CURIOUS ABOUT SCREENWRITING - PODCASTS

Creating A TV Pilot That Sells: Three Important Tools w/ Jen Grisanti (ISA Sponsored)

Posted: Jul 22, 2015 Hosted By: Max Timm Guest: Jennifer Grisanti

In her class, CREATING A TV PILOT THAT SELLS: THREE IMPORTANT TOOLS, Jen Grisanti will teach you what she believes are the pillars that will take you from ordinary to extraordinary with the writing of your TV pilot.

 

Jen will walk you through three tools: Trigger, Dilemma and Pursuit, and she will guide you how to use these key elements to set up your pilot in a way that will lead you toward success.

 

Jen says, “These tools are the foundation that have led many of my clients to success. By mastering the set up of your story, you create the possibility of making a sale and staffing.”

 

Through understanding how to link these three elements, you will learn how set the foundation in your story, have an active lead and elevate the emotion to a whole new level.

 

Jen believes that in order to go from a non-working writer to a working writer, you have to write a pilot that hits it out of the ballpark. She will teach you the tools that will elevate your game and increase your opportunities.

 

TRIGGER – By creating a powerful trigger incident for your series, you will create a strong season arc and this will establish longevity for your concept.

 

A strong pilot trigger is what carries the first episode. Linking these two makes the difference between a good pilot and a great one. You need to clearly set up that the pilot trigger would not have happened unless the series trigger happened.

 

Jen will go over several pilots that have done this successfully.

 

DILEMMA – The trigger incident should push your central character into a dilemma. The choice that is made in this dilemma is what will define the external goal.

 

The dilemma should be strong enough that we understand that there is not an easy choice on either side of the dilemma. This is what will create empathy and a rooting factor for your central character.

 

We will also discuss the set up of the personal dilemma and how to link it to the professional pursuit. This will elevate the emotion in your story.

 

PURSUIT – The clear set up of the goal is the glue that will make your story hold together.  By clearly setting up what your central character wants, you can link your obstacle, escalating obstacle, and “all is lost” moment back to the goal. This will help you to write stronger act breaks. It is when the goal is unclear that the story doesn’t work.

 

In every scene, we should have a clear sense of what your central character wants and why they want it.  Through setting up a clear pursuit, it will help you to establish this.

 

Jen knows what it takes to sell a pilot. She has had thirty-two clients over the last seven years sell pilots. Five of them have gone to series. Jen has also helped to staff over 65 writers during this time on top primetime shows.

 

Jen was a studio executive for 12 years at CBS/Paramount and Spelling Television Aaron Spelling was her mentor.  Jen has covered shows including; BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 (the original), MELROSE PLACE, SEVENTH HEAVEN, CHARMED, MEDIUM, NUMBERS, THE 4400, NCIS and GIRLFRIENDS.

 

For the past seven years, Jen has been a writing instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a story/career consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., an author of three books – STORY LINE: FINDING GOLD IN YOUR LIFE STORY, CHANGE YOUR STORY, CHANGE YOUR LIFE: A PATH TO SUCCESS and TV WRITING TOOL KIT: HOW TO WRITE A SCRIPT THAT SELLS. Jen is also a blogger for The Huffington Post. In addition to Los Angeles, Jen has taught classes in New York, London, Australia and Israel.