Thanks to the explosion of content and platforms in the last few years that is no longer the case. Now the “original TV spec pilot” has literally replaced this as the calling card for the up and coming writer. Writers now can put their unique voice, their life experience, yes, their vision on the page. But this comes with a caveat, everybody is doing it.
This too is good news. Why? Because the cream rises to the top. The best spec pilots, the ones that usually are taken seriously and given a shot not only have a fresh idea, are showing us a world and a viewpoint in a different way and are timely, but they also are demonstrating why and how they will stand the test of time. How they will last 100 episodes.
A lot of spec scripts are unable to convincingly demonstrate this. Although some of them do have a unique take; are hybrid and get right to the central questions and issues; set-up the new ongoing dynamic and evolving situation; hint at the type of stories; have great hooks, conceits and conventions; demonstrate the engine, and even imply the conflicts to come there are usually inconsistencies or other issues.
Yes, it is about execution so let's not shoot ourselves in the foot.
Feeling confident about your project is vital when pitching. Knowing it kicks butt because you made sure it does will allow you to demonstrate this.
Making sure that it does kick butt is what we do in our “Pilot Analysis” service.