I Have An Idea For A TV Show - What Now?
First - Write a Script!
If you go no further in the production of your movie, then to write a script, you'll be ahead of millions of people who also have ideas for tv shows, who never get credit for their ideas. So, in order to get to that step, you need to do a little bit of preliminary work.
- Write a Plot
- Pick a Genre
- Pick a Sub Genre
- Pick a TV Category
- Develop Your Characters
Writing a plot can take no time at all if that TV show idea in your head is firm. If it's not, there are plenty of free internet resources to help you get that plot thickened. Just remember, most plots are no more than a page long, and on average are only one or two paragraphs. Think of it as what you read on the back of a book. You want your plot to draw in your readers, and help them understand what their in for, but without giving away anything too good.
Once you have your plot down, take a look at it and decide what your main genre will be. Is it a romance? A mystery show? A sci-fi series? Once you've got your main category, add a sub category like: Thriller, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama or Comedy. With the main and sub genres, you'd have something like a: Sci-Fi Thriller, an Action Adventure or a Romantic Comedy.
The category should be pretty easy. Is your idea about a sitcom, series, reality-show or contest?
You'll need to develop your characters next. It doesn't have to be profoundly deep development, but enough that those who read about your characters, can connect with them on some level. Start with a physical description. Eye color, ear structure, hair style, height, weight, fashion sense - the works. At this point, your best bet is to focus on developing your main characters and there major cohorts. Don't worry about all the "little characters" that will come and out of the story. They will get more energy later on.
Now! You've done the preliminaries. So it's time to put it all together and write yourself a script. It will take a whole new hub to explain that process, though I can tell you that it would be worth your time to research the different types of scripts. You don't want to pitch a tv show written out on a movie script, nor vice versa. So get to work an write that script, then come back for your options.
You don't have to have a lot of resources, or even a big budget to capture the basic essence of what your tv show will be like. Heck, you could even just get a bunch of your friends and family together, and have them help you lay out a few scenes from your potential tv show idea. It doesn't matter if you're putting together the next great reality show, a zaney sitcom or the romantic comedy of the century. You can get any cheap video camera, even a cell phone camera if you have nothing else.
The main idea, is to be expressive and try your best (with the resources you have) to give a thrilling live summary of your show idea. You could do so by creating a "first" and "last" episode. Or you could create several random scenes that give a short chronological preview of the whole series and it's potential. You might also consider just doing a "pilot" episode, which is probably the most common method.
In any case, producing a sample of your tv show idea, is the best way to pitch it and get credit for the idea. Think about it, it's a worthy way to go.
Everyone and Anyone!
Get out the yellow pages or your local directory pages. Hop online and visit yelp and craigslist. Use your favorite search engine to look up script brokers, entertainment agencies or television producers in your area (who can help you go in the right direction). Go to your local library and get out an Entertainment Almanac or Screen Writers Almanac. No matter which route you choose, you need to get in touch with the folks in the biz you want to be in (or at least the one you want to sell to).
Follow The 3 P's - Pursue, Persist, Persevere
Pursue your dream - whether that is to become a famous producer, or just to sell your script for more than it took you to make it. Go after that goal passionately!
Persist - Don't just sit around waiting for a buyer to drop in your lap. Get out there, make contacts and be persistent about your pursuit to reach your goal.
Persevere - Time will be tough at first, or at least it will seem that way. Many first time script writers - whether for movies or television - find that they are turned down again and again. It's the people who persevere against everyone whose said "no", who end up with the big bucks for their intellectual genius.
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