Write to TV: Out of Your Head and onto the Screen

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Overview

Learn to craft smart, original scripts and teleplays for a variety of television formats, including comedy, animation, drama, movies of the week, pilots, reality television, TV news magazine, and children's programming. Using the tools the author provides: checklists, sample outlines and treatments for each format, sample script pages, war stories from writers and executives, and a sample query letter to introduce finished script pages to agents, you'll avoid common pitfalls and come across as an industry veteran. Benefit from the experience of pros: 45 luminaries contribute their experience and wisdom, including Jay Leno, Mike Wallace, Norman Lear, Paul Haggis, writers for "Grey's Anaatomy," "Desperate Housewives," and more!

With twenty-five years of industry experience as a television writer and producer, Martie Cook teaches you not only how to hone your craft but also how to break into the industry. Guiding you through the often confusing television hierarchy, Write to TV offers practical advice on important issues such as how to get an agent, how to write a query letter, how to network, even how to "do lunch". By learning how to craft smart scripts for a variety of television formats and how to get your foot in the door and keep it there, this invaluable book will help you get that big idea out of your head, onto the page, and then to the top of the heap.

Learn how to craft smart scripts for a variety of television formats and break into the business through:
• Examples: In addition to examples of common pitfalls, book includes sample outlines for various formats.
• Industry wisdom: Benefit from the advice of an experienced writer. But you don't have to take her word for it—the book is filled with advice, stories, and examples from people currently working in the TV industry.
• Practical advice: Business section offers practical advice on important issues like getting an agent, how to write a query letter, and how to network your way into a job.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Martie Cook has one of the best minds out there when it comes to writing for television. Her experience and insight played a crucial role in shaping my writing career, and I'm thrilled for the aspiring writers who will surely benefit from the wisdom in these pages!"

– Jon Rineman, Writer, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

"Martie Cook's Write to TV is required reading for anyone considering a career in TV writing. More than any other single thing, I owe my success to following her teachings."

– Matt Fusfeld, Writer/Producer New Girl; Community; American Dad

"I think this is about the best book on writing for television out there. I hope it sells like crazy because television will be better for it."

– Peter Dunne, Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning Writer/Producer, CSI; Melrose Place; Dallas; Knots Landing; Author, Emotional Structure

"Write to TV takes you inside the minds of writers, producers, and network suits in this brutally honest book. A ‘must read’ for anyone who has the dream of making it in Hollywood. I wish I had read this book 20 years ago!"

– Glenn Meehan, Producer, The Talk; Little People, Big World; Entertainment Tonight

"Martie Cook’s Write to TV is the best book I’ve found on the subject in 20 years as a prime time writer/producer and 15 years as a college professor teaching the subject. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn the ins and outs of writing TV comedy and drama."

– Ross Brown, Associate Professor of Film and Media Arts, Dodge College at Chapman University; Writer, The Cosby Show; Who's the Boss?; Step By Step; Author, Create Your Own TV Series for the Internet

"Write to TV is an invaluable resource not just for writers but for anyone interested in getting the inside scoop about the way the industry works and how to break in. It gives an extensive overview of the current world of TV and a step-by-step guide for the new writer in town. It's anecdotal yet informational, entertaining yet insightful. Because the author has lived this experience, she can give a first hand step-by-step account of how you get from that first pitch to the on-screen credit."

– Libby Beers, Executive Producer, The Christmas Ornament; Bringing Ashley Home

"Martie Cook imparts a tremendous amount of knowledge in a way that is both easy to understand and entertaining. It is like having a mentor in book form."

– Christopher Crowe, Writer, The Last of the Mohicans; Fear

"Martie Cook’s Write To TV is a smart ‘How It Is’ book. It’s an inspiring and edifying insider’s first-hand experience and knowledge imparted lovingly and entertainingly. It’s a book you can’t set down once you begin and when you’re done you’ll know what it takes to be successful in breaking into the business—the rest is up to you."

– Hassan Ildari, Writer/Director, Face of the Enemy; Assistant Professor, Emerson College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240808765
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/15/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,390,744
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Martie Cook has over twenty-five years of experience as a television writer and producer and is a professor at Emerson College. She has written for such hit shows as “Charles in Charge”, “Full House”, “Joe’s Life”, and “One West Waikiki”. Her screenplay, Zachary’s Truth was a finalist in the Massachusetts Screenwriting Contest, and in the prestigious Chesterfield Writer’s Program, before being optioned by Universal Studios. Martie has served as writer/producer on “Real Life”, “Better Homes and Gardens”, “NBC Nightly News”, “The Today Show”, “Entertainment Tonight”, “America’s Most Wanted”, and the Emmy-award winning children’s show, “Zoom”.

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Table of Contents

PART ONE – HOW HOLLYWOOD WORKS; PART TWO - COMEDY; PART THREE – PRIMETIME DRAMA; PART FOUR – TELEVISION MOVIES; PART FIVE – CREATING ORIGINAL SERIES; PART SIX - CHARACTERS; PART SEVEN —DIALOGUE; PART EIGHT –HOW TO PITCH YOUR COMEDY, DRAMA OR MOW; PART NINE – TV NEWS MAGAZINE SHOWS; PART TEN – REALITY TELEVSION; PART ELEVEN – CHILDREN’S TELEVISION; PART TWELVE – THE BUSINESS SIDE OF TELEVISION; PART THIRTEEN – HOW TO GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR

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