New, Improved 2017 PEOPLE’S PILOT Opens in 2 1/2 Weeks

tv_writer_peoples_pilot_smby Larry Brody

Get ready, gang, because we’re coming soon!

The 2017 PEOPLE’S PILOT contest, TVWriter™’s 26th running of what may well be the longest running TV pilot competition on the interwebs, as of this writing is a mere 17 days away.

As usual, we’ve done some tweaking based on things we learned from last year’s contest.

I’m not going into specifics now because the PEOPLE’S PILOT means so much to me that it’s very likely the tweaking will continue right up to the new opening date, June 1, 2017. 

The closing date remains the same as last year, November 1…but in 2017 as opposed to, you know, 2016.

You can get a not-so-secret preview of where we heading on the PP landing page, conveniently located RIGHT HERE. Please accept my cordial invite to check everything out…and also to write to me personally, HERE, to let me know what you think.

Or, to put it in a more mobile-friendly sort of way:

More PEOPLE’S PILOT info is HERE

Email me with your thoughts on the contest HERE

Hope you like where we’re going. The PEOPLE’S PILOT and everything we’re keeping and changing in regard to it is all about our hopes for your successful career!

LYMI LB

LYMI
LB

 

 

2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT WINNERS!

25th PEOPLE’S PILOT WINNERS
For contest ending November 1, 2016

1/2 HOUR (or Less) SERIES WINNERS

First Place
OPEN by Erica Lies

Second Place
STAR ACADEMY 3013: WHAT ARE SEX ROBOTS MADE OF? by Christopher Valin

Third Place
STAR ACADEMY 3013: CROTCH BUSTERS by Eugene Ramos

1st Runner-Up
iNEFFABLE by Laura Richardson Reilly

2nd Runner-Up
KICKING & SCREAMING by David Young

1 HOUR SERIES WINNERS

First Place
MATRYOSHKA by Angela Berliner

Second Place
DREAMS OF HAVANA by Jorge c Perez & William Garcia

Third Place
HOMEFRONT by Alexander John Stathis

1st Runner-Up
DARKWICK DOWN by James Hancock

2nd Runner-Up
INCOMPATIBLE by J. Faye Yuan & Robert Raffety

OVER 1 HOUR SERIES WINNERS

First Place
VENOM by Ned Vankevich

Second Place
EMILIA by Marlena Brown

Third Place
DREAMERS by Allie Theiss

Runner-Up
KODAK MOMENT by John Alarid

And there they are, the absolute best of all the entries in this year’s competition!

Zeroing in on the Winners was more difficult than it ever has been before,  with the Half-Hour Category 1st Place Winner and 2nd Runner-Up separated by only 1/4 of 1 point; the One Hour Category 1st Place Winner and 2nd Runner-Up separated by 1/10 of 1 point; and the Over One Hour Category 1st Place Winner and Runner-Up separated by 1/3 of 1 point. (Note: There was only 1 Runner-Up in this category because the remaining scripts unfortunately couldn’t compare.)

As soon as LB recovers from the pummeling he received from some of the other judges as they determined the final finishing order he will post his reaction to and interpretation of this year’s PP entries and results and then start sending out his Feedback re all the entries so all the writers involved will understand the major strengths and weaknesses in the work they’ve done.

Barring the Spanish Inquisition or something else unforeseeable (yes, we’re talking to you, Monty Python hipsters), the official Winners notifications will be sent out by the end of this week and Feedback will start appearing entrants’ email boxes next week.

As always, LB ‘s Feedback is personal, coming directly from his keyboard, so entrants should be prepared to wait as long as a full month for theirs to arrive. Please, no angry, “Where’s my Feedback, dammit?!” messages until after March 1st, okay?

Congratulations to the Winners, Runners-Up, and everybody who entered. We Really Love You Mean It for all the work you’ve put in and hope you will all congratulate and love yourselves for it as well. You have demonstrated one hell of a large amount of talent and should be very, very proud!

A Few Very Kind Words About TVWriter™ University from a Former Student

by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

LB has always been reluctant to run testimonials because he thinks they’re too self-serving. But right now, while he’s caught up in other things, we’re going to show you this one anyway – because the way we see it, talking about successes that have come from TVWriter™s classes and contests serves the interest of new writers more than it does, you know, LB’s.

