HOW TO START TV SHOW? LIKE MY IDEA?!?!?

Hi everyone! So I really want to write/produce/direct my own TV series. I’m rly young, so I have time to like improve and stuff. I want a show on NBC or ABC or something. So assuming that I have the talent of Judd Apatow and Paul Feig (I know I don’t, but hypothetically,) I wanted to write a show sort of similar to Freaks and Geeks. I feel that we need more whole-hearted shows like that, not some stupid big bang theory sitcom and the other crap that comes out now. Do you think something like that would be popular in the next 5 years? It’s not super dramatic like other shows, but it has a feeling that I’m trying to capture in my script. Also, once I have a script, what do I do with it? How do I get an agent, or get connections? I used to do acting, so I’m a bit more familar with behind the scenes stuff. THanks for the info!!

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  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Clare,

    You improve by working toward it, not the other way around. No one's gonna give you that shot before you prove that you've got the goods. And talent is hardly enough.

    I'll preface by saying that if you're under 18, there's nothing you can do anyway.

    Now for the worse news:

    In short: you can't. Can't land an agent and can't approach networks anytime soon, regardless the age. It's MUCH more complicated than that. Let's go over the deal, so you will see what it takes...

    In order to break in and actually be a working writer, you need a lot more than you assume. A working writer is also a businessman/woman. So here are the things you need to be/have in order to be able to break in and then also pay the bills:

    - Talent

    - Professional skills

    - Luck

    - Connections (representation is also connections).

    - Knowledge of the craft.

    - Knowledge of the industry and of the biz

    - Thick skin(!)

    - Business skills/ability/background

    - Be able to talk to people

    - Networking

    - Strategy

    - Your own distinctive voice.

    - Determination

    - Patience

    - Passion

    - Competitiveness

    - Work ethic

    - Language skills

    - Learn and master dozens of subjects and sub-subjects.

    - Live in Los Angeles (for TV writing it's a must)

    - AMAZING screenplays with AMAZING concepts.

    - And luck again.

    If you've got this package, let's move on to the steps to becoming a TV writer:

    1. Start by learning the craft for real. And also about the business side of it, including how it all works. And read as many script as you can.

    2. Read scripts, write, rewrite, or learn - every single day. Practice, hone the skill, and basically master the craft. Every single aspect of it. Get *professional* feedback from time to time, and then keep working your butt off.

    3. Write those writing samples. Features and/or pilots. That’s how you hone the skill and learn. When your level is high enough, start building the actual portfolio.

    - After a long time... Years:

    4. You’re supposed to be at a professional level. If you really are, and you also have a professional portfolio with enough writing samples (better have at least 3-5 specs)… take what you learned about the business, and start researching and then targeting managers (not agents unless you have a referral).

    5. *If* you manage to land a rep off the specs, you will be able to turn into a professional writer. In theory.

    6. Now you will be able to approach TV networks and pitch. And you will also be able to become a staff writer, if a showrunner likes your writing samples and you can capture their show's voice.

    But you can't become a showrunner at this point. For that you will need experience, and a lot of it. Normally, one gains that experience by working as a staff writer on several existing TV shows for a few years.

    - Years later:

    7. With enough experience, TV networks *might* let you run your own show.

    IF your pilot gets green lit, and IF your show gets picked up, 10-20 years from now the network will order a full first season.

    A few more things and clarifications:

    1. This is a business. It's money. No one will listen to a random person from the street, and no one will put money or time on one.

    2. TV networks, many reps and all agents don't take unsolicited material (or without a referral). However, W/O a rep you can still approach small and indie companies - but only the ones that accept unsolicited material.

    3. Like I said, to get a manager/agent, you need to have *professional* skills and *professional* writing samples. That thing takes a long time to achieve, and several scripts, not one. Plus, writing great scripts is not as simple as people assume.

    4. Like I mentioned, if you're under 18 you can't do anything real yet. The industry doesn't work with minors. Plus, it's mathematically impossible. People don't usually break in before their mid-20s - mid-30s (if at all)

    5. If you have connections, great. But that wouldn't hand you success if you don't have what it takes in the first place. It's just an outlet for skilled people. So you would still need to develop those skills and write strong samples and know how to pitch.

    6. There's nothing out there that covers everything, not even film schools. So you will need to learn from anything you can lay your hands on: books, scripts, blogs, podcasts,vids, seminars/webinars, Twitter/FB accounts, articles, interviews, newsletters, forums, and so on.

    7. Reps are VERY selective, and they're hard to land. Without strong, professional samples and skills... you don’t land a rep. Besides, for new writers a manager would be better. Agents and managers are not the same thing.

    8. You also have the option of entering (only the major) contests, and if you place high reps might come to you. Other than that, network and try making real connections in the industry. IF you manage to land an assistant position or an internship or a fellowship… that's also a good way to get your foot in the door. And you also have websites that mostly take money from wannabes. Note, however, that all of these options require professional skills and luck. So you're still gonna need those.

    My point is, if you really want this to *maybe* happen one day, take yourself seriously and start working your butt off for it. For the next 4-10+ years (don't know how old you are exactly). As you can see, it's not simple AT ALL. And it's not even a sure thing. So get a stable job/degree while you *try* to break in on the side.

  • Helen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Stick with the concept and make like a series. Absolutely, take out the "surprise" ending.

  • RAVEN
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    "not super dramatic" what like Games of Thrones that has made their network many many millions of dollars?

    "not some stupid big bang theory sitcom " that has also made many many millions of dollars?

    you might think the public needs more whole hearted shows

    the public thinks we are saturated with them and want something new and inventive

  • 3 years ago

    1

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