How to Write a 1 Hour TV Pilot and Position it to Sell it in Today's Market

It's Introduce Yourself Weekend at Stage 32! Head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Stage 32 Lounge and let everyone know who you are, what you're working on, your dreams and aspirations. And be sure to peruse other member's threads. You never know when you're going to make a connection that changes your life!

Taught by Steve Iwanyk

$189

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$189.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Class hosted by: Steve Iwanyk

Producer at Tongal

Steve Iwanyk is a producer at Tongal and a former literary manager for The Gotham Group. Gotham is one of the largest entertainment management companies in the business representing writers, directors, producers, content creators, illustrators, authors, publishing houses, and artists for live action television and film, as well as new media, animation, family entertainment, and publishing. Steve has worked primarily in the television drama space, helping to oversee Gotham’s first-look producing deal with Legendary TV, but had clients working in features, as well as publishing, and previously worked with film & TV producer Gavin Polone, and in the Motion Picture Talent Department at the Creative Artists Agency. Full Bio »

Summary

Part 1 - Playing the Field

Steve discusses the kinds of 1 hour TV pilots networks are looking for, and more importantly, what kinds they are not. He talks about the differences between cable, network, and online (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) as well as the differences between procedurals and serialized series.

Part 2 - Character and Structure

Steve leads a discussion on characterization. He runs through some of his favorite TV characters and explores the development process most networks go through to amp up the characterization in scripts. He also explores supporting cast, archetypes, structure and act breaks.

Part 3 - Creating an Engine to Your Show

Steve discusses the engine of a TV show. He runs through the importance of a clear week-to-week and explores series longevity and how to craft story lines that can stretch out for 3-8 years.

 

What You'll Learn

"Steve is a really great instructor in that he conveys information really well - thorough, concise, clear." - Robbi C.

"I found the breakdown of different kinds of TV shows very helpful for my planning process, as well as the information on which different kinds of shows are sought, and why." - Barbarba C.

"Steve really gives you a sense of how the life of a writer is out there. A real eye opener. So helpful!" - Rodrigo A.

"Really appreciate seeing the CAA pitch guidelines. Very helpful!!" - Celeste W.

"Wow... so many variables in the TV world to explain. Steve did a magnificent job considering everything he had to cover." - Sylvia L. 

This is a 3 part class taught by producer and former literary manager Steve Iwanyk who sold his client's series, Scorpion, to CBS! Nearly all the executives we work with are on the hunt for 1 hour TV pilots. Venues showcasing TV series continue to pop up at a rapid pace and a lot of our writers have been signed off their 1 hour TV pilot script. As the demand for TV continues to rise it's important that you have a TV pilot in your portfolio that showcases your voice, perspective and talent. One of our favorite success stories is from one of our writers, Michael Madden, who had a solid 1 hour TV pilot which got him signed to Benderspink and ICM in Hollywood. Working with the Stage 32 Happy Writers helped catapult him to became a full time writer on ABC's Black Box.

Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you this 3 part class: How to Write a 1 Hour TV Pilot and Position it to Sell in Today's Market taught by Steve Iwanyk, a producer at Tongal and a former Manager at Gotham Group. Learn the “whys” and “hows” of writing a TV pilot, what executives are looking for and what to focus on when trying to break in with your new pilot.

 

Here's a sample of what to expect in this class:

 

 

Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.
Steve is no longer sending out or reviewing the assignments, however we still encourage all creatives to participate in the exercises!

About Your Instructor

Steve Iwanyk is a producer at Tongal and a former literary manager for The Gotham Group. Gotham is one of the largest entertainment management companies in the business representing writers, directors, producers, content creators, illustrators, authors, publishing houses, and artists for live action television and film, as well as new media, animation, family entertainment, and publishing. Steve has worked primarily in the television drama space, helping to oversee Gotham’s first-look producing deal with Legendary TV, but had clients working in features, as well as publishing, and previously worked with film & TV producer Gavin Polone, and in the Motion Picture Talent Department at the Creative Artists Agency.

Testimonials

"Steve is a really great instructor in that he conveys information really well - thorough, concise, clear." - Robbi C.

"Steve really gives you a sense of how the life of a writer is out there. A real eye opener. So helpful!" - Rodrigo A.

"Really appreciate seeing the CAA pitch guidelines. Very helpful!!" - Celeste W.

