Home » Archives » August 2006 » They weren't really called "pilot lights" -- I made that part up
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08/23/2006: They weren't really called "pilot lights" -- I made that part up
Oh my. That little LA Times piece about this blog has just borne fruit. Fruit in the shape of envelopes! So much mail has just reached me! Oof! (I collapse under the mail bag, just my little feet sticking out, one on each side.)
Some of the mail either contains ideas for television series (which I simply CANNOT read, no matter what kind of waivers you include, seriously – in fact, they don't even get to me, having been thrown away before I receive your envelopes), or questions about how to sell such ideas for television series. These questions generally come from those of you who are in situations such that it's not practical for you to move to Los Angeles and spend ten years establishing yourself in a writing career before you begin pitching pilot ideas. So, of course, you want to know about other avenues for turning ideas into shows.
I wish I knew of such avenues. But I don't. There are so many working writers with ideas – we pride themselves on them – that there's no sense of a need to seek out other sources.
I am reminded that there was, briefly, an attempt to do something like what you are looking for. There was a fairly low-profile reality show on Bravo last season called "Situation:Comedy," that was a sort of Project Greenlight for sitcoms. Unproduced writers submitted spec pilots, and two finalists had 15-minute versions of their scripts produced. (These mini pilots were called "pilot lights".) Unfortunately, I have heard of no plans to repeat the project, although I personally thought it was great, and I wish it would continue.
And how did I happen to be reminded of this short-lived project? Well, one of the letters I received was actually from one of the "Situation:Comedy" semi-finalists! I'm delighted to learn he's finding the blog helpful! Here's wishing you continued success with your career!
Maybe other projects and contests like that one will come along. We can all keep our eyes open for them. Until then... keep thinking, keep writing... what you're doing now is very much like how I got started. It takes many hours of flight training before you become a pilot. And many hours in the writers' room before you pitch a pilot. But both are, in the end, attainable.
Lunch: steak and potatoes.