Writing ConsultationHelp With Writing Anything for Television — Other Than Your Pitch or Script
• IDEA • LOGLINE • TREATMENT • BEAT SHEET • OUTLINE •
Whether you need to focus your basic idea, find the best logline, create a treatment or outline, or write a pitch doc, this is the place to find the help you need. (For a pitch prep doc or script analysis and consultation, including interpreting network notes, and rewriting, please use the links at the top of the page.) Broken down into sections, you can have my help at any stage of the way, using any of the sections as needed. Since the path of these steps (including the ones on the Script consultation page) will eventually lead you to a full ready-to-pitch script (plus the accompanying pages you’ll need to pitch your TV show), you may find one or more helpful.
1 FINDING THE RIGHT IDEA
Everyone has an idea (or ten) for a great television show. What sets those who get their idea on the air apart from everyone else is a myriad of things. If all you currently have is an idea (or multiple) for a television series, TV movie or mini-series, then you have a long way to go. I can help you sift through the various ideas you have, and help you settle on one (or more) viable ones that could be turned into a TV show, and refine it into something that can work. Please limit the number of ideas submitted to a page or less. You should write a few sentences (up to a small paragraph at most) for each idea if you purchase this service.
- Up to one page of television show ideas, reviewed, with notes: $100.00
Having the right logline for your show can make or break your pitch. Writing dynamic, instantly memorable loglines is one of the hardest things to do in television. In a sentence (two at the most) tease the reader/listener with enough information to tell them what the show is about yet want to know more immediately. It’s tough! I can help you find the right logline for your show, whether you have come up with one logline or many.
To make the best use of this service, please write up to five loglines for your show(s). And then read them out loud. Do they sound like a show you’d want to watch? do they succinctly sell the tone and flavor of your show? Keep working them until you feel you’ve found the best logline ever. Then we can work on them together. If you purchase this service, please email the loglines to me.
- Loglines review, for up to 5 loglines. With notes: $150.00
Take a great idea, think it through; create characters, think of the “world” of the story, and the conflicts the characters will face (whether comedy or drama, all characters have conflicts). Typically, treatments run from 10 to 15 pages (although I’ve seen some that are much longer). These pages are key to selling a series or limited series (less so for TV movies, as they are one story told over a few hours), as they explain, on paper, what your show is.
The treatment is a big step. By the time you’ve finished it, you know your show very well, have thought it through from many angles, have asked and answered a ton of questions about it and have boiled it down to an entertaining package on paper. The treatment needs to set up your show very well, and do so succinctly, with style and clarity. The great part about purchasing a Treatment Consultation is that it combines a review of your logline, which can save you from needing to purchase a Logline Consultation (above). I can help you with your treatment. If you purchase one of the services, I will send you several sample treatments to give you a closer look, then, when you are ready with your treatment, I will give you:
- Margin notes (mark-up of your documents for structure and analysis, clarity, typos, improved copy and layout) $345; or,
- Margin notes plus up to four pages of detailed notes $495.00; or,
- Margin notes plus up to four pages of detailed notes plus a thirty minute call $645.00.
4 Beat Sheet & Outline
The outline is the final step you need to take to get you to the point where you can write your script. An outline is usually done to help the writer figure out the path of the script. Think of the outline as the roadmap you create to get you from the beginning of your script to the end. It’s often said that writing the outline is where all the hard work is done, as you’re figuring out everything in the outline, from opening visuals and dialogue, to introducing characters, situations and conflict that will propel your script to a satisfying conclusion. For many, writing the script from the outline is much easier than the outline.
Before we go any further you need to decide what kind of script you will be using the outline for: Original or Spec. Whenever you write a script on your own, that has not (yet) been commissioned by a production company, studio or network, then you’re writing what is know as a “spec” script. The spec (“speculative”) script is basically you writing the pilot or sample script you want to write. There are two types of spec scripts, a Spec Pilot and a Spec Sample Episode. See this description more details on types of scripts.
BEAT SHEET — Most writers start with a simple three or four page beat sheet, which is really just laying out all the scenes, in order, in a few sentences each. This process involves heavy lifting, as you are creating the spine of the episode. And this is where it’s pretty easy to go off track. I always suggest that we start an outline consultation by you sending me your beat sheet. I will send back notes on the sheet, which can be fundamental or minor, depending on the shape they’re in. We then have a half-hour call to discuss the beat sheet and the goals you need to hit to get to the next step which is the writing the actual outline.
OUTLINE — The outline for an episode can vary in length from 5 to 15 pages, depending on the length of the episode, whether it’s a complex story or has many fast scenes, It’s pretty detailed, but usually has very little or no dialogue in it.
THE SPEC PILOT OUTLINE — The spec pilot is an original show you have created. Many things need to happen in a spec pilot script. You have to show us the “world” of the show, introduce us cleverly to the main and recurring characters, set up the conflicts and needs of the characters, and also tell a great story along the way. Everything is new to the reader/viewer, and you are the only one (at least at this point) in charge of everything.
THE SPEC SAMPLE EPISODE OUTLINE — The spec sample episode is a whole different thing. You are writing what could be viewed as a “typical” episode of your favorite show. If you love “Big Bang Theory” or “Game of Thrones”, you may be writing an episode of one of these. The purpose of the spec sample episode is to show readers that you A) know the show well, B) can emulate the style and feel of the show, C) have some great ideas about what could work for the show. Now, the weird part about this is that once you have that killer sample episode of your favorite show… you’ll never use it to try to get an “in” with that show. First off, if you did magically get it into the hands of one of the producers of that show, it would not serve you well. They know their show a lot better than you ever will. (On one of the comedies I worked on, many people sent us sample scripts (through agents, managers or friends of producers) and they never seemed right. They were “off” enough that it was awkward to read.) You use the spec episode to send to other shows. Those producers will most likely not know the show and its unique writing style any better than you. But if it’s a good script then they’ll see you can write. And as mentioned before, a great script starts with a great outline.
- Beat Sheet: Up to a 4 page beat sheet, analyzed, with notes and a half-hour call: $295.00
- Half Hour Outline: Up to a 15 page outline, analyzed, with notes only: $395.00
- Half Hour Outline plus a one hour call: $595.00
- One Hour Script Outline: Up to a 20 page outline, analyzed, with notes only: $595.00
- Hour Script Outline plus a one hour call: $850.00
See the Script page for further information about the script process and my analysis and consultation services available there.
If you have any questions, please contact me. Once you have purchased a consultation, I will be in touch to A) obtain your pertinent documents and/or B) if the consultation is a call or includes a call, to schedule it when it's convenient for you. Consultation calls can be via phone, FaceTime or Skype. Not all consultations include a call, some are only done via documents and written notes. By using this site you agree to the Terms and Conditions of this site.