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 a McGuffin?

A McGuffin (sometimes MacGuffin or maguffin) is a device that drives the plot, but has no real relevance. A good example is the briefcase in Pulp Fiction: viewers can speculate on its contents, but the truth is it doesn’t matter what’s inside; it’s just something to drive the plot. The term is often attributed to […]

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 […]

In television, what are “upfronts?”

Upfronts are presentations (and together, an event) where the major television networks preview their upcoming fall and midseason series for advertisers, the press, and the other networks. Recently, focus has shifted away from small meetings geared towards advertising sales and more towards large presentations, often featuring shows’ talent. The upfronts are held in New York […]