Thursday, January 17, 2013

THE INS AND OUTS OF PILOT SEASON

 


DR. MEL'S WEEKLY MESSAGE
 
Yea!  We are in Hollywood.  And, by Hollywood, we don't mean Hollywood South!  We are in the real deal.  The weather this time around is wonderful as we are not facing a heat wave and there hasn't been any earthquakes.  In fact, the weather is perfect.

When we arrived, Jack Curenton picked us up from the airport in grand fashion style.  Thank you Jack.  We love you. 

From the airport we needed a drink after the long flight.  So, we went to the Belmont Cafe to suprise Chris Swirles.  But, to our surprise he wasn't working.  However, everyone is in for a treat saturday when we all meet up for cocktails at 5:00 pm -to 9pm there, also 1/2 price appetizers til 7pm.  .  OMG! Karaoke at 9PM.  The staff is wonderful.  They treated us like royalty.  They even knew who we were.  Thank you Chris for that. 

Then, we needed that drink. Not only did we get drinks, we had to taste just about every dish on the menu.  Talk about great food.  This place has it.  Everything we tasted was fantastic.  With that said, come hungry and order some food.  You won't be sorry.  My favorite was the macroni and cheese, the crab cakes, the calamari, the artichoke, and so forth.  Now, everyone get ready to party in Los Angeles on Saturday during the cocktail hour beginning at 5:00 pm.  It is very casual, jeans etc. and so much fun. 

And, BTW, today we contacted over 12 major casting directors to introduce our LACA NOLA TALENT.  Everyone we talked with so happy to hear from us.  Actually, I was shocked.  They knew who I was.  They knew about The Keystroke Killer, and better yet, they knew about LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP.  On one occassion the casting director said, "Thank you so much, can you do me a favor?  Please call _____ at our New York office they need one of your actors."  So I did.  From there, they wanted everyone, but unfortuantely, they needed New York locals.  But at least the word is out about LACA NOLA and the greatest talent out there.  And, Caylen and Robby are with me this next 10 days and they will continue to meet casting directors etc. while I'm on KSK production meetings.  Pilot season is here and we, meaning LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP, will make an impact.  I'm just so happy we have met all of you on our journey and you will be a part of all of this. 

Next, I decided out of the blue to call the president of Sony.  Yes, I know him.  Another OMG!  Guess what?  I invited him and his assistant to cocktail hour at the Belmont on Saturday.  I don't know if he will come as Glenn just had oral surgery.  I totally identified with him there, after under going my oral surgery and implants there.  So, we will see what happens there.  But, Glenn is so cool.  He loves this industry and really appreciates talent whether in front or behind the counter. 

Glenn is getting ready to go to New York to scout for another film.  I am not at liberty to disclose the details, but  I did volunteer to go with him since I really need to go anyway because of the web series I am the executive producer on in New  webseries  "40 and Leroy,Crazy in New York". We'll see. But, it was great to reconnect with someone who has made such a difference in my own life. I admire him so much.  In fact, he was the one who told me to start writing my books on reality shows and screenwriting. and gave me so much insightful information.

Now back to my day. I have only been in Los Angeles about 24 hours and it has been very eventful.  Why?  Well, I stayed lost for three hours. (only to take Jamie to work and pick up Robby> 10 miles of  Hell, this morning I really didn't know if I would ever see anyone I knew again.  That was how lost I was. 

Finally, I saw a sign to LAX AIRPORT.  Of course, that was really far from where I supposed to be, but at least I could tell someone where I was and they could guide me home to my next meeting.   I was only three hours late.  WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE 405, 101, TRAFFIC AND RODEA DRIVE?  Hell, they don't even meet.  Like I know how to drive in this city.  Not!  I really missed Jack today.  Jack, where are you? 

It's going to be rough next week going to see all of the KSK stuff, production designs, contract approvals for all of you, headquarters, Mark in the hospital, and going up to Santa Monica for a meeting.  If I don't resurface, someone who reads this blog please call out the National Guard and send out the rescue unit.  Love ya'll, glad to be in Los Angeles.  And, see ya'll at the Belmont for cocktails on Saturday at 5:00 pm.

