So when the Summer first started I posted this blog post about wanting to really work on my own pilot episode for a tv show concept I’ve had floating around my head for years and years and YEARS. And I mentioned wanting to get that pilot done this Summer. I wanted to track my progress by posting updates here on MLW as I go, and yet here we are heading into Fall season and no pilot yet. Ugh! So frustrating! I do this to myself all the time.
I did start to write it, and then I just hit a wall. I just don’t know how to start it all. I have lived in this made up world of characters for so long but to put an official beginning to it all, is so challenging to me. I have all these ideas for my characters, and story arcs for further down the road, even further seasons down the road, but nothing for right now. I have tons of dialogue ideas and storylines for how love stories will play out, and who will be paired with who. But to actually sit down and come up with a way for it to all begin…I’m kinda lost. I have some vague ideas, but I don’t know how to put them into words. How does a writer write, without words?
You research I guess? Right?
I’ve rewatched some of my favorite tv show pilot episodes, and I’ve researched the writing process.
Here are a few things that I learned…
*Scripts can start with a teaser- which is up to 5 pages and shows location/short opening to the story.
*TV scripts usually have 45-63 pages.
*However, each page filmed is about a minute long give or take and so they advise you to keep script length between 50-55 pages.
*Scripts are broken into usually anywhere between 4-6 Acts.
*Scripts can contain character description.
*Act breaks signal commercials- the goal is to leave a solid “cliffhanger” at the end of each act.
*Each Act serves it’s own particular purpose:
Act 1-Current story at hand.
Act 2-Heavy Conflict, trying to get out of it.
Act 3- Lowest point, conflict winning.
Act 4- Characters begin to prevail.
*Each 5 Act teleplay should be between 9-12 page Acts, while 4 Act plays should be 15 pages per Act.
*Less is more- do not over describe in script, just enough to convey style and atmosphere, and substance-dialogue included-to not overwrite dialogue. Ask yourself does the character NEED to say this?
So let’s hope these tips can help me on my pilot writing journey.
More updates to come soon!
I’ve still got a long way to go!
* I do not take credit for the image used. *