"I find Steve's style, pace and information very sound in providing the information of the class." - Debbi O.

"Learned a ton of information. Thank you!" - Geno S.

"Steve was great. Very personable. Great presenter." - Gail D.

"Wow... so many variables in the TV world to explain. Steve did a magnificent job considering everything he had to cover." - Sylvia L.

"I found the breakdown of different kinds of TV shows very helpful for my planning process, as well as the information on which different kinds of shows are sought, and why." - Barbarba C.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Excellent class! Very thorough and well thought out/presented. The best webinar/class I've taken yet at Stage 32. This one is well worth every penny!
  • Quick and informative

Other education that may be of interest to you:

David Harris, Producer (Security, Antonio Banderas)

Stage 32’s Director Script Services, Jason Mirch and Guest Panelist David Harris (producer on dozens of films, including SECURITY with Antonio Banderas) ago over writer’s pitches, both live and written, to help improve each pitch.

Crash Course: Writing Dynamic Scenes

Back by popular demand, Stage 32 Next Level Education brings you Max Adams, 20-year working screenwriter and acclaimed author who has worked with Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures!  You will also learn about static locations vs. clear, wider, more open locations and how they can work for and against you in your writing. You will also have a clear understanding on how to use motion and action to move your screenplay forward. You will walk away having all the tools and techniques necessary to apply to fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays to make visuals and action “real” on the page - an art unto itself and something that can separate your work from the pack. You will learn how to create compelling visuals on the page that will catapult your writing into an unforgettable — and visual — experience for your readers on the page, and your audience on the screen. The immediacy of motion on a film screen, and its necessity, sets film writing apart from every other written medium on the planet. And is the difference on the script page — and film screen — between selling — or that script dying in a drawer, and that film never being made.  

The Executive Hour with Tripper Clancy

This week Jason welcomes screenwriter Tripper Clancy, who wrote the summer's smash comedy hit, Stuber for 20th Century Fox! Tripper went on to write comedies and dramas of all shapes and sizes for Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Amazon, Netflix, MGM, Fox Animation, Paramount Animation, and Hasbro. He recently adapted the New York Times’ bestselling novel, The Art of Fielding, and writes on Season One of "I Am Not OK With This", a half-hour show for Netflix and is currently developing a series with Quibi. During the webcast, Tripper talks about finding an agent, selling and developing Stuber, being in the writers' room of a Netflix series, and the best advice he ever received! 

TV Series Pitch Document Writing Lab (One on One Mentoring)

Lab Full!  If you are still interested in joining, contact edu@stage32.com By popular demand, we're bringing in TV executive Anna Henry (who has 100% satisfaction with her webinars!) to teach a one-on-one TV pitch document writing lab! Need help with writing your TV series pitch document? Look no further! Anna's here to help. "I thought it was a great course and really helped me understand the format. Anna is knowledgeable and quickly cuts through to what can help your story better. Her notes on my script were insightful and really demonstrated her thorough experience." - Lee L. "Anna’s class was by far the most thorough, well put together, and organized screenwriting class I’ve ever taken. I have an MFA in filmmaking and, after graduating, I still felt as if I didn’t fully understand the structure of pilot writing. Anna’s class laid it out step by step and she went through every piece in detail. She was also extremely available to her students. During our one-on-one sessions, I expected to have a quick 15 minute call with her but she ended up speaking extensively with me about my story from outline through script stages. She really, truly cares for her students and is there to answer any questions, which, given her abundant experience in the industry, is a priceless piece of her labs. Thank you, Anna!" - Jacqueline D. "Anna was concise, and detailed. I've been working on log-lines/treatments/synopsis for 2 years for my scripts and never had it nailed like Anna was able to do. She rocks!" - Cheryl Lynn S. This is the golden age of television and the appetite for content has never been greater. What does everyone network and streamer want? Fresh, unique, authentic voices with never-been-told stories. While the door is open to new writers, the competition is fierce. Of course you need a very strong finished script, but before that will be read, you need to be able to communicate what makes your show stand out from the crowd, what will make people want to watch it for years and years, and why you are passionate about writing it. You need a blueprint of what the series will be beyond one episode. That's where a pitch document (aka bible, aka treatment) comes in. Whether you are selling your show verbally, sending the pitch to a potential producer, or applying for a fellowship, this document carries the weight of your imagined world with all its inhabitants and stories. That's a tall order! So where do you begin? How do you organize your ideas? What should be in a pitch? How detailed should you get? Should you start with a summary of the pilot? Should you have ideas for future episodes? What should you say about your characters? In this lab we will delve deep into writing an effective pitch for your scripted television idea - one that will clearly communicate your intentions, excite the reader, and convey your voice and your passion. I have spent my career developing television projects with writers and selling those show ideas as a development executive, manager and producer. What I have found is that most screenwriters have taken classes that helped them learn about story structure, writing scenes, dialogue, etc. but writing a pitch is entirely different. Most writers need help with switching gears and selling their story in addition to telling it - which is the purpose of this lab.   Payment plans are available - contact edu@stage32.com for more details