PS:  FURBY UPDATE!  Can you believe, I left my house in a rush and forgot to grab Furbs.  But, Tina Rubin came to the rescue, went to my house, got Furbs, and overnighted him to me to Los Angeles.  He will be at the party Saturday night.  He is so cool.  Carry on!
THE INS AND OUTS OF PILOT SEASON

Each summer and winter, the major American broadcast television networks—including ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, and NBC—receive about 500 brief elevator pitches for new shows from writers and producers. Each fall, each network requests scripts for about 70 pitches and, the following January, orders about 20 pilot episodes.By spring, actors are cast and production crews assembled to produce the pilots.

Casting is a lengthy and very competitive process. For the 1994 pilot of Friends, casting director Ellie Kanner reviewed more than 1,000 actors' head shots for each of the six main roles. She summoned 75 actors for each role to audition, then chose some to audition again for the show's creators. Of this group, the creators chose some to audition again for Warner Bros. Television executives, who chose the final group of a few actors to audition for NBC executives; as they decide whether to purchase a pilot, network executives generally have ultimate authority over casting. Since the networks work on the same shared schedule, directors, actors, and others must choose the best pilot to work for with the hopes that the network will choose it. If it is not chosen, they have wasted their time and money and may have missed out on better career opportunities.
Once they have been produced, the pilots are presented to studio and network executives, and in some cases to test audiences; at this point, each pilot receives various degrees of feedback and is gauged on their potential to advance from one pilot to a full-fledged series. Using this feedback, and factoring in the current status and future potential of their existing series, each network chooses about 4 to 8 pilots for series status.[3] The new series are then presented at the networks' annual upfronts in May, where they are added to network schedules for the following season (either for a fall or "mid-season" winter debut) and at the upfront presentation the shows are shown to potential advertisers and the networks sell the majority of the advertising for their new pilots. The survival odds for these new series are low, as only one or two shows survive for more than one season.
 
TYPES OF PILOTS
 
Standard pilot
If a network isn't totally sold on a potential series' premise but still wants to see its on-screen execution, and since a single pilot can be expensive to produce, a pilot presentation may be ordered. Depending on the potential series' nature, a pilot presentation is a one-day shoot that, when edited together, gives a general idea of the look and feel of the proposed show. Presentations are usually between seven to ten minutes, however, these pilot-presentations will not be shown on the air unless more material is subsequently added to them to make them at least 22 or 45 minutes in length, the actual duration of a nominally "30 minute" or "60 minute" television program (taking into account television commercials). Occasionally, more than one pilot is commissioned for a particular proposed television series to evaluate what the show would be like with modifications. Star Trekand All in the Family are famous examples of this presentation-to-pilot-to-series situation.
 
An example of change between the making of a pilot and the making of a series is To Tell the Truth in 1956. The show's original title at pilot was Nothing But the Truth and was hosted by Mike Wallace; by the time it became a series, the title was changed and Bud Collyer was tapped as host.
 
Pilots usually run as the first episode of the series, and more often than not are used to introduce the characters and their world to the viewer. However, the post-pilot series may become so different that it would not make sense for the pilot to be aired. In this case, the pilot (or portions of it) is often re-shot, recast, or rewritten to fit the rest of the series. The pilot for Gilligan's Island, for instance, showed the castaways becoming stranded on the island. However, three roles were recast before going to series, with the characters either modified or completely altered to the point where the pilot could no longer be used as a regular episode. As a result, CBS aired Gilligan's second produced episode, which had the characters already stranded on the island, first; the story from the pilot was largely reworked into a flashback episode which aired later (with several key scenes re-shot). EvenGilligan's theme song, which was originally done as a calypso number, was rewritten and recomposed to be completely different. Another example was in the original Star Trekwhere most of the footage of the original pilot, "The Cage," was incorporated into the acclaimed two part episode, "The Menagerie," with the story justification that it depicted events that happened several years earlier.
Other times, a made-for-TV-movie is filmed as the pilot, but because of actors not being available, the series intro is reshot and the first reshot episode is considered the pilot. The Cagney and Lacey original movie had Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H), as Chris Cagney, but when she could not get out of her contract, they reshot it with Meg Foster, who after the first season was replaced with Sharon Gless; Therefore, the original movie is not considered a pilot, and is not included in the series collections.
 
