The Secret Strategy for a Successful Pilot: Engineering the Machine Beneath the Art OnDemand Webinar

The Secret Strategy for a Successful Pilot: Engineering the Machine Beneath the Art OnDemand Webinar

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When you look at the astonishing architectural masterpieces by Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, what you see is an impossible artistic achievement brought to life -- pillows of steel and glass floating on the ground. What you don't see is the hugely complex engineering that was necessary to let these buildings stand. The same is true with television pilots -- what you see is brilliant stories, fantastic characters and compelling situations that demand you come back episode after episode. What you don't see is the engineering underlying the artistic achievement -- you don't see the machine that allows the art to work.

This webinar is going to teach you how to build that machine -- how to see what lies beneath those great stories and characters, and to engineer one that will allow you to write your own brilliant pilot. Revisiting the great pilots of the last ten years you will learn to see them in a completely new way, and to understand the secrets that make the difference between success and failure. You will come away knowing how to take any concept and turn it into a pilot that can sell.

Before William Rabkin wrote the best-selling book Writing the Pilot, he created a dozen pilots for broadcast and cable networks and several more on spec. He has devoted the last several years to the study of the pilot.


  • The hidden functions of a pilot
  • The difference between a concept and a franchise
  • The secrets of a successful pilot story
  • What executives look for in a pilot
  • Matching theme and conflict
  • How to create characters to sustain the series
  • The musical model every hit series follows and how to put it to work for you


  • Writers who are planning their first pilot
  • Writers who are trying to rewrite a pilot
  • Writers whose previous pilots have not sold
  • Writers who want to know how TV series work
  • Writers who want to refine their series pitch
  • Writers who want to understand what makes a pilot sell
  • Writers who have great series concepts but need to know how to develop them into a script

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