Pitching My Pilot to Real Humans!
Once I realized I had a fairly decent idea for a show premise, I decided to test the waters. Based on the inherent traits on the show, I knew who my audience was:
– Women, 18-34
– Gay dudes
Perfect, since I’m an 18-34 year old woman, and 90% of my coworkers are gay dudes. With all of my potential viewers, I gave them the rundown of the concept, and posed the question, “Would you watch this?”
So first, I pitched just the premise to my sister Nile, THE prime example of who my audience would be: 18-year-old female who is actually involved in the world in which the show takes place. She loved it and then gave me a ton of ideas.
Then I pitched it to one of my old friends from high school: 27-year-old female who also knows a thing or two about the field. She also shared her excitement and gave me some really good ideas.
And for another test, I pitched it to one of my wisest co-workers; let’s just say he can give me Studio 54 and Plato’s Retreat stories. Anyway, he also liked my premise and gave me more fantastical ideas.
Now, conversely, when I pitched my idea to both my dad (55-year-old Army veteran) and my husband (27-year-old dudely-dude), they were like, “eh, not my thing but that sounds like a good idea.” Still, I realized that my step mom and the Bizarro-world version of me, two people who would actually watch this hypothetical show, would drag them into watching it. This is an audience you would want to secretly LOVE this show — so, this means I have to allot for juicy story lines, and really hot women. I’m sure a network would be receptive to that, too.
This gave me a few insights:
– Real, actual people would hypothetically watch this show — not just other writers and Hollywood types.
– By talking to non-writers, I got a few really good ideas that help create a more authentic world in which to frame my pilot.
– This gives me a hypothetical audience of who this show is for (and other types of people who could be added to this audience by just writing a damn funny pilot).
Again, I have no delusions as to whether this pilot would actually get picked up by like, ABC, and then I become the hot, young showrunner of the moment. I mean, it would be nice…