Sweepstakes pitching (also know as a “bake-off”) is when a studio or producer brings in many different screenwriters to pitch on the same project before deciding which one to hire (“the winner”). In most cases, sweepstakes pitching occurs when the studio owns a licensed property — such as a character or board game — for […]
How long should it take to write a screenplay?
There is no set length of time it should take to write a screenplay, but professional screenwriters are often given deadlines they have to meet, so being able to write quickly and efficiently is certainly an asset. Feature deals usually allow for a 12-week writing period for the first draft, but the deadline is often […]
What is the television writer/producer pecking order?
Television seasons are written by writing staffs, not a single writer. Individual episodes will have a credited writer — the person who actually penned that particular script — but the plot of that episode and the season as a whole are constructed by a room full of a staff of writers (known as the “writers […]
How does TV staffing season work?
Television seasons are written by writing staffs, not a single writer. Shows therefore employ — and, accordingly, need to hire — entire staffs of writers. This is true of new shows as well as returning shows, as often there is turnover from season to season. Staffing season is the period when TV shows hire their […]
What is an option?
An option is an agreement that gives someone (usually a producer or a studio) the exclusive rights to buy something for a set amount of time and a pre-determined price. Options are common in the film and television industry, because they allow producers to control the rights to a piece of material without spending the […]
What do the different producer credits mean?
In film, producer credits are complex, and their meanings can vary wildly from film to film, or even from producer to producer on the same film. In 2004, John August wrote this blog post, which covers the topic in detail. In television, where bigger-picture writing is usually done collaboratively in the writers room, the writers […]