DEMO PILOTS
Since the mid 1990s, television producers and networks have increasingly used presentation tapes called "demos" in lieu of full-length pilots.[2] These demos tend to be substantially shorter than a standard episode, and make limited use of original sets and post-production elements. The idea is merely to showcase the cast and the writing. These types of pilots are rarely broadcast, if ever, although the material is sometimes partially retrofitted onto a future episode of the resulting series.
Some series sold using demos:
The "demo" episode is not a new concept, as The Munsters was sold on the basis of a 13-minute demo episode in 1964, while Who's Afraid of Diana Prince? in the late 1960s attempted without success to launch a comedic Wonder Woman series.
 
BACKDOOR PILOT
 
A backdoor pilot is defined by Variety as a "pilot episode filmed as a standalone movie so it can be broadcast if not picked up as a series."[7] It is distinguished from a simple pilot in that it has a dual purpose: It has an inherent commercial value of its own while also being, as Alex Epstein describes it, "proof of concept for the show, that's made to see if the series is worth bankrolling."[
This definition also includes episodes of one show introducing a spin-off. Such "backdoor pilots" most commonly focus on an existing character from the parent series who is planned for their own spinoff show — for example, when Denise (Lisa Bonet), an established character on The Cosby Show, was planned to be spun off to A Different World, a Cosby Show episode was devoted to Denise traveling to visit the college which would become the new show's setting, and meeting some of the new show's supporting characters.
In other cases, however, an episode of the parent show may also focus on one or more guest characters who have not previously appeared in the show; for example, the backdoor pilot for the television sitcom Empty Nest was an episode of The Golden Girls, which relegated that show's regular stars to supporting characters in an episode devoted to new characters who were introduced as their neighbors. Feedback on the episode resulted in Empty Nest being extensively reworked before its debut; while the "living next to the Golden Girls" setting was retained, the series ended up featuring characters different from those in the original Golden Girls episode.
Not all backdoor pilots lead to a series. The series finale of One Day at a Time in May 1984 was supposed to serve as a backdoor pilot to a spin-off featuring Pat Harrington, Jr.'s "Dwayne Schneider" character in a new setting,[citation needed] but the network ultimately passed on the potential series. An example from an animated series would be in The Fairly OddParents episode "Crash Nebula" which was used as a backdoor pilot for a series called Crash Nebula, that was never produced. In a more recent example (June 2010), Lifetimewas pursuing a spinoff procedural drama for Army Wives featuring Brigid Brannagh's character, police officer Pamela Moran.[9] The fourth season episode "Murder in Charleston" was intended to serve as a backdoor pilot for the proposed spin-off.[9] The episode sees Moran teaming up with an Atlanta-based detective on a murder that is related to a case she has been working on for the past three years. At the end of the episode, the detective encourages Moran to take a detective's exam, and to look for her if she is in Atlanta.[10] In September 2010, however, Lifetime declined to pick up the project for a series. The Gossip Girl episode "Valley Girls" was supposed to be a backdoor pilot for a prequel spin-off series starring Brittany Snow as a young Lily van der Woodsen; the series was to be set in the 1980s. However, the show was not picked up.
 
A historically important venue for backdoor pilots has been the anthology series. They have variously been used as a place to show work still being actively considered for pickup, and as a venue for completed work already rejected by the network. With the decline of anthology series, backdoor pilots have increasingly been seen as episodes of existing series,[12] one-off television movies, and mini-series. As backdoor pilots have either failed to sell or are awaiting audience reception from its one-time broadcast, networks will not advertise them as pilots, only promoting them as a "special" or "movie." It is thus often unclear to initial viewers of backdoor pilots that they are seeing a pilot of any kind, unless they have been privy to knowledgeable media coverage of the piece.
 
