- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: moon & sun & whiskey, Incorporated; unknown edition (August 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615533612
- ISBN-13: 978-0615533612
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 132 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing the Pilot Paperback – August 29, 2011
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About 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,
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This is why "Writing the Pilot" is such an essential read - highly informative and crystal clear. But, and this is a big but, writing TV specs is one thing and selling them is quite another as explained in the last chapter. In fact, only established writers manage to sell specs; this is not something the average professional novelist can hope to do, much less the newbie. In that sense, if you thought you could learn to write specs in order to sell them to TV networks, you're in for a disappointment.
The book however is very useful to help you think through your novel: the approach, the structure, the pace. Some of the advice applies straight to novel writing and it's not the kind of advice you normally get in your MFA course. Which is why I highly recommend it.
After reading this book - a quick and easy read - I'm not a whole lot closer to having the format of the teleplay mastered, but I do have a much more concise idea about what it takes to make a worthwhile pilot. It's about ending up with something much more that fifty-some-odd pages. It's about creating something that can sustain dozens and hundreds of such scripts and setting it up properly.
The author's advice is very practical and down-to-earth, with plenty of contemporary real world examples. He discusses the viability of the pitch pilot in the contemporary TV business but gives you realistic expectations about the challenge of it. I'm convinced that in the current day, writing a pitch pilot is something every aspiring writer should be doing, not because it's going to sell and make them rich, but because it's part of what makes you a TV writer.