1. Swagger
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    Swagger New Member

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    Script Writing for TV - Write an Entire Season or a Single Episode to Pitch?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Swagger, Jun 16, 2011.

    Hi all, newbie here, stumbled across these forums the other day and they are a GREAT resource. :cool:

    Just wanted to ask a question seeing days upon end of Googling haven't given any conclusive answers.

    Regarding scriptwriting for television - is it customary to have an entire season's worth of episodes written before you pitch the idea, or just a single episode sample to be used as a "pilot"? :confused:

    Obviously there are a million steps that need to be taken and a huge dose of luck, but just wondering what those in the industry expect to see in order to show interest in your idea.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I don't know all the details of how these things work, but having more than just the pilot is definitely a sensible plan: at the very least, have a few episodes, and know exactly what would happen in subsequent episodes so you don't draw a blank on them. If they like your pilot, they'll want to see more.
     
  3. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    Well I'm planning the same sort of thing as you. I live in the UK, where a lot of series only have 6 episodes per year, so I have all six planned out, the first one written, and I'm working on the second. Ideally, I would like to have six written. I think showing that much enthusiasm should help more if and when you pitch it. Well, ideally I'd like to have the first one filmed too, to give a better idea, but that's going to be hard to do.

    At the very minimum I would say have the pilot, and at least a breakdown of the next few episodes or maybe some story ideas for it.
     
  4. Diablo Robotico
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    Diablo Robotico Member

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    I don't know how it works in other countries, but in the U.S. people write a pilot script, and if it gets accepted, they film the pilot, and if that's entertaining, a network will then order a season (or half a season) of episodes. It might help if the creator has an idea of where the show is going, so they know they can depend on him or her, but the pilot itself is usually what decides if a show is picked up.

    Of course, it could be different in other areas, like the U.K., where the seasons are shorter and they might film all of the episodes at once, before the first one airs.
     
  5. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    Have the synopsis for the whole season and a script for one of them that would best show what the whole thing's about.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in the us, to propose a new series/sitcom, one must have a pilot script, several episode scripts, thumbnail synopses for the rest of at least a half-season's episodes and, most important of all, the 'bible' [you can google for details on what that consists of]...

    but the problem in the us is that no one in the industry will even look at proposals unless they're submitted by an agent, or the writer already works in the industry and has good connections to higher-ups... legal departments won't even allow unsolicited material arriving in the mail to be opened, much less read...

    i understand it's not that hard to break into writing for tv in the uk... and possibly the same in commonwealth countries...
     
  7. Swagger
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    Swagger New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the feedback all, much appreciated :)
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    any time, swagger... if you need any help with it, drop me a line... i mentor lots of aspiring writers for film and tv...

    hugs, m
     

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