Hands-on TV Pilot Writing Workshop LA

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Availability: In-person, Online, VOD
Duration: 5 Tuesday evenings
Dates: May 8 –June 5, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Rough Diamond Productions
1424 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Course Fee: $269.00
Member Fee (15% OFF): $228.65
To book over the phone: +1 (323) 848-2900

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Back about 10 years ago, you needed to pick your favorite TV show and write a “spec” version of it to break into TV as a writer.  BUT NO MORE!  Gone are the days of the great “NYPD BLUE” spec getting you a job.
Now, all agents and TV shows are looking for are FRESH PILOTS.   Original pilot scripts, either one-hour or half-hour, are now the way that writers are introduced to producers and the TV community. Pilot scripts need care, commitment and logic – along with original characters, fresh situations and a fertile setting that is ripe to grow episodes from and the way to do that is to create a pilot with a mechanism in place to tell stories that will work for your future episodes.
During this 5 WEEK INTENSIVE TV Pilot Writing Workshop with TV writer David A. Weinstein (LUCKY 7, UNREAL, KYLE XY,  CHICAGO MED) with his guest speakers Mike Barker (AMERICAN DAD, FAMILY GUY) and Craig Gore (CHICAGO PD, S.W.A.T), take your TV pilot ideas off the ground. Write a pilot script that has the potential to win script contests, get you an agent or manager, get read by production companies to be developed into a series, or that you can present as a writing sample for a staff writing job on a series.
Each week, get feedback from Weinstein, classmates and industry professionals to create a wonderful pilot that will help you kickstart the television writing career you are after.


What will you learn?

Week 1: The Idea

May 8th

Bring your ideas!  On day one, Weinstein will talk to you about his journey from unemployed writer to working TV writer. After that, let’s hear your ideas! You are expected to bring at least 2/3 ideas so that you can get feedback on which one would make the best pilot for you to write in hopes of using it as a selling tool for yourself.  Leave the first day knowing that you have an idea in hand.
Assignment for Week 2: Prepare an informal pitch of your pilot’s story with its beginning, middle and ending, as well as characters and idea for the series’ first season arc.


Week 2: The Story

May 15th

Get ready to informally pitch your pilot you are setting out to write. This pitch should include characters, a beginning, middle and an end as well as where the series can go.  You will get suggestions on adjustments before you start on the “BEAT SHEET” assignment for the following week.
Assignment for Week 3: Now that you’ve talked about your story, prepare a “beat sheet” that course tutor can further evaluate before going into the outline.  The beats will be talked about and modified before you are sent to outline, just as in a writer’s room.


Week 3: The Beats

May 22nd

Bring your beat sheets that you’ve worked on.  A basic “beat sheet” is something TV writers do before getting into an actual outline so that they can make further adjustments.  You will get examples of what producers tend to  look for.  By the time you leave on Week 3 you should be ready to write your outline.
Assignment for Week 4: You are almost there! Bring your outline before you start writing your pilot script.


Week 4: The Outline

May 29th

Now that you had feedback on your beat sheet, bring an outline of your pilot to the class.   Course tutor will go over your outline and make some more tweaks before you are sent off to write.
Assignment for Week 5: You’re now ready to write that script. Bring the first 5 pages of your script for next class.

Week 5: Your Script

June 5th

Yup. The first 5 pages.  And then the instructor and 2 guest speakers from the TV industry are going to read those pages and give you feedback.
These pilots are the most important tool to have when it comes to breaking into the TV writing business.  By the end of the course you will have the first 5 pages of your script as well as your
outline and beat sheet, and all the tools you need to continue writing and the best chances of creating a TV pilot that you can get representation with or sell to a network.


Who Should Attend?

Screenwriters, writers or anybody inside or outside of the industry who ever had the dream of wanting to write a TV series to be picked up or to be hired as a TV writer.


