First Ten Pages of Your Drama Pilot

First Ten Pages of Your Drama Pilot

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Think of a bursting open seed; everything the grown plant needs is packed into it—and that's just how you should think of the first ten pages of your drama pilot! The way it BURSTS open should contain the main conflicts of the entire hour, the main storylines, and most of your main characters. That's a lot—and getting it right is the most critical part of quickly grabbing your audience (and a buyer for your script).

In this OnDemand webinar, Peter Russell shows you, using script and video examples from stories like SNEAKY PETE, OZARK, MR. ROBOT, OA, STRANGER THINGS, TRUE DETECTIVE, RAY DONOVAN, and others, just how the first ten pages of a pilot can go off like a bomb in your audience's mind, hooking them for the next hour (and entire season and entire run). Peter also shows you how to wrap these devices in the form of a TV beat that also grabs the audience.

Peter Russell, who has sold two TV hour pilots so far in 2017, is a longtime story doctor in Hollywood, a widely-viewed teacher of story, and an award-winning teacher (UCLA). His seminars are famous for energizing writers and his lectures are best sellers in the professional writer's world (as well as among beginners).


  • Creating your first ten pages to launch ALL your main storylines
  • How fabulous TV pilots 'tease' their cold opening with cliffhangers
  • The timing of the first ten pages and how it has recently changed
  • Showing the hero's core wound—how to do this in first ten pages
  • Where and how to open your Act One for maximum effect
  • How the form of a TV Beat (you'll need 2-3 in first ten pages) has changed


  • All pilot writers (even if you're in half hour form, the first ten pages is critical!)
  • Movie screenwriters moving to television hour long drama form
  • TV writers who want to learn the new, more complex storyline opening form
  • Anyone writing a TV pilot for the first time
  • Creators who have a great story but can't organize it for TV
  • Editors who want to create more tension in the story
  • Pilot sellers who can't get their pilots read right now
  • Writers doing a polish on their script to make it super saleable

Peter Russell is a Screenwriter and Teacher of Film & Television who sold two television pilots in 2018/19. Peter started as a story analyst in the 1990s, and has read over 3,000+ screenplays for major film and television giants including Imagine Entertainment, Participant Productions, HBO, CBS, Walden Entertainment and others. Peter was invited to teach at UCLA in 2004, and it became a passion, too.  He was UCLA’s Teacher of the Year in 2009. He has taught Television pilot and Film story creation at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College Screenwriting MFA program, at Story Expo in LA and New York, and many others. Find out more about Peter's online classes at

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the OnDemand webinar. All sales are final.