Have a gander at this, then, from Cilla Lowen, a new writer living in South Africa, who for a couple of months about a year ago got herself up and out of bed every “Thursday” morning at 4 a.m. Johannesburg time for the Wednesday evening 6 p.m. (Pacific Time) Online Workshop:

Hope you and your loved ones are thriving.  Just want to keep you posted on my progress in 2016 thanks to your constructive guidance:

My docudrama feature ‘A Mother’s Legacy’ achieved Best Script Award at the Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York in March 2016.  I have one of South Africa’s best directors on board and also a producer.  We’re just waiting to see if the National Film and Video Foundation will help us with funding before we go begging elsewhere.

‘The Handyman’ which is my faith-based TV drama, that I was fiddling with in your Advanced Course, is currently in the Writers’ Guild of South Africa Muse Awards finals.  I fly up to Johannesburg on the 10 Feb for the awards ceremony. Don’t think I’ll win, but was just happy to be on the same page as the other candidates.  I took note of your comments and did major surgery.

My sitcom, Harry’s Harvest, that made your Spec Spectacular semis listing in Jan 2016, did land me a commission for a 26 short episode sitcom series (international) that I thoroughly enjoyed writing. One of the most stimulating [projects] of my writing career.

Thank you for the quality and personal guidance you give. I hope one day you will consider me for the Masters Course. I’ll always be grateful to you for the solid foundation you provided.  You have created a very happy writer.

And there we have it – an example of why this website exists…and has been thriving for the past 19+ years!

2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT Finalists!

25th PEOPLE’S PILOT FINALISTS
For contest ending November 1, 2016

1/2 HOUR (or Less) SERIES FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

iNEFFABLE by Laura Richardson Reilly

KICKING & SCREAMING by David Young

OPEN by Erica Lies

STAR ACADEMY 3013: CROTCH BUSTERS by Eugene Ramos

STAR ACADEMY 3013: WHAT ARE SEX ROBOTS MADE OF? by Christopher Valin

1 HOUR SERIES FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

CRUISE by Wayne Johnson

DARKWICK DOWN by James Hancock

DREAMS OF HAVANA by Jorge c Perez & William Garcia

HOMEFRONT by Alexander John Stathis

INCOMPATIBLE by J. Faye Yuan & Robert Raffety

MATRYOSHKA by Angela Berliner

MEPHISTO’S PROTEGE by Diana Black

NEVADA BLUE by Vin Morreale, Jr.

NIGHTMARE by Lance Wayne

SOUTHERN GOTHIC by Jared Ronin

OVER 1 HOUR SERIES FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

DREAMERS by Allie Theiss

EMILIA by Marlena Brown

KODAK MOMENT by John Alarid

VENOM by Ned Vankevich

How close has the judging in this contest been? Let’s put it this way:

Under our point system, the lowest scoring Finalist in the Under 1 Hour Category scored 8.75 out of 10 points and the lowest scoring Semi-Finalist received 7.85, a difference of only 9/10 of a point.

Similarly, the lowest scoring Finalist in the Over 1 Hour Category had 8.55 while the lowest scoring Semi-Finalist had 7.75, a separation of only 8/10 of a point.

Our largest category, the 1 Hour Category was even closer than the others. Its lowest scoring Finalist received 8.85 out of 10, and the lowest scoring Semi-Finalist had  8.55, a separation of less than 1/3 of a point!

Congrats, Finalists! You and all the entrants have been amazing!

 Coming Next Week: THE WINNERS

2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT Semi-Finalists!

