Screenwriting: Creating the Bulletproof 1 Hour TV Pilot

Learn how to craft the professional television pilot from award-winning writer and producer Jeffrey Alan Schechter.
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

Pilot Season Never Ends!

The big opportunity for screenwriters has shifted dramatically from film to television, and the best way to get in the writing game -- TV & features -- is to write a professional, bulletproof 1 hour pilot script. A rock-solid 1 hour pilot script is not just a sample of your TV writing skills, but or your feature writing chops, too.

Thanks to cable, the Internet, and channels such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon the hunt for great shows is a year-round event. In this ONLINE VIDEO CLASS , Gemini award-winning television producer and two-time Emmy nominated TV writer Jeffrey Alan Schechter shows you how to structure the Bulletproof 1 Hour Pilot Script, teaching you the private system you can use to immediately to make your scripts professional and memorable.

In this online class you'll learn:

  • The 3 questions you need to answer before you write your pilot script
  • The 6 business reasons why an original pilot script is better than a sample episode of an existing series
  • The surprising insight why a 1 hour pilot script is also a killer feature sample.
  • The 4 reasons to write an episodic pilot and not a serialized one
  • The differences between cable & broadcast pilots (and which one is better to write)
  • The 5 essential steps to knowing your show
  • The 7 distinct characters you need to round out your cast.
  • A formula to quickly pitch your entire show (series, season, and episode)
  • The 9 bulletproof plot points of your Teaser & Act 1.
  • A step-by-step guide to tracking the A, B, and C stories through the entire script.
  • The 3 essential plot points that make up the final act and reset the episode so viewers are back next week, eager for more of your show.

The online class includes lifetime access to:

  • All lectures and updates, forever!
  • A downloadable file of all the key slides used in the course (a master course in pilot writing all by themselves)
  • The following downloadable breakdowns:
    • CSI:NY (Season 5, Episode 22) - This is a very clean Teaser/4 Acts breakdown of an EPISODIC show.
    • NCIS (Season 5, Episode 7) - One of the most popular shows on broadcast, this episode uses a Teaser/5 Act structure.
    • Breaking Bad (Season 1, Episode 6) - Some of the best writing on TV, this is an excellent example of a SERIALIZED show that follows the Teaser/4 Act structure but with heavy character development .
  • The following downloadable templates:
    • Blank Structure Template - 1 Hour, Episodic, Teaser/4 Acts
    • Blank Structure Template - 1 Hour, Episodic, Teaser/5 Acts
    • Blank Structure Template - 1 Hour, Serial, Teaser/4 Acts
    • Blank Character Template - A blank character chart to help you know which characters you need and what roles they play in your series.

You can find other courses that charge a lot more given by writers who work a lot less (sorry guys, you know it's true) but this is the only online course that packs this amount of current information into this concise a format with these many resources and all from a working writer who knows what you're going through and knows how to make it easier and better.

This course comes with a no hassle money back guarantee. After taking the class, if you don't think the information is worth it, tell us and you'll get your money back, no questions asked. And we'll still let you keep your access to the lectures, breakdowns, and templates. Just like Captain Kirk, we don't believe in the no-win scenario and neither should you.

Ready to get started? Good! Let's go write something AWESOME.

What are the requirements?

  • Ideally, a professional screenwriting program such as Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of the course you will be able to craft a professionally structured 1 hour pilot script. In addition, you will have an understanding of the business aspects of television writing so you can make an informed choice exactly what sort of pilot you should write.

Who is the target audience?

  • Aspiring and professional television writers
  • Screenwriters looking to increase their opportunities
  • Television and film executives and assistants
  • Anyone who loves television and storytelling

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction & The 3 Questions You Must Ask Before Writing Your Script

In this first lecture, Jeffrey Alan Schechter sets the tone for the course and discusses how the lack of a bulletproof 1 hour pilot is a big hole in every writer's resume.


Before setting out to write your pilot script there are 3 questions you need to ask yourself. The answers to these questions can make the difference between writing something that can help your career versus writing something that is a phenomenal waste of time.


Writing an original pilot script and not a spec episode of an existing series is the first key to working smarter, not harder.


While serialized dramas such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead are critical and commercial successes, the better script for aspiring TV writers to write are for episodic, procedural kinds of shows. In this lecture you'll learn why.


This lecture explores the truth that while there are only a handful of broadcast channels, there are dozens of basic, pay, and premium cable channels...many of which are looking for original content.


Wrapping up the concepts from lectures 2-5, this lecture adds an interesting component to consider when setting out to write your killer, rock-solid and bulletproof pilot script. Ignore the Smart Plan at your own peril!

Section 2: The 5 Steps to Pilot Script Awesomeness

'Knowing your show' not only means understanding what your show promises to deliver week after week, but also means understanding how your series concept can generate 100 episodes. And if your concept can't carry (at least!) 100 episodes, throw it under the bus and come up with something else.


In this first of two parts, you'll learn how to craft a heroic main character that your viewers will want to spend an hour with every week.


In this second of two parts, the secret to crafting strong, distinctive supporting characters is revealed.


Your series, seasons, and episodes can all be defined and shaped by understanding the 4 archetypes that make up every good story. This is truly the 'magic bullet' of defining concepts: easy to grasp and powerful to incorporate.


Vitally important to understanding your series is being able to distill it down into a simple paragraph that lays out the entire journey your series will take the viewer on. This 'QuickPitch' formula has been adapted specifically for television and helps focus a laser on the crucial elements your series should and must have.


4 Acts? 5 Acts? No acts at all? In this detailed lecture, the episodic structure is demystified and clearly laid out.


Carefully stepping through each plot point, this lecture reveals the strongest, cleanest template you can use when structuring your pilot script. Following this template guarantees a pilot script that can hold up to the highest commercial and professional standards.


It's short. It's powerful. It's the Big Secret to making your pilot memorable!

Section 3: Final Thoughts

In this short, final lesson, Jeffrey goes over a hit-list of questions that will frame the writing of your bulletproof pilot.

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Instructor Biography

Jeffrey Alan Schechter, Screenwriter, producer, consultant, and author

Jeffrey Alan Schechter is a WGA, WGC, Emmy, and BAFTA nominated writer, a Gemini-winning producer, and million dollar spec screenplay writer.

Jeff's worked extensively -- and constantly --in film and television over the last twenty years, and his unique and simple system of breaking down stories as well as managing the career of a working writer has not only been turned into the popular story development software, Contour, by Mariner Software, but is the subject of the bestselling book My Story Can Beat Up Your Story!published by Michael Wiese books. 

Jeff has taught all over the world is an entertaining and engaging speaker, both funny and honest, and cuts through the background chatter of writing theory to present a simple and professional system of screenwriting.

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