While, as listed above, there are many telemovies or episodes within series intended as pilots, there are often telemovies or episodes within other series which are so popular that they inspire later TV series. Popular examples are South Park, which began as a duo of shorts its creators made soon after meeting in film class at the University of Colorado (a second was later made as a video Christmas card for Fox), and Family Guy, which began life as a short, entitled The Life of Larry, that Seth MacFarlane made when he was attending Rhode Island School of Design before he was commissioned to do a second short, titled Larry & Steve, and later adapting the idea into a series. A two-part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man introduced the character of Jaime Sommers who, despite being killed off at the end of the story, was so popular that not only was she brought back to life a few months later, but a spinoff series, The Bionic Woman, was commissioned. The 2006 Doctor Who episode School Reunion was devised as a one-off reunion appearance by the character Sarah Jane Smith, but ended up leading to a spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.
 
PUT PILOT
 
A put pilot is a pilot that the network has agreed to air. If the network does not air the pilot episode, the network will owe substantial monetary penalties to the studio. Generally, this guarantees that the pilot will be picked up by the network.[13]
The Groovenians was a Put Pilot as it aired on Cartoon Network, but never got picked up.
 
AN UNSOLD PILOT
An unsold television pilots are pilots developed by a company that is unable to sell it to a network for showing.  A pilot episode is generally the first episode of a new show, shown to the heads of the studio to whom it is marketed.
The television industry uses the term differently from most viewers. Viewers frequently consider the first episode available for their viewing to be the pilot. They therefore assume that the first episode broadcast is also the episode that sold the series to the network. This is not always true. For instance, the episode "Invasion of the Bane" was not a pilot for The Sarah Jane Adventures because the BBC had committed to the first season before seeing any filmed content[14]—yet it is routinely referred to as a pilot.
 
Sometimes, too, viewers will assign the word "pilot" to a work that represented the first appearances of characters and situations later employed by a series—even if the work was not initially intended as a pilot for the series. A good example of this is "Love and the Television Set" (later retitled "Love and the Happy Days" for syndication), an episode of Love, American Style which featured a version of the Cunningham family. It was in fact a failed pilot for the proposed 1972 series New Family in Town, not a successful pilot for 1974'sHappy Days.[17] So firmly embedded is the notion of it as a Happy Days pilot, however, that even series actress Erin Moran views it as such, as well as its creator, Garry Marshall.
On other occasions, the pilot is never broadcast on television at all. Viewers of Temple Houston, for example, would likely have considered "The Twisted Rope" its pilot because "The Man from Galveston" was only publicly exhibited in cinemas four months later. Even then, "The Man from Galveston" had an almost completely different cast, and its main character was renamed to avoid confusion with the then-ongoing series.

LACA NOLA ACTOR OF THE WEEK

It is very rare when the actor of the week for LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP is a non-union actor, but that is exactly who we have this week.  And, it is for a very good reason - Roger Molina Jr. has only had two auditions and has nailed both of them.  Go Roger.  Not only did he captiviate the casting directors for a Budweiser commercial, but on his second audition for a reality show as a bartender, he nailed it!  Not just nailed it, he got the role.  CONGRATULATIONS ROGER! 

Roger studied in high school drama, and never really thought he could make it in television until he met LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP.   "He just had the look," said Robby Stroud, Sr. Agent,  "We signed him, Dr. Mel worked with him, and now, he is booked."

"I love Roger," says Dr. Mel.  "He's a keeper." 

Look for Roger in upcoming reality series and more.

ROGER MOLNA JR.NON-UNION  (Not for Long)


Roger has always wnated to be an actor and has been interested in this industry since he was a child. He first had the opportunity to full-fill his dreams when in school by performing in the school's plays and taking drama classes. However, he soon found himself having to curtail his acting career in order to support his family. After several years he found his way working behind the camera as a camera assistant on the reality series "Girls Next Door."  He got the bug for reality television and remembered his dreams of high school.  He has never lost the love for acting, bur just recently is in a financial position where he can pursue his acting career. One of his very first roles was a voice over for the role of Matthew, in the short film, "The Keystroke Killer," He also played a young thug in "Girls Gone Gangsta". Roger is bilingual and speaks fluid Spanish and English. He has also done print work as a model., commercial voice overs, and now landed a feature role in a reality series.

