LB: First Thoughts on the PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 Writing Competition Entries

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by Larry Brody

In the days since PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 closed, Team TVWriter™ has been logging in the entries, and I’ve done some preliminary analyses I’d like to share.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’ve read any of the scripts – because I haven’t – but here’s what I’ve discovered while working through the various entry statements and sorting through a statistical analysis of same:

    1. FWIW, the number of entries in this year’s PEOPLE’S PILOT has gone up again…slightly. As in 10%. A full 45% of those came in via Film Freeway, which I think is awesome.
    2. Comedy accounted for 43% of the total entries in PP 2019 (as opposed to 41% last year), with the Drama/Action category bringing in 57%.
    3. Last year, I recognized the names of 17% of the entrants, from previous contest entries, emails to TVWriter™ or myself, and the various classes I teach. This year, that number is up a bit to 21%. My thanks to those of you who’ve found the PEOPLE’S PILOT experience so rewarding that you keep coming back.
    4. Other statistical factoids you may find interesting (and not just because I do):
      a. Number of entrants who submitted more than one script: 9% – same as last year
      b. Number of writing teams submitting at least one script: 7% – up 2 percentage points from last year
      c. Number of total entries that included loglines: 95% – a huge jump from last year’s 35%, and a giant leap in terms of confident, professional-appearing presentation of entrants’ work
      d. Number of total entries that included series bibles and/or other info: 34% (a 20% decrease the significance of which I haven’t yet figured out. More confidence in the pilot scripts themselves than last year? What do you think?)
      e. Number of entries whose writers took advantage of our “Infinite Revisions” policy and replaced their original drafts with one or more rewrites: 11%, slightly more than double the 5% who did so last year
    5. I’m always impressed with the titles entrants give their spec series. This year, the judges I’ve talked to and I myself are 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.):
      SHOOTING AT BALLERINAS
      KING ELIZABETH
      FANTASIES FOR SALE
      THE KOSHER MUTINY
      MY SPASTIC MUM
      MAFIA HAIRDRESSER
      THE LOST TREASURE OF SPENCER TRACY
      PHANTOM EYES
      #BASH
      SERGEANT SMACK
      A CRACK IN THE SKY
      SOULS FORGOTTEN
      THE JOY OF STEALING PARIS
      MY WILD EYED BOY
    6. And then there are the one-word titles. This year, they comprised 24% of the total entries (the same as last year, and the year before – wonder what this pattern means…), and while in principle I’m against them because they’re usually too generic to mean much in terms of the series, one on the list above – #BASH – definitely caught my eye. A few others that piqued some judges are:
      HOOKED
      DiNK
      BROOKYLINO
      PAPERWEIGHT
    7. 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: SHOOTING AT BALLERINAS, and my fave Drama/Action title is: THE JOY OF STEALING PARIS because they both sound new and literate and make me want to see the damn shows they apply to ASAP.

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 2020. (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 2019 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!

LYMI

lboldwriter

 

 

LB

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

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