TV Writing

Alex and Nick discuss television writing competitions, their personal experiences with them, and whether or not they’re worth participating in.

Which TV writing competitions are out there? What should you consider before paying and submitting your script? What do you actually get out of them? What if you win and nothing happens?

The Paper Team submits their entry fee…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What are screenwriting competitions? (00:32)
2 – Why you should enter TV writing competitions (01:56)
3 – Competitions that are out there and our own experiences (09:44)
4 – What you should consider before entering a competition (22:50)
5 – What if I win and nothing happens? What if my win is old news? (27:41)
Takeaways and Next Week On (31:42)

Links

Academy Nicholl Fellowships
Tracking Board’s Launch Pad
TrackingB
“Answers to the questions I’ve been asked” – Mickey Fisher
Austin Film Festival Competition
JHRTS Pilot Competition
How to Meet People in LA (When You Don’t Know Anyone) (PT03)
PAGE Competition
Final Draft’s Big Break Contest
Script Pipeline

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick go over everything you need to know to get started on writing your new pilot script, as well as some dos and don’ts for each step of the process.

How do you juggle writing a compelling hour of television versus only writing the first hour of a television show? Who is your target audience? What concepts and story archetypes exist in pilots? Why is this pilot story yours to write? What are some particularities of writing a TV pilot script?

The Paper Team sets up their premise…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – What makes a TV pilot, a TV pilot or “what it’s about and who it’s for” (0:56)
2 – The particularities of writing a pilot script (25:36)
Takeaways and Resources (54:31)

Links

“Disappointed – Hercules” (Video)
17th Precinct
“Sunset” (3×06 – Breaking Bad)
“Bringing the TV Writers’ Room Process Home” (PT06)
“Act Breaks” (PT15)
“Exposition in TV Writing” (PT24)

Resources

“TV Pilot Checklist” – Secret of Story
“TV Script Standards” – The Black List
“Write to TV” – Martie Cook

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick discuss how to turn an outline for a TV script (pilot or spec) into a fully-fledged draft.

Where should you begin? What if you’re stuck or don’t know where to start in a scene? What should you tweak and improve when looking back at your first draft? Should you use every option in Final Draft?

The Paper Team opens their screenwriting software…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1) Outline versus Draft (0:42)
2) Where to start? (2:23)
3) Scene Work (7:08)
4) Writing and refining the draft (14:51)
5) FAQs (22:23)
Takeaways and Resources (28:50)

Links

“Scribble version, final version” (John August)
The Wolf of Wall Street
Heat’s diner scene (Video)
Waze

Resources

Hemingway Editor
WordCounter

Special thanks to Jason J. Cohn for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick welcome Sam Miller, writer on YouTube’s Single by 30 and CBS’ Mom, to discuss his own process for creating a web series (L.A. Beer), the state of the format, his TV writing work, and being involved in JHRTS and the WGA.

How do you make and market your own independent web series? What are the differences between television writing and writing for a YouTube web series? What are the benefits of being involved in JHRTS and the Writers Guild of America?

The Paper Team skips the ad and goes straight to the content…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – Beginnings and making/marketing an independent web series (00:37)
2 – The relationship between professional web series and tradition television (18:13)
3 – Writing for TV versus a YouTube Red series (23:39)
4 – Being involved in JHRTS, the WGA, and how Sam sees the evolution of television content (28:32)
Recommendations and Outro (38:49)

Links

Sam Miller on Twitter
L.A. Beer
Machinima
Half-Life
“Small Screen, Big Picture” – Chad Gervich
LA TV Writers Yahoo Group
Desperate Housewives
Supah Ninjas
Mike Alber
Kirby Buckets
Chris Wu
Ali Chen
Jessica Kivnik
Greg Machlin
Andrew Orillion
The Exes
“L.A. Beer, First Web Series Filmed With Live Studio Audience to Launch” (Variety)
High Maintenance
Teachers (TV Land)
CW Seed
Broad City
Single by 30
Machinima, Inc.
Maker Studios
FullScreen
Todd Waldman
JHRTS
“#TheGreyBox: A TV Writing Chatroom” (TV Calling)
“Creating Your Web Series: Empowering Writers to do their Own from Concept to Completion” (Video)
WGF Library
James L. Brooks
Jeff Melvoin
“Farewell, Hulu! Hello, Criterion Channel!” (Criterion)
Seeso
CBS All-Access
YouTube Red Membership
WGAw (YouTube)
PGA (YouTube)
MIPCOM (YouTube)

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.


I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

650 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.


Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.


I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.


Write on.


P.S.: New around? You should start here.

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