to help them move closer towards their goals, and turn their passion into a money-making business.