I’m so excited to be teaching my Writing a Half Hour Pilot Treatment at NYWIFT next Tuesday, March 12. The workshop shows you how to put together a presentation document, a treatment or “bible,” when you want to sell a TV show.
The seminar not only covers the technical aspects, we discuss how to write the pilot episode itself.
Here are the four main problems I see over and over:
1. The writer hasn’t focused on the concept or hook of the story, so however well written there’s nothing new for a potential buyer to want to buy.
2. The writer has not clarified what the series is really about: an unsolvable dilemma for the main character. Every successful show has a situation that can never be resolved. For example, in the classic show, Everyone Loves Raymond, Raymond is always torn between his desire to please his wife and his family. In each episode, he fights this battle, and never wins.
3. The writer hasn’t pushed him or herself to create really original material. Memorable characters and a good plot require hard work and research. Writers need to see and read everything that has gone before so they can see a new possibility.
4. Ultimately, what creates success is great writing. I’ll be going into more depth in the workshop. Hope to see you there.
I’m also excited to share that my former student, writer/director Diane Fraher, has been awarded a $50,000 grant to continue production on her feature length movie, The Heart Stays, which I helped her develop several years ago. It’s a great story, and I can’t wait to see the film!
Here’s where I need feedback. Students and colleagues have been requesting that I give a private group class. Here’s a description of the class:
TV Episode Boot Camp
Whip your half hour story into shape without crashing. This four-week class shows you how to:
- Write fast and efficiently.
- Work smarter.
- Master structure.
Please let me know if you’re interested in taking it. The dates are Tuesday nights, April 9,16th, 23rd, and 30th from 6:30-9:00pm. The cost is $300.00 with a discount if you’re from NYWIFT or NYU.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz