How to Submit a TV Pilot Script
You wrote a TV pilot script, and now you’re ready to get it in front of those who matter most. You’re well on your way to potentially having that script picked up by a television studio for production, but learning how to submit a TV pilot script once you’ve finished writing it can take some time. You’re probably going to want to submit it to as many different television studios and producers as possible from the start, but take your time. There’s always room to improve, and by limiting your submissions from the start, you can often find ways to make your script better before you submit to some of the top opportunities on your list.
Before you actually figure out exactly how to submit a TV pilot script to the top opportunities that you’re considering for your project, it’s important to start small and revise.
For example, you might want to share with friends and some of your closest industry professionals within your network first. This way you can get some feedback.
To help you make a game plan in learning how to submit your pilot script, we’ve put together this list for you.
Step 1: Share with Close Network, and Revise
First and foremost, revision should be your very best friend!
Once you are convinced that your script is ready for submission, share your pilot with some of the top industry professionals in your network and ask for feedback.
Expect to get some insight that will lead you on a path to revision.
Revising your script is going to prepare you for submission to some of the more advanced producers, studios or similar opportunities on your list later on.
Nothing Wrong with Revising
Remember, your pilot script is likely to go through many revisions before you actually get it picked up for production.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for a pilot to be revised upwards of 100 times or more before it’s “ready.” Don’t get discouraged when you get feedback which leads to revisions.
Take it all with an understanding that the steps you’re taking now will lead to a better pilot that is more likely to be picked up for production later.
Step 2: Begin Preparing your List of Opportunities
There are a variety of different place or potential opportunities that you can submit a TV pilot script to.
Naturally, you’re going to need to make a list of the various opportunities that are most potentially suitable for your submission.
Submitting to TV fellowships, industry representatives, competitions, and a variety of other sources will maximize your potential of having your submission picked up for production.
Make a list of the top opportunities that you wish to have your pilot script submitted to.
And then order them based on the following:
- The likelihood of them connecting with your script. Have they produced past films similar to yours? Is their audience similar to the ideal target audience for your film?
- Do you have contacts within your network that are close to the opportunity? Could you potentially get your name mentioned to improve likelihood of your script being read?
- Have you worked with them in any capacity in the past?
- Are they accepting submissions?
Step 3: Grow Your Network
Growing your network of contacts is absolutely vital to figuring out how to submit a TV pilot script. Why?
Because many of the best opportunities are the result of networked relationships that drive connections to people in the industry that can assist you in getting your submission reviewed and accepted for production.
As you consider your list of opportunities, check within your network for contacts to professionals that might be part of the opportunities or that have secondary connections to those opportunities. If you don’t have any connections that are related, consider reaching out to build connections with industry professionals that are related to the various network opportunities that would apply to your script submission.
When networking, make sure that you’re not just reaching out and immediately asking for your submission to be reviewed. You should be building relationships. This means you reach out. You connect. Share stories and content. You build a relationship in which you engage back and forth. And over time, eventually you can deliver your pitch – but NEVER straight away!
Step 4: Prepare Your Pitch
Not all submissions will provide you with the opportunity to pitch your project, but you should look at any kind of submission as a pitch.
The more you consider the submission a pitch, the more you can focus on creating a formal delivery that’s going to connect with the audience that you’re submitting your pitch to.
Keep in mind that many producers are not open to unsolicited script submissions. Therefore, you’re not only going to need to perfect your pitch.
But you’re also going to need to perfect your networking. Expanding your network, pitching to those within your network.
And taking the time to build relationships with those who are indirectly and directly connected to the opportunities on your list is important.
Step 5: Keep Pitching Your Submission
One of the key elements of figuring out how to submit a TV pilot script is to remain consistent.
Keep pitching your submission to industry professionals that could directly relate to opportunities that you have on your list.
You should continue submitting your pilot to as many contests, television networks, producers, and industry professionals within the desired space.
Upon which your script is most suitable for as long as it takes.
Take all industry feedback seriously and continue to revise your script to improve it. Continue to network and build relationships. Continue to pitch your project.
Over time you’re going to see that your efforts are going to build momentum and you’re going to start getting call backs and questions about your script.
Take these opportunities to not only answer, but to also hone your pitch so that it answers these questions in the future.
Most important, as you learn how to pitch a TV pilot script, you need to stay committed to getting produced!