An airplane pilot has to complete a checklist before taking off to avoid crashing and to stay in the air. Automatic Pilot is a TV Pilot Writer’s Checklist to keep from crashing and stay on the air. It applies to both traditional TV pilots as well as new media “web series”.
Automatic Pilot is the definitive guide on how to create and write an original pilot. It takes you through the step-by-step process of writing your own pilot script.
Automatic Pilot is adapted from Bill’s very successful UCLA Extension Writers’ Program online workshop, Writing A Spec Pilot, which he has been teaching to students all over the world since 2006.
Available from Amazon worldwide in paperback and Kindle editions. Audiobook available in the US and UK markets only.
Also available in paperback from Barnes & Noble.
Automatic Pilot is also available in Spanish. Translation by Magdalena Balibrea Vich.
Available from Amazon wordlwide. Kindle edition only.
Bill’s book is the best no frills, no b.s. primer on writing for television that I’ve read. Consciously or not, over the years I’ve followed every one of his how to’s, to apparently good effect. This book is as close to the truth as you get in this business.
— Rene Balcer, Emmy and Peabody award-winning Showrunner for Law & Order and Creator of Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Bill Taub is one of the best kept secrets in Hollywood. His knowledge of the industry is invaluable. Anytime I need any advice with a project, Bill Taub is my main source. Whoever reads this book will know more about writing pilots than people who spend years studying.
— Jamie Masada, Founder & CEO, Laugh Factory
In his three-decade career, Bill Taub has written for some of TV’s most iconic shows, and has sustained a remarkably robust and varied career in the field by pushing beyond whatever the current boundaries of the medium might be. With Automatic Pilot, he distills his extensive writing and teaching experience into an accessible guide to developing and revising the pilot script—all the while empowering (‘you will be the pilot of your pilot’) and liberating (‘the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work’) writers to create with joy.
— Linda Venis, PhD Director, UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Program Director, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Editor, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room
Reviews from Readers
Your Own Writing Coach
A tremendously informative resource written in straightforward, no-nonsense language. “Automatic Pilot” will help your creativity take wing.
“Automatic Pilot” will save you a lot of time, frustration, and hassle of reading through fluff you’ll find in a lot of other TV writing books!
I’d rate this book a 10 if I could. Bill is one of the people who has been there, done that, and knows what the hell he’s talking about.
The expertise and gentle guiding hand of the author eases any beginner through the starting process – and talks the pro writer off his writer’s block ledge. Bill Taub makes writing fun again.
As a writer I love this book
Bill’s advice is also very practical and less focused on theory. This is also a recently published book (2014) and Bill considers the current state of the industry when he gives advice (whereas a lot of books I’ve read were written in a world pre-YouTube and Netflix).
Read this book before writing your Spec TV Pilot Script!
I wish I had this book two years ago when I was teaching television writing in Aqaba, Jordan, to graduate students from across the Middle East and North Africa. It would have been required reading. Whether you’re a novice, or a professional writer, you’ll find that Bill Taub’s book is fun, entertaining, empowering and extremely informative.