Writing the Original One-Hour TV Series Pilot Based on IP

Hosted by James Dalessandro

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James Dalessandro

Webinar hosted by: James Dalessandro

Writer and Producer at FX, Eone, Televisa, USA/Gaumont, Starlings & More

James Dalessandro is a best selling novelist (“1906”), true crime writer (“Citizen Jane”), a full-time working screenwriter and a member of the Writer’s Guild of America. Academy Award winning director Brad Bird is attached to direct the upcoming live action film of James Dalessandro’s “1906” novel and screenplay (on Deadline). James recently finished the Pilot and Bible for the TV series “THE RESTLESS” for POW! Entertainment, created by the late STAN LEE, who handpicked James as his writer. In the past several years, James has sold or been hired as Writer/Executive Producer by the FX Channel (12-Hour Limited Series), Eone Entertainment (Two One-Hour Dramas), Televisa USA/Gaumont Entertainment (One-Hour Drama) Starlings Entertainment (a One-Hour Scripted Series, and a Reality/Documentary series), and Grosso/Jacobson Entertainment (several One-Hour Series and Mini-Series). Lew Hunter, Co-Dean of the UCLA Screenwriting program, calls him “one of the four or five best screenwriting teachers in the world.” Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Hollywood studios will release less than 100 movies in 2019, most written by veteran writers. The Independent Film market is struggling. All the while TV is exploding. More than 90% of working WGA writers are in TV, which is the market for quality writing and entertainment. Why? TELEVISION IS RUN BY WRITERS. In 2019, Television will produce more than 500 original scripted shows – that’s more than 5,000 scripts – with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon alone spending a combined $20 to $25 BILLION on programming.

What’s the secret to breaking in, finding a job on staff or selling a new show? A GREAT, ORIGINAL PILOT. James Dalessandro will work with aspiring Writers, Directors, Producers to focus them on what it takes to make the dream come true – a career in Television.

Your host James was handpicked by Stan Lee to write the TV Pilot and Bible for THE RESTLESS for POW! Entertainment. In addition he also has Brad Bird (Incredibles, Incredibles 2, Ratatouille) attached to direct a feature film '1906' based on his own novel. He's also written and produced TV for FX, Eone, Televisa USA, Starlings Entertainment and Gross/Jacobson Entertainment. 

***All attendees will receive a pdf of THE AMERICANS pilot!

What You'll Learn

  • How the Pilot and Bible Work Together
  • The Three Key Elements of a Pilot
    • The Premise. Is it a great idea based on an intellectual property or real life situations?
    • The Characters. Who do we love, good or bad, week after week?
    • The Pilot Plot and Structure. How do we integrate all those new elements into a 45 to 50 minute pilot?
  • How to Grab the Reader and Audience in the First 10 Pages/10 Minutes
  • Why a Bible? And what goes into it?
    • Logline
    • Premise
    • The World
    • Character Sketches
    • Foundation (I.P. or Real Life Situations)
    • Pilot Synopsis
    • Story Arcs for Season One
  • THE AMERICANS – What we can learn from one of FX Channel’s huge hit shows and how their Pilot grabbed Executives and Viewers
    • The “Cold Open” and how it now defines series premieres.
    • Balancing plot and subplot elements (story and character).
    • Act Outs – how they keep us from changing channels.
    • Hooks/Cliffhangers. The tricks that work.

THE AMERICANS PILOT. Each participant will receive a PDF of THE AMERICANS Pilot. It is highly recommended that everyone read the Pilot script and re-watch the Pilot on NETFLIX so they can compare the differences. WHY? Because James will be going through one of the best Pilots ever written, as Participants refer to their scripts.

About Your Instructor

James Dalessandro is a best selling novelist (“1906”), true crime writer (“Citizen Jane”), a full-time working screenwriter and a member of the Writer’s Guild of America. Academy Award winning director Brad Bird is attached to direct the upcoming live action film of James Dalessandro’s “1906” novel and screenplay (on Deadline). James recently finished the Pilot and Bible for the TV series “THE RESTLESS” for POW! Entertainment, created by the late STAN LEE, who handpicked James as his writer. In the past several years, James has sold or been hired as Writer/Executive Producer by the FX Channel (12-Hour Limited Series), Eone Entertainment (Two One-Hour Dramas), Televisa USA/Gaumont Entertainment (One-Hour Drama) Starlings Entertainment (a One-Hour Scripted Series, and a Reality/Documentary series), and Grosso/Jacobson Entertainment (several One-Hour Series and Mini-Series).

Lew Hunter, Co-Dean of the UCLA Screenwriting program, calls him “one of the four or five best screenwriting teachers in the world.”

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

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How to Build Your Career as a Full-Time Writer

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How to Build a Successful Career in the Horror Industry

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Understanding the UK Film and Television Marketplace and How You Can Succeed Within It

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How to Create an "Investor Kit" to Raise Financing for Your Film or Project

It's no secret that raising funds for a film is a difficult proposition. Most people who repeatedly invest in the film industry have no shortage of projects from which to choose to place their money. They also have a particular set of standards and requirements that need to be met before they write a check. Even more casual investors in film who go in with lowered expectations still will want to see that you have the knowledge, discipline and understanding on how to handle and protect their money and put them in the best position for a return. The fact of the matter is that you could have the most attractive project with a highly marketable and commercial screenplay and fantastic talent interested in attaching, but if you can't deliver on the important details, know how to answer the toughest questions, and show that you have the savvy to withstand the scrutiny associated with putting together a film financing deal, your potential investment target will be on to the next pitch without a blink. Regardless of the approach, there is one fact that is undeniable: you need to know every angle on how a film can come together and be able to show clearly and concisely a path to how your investor is going to recoup their money and potentially make a profit. To do that, you need to be able to put together an investor kit, first for yourself, and then as something you can tailor to your investors. There's no need to be intimidated by this. Once you understand the various facets of film investing, the rest will fall into place quite naturally. And we're here to help you do just that. Kevin Christoffersen has been producing multi-media content internationally for over two decades across four continents while living in five countries. Currently, Kevin is working as a development executive, producer, writer and consulting with the technology platform Movie Rights Exchange which is changing the way films are being distributed. Kevin's current projects include his co-written feature, Falling Up with Stephanie Drapeau, Dallas Brennan’s Deception Road, a new Hal Hartley feature in development and Rear View Windows being casted by Kerry Barden. Kevin has guest lectured at NYU, teaches workshop classes with the IFP, Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Filmshop and moderated a producers panel at the Hunter Mountain Film Festival. He then works with students on creating their packages throughout the A to Z Development process. Kevin will be teaching about the step by step process required throughout the development financing stage of your feature film project to create your "Investor Kit". This includes all of the elements from business plans to budgets, proof of concept videos, retaining production counsel and a casting director. Kevin will show you the all important skill of bringing packaging elements to your project, something so very important in this day and age. He will tell you how to handle the common issue of securing "First-in money" and how to navigate talent retainer fees. He will talk co-production agreements, also a valuable thing when putting together a film. He will teach you about distribution agreements, tax credit loans and pre-sales estimates. Kevin will even teach you how to source your investors and how to build a powerful team so you can wear limited hats and divide and conquer.   Praise for Kevin   "Took the intimidation and fear of approaching investors by presenting clear facts and strategies that make perfect sense." - Michael M.   "I've read complex and dense books on this subject that have taken me months to get through and I learned more in 2 hours with Kevin. Brilliant material." - Cheryl Lee K.   "This one was off the charts." - Sammie P.   "This removed so many questions. So many. I feel as if the clouds have parted. This IS possible. Thank you, Kevin." - Marty K.  

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