The Helpful Reviewer

You’ve written a TV pilot – Now what?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The last few months we’ve been talking about writing for TV, mostly creating your own TV pilot. But what happens once you’ve done all of that hard work-- months and months of research, outlining, crafting your pilot, creating a detailed Bible, several drafts, until you finally have a full pilot script plus Bible in our hands? Then the real work begins! Yes, even though you probably feel like you’ve done enough work on your pilot, you still have a lot more to do if you want to get it into the right hands. So what are the steps you can take to get there? The following tips will help guide you:

  • Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite! A first draft is never a final draft. You need tons of rewrites until your script is ready to be shown to producers. Ask your writer friends, pay for a consultant, get coverage on your script, and use those constructive notes to better your script.
  • Upload your script to a script hosting site like Story Data. It’s a great way to connect with other writers, have producers find you, and connect with industry professionals.
  • Submit to contests and fellowships. Even though you have to pay a fee, if you’re serious about a career as a writer, contests are a great way to get your script seen by agents, managers and producers if it places among the top scripts. Managing to acquire representation is not easy in this industry, and winning contests is a great way to go about it.
  • Apply to network workshops and writing programs. Networks have great writing programs that not only teach and mentor writers, but also select some to join the staff of some of their shows.
  • Create awareness. In this day and age, having a social media presence is a great way to create your own brand and recognition. Twitter and Instagram are amazing ways to connect with other writers and people in the industry. Twitter is a great way to showcase your unique voice and get discovered, especially for comedy writers.
  • Work in TV/Film. Work your way up from PA to staff writer. You’ll get to know the ins and outs of working in the industry, make connections, and finally get your work read.
  • Networking is the most important tool for a writer. Go to festivals, writers meet ups, join writers groups, and connect with other people in the industry. Build on those connections, so when you have a superb script, you can ask someone to read it and hopefully pass it along.
  • Never stop writing. Your craft is your most important tool. Make sure to have multiple samples, as when a manager/agent shows interest, the first thing they’ll ask is what else you have. They’re not going to represent a one hit wonder. They need to make sure you can write more than one script.

  • Cody Smart

    Cody Smart

    Reviewer

    Cody is an independent writer and script doctor from Santiago, Chile. She attended the prestigious Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where she double majored in English Literature and Linguistics, with a minor in Dramatic Literature. She moved to L.A. and got her MFA in Screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, Universal Studios location, while at the same time working at Sony Pictures as a reader and story analyst. She also received two Certificates from UCLA, in Development and Producing for Film and TV.

    Aside from her years of experience as a studio reader, she’s a judge for multiple script and film competitions, has written some award-winning short films and feature film scripts, she’s been working as a script analyst and doctor for years helping writers take their scripts to the next level, and is currently the head of the coverage department at Story Data.