25th PEOPLE’S PILOT SEMI-FINALISTS
For contest ending November 1, 2016

1/2 HOUR (or Less) SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

ANTONIA ALLWAYS: Antonia Joins the Union by Gordon Charles Phipps

ANTONIA ALLWAYS: Who is Merlin by Gordon Charles Phipps

BAD PRESS by Adam Santa Maria

FERAL: by Bryan Kett

iNEFFABLE by Laura Richardson Reilly

KICKING & SCREAMING by David Young

OPEN by Erica Lies

QUEENS by Raul Martin Romero

TONY ST. SQUATCH, PRIVATE EYE by Andres Jose Smith

STAR ACADEMY 3013: CROTCH BUSTERS by Eugene Ramos

STAR ACADEMY 3013: WHAT ARE SEX ROBOTS MADE OF? by Christopher Valin

1 HOUR SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

CRUISE by Wayne Johnson

DARK FOREST by Kenyon Geiger

DARKWICK DOWN by James Hancock

DREAMS OF HAVANA by Jorge c Perez & William Garcia

HOMEFRONT by Alexander John Stathis

INCOMPATIBLE by J. Faye Yuan & Robert Raffety

MATRYOSHKA by Angela Berliner

MEPHISTO’S PROTEGE by Diana Black

NEVADA BLUE by Vin Morreale, Jr.

NIGHTMARE by Lance Wayne

OUT OF BODY by Gabriel Meyer

KYLA’S WAR by Hank Isaac

SERPENT’S ROW by Chance Muehleck

SNAPBACK by Ned Vankevich

SOUTHERN GOTHIC by Jared Ronin

SUGAR LAND by R. B. Ripley

SWING, YOU SINNERS by Caroline Klimczuk

THE RECOVERY by Angela Berliner.pdf

TONGS OF CHINATOWN by Nadia Madden

OVER 1 HOUR SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

DREAMERS by Allie Theiss

EMILIA by Marlena Brown

HOSTAGES byJohn Gorski

KODAK MOMENT by John Alarid

OF KINGS AND KINSMEN by Mark William Meredith

VENOM by Ned Vankevich

TVWriter™ congratulates all the Semi-Finalists. Your work is awesome.

As in years past, the overall quality of the entries was superb. Once again, the judges had some very difficult choices to make. Literally every Semi-Finalist this time around could have been a Top 5 placer in previous runnings of the PEOPLE’S PILOT.

The competition was closest in the One Hour Series Pilot category where 5 different scripts scored 9.00 points or more out of a possible 10.00 and the cut-off point for Semi-Finalists was an incredibly high 8.55. Very Professional Indeed.

In fact, the professionalism in all the categories amazed everyone who read the submissions. The judges had an even finer time than usual reading them. And, of course, the judges’ work still isn’t done as they fight tooth and nail regarding Finalist and Winner placings. We wouldn’t be surprised if you could hear the arguing from the relative safety of your own home or office.

Be joyful, Semi-Finalists. You have done yourselves proud!

NEXT WEEK: The 2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT Finalists

LB: First Thoughts on the 2016 People’s Pilot Entries

tv_writer_peoples_pilot_main

by Larry Brody

As we used to say way back in 7th Grade at Sharp Corner Junior High School in scenic Skokie, Illinois, “Awriight!”

As in, “I am so damned excited!”

Why? Because it’s one of my favorite times of year, the time when I take a preliminary look at the entries of my favorite writing contest in the whole world and find myself – as always – with a wide grin spreading across my usually dower face.

(Okay, so I’m lying about the “usually” part. And the “dower” thing. But I d have a face.)

To quote myself from last year’s People’s Pilot reconnaissance, “Here’s what I’m smiling about”:

