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inspiration, life experience, pilot, screenwriting tips, storytelling, thematic -

Here in TV staffing season, if you read interviews or listen to podcasts with showrunners, a familiar refrain comes up repeatedly. People who have led interesting lives tend to be more compelling writers, because they are drawing inspiration from real life, not from other movies/TV shows they have seen. Writing primarily from movies/TV as a frame of reference is a bit like making a copy of a copy. The quality of the second copy is likely to decrease. The work is also likely to be derivative. Does this mean we should all drop everything and become firefighters, cops, or tiger...

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episode, pilot, series, template -

Far and away the most consistent note on pilot scripts we get here at ScriptArsenal is that the script is mostly setup, and does not function as a template or representative episode of the series. In other words, the “real show” starts on Episode 2, after the pilot sets up the world of the series, the scenario the protagonist finds themselves in, etc.

Often it can feel like a pilot simply doesn’t have enough page real estate to both establish the story and present to the reading audience what an average episode is going to look like. A great case study for how to do this can be found in the pilot of UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT.

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