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.
  • Q&A with James

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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