I'm working on a spec pilot right now. Here are some questions I'm asking myself:
- Does it tell a story with an emotionally satisfying conclusion that nonetheless leaves you compelled to tune in to ep. 2?
- Does the pilot set up enough of the world that you have a sense of it, without uploading so much information it becomes about the expo? (Does it avoid pilot disease?
- Is there anything in the story that is only explicable through having read the pitch? (In other words, do the story beats only make sense if you know some backstory that you haven't introduced in the pilot itself?)
- Can you think of any scene I'm missing, either for the story to make sense, or a missed opportunity to do something fun and spectacular that would add value?
- And since the genre I'm in is speculative fiction:
- Is it weird enough to satisfy fantasy fans?
- Is it emotionally strong enough to pull in the mainstream audience?
I'm asking these same questions of the people I've asked to give me feedback. It's important, when you ask someone to critique, not only to take their feedback seriously, but to ask them your own questions. If you get a dialog going you often arrive at a much deeper understanding of what could be improved in your material.
Labels: Crafty TV Writing, pilot, spec pilots
Can I steal your term "pilot disease?"
If it's as cool as the Charlie Jade pilot was, I say you're doing good...
Alex borrowed "pilot disease" from my critique of his treatment, so you can steal it, too, Jody.
Is it possible to satisfy all those conditions? Or is it possible to satisfy only a few of the conditions and still have a good pilot?
A lot of people I know had a hard time getting into the Charlie Jade pilot. Then again, they say they often have problems getting into pilots.
*I* had a hard time getting into the Charlie Jade pilot. And I worked on the show. (After the pilot, but still...)
Is there anything in the story that is only explicable through having read the pitch?
Not sure what you mean by this Alex. If you get a chance can you expand or clarify it a little...
Is the Charlie Jade pilot script legally on-line anywhere? What about the episode itself?
I read the write-up on Wiki. I loved the idea. I did think that the three worlds could be a bit confusing if not handled the right way. I'm really curious to how it was pulled off, first on the page and then on the screen.
Because, you know, I might want to steal something...
Help me out... what exactly is the definition of "pilot disease"?
You are -told- way too much about the world and the characters within that world. You basically over explain every detail, or a vast many details, so that the audience knows far more than it really nees to too enjoy the first episode.
Of course, off the top of my head, I can't think of an example of a show with a real bad case of pilot disease.
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