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The Answers We Want To See on Our Pilot Accelerator Application

Updated: Mar 16

Your submission isn't just about your TV pilot script. Here's how to make your Moonshot Pilot Accelerator application answers shine!

A writer types on a laptop

Are you submitting your pilot script to the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator for emerging TV writers?

Not only will you have to submit your complete pilot script, but you'll also have to answer a few brief questions. These questions are an important part of your Pilot Accelerator application, so spend some time considering your answers before the deadline.

Today, we're taking a look at the application questions and providing some tips to make your answers really shine!

But first, a little bit about the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator:

We launched the Moonshot Pilot Accelerator (previously WWFC's Pilot Accelerator) in 2021 after realizing that our community was filled with talented writers who didn't have the tools or connections to break into writers' rooms. Many had polished pilot scripts that they were excited to pitch, but they lacked representation, so it was impossible to get a single pitch meeting. They were excited to use their scripts as samples to get a staff writing position, but without a large network, they weren't able to get their samples in front of decision-makers.

That's where we come in! Each year, we get hundreds of applications, and our team of readers whittles them down to the most promising scripts. Our quarter-finalists submit short pitch videos, and from there, we choose semi-finalists, whose scripts are each read by two industry judges — showrunners, executive producers, and writers. Those judges help us select finalists, whom we interview before choosing our 6 to 8 fellows.

Our fellows go through a three-week intensive virtual program to prep their verbal pitches. They get feedback from a development exec, showrunner, and speech coach. Plus, they participate in a mock writers' room and have Q&As with an agent and an entertainment lawyer.

Finally, our fellows pitch to the top studios, production companies, and producers in the business, including HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, Warner Bros., and many more. Last year, 85% of their one-on-one pitches ended with a request to read the script!

Now, here are our application questions and how to answer them:

  1. Please provide your project's logline. Your logline should be one to two full sentences, and it should give us a sense of the story and your protagonist. We need to see that there's conflict, and it needs to be a conflict that can last multiple seasons (or a single season if this is a limited series). Often, writers fall into the pitfall of crafting a logline that sounds more like a feature film (or even a short film). We've also seen giant paragraphs in response to this question. Just keep it easy to read and succinct (two sentences or less). Treat this as a calling card, and make us excited to read your pilot.

  2. What best describes your project? Here, you'll select "multi-season series" for a TV show that lasts several seasons; "limited series" for a single-season story; or "anthology series" for a project like "American Horror Story" or "True Detective," in which each season has its own contained plot and characters.

  3. In 1-2 sentences, how do you envision the rest of the first season and beyond? Your pilot episode is just the beginning of a much longer story; it needs to effectively set up the first season as well as the series as a whole. We're asking this question because we want to know how the pilot script fits into the larger story arc, and we want to make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your project. An answer that would help us get a sense of your project as a whole would be: "In season one, [tell us the overarching storyline of the season]. In seasons two through five, [tell us the major emotional transformation your protagonist undertakes by the series finale]."

  4. Why is now the time to tell this story, and why are you the one to tell it? This is where you get to show off your personal connection to the story. Why are you so passionate about this project? You should also tell us why today's audiences will connect to this idea.

  5. How does your project advance the representation of women and/or non-binary people on screen? Moonshot Initiative is a nonprofit created to advance gender equity behind and in front of the camera. Tell us about the women and non-binary characters in your project. We'd especially love to hear if there are specific types of characters you haven't yet seen represented on screen.

  6. If you have a pitch deck (not required), please provide a URL for viewing this material. A pitch deck is truly not required, so don't throw something together if you don't have one already. If you have materials that show the look and feel of your project or delve deeper into future episodes and seasons, that can help us better understand your idea. We've seen beautiful pitch decks that give us a great sense of a writer's vision for their series. However, if you don't have a deck, it's much more important to spend time revising your pilot script and crafting responses to our application questions. A hastily made deck can detract from your application if your imagery and comparable projects don't match up with what we're seeing in your script, or if your outline of future seasons doesn't make sense.

Best of luck with your application! We can't wait to read your work.


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