The Instructors

David A. Weinstein

David Weinstein is a true journeyman TV writer.  Born in Brooklyn, NY – David came out to write for film and ended up in television based on advice from an agent who read his work and thought his sensibilities lent themselves more to continuing drama than to screenplays at the time.  Starting with an episode of SILK STALKINGS, David has written for almost every TV genre there is.  His first staff-writing gig was on a show called SLEEPWALKERS for NBC, and then he stayed in drama writing for such shows as SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, KYLE XY and THE CLOSER.  After deciding that he wanted to try other avenues in the business, he took a job writing for JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE that lead to gigs on Chelsea Handler, The Stevie Ryan show and Death Valley for MTV.  At that point, David headed east and took the WWE up on an offer to write wrestling in CT. for a year, until realizing that drama was his true love and returning to LA for runs on LUCKY 7, UNREAL and CHICAGO MED.  David lives in North Hollywood with his two cats, Misty and Munchie.  He’s currently working on a one hour pilot as well as teaming up with a well-known animated comedy writer for a half-hour pilot – meaning that David is still straddling the fence on genres.  He’s also managed to sell six different pilots in the last few years and is ready to share some of his know-how.


Craig Gore

Craig Gore came out of North Carolina with dreams of writing one hour drama. He teamed up with a partner, Tim Walsh and together they got jobs on Scy-Fy’s DEFIANCE and CULT.  Soon Walsh and Gore caught the eye of super-producer Dick Wolf who put the team on CHICAGO, PD. Starting out as Story Editors, Gore/Walsh quickly rose through the ranks to become the fastest Co-Executive Producers in recent memory as just three seasons and over 20 episodes written, they worked together as a team for the show’s fourth season, then split up.  Craig moved on to the CBS show SWAT, where he serves as Executive Producer under showrunner Shawn Ryan.  It’s been a steady ascent for Craig who has also sold pilots to many networks and is always cooking up new interest in his original pilots.  



Mike Barker

Mike Barker is a writer and producer who co-created the animated series, AMERICAN DAD and served as showrunner for nine seasons. The show, which debuted on Fox in 2004, is currently in its 14th season on TBS. Before creating AMERICAN DAD, Barker wrote on the first three seasons of FAMILY GUY, where he created such iconic characters such as Joe Swanson and the Evil Monkey. Barker got his start by writing for Don Rickles on the 1993 Fox sitcom, DADDY DEAREST. After that, Barker wrote on a string of short-lived series, including HARDBALL, THE LAST FRONTIER, HOMEBOYS IN OUTERSPACE, and OFF CENTRE. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Barker eventually escaped studying philosophy at theUniversity of Arizona. He scrapped plans for law school his senior year and instead moved to Los Angeles to pursue stand up comedy before discovering his true love for writing.



Joshua Hale Fialkov

Joshua Hale Fialkov is the Harvey, Eisner, and Emmy nominated writer of Television, Animation, Graphic Novels, and Video Games.  His television credits include CHICAGO MED (NBC), INCORPORATED (SYFY), and WISDOM OF THE CROWD (CBS.)  He wrote the Emmy nominated AFRO SAMURAI: RESURRECTION, as well as other popular animated shows.  Before that, he worked as a writer of comic books and graphic novels, writing characters including BATMAN, SUPERMAN, JOHN CONSTANTINE, THE AVENGERS, THE X-MEN, and THE FANTASTIC FOUR.  Many of his original graphic novels have been NY Times Bestsellers and have been optioned for television and film adaptations, most recently THE BUNKER and TUMOR (both of which he is adapting).  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, author and historian Christina Rice, their daughter, and two dogs who frequently misbehave.

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1 review for


Hands-on TV Pilot Writing Workshop LA

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bernadette Wysocki

    David Weinstein’s “Hands-On TV Pilot Writing Workshop” is on point! He is so experienced, that no matter what your level, you’ll gain invaluable insights to the project you are trying to create. His feedback is spot on. The little nuances that your work may be missing, he’ll find and make suggestions for. Drama, Comedy, Late Night…this man knows his stuff. His notes were a lifesaver to my pilot. Thanks David!!!

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