Examine character, theme, and structure in successful pilots
Identify common structural elements that make pilots resonate with audiences
Develop a 3-5 page breakdown of your original pilot, including characters and weekly stories
Hear from experienced guest speakers to understand how they found success
About this course:
A new television show has exactly one shot at survival: its pilot episode. If the viewer isn't grabbed in the first hour, they're gone forever. But what is a pilot? How is it different from all other forms of screenwriting? What makes a good one work and a bad one fail? And how can you be sure yours is one of the winners? In this intense, informative and entertaining course, you learn everything you need to know about what goes into a winning pilot. You watch and dissect recent network and cable pilots; examine character, theme and structure; and discuss which pilots best launched their respective series. Emphasis is on identifying the common structural elements of all successful pilots, gaining an understanding of "weekly franchise" versus "series mythology," and crafting long-term character arcs. We also discuss and develop student pilot ideas, help you turn your idea into a concise "pitch document" (a two-to-three-page breakdown of concept, character, and weekly story structure), and give you the tools you need to make the big move from pitch document to pilot outline and script. The course features guest speakers who have written, directed and/or produced their own network television pilots.
Spring 2024 Schedule
Date & Time
Wednesday 7:00PM - 10:00PM PT
Future Offering (Opens February 05, 2024 12:00:00 AM)
Enrollment limited to 15 students; early enrollment advised. Visitors not permitted. Internet access required.
This course meets in person at the designated class meeting time and location. Students must be present at the course meeting time as each student’s final grade may include scores for participation.
Please inform your instructor if you will miss a class meeting. You are responsible for any class information you missed. We suggest you arrange with a fellow classmate to share their notes when feasible.
No refunds after April 24, 2024
Internet access required to retrieve course materials.