Tag: TV Online Writing Class

5 QUESTIONS FOR WRITING A TV PILOT THAT SELLS

by on Nov.19, 2017, under Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

Jen Grisanti5 Questions for
Writing a TV Pilot that Sells

Guest Post by Jen Grisanti,
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot

Writing the TV pilot is one of the most challenging scripts to write,
and to write well.
I’ve helped in the development of thousands of scripts over the past 20 years. I was a
Studio Executive at two major studios for 12 years, I am currently a Writing Instructor
at NBC, and I’ve been a Story/Career Consultant for 10 years.

From the 48 pilots sold from the writers I’ve worked with since starting my business 10 years ago,
there are the five questions that I believe every writer should ask themselves when they are writing
their TV pilot:

  1. Does my series trigger push my central character into a powerful enough dilemma to set up season one?
  2. Is there a personal component that sets up the personal dilemma of my central character?
  3. Does my central character actively make a choice in the pilot trigger and dilemma that leads to a pursuit?
  4. Is my pilot goal clear?
  5. How do I setup the series?

Trigger & Dilema

With your series trigger and dilemma, you want to think about something that happens to your central character
that knocks their life out of balance. At this point in the story, your central character is often reactive versus active.
The dilemma should make us feel empathy for your character.

Personal Component

With the personal component, you are setting up the personal dilemma of your central character that leads to the
professional pursuit. This sets up the void. The pursuit is one step towards filling this void. With the personal part,
you want to think about the arc of the wound. The best pilots have a childhood wound that the series trigger and
dilemma splits open. The personal component in your story is the emotional part of your story.

Central Character

With the pilot arc, your central character goes from being reactive to active. With the setup of the series arc, they react to what happens to them. Then, they make an active choice that leads to the setup of the pilot arc. In the pilot arc, we should be clear about what your central character wants and why they want it by the end of Act One.

Pilot Goal

If the pilot goal is not clear, the story doesn’t work. In each act, the central character should take an action, hit an obstacle, and the stakes should be raised to the pilot goal. If the goal is not clear, you cannot link these points. We should feel what your character wants and what is in the way for every scene.

Series Set Up

After the resolution of the pilot arc, you need to set up the series. When I see this done well, it bookends
what happened in the series trigger and dilemma setup and helps to build the next level of the concept. The
point of this is to make your audience so enthralled that they can’t wait to see what happens next.

Mastering a story by utilizing the right tools is what will lead you to a sale.

* * *

International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc.,
writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current
Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post, and author of the books,
Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and
Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Her new video series is
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot. Learn more.

Read my Q&As with Jen on Story Line and Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

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Storywise 10-Week TV Spec & Pilot Teleseminar 2018

by on Oct.06, 2017, under events, Featured

This is a 10-week program designed to help you write a high quality TV pilot AND spec script. In 10-weeks, I will teach you how to learn to write at a level that will help lead your script to a sale, get staffed on a show, place in a writing competition or get into one of the various writing programs. This course is everything that I teach in Writers on the Verge and more.

Last year we had over 100 writer participants from all over the world. You will not only learn all of the story tools that you need to succeed, you will gain the opportunity to be in a private community of writers. This community is a very valuable resource. You all will have the opportunity to learn from one another via networking, exchanging scripts and possibly starting your own writer groups.

I’ve seen the success from this course first-hand. Many of the writers who have taken this 10-week course have gone on to sell pilots, get staffed on TV shows and get into several of the prestigious writing programs. Forty-Five of my writers have sold pilots… and 5 of them have gone to series.

