Writing the TV Spec Script | Sarah Zucker | Skillshare

Writing the TV Spec Script

Sarah Zucker, Screenwriter

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5 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Trailer

      1:01
    • 2. Storytelling for TV

      5:27
    • 3. Loglines

      3:12
    • 4. Beat Sheets

      2:53
    • 5. Scripting

      3:57

Project Description

Write a scene of a TV Spec Script

The Final Project for this class is a scene from a TV Spec Script. Upon completions, students will post:

  • A Choice of Show to Spec
  • A Logline/Simple Premise for an Episode
  • A Beat Sheet for the Episode
  • A scripted scene from a TV Spec

Storytelling for Television

Watch the Video

After you watch the video lecture on Storytelling for Television, you should be thinking about what current shows would make for a good spec script to showcase your abilities, and whether you would like to write a half hour comedy or one hour drama.

Choose a Show to Spec

Once you've made your choice, post it in the project section for feedback from your peers. You can refer to the Links in the Resources Section if you need ideas for shows to spec.

Loglines

Watch the Video

Watch the video on Loglines and Simple Premises. This will tell you how to format your logline, or one sentence episode idea, and simple premise, or paragraph length series idea.

Write a Logline

Write a logline (75 characters or less) for your pilot episode: this is an expression of the main plotline of the episode told in a single sentence. 

Post your logline in the Project Section for feedback. Please include the character count at the end of your logline in parentheses. For example, (75).

Beat Sheets

Watch the Video

Watch the video lectures on writing beat sheets, or a scene-by-scene synopsis of your episode.

Write a Beat Sheet 

Write a beat sheet for your spec script based on the logline you created in the last step, and add this to your project in the Projects section.

Refer to the resource list to find sample beat sheets you can model yours on.

Scripting

Watch the Video

Watch the video lecture on Elements of Style for TV writing and Scripting a TV Spec Script.

Write a Scene from your Spec Script

Choose a scene from your beat sheet and script it. Post this in the project section for feedback. Remember that each scene should accomplish an action, and the characters should behave as they do on the actual show.

Refer to the Resource list for examples of TV scripts to better understand the format, and use the elements of style guidesheet if you have any questions about formatting.


Student Projects