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Automatic Pilot Paperback – 6 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: HekaRose Publishing Group; 1 edition (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615979815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615979816
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Veteran TV and pilot writer, Bill Taub has a long list of credits. He's written for many popular -- and highly acclaimed -- TV series, such as: Barney Miller, Hill Street Blues, Magnum P.I, Newhart, Cagney and Lacey, In The Heat Of The Night, Kung-Fu: TLC, Friday the 13th: The Series, and Relic Hunter among others. He's written pilots for NBC, Columbia, Warner Brothers, Paramount, syndication and co-wrote the pilot for the prime time Dark Shadows. His spec pilot, Raffle Guy, won first place in the Scriptapalooza competition. He was recently honored by the Writers Guild of America for his work on Barney Miller and Hill Street Blues. He teaches TV Pilot Writing and Writing for New Media through UCLA's Extension Program.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only is this book an invaluable learning tool for pilot writing novices, it is also perfect for experienced writers for revision and reference while preparing the groundwork for new projects. Taub is meticulous in addressing every decision that must be made in order to write an engaging pilot script.
Taub breaks free from the dry lecturing that bogs down many works of this ilk. Instead, the extended metaphor of writers being the pilots to their pilots makes this a fun as well as informative read. Nor does Taub dictate sets of rules to be adhered to. This is very much a guide to make the most of one’s creative juices, empowering the writer to “write what you want to see.”
The reader also feels the presence of a mentor whispering encouragement as he/she takes on the challenge of creating a TV world from scratch. This reader wanted to finish the book as soon as possible, so impatient was he to get to work on another story.
However, the purpose of the book is not to teach screenwriting theory. Therefore, this reader recommends the book to those who wish to put their already learned knowledge of screenwriting to the specific task of writing a TV pilot.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Bill Taub's book "Automatic Pilot" was recommended by a friend who said even if you're not a writer, it's terrific - I totally agree!

As an actress I am always looking to learn new skills and increase my employability. Taub’s book gave me invaluable insight into the process; which in turn helped me break down scripts and characters with renewed vision. I have dabbled in writing in the past and now feel much better equipped, Taub puts it all into perspective.

I recommend it highly; Taub is a wonderfully positive and encouraging motivator in what can be a terribly negative and unpredictable business - as he says, 'these are not businesses of geniuses'!

With these new skills and the amazing step-by-step checklist I now intend to write another script and create the perfect role for myself.
Thank you Bill Taub!
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By H.G Patterson on 17 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
good product quick delivery
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
95% Bloviation 29 Mar. 2015
By Todd C. Murry - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is basically a laminated cheat sheet worth of information expounded on by a very encouraging rambler. The content to embellishment ratio is extremely low and a single point doesn't get make that isn't beat into the ground. I can learn more reading a single cockeyed caravan blog post than I got out of this whole book (saving 5+ hrs).

The references were oddly dated - some too precisely (as in I can tell the book comes from about April 2014, between the greenighting and pre-canceling of How I Met Your Dad) and some too old to be relevant. The understanding of recent TV is cartoonish, making a big show of how the landscape has changed and how the possibilities are endless, then ignoring the fundamentals of what's really different about the modern/cable approach.

A lot of the facts fired at you seem rather dubious. Netflix was about to go under before their 100 million dollar House of Cards gamble saved everything? really? Shakespeare is invoked as an example of how you should forget thinking in terms of act structure.

This genre (the screenwriting guide) is always tough, with books usually written by the unsuccessful or out of touch. They are usually too prescriptive or too unfocused. This didn't really change my perception

I actually listened to the book through audible and the reader is appropriately enthusiastic for the "reach for the stars" tone. It's a pretty over the top performance, though - think a coked up Ned Flanders with the "dokally"s replaced with Hollywood success idiom. My reaction to the experience of listening was disbelief as the hours ticked by waiting for the intro to end and the guide to start, mirth at the way it just kept going, then resignation.

The author is fairly pleased with himself for the airplane metaphor, which is too-cute enough to be grating. He spends a lot of time talking about his time on successful shows like Barney Miller and Hill Street Blues, which IMDB has him writing one episode of each, but ignores shows he had more to do with and that may have been more interesting (note: his last credit is pre 9-11). He started in advertising, and it shows.

If there is any audio I've ever listened to that really needs a one page PDF of supplemental material, it's this. As a result while I don't recommend the book, I'd probably go with the print version because it probably has "map" pages that can give you the content at a glance.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Saves you hundreds of dollars and months of time 21 Mar. 2014
By Pepper - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The entire content of this book is based on a UCLA writing class and it covers the material in great depth. I haven't taken that class, but I can't imagine anything is left out, because there's so much in here. In other words, you can get this book and learn absolutely everything you need to know about writing a pilot, or spend 100 times as much to take a class and learn the EXACT SAME THINGS. Bill Taub really knows his stuff -- he works and teaches in the heart of the entertainment industry after all, and following the simple guidelines in this book, you will too (know your stuff, that is). I've written a few pilots, but now I am going back through and revising them following the plans in here. No doubt they will get much, much better, and probably sell for zillions of dollars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Your own writing coach 28 Mar. 2014
By duchamps - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A tremendously informative resource written in straightforward, no-nonsense language. It’s like having a personal writing coach taking you from overarching concept to the most minute details. Filled with ingenious exercises and invaluable suggestions, “Automatic Pilot” will help your creativity take wing.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An Invaluable Resource 19 Mar. 2014
By Jeremy Shipp - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am really, really impressed. Bill Taub's Automatic Pilot is chock-full of excellent, practical, and keenly insightful advice won from his decades of experience as a successful TV writer. From his ingenious "I.O.U. Test" (which is also an excellent pitching tool), to his holding off on naming characters in lieu of a surprising technique, to the trick of writing a "two minute montage" in a particular spot to help the writing of a pilot, I found a wealth of tools that I started using immediately with my own work. There's also the Three C's (read this section twice), a thoughtful and unique perspective on indecision, and a discussion on some advice imparted to him by the late Roy Huggins--advice which is some of the best I've ever heard about writing, period. There's lots more in here, but there's one other thing I gotta mention: his section on selling yourself is just what introverted writers like myself need to read (not to mention he includes a link to a FANTASTIC video on the topic). An excellent resource.
Not only does he go over the basics and fundamentals of writing a pilot but he helps you figure out how to write your BEST pilot 5 Jun. 2015
By Sara Dolin - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an aspiring TV writer, I've read a variety of books about how to write a spec or a pilot, but none as encouraging as Bill Taub's Automatic Pilot. You can read about structure, etc anywhere, but it's hard to find the words of encouragement that Bill provides. Not only does he go over the basics and fundamentals of writing a pilot but he helps you figure out how to write your BEST pilot. He provides the tools for creating something that you care about and are passionate about and that best represents you as a writer. He offers great advice and help for fine tuning your work and more importantly never lets go of what the big picture goal is. We all want to see our work on TV or we want to sell it or use it to help us get staffed or representation and all the steps in his checklist help us on our way to this goal with the encouragement to never let it out of sight!! What I took away from this book is that the more we write and the more we stick around, the more likely it is that we will achieve at least one if not all of our goals!!
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