by Larry Brody
In the four days since PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018 (the web’s premier TV pilot writing competition) closed, Team TVWriter™ has been logging in the entries, and I’ve done some preliminary analysis I’d like to share.
I haven’t done any actual script reading, but here’s what I’ve discovered while merrily peering into the facts about this year’s entrants and their work:
- The good news in terms of the PEOPLE’S PILOT itself is that the number of entries has gone up 16%, regaining much of the ground lost in last year’s surprising downturn. In 2017, we were unable to explain the decline. This year, we haven’t yet figured out the rise but suspect that it’s due to our new association with Film Freeway, which accounted for a hot 28% of our total entries. Looks like we’ll be sticking with ’em for awhile.
- Most of the rise in total entries, by the way, came from a 50% rise in the number of entries in the Comedy Series category. Comedy counted for 41% of the total, with the Drama/Action category accounting for 54%.
- What’s that? You want to know what happened to the missing 5%? So do we, because that’s the percentage of paid entries that never got uploaded. Fear not, those of you who didn’t make the last deadline for uploading, we’re applying your payment to next year’s competition. Now you’ve got plenty of time to polish your scripts into the masterpieces we all want them to be!
- Last year, I recognized the names of 33% of the entrants, from previous contest entries, emails to TVWriter™ or myself, and the various classes I teach. This year, that number is down by almost half, showing that PEOPLE’S PILOT and TVWriter™ are gaining a new audience. I believe that, overall, that’s a good sign, boding well not only for TVWriter™ but for TV and other eMedia as well.
- Other statistical factoids you may find interesting (and not just because I do):
a. Number of entrants who submitted more than one script: 9%
b. Number of writing teams submitting at least one script: 5%
c. Number of Comedy entries that included loglines: 30%
d. Number of Drama/Action entries that included loglines: 37%
e. Number of total entries that included series bibles and/or other info: 54% (a sharp increase due in large part to the fact that such info is required by Film Freeway).
f. Number of entries whose writers took advantage of our new “Infinite Revisions” policy and replaced their original drafts with one or more rewrites: 5% (whoa, you’re a more confident bunch that I’d thought. Hmm…)
- I’m always impressed with the titles entrants give their spec series. This year, I’m especially looking forward to reading the following, just because of their names. (The a lesson here is that a good title goes a long, long way toward helping readers, executives, and of course viewers take notice of your work.):
THE MERRY MURDER WIVES CLUB
A VERY LONG ROPE
TALES FROM THE CREEPS
MY MOTHER MURDERED MY FATHER
WHEN THE WORLD WAS SQUARE
YOU BUG ME!
GOITER ‘N STACHE
TIL DEATH DOES PART US
MY SEX LIFE
- And then there are the one-word titles. This year, they comprised 24% of the total entries (about the same as last year), and while in principle I’m againsts them because they’re usually too generic to mean much in terms of the series, two are on the list above…because, let’s face it, the word URANUS is always funny. And SHROOMERS, well, I’ll put it this way: My experience with some real world shroomers changed my life. Anyway, here are some others that caught my attention as well, for better or, possibly, for worse:
- Speaking of titles, without reading the material and having a clue about how the titles relate to the scripts, my favorite Comedy pilot title is: BULLSHIT AND CRAP. And my fave Drama/Action title is: THE FUCKING NEW GUYS (uh-oh, what does this say about me? Never mind – don’t answer).
Our plan for announcing the results of this competition here at beautiful downtown TVWriter™ remains the same as we say on the PEOPLE’S PILOT “About” page. We’re looking forward to announcing Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Winners over a three to five week period between mid-January and mid-February of 2019. (Where does the time go?)
That’s it for now. I’ll probably have a few more things to say between now and then, so keep checking. Wouldn’t want anybody to be a Winner and not know it.
Which reminds me, if you entered PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018 and want to keep abreast of all the further developments (and, you know, your placing, Feedback, et al), do yourself and us a favor and make sure to keep your name and email address on the TVWriter™ eMail List because that’s our go-to way of getting in touch.
Thanks again to everyone for taking part and being so talented! More to come!