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Pilot script + story bible — who has done this/etc/help me


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Well well well, life keeps rolling along and now I find myself writing a spec drama series pilot...!

wild, right? whats shocking is that i kinda feel like i know what im doing?? like, if you said to me, years ago, “Just make a story bible to go with your pilot thats really visual with pictures and stuff,” i wouldve had NO idea what you were talking about

so, i wouldve looked up the term ‘story bible’ (/‘show bible’, etc), and i wouldve said to myself



a story bible, for the uninitiated, is simply a document that contains all the ‘big picture‘ ideas for your series (a stand alone feature film would be self contained, not needing elaboration), as well as character and location breakdowns, notes on tone, sfx, cinematography, etc. a cool contemporary example would be the stranger things story bible, originally called montuak—easy to search out that pdf...! check it out maybe if this is all new to you (see good article link at bottom of post)

all this stuff IS a lot of work (lol/smh), but ironically ive discovered that for me as a writer the whole mythology actually comes easier than a tight pilot, the big view of the world and the characters in it, i need that to makes sense of what im writing, and i LOVE how a story bible can be visual and all, as opposed to a teleplay in a strict typewriter like format

anybody here ever attempt anything like this?? any tips???? anything.... any comments are relevant lol. feel free to reply out of pure ignorance, i do that all the time lol

if ~I~ have any tips (i dont), its that youre writing for buyers who need a killer logline. like, if it doesnt sound somehow DIFFERENT, like a SHOW YOU WOULD WATCH, and producible in reality, forget it. as an unproduced outsider non guild member writer, its hard to get anything ‘read’ by the powers that be to begin with. theres a reason that ppl use the phrase ‘break in’ to the business — the front door is not open 😂 they are not taking applications 😂 so, imagine that youre that executive who always has 30 sec to hear a great idea — and if its hot it doesnt matter where it came from. i try to think about projects from there, and then elaborate...

*THIS* is why i need a proper tea regimen 😂 any comments appreciated guize


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I do that for a living, in french nonetheless. Consequently I have no knowledge of WGA stuff. That being said, I am currently being paid to write a few of them so I can talk first hand. With the Netflix craze, everyone and their mothers are looking for content, so today is a pretty good period to be a writer. If I can give you a tip, it's to study the bibles you can find online, there a few of them available from various famous shows. They are a perfect first step to organize your ideas, even among seasonned writers, we trade them like pokemons to get inspiration from time to time. 

You'll notice that their structure is very broad and there is no secret sauce. The idea prevails on form. 

My other advice is not to write extremely long bibles. Networks or producers tend to favor short and evocative stuff. A 10 to 15 pages document is perfectly fine as a sale tool right now. It used to be longer a few years ago. But arcs and characters still need to be perfectly drawn. 

Those are extremely vague advices I am effraid but they are a good start. Good luck.

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