The Breakdown Webcast: Writing Animation

In this breakdown webcast, Jason discusses how the process for writing animated features has evolved from Walt Disney's first animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to Pixar's most recent 3D animated releases. Jason discusses how writing for animation is similar to live action and where the process differs. Using scenes and scripts from Up, Wall-E, Bug's Life, "The Simpsons" and more as examples, Jason explains how to apply the principles of animation writing to your work. 

Writing, Directing & Distributing Your Short Film

Part 1 - Writing, Budgeting & Pre-Production How to write an effective short script The brainstorming process Utilizing real life experiences, what are memorable moments in your life that stick out to you? Moments in a friend’s life? Creating characters: What topics do you uniquely understand? What jobs have you held? What did your parents do for a living? Where did you grow up? Writing in proper format What is the difference between writing “is working” and “works” in a screenplay and why does verbiage matter when writing action? Should I put my WGA and copyright notices on the title page? The business of making a short film What do I need to do to protect myself? Creating an LLC and lawyering up for the right reasons. How much is this really going to cost? Evaluating SAG Short Film Agreements, cost of renting equipment, everything from lighting to locations, and looking forward to release and distributions, what are the costs beyond the actual production of a film? Logistically, how will I be able to execute all the elements? How do I handle room and board for out of town talent? Is there a local film commission I can work with, and if so, what exactly is their role in helping me execute my vision? Part 2 - Directing, Marketing & Distributing Your Film Preparing to direct and the production process What do I need to do before I get to set? What is the purpose of having location walkthroughs? When and how to I make the shot list and how many shots do I really need? How do I make my vision clear to crewmembers while still being collaborative in the process? How do I work with an actor for the first time? How much say should they have in the script and changing the character? Should I allow an actor to change my lines? How do I follow their emotional journey over the course of shooting a film that is totally out of order so it makes sense in the final product? When problems arise on set, how do I respond? What are best practices to maintaining authority without creating conflict? How do I ensure that everyone is getting the proper attention they need so I can avoid problems? What happens if I find out we didn’t shoot something we needed? How do I work with footage or sound that didn’t come out the way I expected? How long should my final product be so I can be successful at film festivals? Marketing your film What can I do to promote my film before we ever start filming? When is the appropriate time to start promoting? What kind of promotion looks and feels professional versus amateur? Is there such a thing as oversharing information on social networks? During production, how can I use my cast and crew to promote the project? What parameters should I set to not give away plot points? What is the role of a still photographer on set and how can I leverage the still photographer for publicity? How do I reach out to press outlets to promote my film? How do I find out what press outlets are the right ones for my film, and how do I even get a journalist interested in covering it? What makes an effective versus ineffective pitch letter? Releasing your film What makes an effective trailer? How can I best prepare and present the trailer and still photos for promotional purposes? Should I create a Facebook page for my film and a website and a Twitter and an Instagram, etc.? How do I get into Sundance? If I don’t get into Sundance, is my career finished? There are entirely too many film festivals, how do I begin to figure out which ones are good and which ones are bad? What are effective ways of meeting, then following up, with producers and gatekeepers that I meet at these events? What kind of communication does an executive find annoying? Should I sell my film or give it away for free? If I give it away for free, how will I be able to pay myself back? How do I quantify if my film was a success? How do I use the short film to get myself ready for my next project? What if the film didn’t come out the way I wanted, am I completely done as a filmmaker? How do I use the lessons I learned to make my next project better? Now that I’ve made my first short film and loved it, how do I make this my full time job and become a professional filmmaker?

register for stage 32 Register / Log In