With either a new feature screenplay or a new TV series project, you must always FIRST start with the story and character development process. The story and character development process is in fact the MOST important stage of any NEW writing project. It's purpose is to get all the KEY story elements, main and final conflicts, and detailed character chemistry and development, fully recognized and hammered out -- before any of the writing begins. This outline and development stage is critical to all new projects in order to eliminate any time consuming and costly revisions and rewrites later on.
The story development stage is what all professional writers do before they embark on any new writing project. These writers have a complete 'check list' of required writing elements firmly they know all professional in the Film/TV industry will be looking for once they review the 'new' project for consideration. The story and character development process also helps to 'educate' the client about what the TV/Film Producers will be looking for and why in all new TV and/or Feature Film projects. The lack of this knowledge is also the 'same' reason why so many new writers have trouble getting their projects read by professionals in the industry. Far too many new writers without any formal education, training or knowledge in the craft of TV or film writing are too busy trying to sell ideas, instead understanding the work that goes on during the entire process. It takes a lot of effort, time, training and skill as well as talent to get any project made -- and that all starts with the completed Story Development Outline and Character Development Process.
Only once the story and character development phase is completed by both the client and the screenwriter, it is then time to use this valuable information and turn it into an actual script. The first draft of the completed screenplay is typically between 100-120 pages long (approximately one and a half hour feature length film) and is written in Final Draft Screenplay Software. The first draft of a TV Series Pilot Episode (one hour long) is approximately 60 pages long and is also written in Final Draft Screenplay Software. All details of the first draft of a screenplay and/or TV Series is based on the story development outline for screenplays and the TV Bible which have been already approved and agreed upon by both the screenwriter and the client.
The final polish of the screenplay takes the first draft of the screenplay and turns it into a 'polished' screenplay ready to market and review. Typically first drafts of script are never fully ready for marking and require some polishing before being marketed. This polishing phase takes all the key elements that are now flushed out into a completed script, and further refines and tightens them, as well as cutting out any 'fat' or issues that may slow the reader down. You want your script to now become what is called 'a page turner' that is not easily be dismissed or put down.
As for the TV Series First Pilot Episode, the First Pilot Episode does not typically required a full polish because it is not 'a shooting script'. The TV Series First Pilot Episode and is more of a glimpse into what the new TV show will look and sound like, once the primary characters are introduced. It may change before the TV Series is actually picked up and developed by a TV Producer. It should be good to go once finished, and not require a full polish.
Remember, this new project that is based on a completely original and new idea which has not been reviewed by anyone yet, outside of the original creator/writer. The final stage FOUR is to GET the completed project registered at WGA and US Copyright Office in Washington, DC which can be done on-line. Once it is registered under your name its should then be REVIEWED by professionals in the TV/Film industry. You want to be sure that your new project is reaching your target audience, is not like any others, and is hitting all it's 'marks' before you start putting it out there. Once you send it out and it gets rejected, you do not get a second chance for another review. So you want to get it reviewed by people in the industry it will be marketed to in order to feel confident that your concept, idea and writing is good enough to compete with other projects currently out there.
Getting your new project reviewed can also help you to get your project marketed. Projects with 'GOOD or RECOMMEND' reviews sometimes get passed onto TV/FILM Producers who are associated with some of these 'reviewing' websites. If you instead get some 'negative' reviews you still have time to fix these issues before sending it out as well as getting it 'reviewed a second time' Either way, getting reviews is the only way to know that your new project is completely ready to be marketed. You can research these different website 'reviewing' companies and see which one works best for your particular project as see their fees, ways in which they one of them work, and who will be who responsible for reviewing your material (see their backgrounds).
If your particularly TV Series or Feature Screenplay project requires any type of research (such as period films/science fiction/fantasy/supernatural elements) please note that any research that might be required to complete the project is not provided by Suzanne. The client is responsible for providing all the necessary research needed to complete their film or TV project. This research material will then be emailed to Suzanne for review. There is also a fee required for reviewing research material which is not included in any of the current fees for the various writing stages (see fees and services page). The cost to review this material is located at the bottom of the services and fees section and is based on how much material there is to review. If you have any questions about research material that maybe required to complete your particular project please contact Suzanne in advance to discuss what materials might be needed and why.