How to Write a TV Pilot That Can Get You Staffed!

Taught by Amanda Toye

$249

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, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$249.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Class hosted by: Amanda Toye

TV and Film Writer & Former Development Executive

As a former Development Executive, Amanda Toye collaborated with celebrated writers to develop numerous projects across film, television, and digital. She has worked for several production companies including, David Friendly Productions (Little Miss Sunshine), Imprint Entertainment (Twilight Series), Sander/Moses Productions (Ghost Whisperer, Reckless), and Little Engine International (Missing, Rush.) As a writer, Amanda is the creator of the award winning web series Technium (Forge Apollo Cynopsis Award/ Winner, Best New Series, Academy of Web TV Awards/ Winner, Best Writing), she has a script deal with Discovery Networks, and her feature film, Mad River Valley (Good Deed Ent.), films in 2017. Amanda was born on a farm in Vermont and has lived and worked in the U.S., Asia, and Central America, traveling to over 50 countries throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Central America, and South America, researching international media, storytelling, and local folklore. Full Bio »

Summary

Part 1 - Overview of the Staffing Process

Amanda discusses the strategy and steps of the staffing process from the studio, network and production company perspective. You will gain incite into what producers are looking for from a staffing sample and how to improve your chances of standing out in crowd.

Part 2 - Tips for Writing an Original Pilot

A discussion on the creation of a strong, unique and memorable original pilot; Choosing the right concept to display your original voice, crafting characters who can last for seasons and improving dialogue skills.

Part 3 - Pilot Format, Structure and Plotting

Amanda details structure and formatting techniques, for drama and comedy, as well as the importance of a strong, steady plot and why you need to keep the reader engaged with big plot moments every few pages in a staffing sample.

Part 4 - Spec Scripts & Next Career Steps

Amanda answers why it’s important to have a spec script to send as a follow up to your original pilot, and how to write a spec script through copying an existing show’s voices and format. She also covers reaching out to agents, managers, and studio training initiatives with your writing samples.

 

Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.
Although Amanda is no longer handing out or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!

What You'll Learn

"This class was amazing! Was invaluable insight and instruction!" - Becca Boyd

 

It's every writer's dream to become a working writer, and in today's TV-driven marketplace it's all about having the right sample to show a manager, agent and/or show runner. That one sample can lead you to a full time writing job on new and popular TV shows. So many agents and managers that we know are thirsty for well written TV pilots because they know a good sample can get that writer work. A lot of our biggest success stories are from writers with a well written, unique TV pilot.

Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class taught by Amanda Toye, a former development executive who has worked on over 100 projects turned professional writer with a script deal at Discovery Networks and a feature script filming through Good Deed Entertainment November 2017!

Learn the insider tips and tricks to help you write a truly great TV pilot that gets you staffed!

About Your Instructor

As a former Development Executive, Amanda Toye collaborated with celebrated writers to develop numerous projects across film, television, and digital. She has worked for several production companies including, David Friendly Productions (Little Miss Sunshine), Imprint Entertainment (Twilight Series), Sander/Moses Productions (Ghost Whisperer, Reckless), and Little Engine International (Missing, Rush.) As a writer, Amanda is the creator of the award winning web series Technium (Forge Apollo Cynopsis Award/ Winner, Best New Series, Academy of Web TV Awards/ Winner, Best Writing), she has a script deal with Discovery Networks, and her feature film, Mad River Valley (Good Deed Ent.), films in 2017. Amanda was born on a farm in Vermont and has lived and worked in the U.S., Asia, and Central America, traveling to over 50 countries throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Central America, and South America, researching international media, storytelling, and local folklore.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 2 to 4 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you cannot attend a live class and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the class afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Testimonials

"This class was amazing! Was invaluable insight and instruction!" - Becca Boyd

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

  • This class was amazing. I wish I had been able to take it live, and I think I'd like to take it again if she offers it again, live. Was invaluable insight and instruction.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Make it in Hollywood: Without Packing Your Bags and Moving There

Learn directly from Amanda Toye, a producer who developed over 100 drama, comedy, and reality projects to network and cable! Many filmmakers and writers struggle with the question of whether to relocate to Los Angeles or New York to build their careers. But for many, the realities of that are very difficult with money, family, other jobs, and roots already formed in another home. For international filmmakers, it can be an even more difficult transition. The good news is that because of the shifting landscape of the Hollywood system, it has never been more accessible from anywhere in the world. The expanding of a global marketplace, and the door opening opportunities of the digital revolution have made it possible for anyone to become noticed by Hollywood and share their work with an appreciative audience. In this lecture we’ll cover everything you need to know to get noticed, and begin building the kind of career you weren’t sure you could have without making the sacrifice of moving to Hollywood. Having worked with International Studios evaluating and discovering content creators from all over the world, and specializing in bridging the gap between innovative digital practices of development, distribution, fan development and Hollywood, Amanda Toye has worked with filmmaker, writers, and content creators from all over the world from her office in Los Angeles. She currently splits her time between San Jose, Costa Rica and Los Angeles.