Each class will consist of a half-hour of instruction (you will receive these videos before each class to watch at your leisure.) Each call is approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours in length. On each call, we will go over the notes for the 4 writers participating at Level #3 and I will choose one writer from Level 2 or Level 4 each week to participate. You will have an opportunity to read their scripts and make your own notes each week. You will also get to share your notes with those writers directly. This is what we do in Writers on the Verge. It is a way to prepare you for being in the Writers’ Room. Then, five people that sign up each week will get an opportunity to pitch to a guest speaker. We all learn from hearing others pitch. This part of the program was designed to help you learn from the pitching style of others as well as give you the opportunity to pitch yourself. It’s an invaluable tool. Every level will have an opportunity to sign up for this.

LEVEL 1

At Level 1, you get to participate in all 10 classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. You will also get to turn in a 1-2 page pitch document on your TV spec and TV pilot script. You will receive written feedback. You have up to a year after the course is finished to turn this in.

Regular rate – $375.00

 

Rate for writers who have taken this before – $225.00

 

 

LEVEL 2

At Level 2, you get to participate in all 10 classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. This level also includes a one-on-one consult for your TV spec and/or TV Pilot script.

Level 2 w/ TV Pilot Consult

Regular Rate – $1,050.00

For Alumni of my Storywise Teleseminar – $900.00

 

Level 2 w/ TV Spec Consult

Regular Rate – $875.00

 

For Alumni of my Storywise Teleseminar – $775.00

 

Level 2 w/ TV Pilot and Spec Consult

Regular Rate – $1,600.00

 

For Alumni of my Storywise Teleseminar – $1,275.00

 

LEVEL 3

At Level 3, you will receive feedback every week on your TV spec and/or TV pilot script. This includes written and verbal feedback. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community.

 

For the first time, I am going to offer you the option of not writing a TV spec. You can either write one TV pilot during the 10 weeks or you can write 2 TV pilots during the 10 weeks.

 

There are only 4 SLOTS for this level: two for drama and two for comedy. If you are interested in applying, you will need to submit 10 pages of a script. The submission deadline is 1/31/18. I will select 4 submissions out of everyone that submits and announce these slots in February. The rate for Level 3 is $3,000.00.

 

The DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is January 31, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. PST.

 

LEVEL 4

At Level 4, you will receive written/verbal notes back every week on your scripts. This includes an in person or online meeting every week either alongside the teleseminar or as you prefer. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch two times to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community.

There are only 4 slots available at this level.

 

 

 

ASSIGNMENTS

The Level #3 writing assignments will be due the Saturday before each class. Everyone at each level will receive a copy of the assignments turned in by the Level #3 writers so that they may follow along as well as provide notes directly to the Level#3 writer.

 

Levels #1 and #2, you will do the assignments on your own. No direct feedback is provided; however, this is where you can use the Facebook community of writers to exchange scripts weekly and get feedback.

 

 

SCHEDULE

Week 1 – Tuesday March 6, 2018

We will go over the notes for the concepts of the spec scripts for Level #3.

 

Week 2, Tuesday March 13, 2018

We will go over the notes for the outline of the spec scripts for Level #3.

 

Week 3, Tuesday March 20, 2018

We will go over the notes for the first draft of the spec scripts for Level #3.

 

WEEK 4, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

We will go over the notes for the second draft of the spec scripts for Level #3.

 

*EASTER BREAK THE WEEK OF 4/1/18

 

WEEK 5, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

We will go over the notes for the third draft of the spec scripts for Level #3.

 

WEEK 6, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We will go over the notes for the concepts for the pilot scripts for Level #3.

 

WEEK 7, Tuesday April 24, 2018

We will go over the notes for the outlines for the pilot scripts for Level #3.

 

WEEK 8, Tuesday May 1, 2018

We will go over the notes for the first draft or first half of the first draft of the TV pilot scripts for Level #3.

 

WEEK 9, Tuesday May 8, 2018

We will go over the notes for the second draft or full-first draft of the TV pilot scripts for Level #3.

 

WEEK 10, Tuesday May 15, 2018

We will go over the notes for the third draft of the TV pilot scripts for Level #3.

 

 

GUEST SPEAKERS will be announced in February of 2018.

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