Market: National Category: Television/Film/Commercial/Print/VOICEOVER
DEMO REEL (VOICE OVER)


HOW ROGER MADE $20 DOLLARS FOR 10 MINUTES OF WORK
By Robby Cook Stroud

Alright everyone!  As a struggling actor you find yourself doing a variety of odd jobs just to get income to make ends meet.  You wait tables, you are a bartender, you answer phones, you work at casinos, your a cop, you work retail and you work at fast food places all for the love of keeping your acting dream alive.  I salute you for the dedication.  

There is another way to make a quick buck or two and work in the acting field.  And, believe it or not I am not talking about you doing background work, becoming an audience member for a game show, or posing nude for a college art class.  I'm talking about becoming a professional audition reader.  Or, a PAR.  

A PAR is an actor who charges a small fee to help other actors who need a reader for an audition.  PARS are also used by casting companies when they need professional readers at auditions.  

Over the course of last year, the most frequent excuse I heard, as a casting director, as to why an actor hadn't submitted an audition was because they didn't have a reader for their scene.  Although Dr. Mel and I provided several alternatives ways to get a reader, which included Skype, Telephone with a speaker for the reader, and many more, some actors want a real person reading with them.  I can't say that I blame you.  However, your decision shouldn't be based on whether or not that person is in front of you.  Rather, your selection for a reader should be based on:

1.  How well you connect with your reader.
2.  The professionalism and experience of the reader.
3.  The quality of acting as a reader.

A professional reader can make the difference between a good audition and a GREAT AUDITION.  How?  Well, it is a lot like professional sports.  The better the opposing team, the better the other team performs.  This is especially true in football, basketball, hockey, and golf.  The same philosophy holds for actors.  The better and more experienced the reader, the better you as an actor will deliver your lines.

Therefore, if you are in need of a professional reader for your auditions, LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP represents some of the best in the industry who are available by Skype, phone, and in person.  We have readers who reside in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Atlanta, New York, and Dallas who are available to actors who desire a face-to-face reader.  However, our readers can bring your audition to the top level through Skype or a conference call.

If you are interested in our PARs, please call me (Robby) at 504-301-8000 or email me at:

lacanola.talentagent@gmail.com  

Pricing varies according to to type of reader service.  In other words, "HOUSE CALLS" for face-to-face reader service are more expensive as you have to account for travel time and gas.  Whereas, those conducted by Skype or telephone conference call are inexpensive and cost around $20 dollars for the reader.  You can pay for our PARS for their service on a our  PAYPAL account.

Some of our PAR readers include:

Jack E. Curenton (Los Angeles)
Jamie Alyson (Los Angeles)
Challa Sabree (New Orleans)
Erin Gamvrogianis (New Orleans)
Robby Stroud (New Orleans)
Tymothy Wyant (New Orleans)
Roger Molina (New Orleans)
Cristi Jolet (Dallas)
Anthony Moore (New York)
Helen Ray (Franklin)

Now that you know about our service, let's go back to you waiting tables and bartending to make ends meet.  If you think you have what it takes to become one of our PARs, contact me to apply and we will audition you for a PAR position and you can start making $20 Dollars just like Roger, one of our best PARs at LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP.


DEMO REELS!  WHY HAVE SO MANY
By Dr. Mel Caudle

IT HAS BEEN REQUESTED BY SEVERAL CASTING DIRECTORS THAT ACTORS BEGIN NOT ONLY POSTING THEIR DEMO REELS, BUT DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEMO REELS. THE MAIN REASON IS SO THAT THEY CAN VIEW AN ACTOR IN AS MANY WAYS AS POSSIBLE.  ONE TYPE OF REEL OFTEN OVERLOOKED BY AN ACTOR IS A VOICE OVER DEMO REEL.  YOU MAY NOT THINK YOU NEED ONE, HOWEVER, MANY FILMS USE NARRATION AND VOICE OVERS TO PROPEL THE PLOT.  FOR EXAMPLE, I DO WITH THE KEYSTROKE KILLER, THE TELEVISION SHOW "REVENGE" DOES WITH EMILY, AND THE SHOW DEXTER, DOES AS WELL.  THEREFORE, ALTHOUGH YOU MAY NOT SEE YOURSELF DOING VOICE OVERS FOR COMMERCIALS, IT IS A NECESSARY PART FOR YOUR COLLECTION OF DEMO REELS.

