Writing the Pilot

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Overview

Television networks are so desperate for new voices and fresh ideas that for the first time in history they're buying spec pilot scripts and turning them into series. Today's aspiring writer can be tomorrow's showrunner. But it's not easy. Conceiving and writing a pilot that can launch a series is a complex assignment even for a seasoned pro. This book will take you through the entire process, from your initial idea through the finished script. You'll learn how to identify a concept that can carry one hundred ...
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Overview

Television networks are so desperate for new voices and fresh ideas that for the first time in history they're buying spec pilot scripts and turning them into series. Today's aspiring writer can be tomorrow's showrunner. But it's not easy. Conceiving and writing a pilot that can launch a series is a complex assignment even for a seasoned pro. This book will take you through the entire process, from your initial idea through the finished script. You'll learn how to identify a concept that can carry one hundred episodes or more; how to create characters who will stay interesting year after year; how to design the unique world those characters will live in; how to identify the essential elements that will set your series apart from everyone else's; and most importantly, how to capture it all in one 60-page script.

Riverside-Palm Desert's low residency MFA program.

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Walter
Here is a sometimes touching, often hilarious, always insightful book on writing that is enormously useful not only to writers of TV pilots but also novelists, poets, and all souls who traffic in creative expression. In a voice that is at once lighthearted and serious, and perpetually engaging, William Rabkin reveals the rules to follow and also those to break. He tackles both the artistic issues regarding story, character, dialogue and more, and provides a road map for navigating the occasional
Aimee Thurlo
If you've ever thought of writing a TV pilot script, buy this book, then read it from start to finish two or three times. Rabkin's insider narrative is spot on.
Veteran television writer and showrunner William Rabkin, as usual, spells it out with focused logic and clear, real-life examples. If this book doesn't help you hammer out a decent pilot script, hang up your keyboard and try crochet.

Focused, insightful, and absolutely practical guidance from a television industry insider
Mark Haskell Smith
Packed with wit and wisdom, William Rabkin gives a TV insider's perspective and tells you what you need to know to write a successful pilot. It's like having your very own scriptwriting Guru.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615533612
  • Publisher: moon & sun & whiskey, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 240,498
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

William Rabkin is a veteran showrunner whose executive producing credits include the long-running Diagnosis Murder and the action hit Martial Law. His recent writing credits include Monk, Psych, and The Glades. He has written a dozen pilots for broadcast and cable networks, and written and/or produced more than 300 hours of dramatic television. He currently teaches screenwriting in the University of California, Riverside-Palm Desert's low residency MFA program. You can find him at writingthepilot.com.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    An Insider's Tips For Writing (And Selling) A Spec Pilot Script

    I'm not a screenwriter and have no desire to become one, but William Rabkin's "Writing The Pilot" ebook popped up on my radar, and because clients are badgering me for video scripts, I thought I'd take a peek (the price -- at $4.99 -- is right)

    First, this is not a basic "how-to" book filled with formatting directions and an overview of the industry.

    Instead, Rabkin's aiming directly at screenwriters with a command of the basics -- people who know how to write screenplays, but now want to write their way into a TV career courtesy their own spec script.

    He suggests the industry is suddenly very willing to look at pilot scripts from freelancers, and the meat of the book tells you how to create (and write) not only the script, but also build a show with some legs.

    Rabkin includes chapters about characters (lead and supporting), "The Conflict," "The Franchise" as well as "Why Write A Pilot" and even the very hopeful "The Fun."

    It's a worthwhile read (and an affordable one).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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