How to Make Your Own TV Show

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:23
Getting into the television industry is notoriously difficult, but the advent of cheap technology and internet distribution has made it easier than ever to get views. Almost anyone can get noticed, but it takes a lot of commitment and hard...
Table of contents

Getting into the television industry is notoriously difficult, but the advent of cheap technology and internet distribution has made it easier than ever to get views. Almost anyone can get noticed, but it takes a lot of commitment and hard work.

Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Developing Your Idea

  1. Step 4 Write up a treatment for the show.
    Treatments are somewhat like the blueprint for a show. They are used to show a development executive exactly what to expect from the show, should they make it themselves. To develop a treatment, you need a few things:
    • The Title: A good title usually has two meanings. Look at Mad Men, for example, which promises the world of advertising agencies as well as the slipping sanity of Don Draper.
    • The Logline: This is a punchy, 1-2 sentence recap of the show. It's the hook, based around the "what if" premise. For example, Community's logline might be, "A hotshot lawyer is forced to make a crazy new group of friends when his fake law degree forces him back to community college."
    • The Synopsis: This is a brief, 1 page write up of the show idea. What is the setting, plot, and general focus of each episode? How can you capture the essence of the show in 3-4 sentences? If this is a serial show, outline the progression of the first season.
    • Character Sheets: Take each main character and write 1-2 sentences about them, focusing on their personalities and goals more than their looks.
    • Episode Guide: Write a short paragraph about the first 4-5 episodes you want to show, detailing the plots that will make up the bulk of your show.[3]
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Writing a TV Script

  1. Step 3 Understand the needs of a good pilot.
    A pilot is the first episode of a TV series, and they are notoriously difficult to write well. Why? Because pilots require you to do many things at once with a short page count. You must:
    • Introduce the characters: You don't need to go into the entire backstory, but the viewer needs to know enough about these characters to want to follow them. The very first time you see a character should show their basic personality.
    • Introduce the world: This is about more than just the setting, it is the "rules" of the show. What are some of the main concerns for the characters? What kind of events happen regularly? This is the exploration of your "what if" premise.
    • Show the general pattern of the show: Your pilot episode doesn't just have to introduce everything, it has to be a good show. You need to give people an idea of what they'll see each week. Arrested Development, considered one of the best pilots ever, does this perfectly -- it sets up the characters, shows the world (rich, corrupt socialites and hedge-fund managers), and shows the farcical, interlocking plot structure the show later became famous for.
  2. Step 4 Outline your plot using TV act structure.
    TV shows, despite their originality and diversity, have a pretty rigid structure. Because most TV comes with commercials, these little breaks are convenient places to end each Act. Think of an act as a collection of scenes that tells the mini story of an episode. Between each set of commercials, you have the progression of the story, ending in a big moment, change, or climax that excites the viewer to keep watching when the commercials end. Understanding this "grid" helps you plug your show into the formula:[5]
    • The Cold Open: Common on sitcoms, this is the brief, 2-3 minute scene right before the title credits. It can impact the plot or just be a quick joke or scene. In dramas it is often the instigating incident, like finding the dead body on Law & Order.
    • The Acts: Hour-long shows have 5 acts, and half-hour shows have 3. You want each act to be somewhat self-contained: it has a beginning problem, a series of complications that prevent the characters from solving the problem, a climax, and a resolution.
      • Act 1 introduces a problem, and the characters try and fix it but fail.
      • In Act 2, the characters are in an even bigger mess, thanks to their failure, they make another attempt and things end up worse than before, or a new problem arises thanks to the old one.
      • In Act 3 everything returns to normal, either by the characters crashing back down to earth or finally fixing the mess they got into.
    • The Ending: Your last act brings the audience back around. For a pilot, you need to prove to the audience that they should come back next week.
      • In dramas this usually occurs with a cliffhanger, or the promise of next week's adventure.
      • In comedies the episode almost always ends where it started. Your characters don't change much and are ready for next week's hijinks. The status quo is returned.
    • The Tag: Also known as the stinger, this is the small scene right before or after the credits. Usually, it is to continue a joke, show a little resolution, or hint at what happens next episode.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Getting Your Show On Air

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  • It is not easy to set up your own real TV show that people watch on TV (e.g. BBC, ITV, ABC). But keep on searching for a way to do it - don't give up!
    Helpful 106 Not Helpful 16
  • Don't submit your concept or program without a trail of evidence, such as email, fax, or other method to establish proof of exposure. You can register your scripts for protection with the WGA as well.
    Helpful 80 Not Helpful 12

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