HERE ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEMO REELS YOU SHOULD HAVE: 

1. COMPOSITE DEMO REEL - NO LONGER THAN 4 MINUTES - USUALLY USED AFTER AN INITIAL DEMO REEL OF SHORTER LENGTH WHEN A CASTING DIRECTOR WANTS TO SEE MORE.
2. COMPOSITE DEMO REEL - NO LONGER THAN 2 MINUTES OR UNDER -  USUALLY THE FIRST DEMO REEL SEEN AND SHOULD BE POSTED ON ACTOR'S ACCESS, LACASTING, CASTING FRONTIER, LETSCASTIT, ETC.  ALSO, MAKE SURE THAT YOUR TALENT AGENT HAS THE LINK.  ALSO, INCLUDE THIS LINK ON ALL OF YOUR RESUMES.
2. DRAMA REEL - (ONE OR TWO PARTS OF THREE SCENES, BUT NO LONGER THAN THREE MINUTES.  LESS MINUTES IS BETTER.
3. COMEDY REEL - (ONLY IF THAT IS YOUR THING) - UNDER 2 MINUTES
4. IMPROV REEL - (ONLY IF YOU CAN. MORE AND MORE CASTING DIRECTORS ARE ASKING FOR IMPROV SKILLS, SO YOU MAY AS WELL HAVE ONE READY.) To make up this reel, get with a scene partner and improve a situation.  Film it with the camera focused on you as you would an audition.
5. STUNT REEL - (ONLY IF THIS IS YOUR THING) BUT NOT NECESSARY) 
6. VOICE OVER REEL - INCLUDE AT MINIMUM THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF VOICE OVERS ON DEMO REEL, BUT NO LONGER THAN TWO MINUTES.  AT A MINIMUM, IF YOU DO NOT PLAN ON VOICE OVER WORK FOR ANIMATIONS OR COMMERCIALS, NARRATION IS THE WAY TO GO FOR A CHARACTER.)   HOWEVER, I WOULD PUT AS MANY DIFFERENT VOICES ON YOUR VOICE OVER REEL AS THE TWO MINUTES ALLOW.
7. HOSTING REEL - (AGAIN...ONLY IF THIS IS YOUR TYPE OF THING) NO LONGER THAN TWO MINUTES. 
8. NEWS ANCHOR/NEWS REPORTER REEL - ONLY IF YOU GO FOR THAT KIND OF ROLE. THE LENGTH SHOULD BE LESS THAN 3 MINUTES; BUT 2 MINUTES WOULD EVEN BE BETTER.)

AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE ARE A VARIETY OF DEMO REELS. THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE IS YOUR FIRST ONE. GET AT LEAST ONE MADE AND UPLOADED HERE ON ACTORS ACCESS IMMEDIATELY. OUR CLIENTS WHO HAVE THEIR REELS POSTED HERE ON ACTOR'S ACCESS ARE GETTING AUDITIONS ALMOST ON AVERAGE 5 TO 1. THEREFORE, BEGIN IMMEDIATELY COMPILING A THREE-FOUR MINUTE COMPOSITE DEMO REEL AND THEN WORK ON THE REST. 

MAKE THIS A PRIORITY ALONG WITH YOUR HEADSHOTS. THEY REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE AS YOUR AGENT/MANAGER CANNOT DO THESE TWO THINGS FOR YOU. OF COURSE, WE CAN HELP SELECT THE BEST HEADSHOTS YOU SEND US OUT OF THOSE TAKEN AND OF COURSE WILL BE GLAD TO REVIEW YOUR DEMO REELS, TALK WITH YOUR EDITOR ABOUT OUR EXPECTATION ETC. ON A DEMO REEL. 

WHEN DECIDING ON CLIPS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DEMO REEL CHOOSE:

1.  The most important work first.
2.  You do not have to include the entire scene.
3.  Make sure the scene portrays you.
4.  Choose a variety of clips that conveys different emotions.  Don't just stick to one emotion or character type.  For instance, don't put three different clips of you as an attorney from the same film or from different films.  If you do you may get typecast and overlooked for other roles which suit you.  Therefore, choose the best attorney scene out of the three, then choose, a different character which is totally opposite like a criminal or an emotional spouse.  Remember, give the casting director a variety.

