This morning I’m starting a new TV pitch. In order to procrastinate - and get my head right - I thought I’d do a quick thread about TV pitches. My stats are: pro screenwriter for 20 years, pitches sold to NBC, Fox, ABC and FX. One season in a network writer’s room.
Everything that follows are my opinions. Every writer has strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, telling stories in a room is one of my strengths. We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, opinion one is the most obvious... A pitch is telling a story. Period.
Blowing away the room with a fantastic performance does NOT guarantee a sale. You are at the mercy of what the buyer thinks they need, and what they have already bought, but all things being equal, think of a pitch like early Israelites thought of the Bible...’s a story meant to be told to a group of people, out loud, that fires their passions. My opinion is the performance should inspire the same feeling as the series. Funny. Scary. Sexy. Tough. If you’re a good actor, do character voices. Bring props. Invest in visuals.
Next, always open with action. Actual action. Or emotional action. Or comedy action. Grab your audience immediately. This should almost always involve your protagonist making a crucial decision: Taking on the kingpin in a final showdown. Quitting her job. Proposing marriage.
The goal is to start your buyer at the top of the roller coaster the moment before the car drops straight down and everyone screams.
Pitch your characters hard. This is almost always more important than individual story points. Television is about character. Who are we following through the series? How will they evolve? Hall of Fame example: Breaking Bad is watching Mr. Chips become Scarface.
You are your pitch. What the hell does that mean? It means buyers are buying your idea. They’re guided by your past credits. But really, they’re betting the price of a script on your passion. Convince them that they would be out of their minds not to pay you to create this story.
Finally, don’t cheat. Television is full of cool pilots in search of a series. Don’t be one. Sell a story that unfolds over multiple seasons. Do NOT walk into the room without knowing your characters, how the first season unfolds, and how the series will (probably) end.
I hope that’s useful. If anyone out there has questions, shoot me a DM. Glad to help any way I can. Plus, it gives me an excuse to put off doing exactly what I just told you to do.

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More from @ChapTaylor2

11 Apr
Since it’s Sunday morning, maybe it’s appropriate to talk about something that’s been on my mind... Recent polls show that for the first time in modern history, less than fifty percent of Americans report belonging to a house of worship.
While roughly two-thirds of Americans still identify as Christian, the fastest growing religious group in America is unaffiliated. There are a lot of people on Twitter who probably believe this is a good thing, but honest people should take time to consider what that will mean.
Start with the fact that data shows religiously observant people are happier and healthier than those who are not. I am not attempting to proselytize and social scientists suggest a number of reasons for this, but this is what the data shows.
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23 Feb
Okay, I was inspired to create this thread by two things: recent Twitter conversations with aspiring Native filmmakers on how to tell their own stories, and a series of great threads by @tonytost about how to break into the screenwriting business. Here goes...
I’m specifically giving advice on how I think Native filmmakers can get to a position to tell their own stories, on their own terms. Be advised that I am neither the Boss of the Movie Business or Native. These are just my opinions as I try to be helpful.
Also, I believe this may apply to anyone trying to get into a position to control their own narratives. Black. Latinx. Female. LGBTQ. Working class whites... This is about how to tell the stories you want, how you want, without unreasonable compromise.
Read 14 tweets

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