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Writing the Pilot [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

William Rabkin

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29. August 2011
Television networks are so desperate for new voices and fresh ideas that for the first time in history they're buying spec pilot scripts and turning them into series. Today's aspiring writer can be tomorrow's showrunner. But it's not easy. Conceiving and writing a pilot that can launch a series is a complex assignment even for a seasoned pro. This book will take you through the entire process, from your initial idea through the finished script. You'll learn how to identify a concept that can carry one hundred episodes or more; how to create characters who will stay interesting year after year; how to design the unique world those characters will live in; how to identify the essential elements that will set your series apart from everyone else's; and most importantly, how to capture it all in one 60-page script. Riverside-Palm Desert's low residency MFA program.

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Mehr über den Autor

William Rabkin ist der Autor der beliebten Psych-Buchreihe. Er hat Fernsehstudios in Kanada, Deutschland und Spanien beraten und lehrt zur Zeit das Schreiben von Drehbüchern an der Universität von Kalifornien.

Mit Lee Goldberg hat Rabkin sehr erfolgreiche amerikanische Fernsehserien wie Diagnosis Murder, Spenser: For Hire, Baywatch, SeaQuest, Hunter, Nero Wolfe, Martial Law, Missing und Monk produziert.


Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

William Rabkin is a veteran showrunner whose executive producing credits include the long-running Diagnosis Murder and the action hit Martial Law. His recent writing credits include Monk, Psych, and The Glades. He has written a dozen pilots for broadcast and cable networks, and written and/or produced more than 300 hours of dramatic television. He currently teaches screenwriting in the University of California,

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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  66 Rezensionen
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Short and to the point 7. August 2012
Von Robert J. Sawyer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
A short but information-packed book. I wrote the novel FLASHFORWARD, upon which the ABC series was based, and was also a scriptwriter for that show; the analysis of what went wrong in transitioning FLASHFORWARD (which is referred to as FLASH FORWARD -- two words -- in this book) from a pilot into a TV series is cogent, and the advice on writing pilot scripts is excellent. The last chapter should, perhaps, be the first, though: yes, spec pilots are selling -- the claim made on page one and here on the Amazon page for the book -- but almost exclusively from established writers who have years of experience working in writing rooms on other shows; otherwise, as the author says, without some other reason -- huge Twitter following, real-life experience in a heroic profession -- the chances of getting your pilot script read by someone who can actually produce it are almost nil. Still, the book is called WRITING THE PILOT, not SELLING THE PILOT, and it very much delivers on that score.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Informative and entertaining 29. Juni 2011
Von Matt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I've written two pilots for networks, and two pilots on spec, and I found Bill Rabkin's book to be dead on. Not only that, it taught me things I'd never thought of, or was never able to articulate. It's a fun read, with lots of real-life Hollywood stories. And speaking of fun, that was my favorite chapter in the book: where Rabkin talks about never getting so wrapped up in the structure and plot that you forget about keeping the script fun from beginning to end.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Terrific, Especially for Feature Writers 15. Oktober 2012
Von P. Taegel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Rabkin writes about writing the dramatic 1-hour pilot. If you're planning on writing a half hour, read something else. Half hour comedies are a weird animal. But back to this book: It's a straightforward insightful book that I would suggest you read at the outset of your endeavor to write a pilot. And if possible, know your logline first. Otherwise, Rabkin's ideas will be too abstract if you can't immediately use them to scrutinize what you're working on. This book is not for the novice writer who has never written a play, screenplay or at least attempted to write a dramatic pilot. I say this because it's not a nuts and bolts step by step instruction manual for writing pilots. There are those out there, but this isn't it. Neither is it a book that's going to tell you how to put a scene together or write dramatically. Writing is a tenuous dance between a psychotic dissociative state and structural engineering, and reading books like this is great for reinforcing the engineering. Rabkin takes writing a pilot down to the conceptual fundamentals of conceiving a television series. If you're a feature writer and figure writing a TV pilot is easy--it's just a feature only half as long--read this book. There is so much you have to get right in creating a series, and you'll have a much easier time of things if the scrutiny comes sooner rather than later. And lastly, Rabkin references a lot of shows I really dig, and his prose style is articulate but breezy. I have the attention span of a toddler when it comes to books on writing, but I managed to tear through this book from cover to cover (figuratively speaking) in one sitting. I am now going to write my new pilot. If it sells or I get staffed, I'll update this review ;-)
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Incredibly Helpful Book for TV Writers 6. Juli 2011
Von anna weinstein - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I read "Successful Television Writing" by Rabkin and Goldberg last year (great book!), and this book -- "Writing the Pilot" -- is the perfect follow-up. The first two chapters are particularly motivating and fascinating -- details about why writing a spec pilot might be the ticket into the industry in today's market (pretty compelling argument). And the book, from start to finish, is laugh-out-loud funny and a really easy read -- accessible and short enough that you can finish it in an evening.

I highly recommend this book. Great explanations in here about how to conceive of a series (not just the pilot episode) -- and you'll come away with a solid understanding of why some shows last multiple seasons and why others fail after just the first -- and what you need to do with your own script to create a show that might have a chance of making it. PLUS, by the end of the book, you'll be motivated to get to work! (He's really a very inspiring writer....)

Much of the advice is also applicable to writing screenplays, plays, and fiction too.... Actually, I think this book might be especially interesting to the person looking to write a book series or film series -- Twilight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, etc -- applies to all writing, but tons of great information if you want to build a "series" of any kind.

Ten stars! Not five.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Well Written, No-Nonsense 16. Juli 2012
Von Chris - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I had my first Pilot script, or at least the outline of it, pretty well under way before buying this book. It occurred to me that, despite having written a number of short films of varying length, and even a feature-length screenplay, I knew nothing about writing for TV - aside from the fact that there are generally more than 3 acts in an hour-long drama.

After reading this book - a quick and easy read - I'm not a whole lot closer to having the format of the teleplay mastered, but I do have a much more concise idea about what it takes to make a worthwhile pilot. It's about ending up with something much more that fifty-some-odd pages. It's about creating something that can sustain dozens and hundreds of such scripts and setting it up properly.

The author's advice is very practical and down-to-earth, with plenty of contemporary real world examples. He discusses the viability of the pitch pilot in the contemporary TV business but gives you realistic expectations about the challenge of it. I'm convinced that in the current day, writing a pitch pilot is something every aspiring writer should be doing, not because it's going to sell and make them rich, but because it's part of what makes you a TV writer.
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