ALSO, I PERSONALLY KNOW SEVERAL EDITORS, WHO ARE AFFORDABLE WHO CAN CUT YOUR DEMO REEL IF YOU PROVIDE THE CLIPS. THEY WILL DO IT PRETTY INEXPENSIVE AT $150 FOR A 2-4 MINUTE REEL (ANY TYPE) IF YOU PROVIDE THE CLIPS (EITHER THROUGH EMAIL AN MPEG, AVI OR QUICKTIME FILES.) 

ALSO, IF YOU UPLOAD ANY OF YOUR CLIPS TO YOUTUBE ON YOUR PRIVATE ACCOUNT, THEY CAN TAKE AND DOWNLOAD THOSE CLIPS AND MAKE YOUR COMPOSITE REEL FROM THERE. AND, BTW...$150 IS CHEAP FOR THIS SERVICE.  THE AVERAGE RATE FOR THIS SERVICE IS AROUND $350. 

LASTLY, I HAVE ANOTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE IN NEW ORLEANS IF YOU NEED A DEMO REEL PRODUCED. THIS TOO IS PRETTY INEXPENSIVE AT $350.00 FOR A 3-4 MINUTE SCENE SHOT AND EDITED IF YOU PROVIDE THE SCENE, OWN WARDROBE, AND DO YOUR OWN MAKE-UP ETC.  ANYTHING MORE AND THE FEE GOES UP.  AGAIN, I THINK THESE ARE VERY REASONABLE PRICES. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT EITHER ROBBY OR DR. MEL AND WE WILL MAKE THE CONNECTION FOR YOU.

NOW, GO AND BREAK A LEG.


PITCHING A TELEVISION SHOW

I recently had this inquiry from a relative newbie (I think) to the business:
“I have a question I’m hoping you can answer for me. From a business stand point how does one pitch a show to a major network or company? I see reality shows, movies, adult and rated R content and I wonder how they got that meeting. LOL. I would appreciate any answers and suggestions you could give me. Thank you for your time.”
Now, aside from the “LOL”, I think it’s a great question, so I’ll share with you my answer:
Well that’s a big question that could be answered in detail in an entire book, no doubt.

But the short answer is:
  • The networks only let in the “approved” people to pitch.  ”Approved” means someone they know through previous experience or that comes in through a trusted entity – an agent or production company.
  • But it’s a bit of a Catch-22 at the beginning.  A producer with minimal credits needs to find an agent.  Almost no agent will take on a producer with minimal credits.
  • Some larger production companies may take a cold pitch (meaning from someone they don’t already know), but that’s difficult at best to make happen.
  • In this business, it all comes down to who you know.  Find a well-known or very experienced producer or director or writer, see if you can get any interest from them.
  • If you’re able to interest an agent or production company, AND they like your pitch, then they may set up a meeting to pitch at the networks.
  • To properly pitch, you need to have more than an idea.  You need to have fully fleshed out your project – whether it’s scripted, reality, or anything else.  Know the characters, know the themes, know the look and tone, know the basic story backwards and forwards.  Be able to discuss your show from every angle. Think of episode storylines if it’s scripted.  Think about what we’ll see in each new episode, and why we want to come back again.
  • It all comes down to telling a great story with great characters (whether real or created).
  • If you can shoot a presentation that shows what the project is (especially good for reality/non-fiction shows), do that.  If it’s scripted, shoot a short for it.
  • Have a logline (one line sentence saying what the show is), a concept paragraph, and a full page explanation of the show.  My typical “pitching treatments” are 15-25 pages, made for me only, describing everything in great detail — it helps me know the show really well.
  • If it’s based on a real person or book or movie, you’ll need to have the rights secured.
That’s the short answer, the best I can do here!

WHAT TOMORROW HOLDS

Now that I'm here, I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds for all of us.  Lots of things to do, lots of people to meet, and lots of deals to make.  I can't do this journey by myself.  In fact, I can't do it with only Robby and Caylen.  The only way any of this is going to happen is with all of you.  Stay tuned!  And, we'll see you Saturday.

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