Pro Tips For Producing A Winning Short Film

Every successful filmmaker has, at some point in their career, written, directed, and/or produced a short film. For filmmakers who are just starting out, a short film is the best calling card to showcase their unique talent and vision. It is important to remember that short filmmaking is different from feature filmmaking, with challenges unique to the process. Even so, producing a short film may seem daunting, but there are several key secrets to getting the most out of your project. This intensive 5-week course will give students the tools and techniques necessary to produce a world class short film. Each week will be dedicated to a different aspect of the short filmmaking process, including, concept development and writing of your short, budgeting and scheduling, understanding and drafting production agreements, pro-tips on directing actors, and how to get the most out of the post production process. Students are strongly encouraged to come with ideas for a short film, which will be developed over the course of the 4 weeks, so by the conclusion of the class, the should have a screenplay ready for production.

"Always Be Closing" How To Write a Killer Final 10-15 Pages

4 part class taught by WGA Award-nominated writer John Shepherd, Director of Development at Cross Creek Pictures. AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! The first 10 pages and the last 10 pages of a script are the most important. Making an executive walk away from a read of your script with a powerful impression is crucial to getting your script made. The last pages of a script come with their own web of problems (how to tie everything together, how to complete a character's arc, how to create a powerful final image, etc.). Sometimes a time crunched executive will read the first and last 10 pages of a script before deciding to read the whole thing. A writer has to make sure that they "stick the landing." Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: “Always Be Closing” - How to Write a Killer Final 10 Pages taught by John Shepherd, Director of Development at Cross Creek Pictures (Black Swan, The Woman In Black, Ides of March). Learn how to make your last act resonate for your characters, your audience, yourself and the executive reading it. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although John is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!

How to Prepare For and Nail a General Meeting (In Person and Online)

Whether you’re leading the creative charge as a screenwriter, in the trenches a director or cinematographer, behind the scenes as a crew member, or in front of the camera as an actor being great at what you do is only part of your job. We at Stage 32 preach that 50% of your job is excelling at your craft, the other 50% is networking and understanding how the industry works. It's simply undeniable, those who commit to treating their networking and relationship building as their job and keep on top of what's happening in the industry land more meetings with decision makers who can make an impact on their career. But the goal is not just to get into the room, it's to stay in the room. And that means you need to know how to be good in the room. And with more and more meetings going virtual and online, you must know how to prepare and have the skills ready for those situations as well. General meetings are the first line of offense and defense for decision makers. As you know, most people in this industry - whether working in film, television or digital - want to find creatives and professionals they can go to war with time and time again. Their tribe. To become part of someone's tribe (and eventually form one of your own), you have to know how to nail the general meeting. It is crucial that you understand how to prepare. You must know who you're meeting with, what to wear, proper etiquette, the story of your project, the story of your personal brand (such an overlooked art), and know your pitch inside and out. Ultimately, you want to turn this general meeting into something much greater or assure that you're receiving a callback meeting. Their are many tried and true tricks for getting this done and we're going to bring them to you. Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue Management is one of the most revered managers working in the industry today. Jeff was recently named been named by Variety as one of Hollywood’s New Leaders in Management. Prior to joining Bellevue, Jeff worked at Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group, Resolution Talent Agency and Heretic Literary Management. Along the way he has sold and set up projects to New Line Cinema, Lionsgate, FOX, Screen Gems, Warner Bros. and more. Jeff has been on both sides of the table for hundreds of general meetings and has learned exactly what makes a meeting successful and where many go south – and he’s here to share the do's and don'ts with you, the Stage 32 community Jeff will teach you how to assure that you perform in your general meeting in a manner that makes you memorable. He will discuss everything from attire to how to carry yourself to how to make eye contact. He'll teach you how to prepare your pitch and convey it with the right amount of passion, charisma and energy. He’ll give you important guidelines on how and when you should talk in the conversation and help you understand if you’re talking too much or sending the wrong message. You’ll learn how to get notes from the other side of the table and how you should receive and respond to them. You will know the best way to pitch “you” and your brand so you stand out from other people taking general meetings with the same party. Jeff will teach you how to do research on the people and the company you are meeting with and how to use that information to your advantage (and not be creepy about it!) He will make you understand why the assistant and support staff can ultimately be your best ally. Finally, Jeff will go over the various types of meetings you’ll encounter in your career – from studios, production companies, managers, agents and networks and explain the differences so you’ll be fully prepared.     "A wealth of information. Gave me a lot of things to think about - especially with the tips on reading the room. Your description of how to pitch myself and my story were game-changers. Off to practice now." - Sonia H.   "What fabulous advice, Jeff, thank you!"  - Greg M.   "Yep, now I know why I haven't been securing a second meeting. I have seen the light and the err of my ways." - Veronica G   "The dress code discussion was very helpful, I never knew what I should wear and now I do!" - John S.  