  1. Last year, for the second time in a row, the PP received more entries than ever before in its history. This year, we received exactly as many entries as then, which blows my mind because I thought we would come up short because of such things as the economy, the election, and the fact that there now are so many online writing contests that I assumed the field was way overcrowded and something – like maybe the PP – would have to give. Thanks to all of you who entered and proved me wrong!
  2. This time around, I recognized the names of about 30% of the entrants from previous contests, emails to TVWriter™ and myself, and the various classes I teach. Last year I knew about half of the entrants, at least by name, and while that was reassuring, right now I’m very happy that more/newer newbies to television writing are taking their shot at changing their lives (and the TV biz) via the PP. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: “The next time you hear a network exec or showrunner say s/he can’t find new writers, look ’em right in the eyes and say, “Must be because you’re not looking.” You’ll be the one telling the truth.
  3. Last year, we had two categories, one for half-hour shows and one for one-hours. This year we added a third category, for shows destined to run longer than one hour. 30% of this year’s entries are half-hours, which approximates the percentage of such shows found this season on broadcast, cable, and interweb networks.
  4. This year, 54% of the PP entries are one-hour shows, and 16% are over an hour. I find this significant because it means that new writers are extending the boundaries, with 16% refusing to be boxed into traditional U.S. lengths, instead stretching out in a manner more similar to many U.K. and Scandinavian series. Have their writers been watching and been inspired by those often amazing English, Welsh, Swedish, Danish, and Finnish shows? Considering how xenophobic U.S. showbiz has been in the past, this is an important cultural shift.
  5. Most of this year’s half-hour entries seem to be pure sitcoms as opposed to the dramedies that have become popular recently on so many cable and interweb outlets. I don’t know if this is a sign that the dramedies are running out of steam, nor do I know if that would be a good thing or a bad one, but the writers who entered the People’s Pilot don’t seem to love the funny-ironic, funny-tragic shows nearly as much as so many U.S. critics.
  6. Last year, the largest number of entries in the one-hour category were science fiction and fantasy series, at 20%. This year, in the one-hour and longer-than-one-hour categories, that number dropped a few points to a shade less than 15% and was equaled by entries in what looks to be a “continuing drama AKA soap opera” genre. Until the judges and I have read all the entries, I can’t say whether serious drama or outrageous drama – or something in between – predominates, but in a couple of months, when I’m more informed, you’ll be the first to know.
  7. PP entries in all categories have always delighted me with their fascinating titles. This year, I’m especially looking forward to reading the following, just because of their names. (There’s a lesson there that everyone reading this should note: A good title goes a long, long way to helping your cause.) Here, in no particular order, are the ones that are grabbing me the most:
    WHO NEEDS A TUX TO BE GQ?
    JOHNNY WHOOP AND THE BRAIN MACHINE
    TIL DEATH DOES PART US
    SHADE AND GRACE
    BAD PRESS
    CUTTING HEART
    KICKING & SCREAMING
    DUDU
    NEVADA BLUE
    SWING, YOU SINNERS
    HUNTRESS MOON
    PANDORA’S BOX
    MEPHISTO’S PROTEGE
    GREAT KILLS
    VENOM
  8. As usual, we’ve received some fascinating one-word titles. In fact, fully one-third of the entries had them. Some of the standouts:
    DREAMERS
    VENOM
    SPICE
    HOSTAGES
    MATRYOSHKA
    SNAPBACK
    ICEBREAKERS
    GHOSTWRITER
    SUPERCHARGED
    INCOMPATIBLE
    BREAKERS
    PIZZAZ!
    NIGHTMARE
    EXITUS
    ABANDONED
    TRAFFIK
    CAMELOT
    NEVERMORE
    DUDU
    TECHYCARDIA
    INEFFABLE
  9. My favorite title in the half-hour category is JOHNNY WHOOP AND THE BRAIN MACHINE. In the one-hour I’m taken with SWING, YOU SINNERS. And in the over one-hour category I’m most eager to read SHADE AND GRACE. Not that there’s any reason in the world for the judges to agree!

Our plan for announcing winners remains the same as we say on the People’s Pilot “About” page. We hope to announce Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Winners between mid-January and mid-February of next year.

And, of course, I’ll probably have an announcement or two between now and then so keep checking back with us. Wouldn’t want anybody to be a Winner and not know it. After all, what good is a victory if you don’t use it to make your big career move? (Or at least rub it into those who didn’t believe?)

Thanks again to everyone for taking part and being so talented! More to come!

LYMI

lboldwriter

 

 

LB

The Last Day to Enter the 2016 People’s Pilot is TODAY!

14656423_10154626161354844_5853805798506829032_nYour last chance to enter the 2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT is at 11:59 pm Pacific Time Tuesday, November 1st – which is:

TODAY!!!

Don’t miss your shot at over $20,000 worth of prizes and bonuses, including:

Free Feedback from Larry Brody!

LB’s invaluable e-booklet, Storytelling Patterns

$500 1st prize in each category from Manner Movie LTD

4 weeks in LB’s Master Class (normally for pros only)

Script consult from Script Pipeline

A year’s access to Writing the Master Screenplay

Gold Plan Spotlighted Screenplay Posting Service at ScreenwriterShowcase

Web & magazine script & logline listings from InkTip

More!!!

For all the details, CLICK HERE NOW