Harness a Unique Voice to Sell Your TV Pilot
ABOUT THE WEBINAR
- Would you like to write for the new golden era of television and streaming media, but creating a pilot from scratch sounds too intimidating?
- Is getting staffed in a TV writers' room a dream of yours?
- Do you have a great series idea, but the execution on the page isn't as great as it sounded in your head?
- Are readers, judges, agents, and managers not quite connecting with your script?
- Do your scenes, characters, and situations sometimes feel like we've “been there, done that”?
There's one major trait shared by every breakout pilot in this industry: a powerful and distinct writer's voice. In this class, we'll cut right to the chase by defining precisely what “voice” is, then teaching you tricks and techniques to identify your own unique voice while making sure it shines through in every scene you write.
We'll start by examining classic and popular pilots like Mr. Robot, The Office, The West Wing, 30 Rock, Orange Is the New Black, and others, breaking them down to discover how and why the author's voice is evident from the first sentence onward. Understanding what these pilots have in common is the first step to building your own breakthrough TV series.
This class is about way more than just dialogue—it's also about picking a powerful, contemporary theme; creating a surprising yet satisfying outline; developing three-dimensional, flawed characters; and building an original, eye-grabbing world within your pilot. You'll quickly learn why professional writers know that personal truth is the most important component to creativity in the TV world.
Timothy has taught screenwriting and filmmaking at New York University, Yale, the Writers Guild of America, and more, while consulting on hundreds of productions in NYC, L.A., and beyond. With his encouragement and experience as your guide, you'll be able to construct a TV pilot that only you could write, vastly increasing your odds of getting noticed—while broadening the possibilities of what screenwriting can be.
Once you're done with this class, you'll clearly understand why certain pilots and writers rise to the top—and how to emulate their best qualities in your own work. You'll enhance your craft by creating memorable dialogue, unique plot turns, unforgettable characters, and conflicts that feel both inevitable and surprising. Armed with Timothy's insight and passion, you'll leave this invaluable class armed with the skills to create an industry-ready pilot that's funny, wry, surprising, and poignant—and that displays your one-of-a-kind voice in each and every word.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
At the end of this information-packed class, you'll have learned:
- Why a highly developed voice is the common trait that all great scripts share
- What producers, agents, managers, and contests are REALLY looking for in work by new writers
- What voice is, and a breakdown of various techniques to incorporate it in your script
- How to provoke, intrigue, and seduce your audience with your words
- When and how often to deliver the chills, laughs, and twists the audience wants—and when to make even bolder choices to keep your audience on its toes
- The 4 ways to guarantee that readers keep turning your script's pages
- How to ensure that your voice shines through, even in your logline
- Why multidimensional, flawed characters with moral shades of gray are vital to keeping modern viewers engaged
- How to ensure that your script's tone perfectly matches its genre
- Which storylines from successful pilots work best for your particular concept
- How to follow classic screenplay structure without becoming predictable
- The 3 key differences between professional writers and amateur writers
- How to construct distinctive dialogue for each and every character
- Easy-to-master formulas to create powerful cliffhangers
- How to make bold, unexpected choices that amp up the stakes
- Clever strategies to capture the reader's attention from page 1
- How to turn potential clichés into unforgettable moments
- Two simple tips to make your life story and distinct worldview an essential part of your art
- How to stand out while discussing your work at pitch meetings, conferences, and networking events
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
- Writers eager to dive into the exploding world of network, cable, and streaming series
- Sitcom writers aiming to break out with a well-crafted pilot that gets sent around Hollywood
- Drama writers hoping to make a splash in the industry with their high-concept pilot
- Anyone looking to get staffed and/or to find representation with an agent or manager
- People who've written a number of spec scripts, but who want a structured approach to their first pilot
- Beginning writers seeking guidance as they outline new pilot ideas
- More experienced screenwriters who want to take their craft to the next level
- Screenwriters who'd like to place in major TV contests and fellowships (Austin, Sundance, Amazon, etc.)
- Journalists, novelists, and writers from other mediums seeking insight into the world of television pitching and pilot writing
- Creators who want to punch up or completely rewrite an existing pilot draft
- Anyone who has a unique story to tell, and realizes that TV is the best modern-day tool to make your voice heard!
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Meet the Author: Timothy Cooper
Timothy Cooper is a filmmaker, playwright, comedy writer, and teacher based in Brooklyn, New York. As the founder of Blueprint Screenwriting Group, he's worked with hundreds of writers and companies worldwide to help them sell their scripts and tell their stories through TV and film.
He wrote and directed the web sitcom Concierge: The Series, starring comedians from Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Bridesmaids, Last Comic Standing, ...