The Pitch Tank with guest Joe Farrante

Joe Ferrante - Writer & Development Producer with Verite Entertainment

Mastering The Art Of Your TV Pitch

It's no secret that television is a red hot medium right now. Over the last few years, the average number of shows broadcast has been well over 500. With the advent of even more streaming options (HBO Now, Disney+, and more), some experts expect that number to double or even possibly triple over the next 2-4 years. That doesn't even account for the number of television projects that get sold or brought to pilot that never get picked up! In short, the amount of television pitches being greenlit in the room and the amount of television scripts being optioned and sold has never been higher. But, as is the case with just about anything, the bigger the gold rush, the more people seeking the gold. The content is one thing, how you pitch the content to networks, development execs, financiers, producers, managers, agents and other decision makers is quite another. Experienced professionals can spot an amateur pitcher within the first 30 seconds, if not sooner. You have to be able to stand out. And we're here to help you do just that. So, you have a great idea for a show, now what? How do you get it to the right people? What to do/how to present it to them? What most people don’t understand, is that once they’re in the door they need to think about the other side of the table. Who they’re pitching to, how many pitches that person reads/hears and how best to position themselves to stand out. Busy producers and executives get pitched all the time - honestly...All. Day. Long. Whether oral, written or Skype, you basically have 30 seconds or the first paragraph to keep them interested. And for both, the format matters! Don’t let your great idea fall on deaf ears or eyes! If you’re a writer or someone who works with writers, you need to know how to orchestrate a good pitch. Bret Slater has worked as a producer on such acclaimed shows as the multi Emmy nominated Boardwalk Empire and Ballers for HBO. Bret has worked alongside such talent as Steve Buscemi, Mark Whalberg, Russel Crowe, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Steven Levinson (Entourage), Catherine Zeta Jones, Ryan Phillippe and many more. Bret has been reading and listening to television pitches all day and just about every day since he broke into the business over a decade ago. He's seen every style, heard every idea, and knows as well as anyone what makes a television pitch a winner. Bret will teach you the entire landscape regarding pitching a television pilot or idea. In what is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of the pitching process, Bret will take you inside the mind of the pitchee, the person hearing the pitch. What are they looking for in the first 30 seconds? What are you portraying when you walk in the room? What details matter and which make the person you are pitching to zone out? How do you craft your pitch to producers, managers and agents? He will teach you the 3 basic, yet much overlooked, rules that must be in every pitch along with the #1 rule on how to deliver your pitch. Bret will break down written, oral and online/Skype pitches and the do's and don'ts for each. He will teach you how to open, and more importantly, close your pitch so that you leave the person or people you are pitching to wanting more. Bret will even show you the proper etiquette for following up after a pitch. Bret will provide all the tools that will help lift the anxiety and doubt of pitching for television and give you the confidence to deliver your pitch in a mannered, informed and professional way.   "Yet another winner from Stage 32." - Patricia C.   "So much quality information. There were at least 3 things I was absolutely doing wrong with my approach when pitching. This clarified the mistakes I was making. Thank you, Bret." Marty T.   "Having spent nearly 10 years in the feature world, I recently wrote a pilot and quickly realized the landscape is much different. My old tricks for pitching features didn't apply for TV. It's a different animal. Now I'm ready to get back on the attack." Milos S.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In