Originally Posted by ihavebiglips
This isn't true in my experience. A great pilot will get you in the room, and from there — assuming you have something approximating a bible in your own head — you can absolutely sell a show based on a verbal pitch alone.
Bibles, in reality, are WGA-covered documents that have their own built in minimums, etc. Don't give that milk away for free. Pitching **** verbally is what they get for free, and it should be a skill in your toolbox you're actively working on if you don't have a refined verbal skill set yet. It's paramount, honestly.
I truly believe you're better off churning out multiple pilots for different shows and having a loose sense of where each show goes than putting all of your time, energy, and proverbial eggs into a bible of one show. Buyers want to be involved, and they will have their own ideas. Showrunners will attach and have their own ideas. Setting everything in stone from the outset (which a bible effectively does) is not a great move, in my opinion. For now your pilot should just allude to and SPEAK TO a potential show, that's all. And then you get on the phone or, better yet, in the room and engage the potential buyer or creative partner in a dialogue and it will come to life that way.
THEN, when the time is right and the right pieces are in place, you write a bible (and make sure it's included in your deal).
I don't think we're that far apart. The difference between having a verbal pitch and a bible is pretty minimal. For both, you need to know where things are going and have the answers. My understanding of the OP was that all that stuff still needs figuring out. If you have future episodes already in mind, writing them down really shouldn't constitute arduous work. And knowing your characters should go without saying.
And I think that's where I'll disagree with you. That people should just bang out pilots without too much thought given to the actual series. Personally, I wouldn't recommend even starting a pilot unless you already have a clear idea of where it's going. And the people that do have concise and detailed visions for their shows are the ones who get series orders. In a situation like this, being able to immediately get back to the producer with all kinds of ideas is only going to reflect well on you and your ability to create a successful and long-living show.
But, to each their own. If you want to write ten pilots and no bibles, then by all means go ahead. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have found success that way.