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Old 04-03-2016, 11:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Advice on Converting a Feature to a Pilot

Originally Posted by RG55 View Post
Hello, FA4

TV series and Movies are different things and as you know sometimes don't translate well into each other.
Yes, I know this to be true. In this case the world is sufficiently large to create many stories and/or prequels/sequels. This logline is simply the engine for this installment of the story.

You've got to figure out what your story engine is, both external and internal. The impression I get is that external it would sort of a Fugitive or Walking Dead thing, with the purpose of.... finding a safe haven where a cure for everybody can be devised?
Yes, that's exactly the drive in this installment. .
With the few elements known, I think your should try for a Hybrid sort of Pilot, where Young Woman and Renegade Smuggler meet at the end of Act One, or Two, then the rest would play like a typical episode: Escape Powerful forces.

Okay, I hadn't actually thought of the typical episode of "escape powerful forces" so that's very helpful. I like it. So the end of the season would be the end of my feature-- I like that, too. Leaves a lot of room to develop the other world factions over the course of the first season that will open the door to the following seasons.

It's not easy getting your head out of the feature aspect of writing where is seems a one page scene in a feature can become more developed in a series. Everything is so tight in a feature. Features seem to move faster. It's compact. TV seems to allow for the characters to breathe more and come into their own. Their psychological wounds rarely get resolved and continue to haunt them over the course of the series.

I should be thinking in a five act structure, right? Should I open with the teaser of the past annihilation of the world? I have a strong, visual 4 page prologue in the feature that could represent an opening teaser. After the pilot the imagery of the prologue could become the opening credits of each episode without the voice over.

As I'm reading the Falling Skies pilot, they have a scene with children being helped by a psychologist-type character where the children's drawings depict their horrifying memories, exposing the day the world was invaded. We very much ump right into the story after that.

But in The 100 we hear Clark's voice over explaining the structure of their future society (Extant does this too), which is more like what mine does

Game of Thrones opens with the White Walker scene, which doesn't come back around for several episodes but is clearly the over arching series' story engine that "Winter is Coming."

Personally, I see a serialized show like Game of Thrones, with potentially each season becoming an anthology piece that either ties the future, presence, and past together or an on going series that flashes back and flashes forward like what LOST did. But I could be wrong as I'm not experienced with writing TV.

Do you have a suggestion on a targeted page count for the pilot? 45 to 60? And what considerations should I have with respect to network vs cable? Would the act structure change? Page count?

Should I avoid showing blood spilled? More implying and cutting away from it? So it could go to both networks and cable? I'm not sure which approach to hit.

Right now it's pretty much a PG-13 feature, targeting a 4 quad audience. It has humor and moments of levity in it, similar to what you'd find in Guardians of Galaxy, Star Wars or Indiana Jones.


Backstory would be weaved into the episode(s)--including Flashbacks, if needed.

Check, among others:
Will check them out, and thanks for the help it is most appreciated and has alleviated the anxiety I was feeling.

Congratulations on getting such interest on your story.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that anyone is interested in this project yet, it's just my manager and I planning our approach. Since almost everything in the feature world is driven by either superhero IP or other pre-existing IPs we know the feature will take someone special who can see opportunities outside what everyone else is doing and take a chance on an original spec with franchise possibilities that no one's heard of before. I fully understand that it's a lot less risky to invest is something that already has a strong following.

Almost everyone has pointed out the difficulties in creating an IP that doesn't already exist and trying to sell it. I wrote what I wanted to write and not what the industry was buying per se. Good or bad I'm not sorry I went this route, because I'm writing what I love.

Since I haven't sold anything, that's important to me. And the way I figure it, someone has to be the first one to break through and sell a franchise that isn't based on a pre-existing IP-- I'm hoping that is me. I honestly believe (maybe it's naive) that someone will. And to anyone else trying, I wish them good fortune as there are an infinite amount of original stores to be told.

Thanks so much for the help RG55, it's got me excited to start and motivated to finish it.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,” Pablo Picasso

Last edited by finalact4 : 04-10-2016 at 01:57 PM.
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