Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Write that TV Spec!

So I've chosen to write a spec TV pilot for my screenwriting class at On the Page. I was leaning toward making it a feature, but Pilar said that she thought the idea was fresher as a pilot, since she'd never seen anything like it on TV, but had seen features like it.

Here's the thing about writing a spec TV pilot - it's really really hard. You have to introduce an entire cast of characters that people will want to see for an hour every week, show the "franchise" - which is what viewers will see every week, tell an outstanding story, all in 50 pages. Crazy. You need five act breaks that will keep viewers interested through a commercial break. You need a strong protagonist with a complex background you only hint at. You need to keep it affordable. It needs to familiar enough that it doesn't alienate readers, but it needs to something new and fresh.

It's ridiculous! But that's part of the fun.


A said...

Wow. You know I never thought about all that in a pilot. I just kick back and watch hoping to get hooked. Thank goodness there are people like you who think all about that stuff so I can just zone out and watch. :-)

Nina Berry said...

It's amazing how much thinking and planning it takes to do an hour of programming that people watch and forget in a few minutes! :)