Newsletter 28 – August 2014
August promises to be a hotter month than usual when you add in our sizzling Hit Maker Summit – our first in more than 3 years – back by popular demand, and already half sold out. Find our more details in our Upcoming Events section.
One of our favorite things is announcing a client has sold his show. Especially when information or advice we provided contributed directly to that sale. Animation show creator, Adrian Dean, ran into Mark at the Banff World Media television conference this past June and Adrian was thrilled to say he sold his show because he gained so many valuable insights from our virtual workshop.
We met at Banff, I mentioned how I attended one of your online seminars and was able to use that information to help get a TV deal for my series “Doowett”.
I wanted to connect once again and say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your expert advice! I don’t think I could have sold my show without the stories and the valuable resources that you provided, for example, the pitching materials.
As I develop more projects, I will have to use your services again!
Thanks so much,
If you have an animated show, you might benefit from the replay of “Pitching Animation with Max Howard” that Adrian attended live. Just click on the link below to find out more about this content rich virtual workshop or to make your $95 purchase.
We mentioned up front that by popular demand, we’re once again hosting our spectacular pitching boot camp experience, the Hit Maker Summit.
Would any of the following benefit you and your TV show idea?
- Find out how to get pitch meetings with network execs
- Make your show pitchable
- Interactive LIVE PITCH PRACTICE
- Prepare you to pitch decision makers
- Get proven successful sample treatments and 1 sheets
If you answered YES to any of the above, this experience is for you!
We are already sold out half of our remaining spots in the upcoming Hit Maker Summit (August 24-26); a 3-day intensive workshop in Orlando designed to accelerate your process of getting your idea and pitch ready by working directly with us and other industry coaches and experts… to get vital information, build your strategy, and catapult your project and prospects to a whole new level.
You can immediately get more information and learn how to apply for a remaining spot here:
And listen to what some of the past attendees say about the experience from our Hit Maker Summit in 2010. We don’t do these every year, so act now!
Just click on the image below to link to a brief YouTube video.
GET YOUR MIPCOM DISCOUNT RIGHT HERE!
MIPCOM is the biggest international market for TV and it’s held in Cannes, France October 13-16. Click HERE to get more info about MIPCOM 2014.
We’ve negotiated an unbelievably great rate for every one on our list who is going to MIPCOM for the first time.
Here’s How to Get the Sell TV Exclusive Discount:
- First time producers only
- First timer rate of €795 ($1066 US) + 10% refundable VAT at MIPCOM
- Normal price is €1300 ($1743 US) + 10% VAT
- To register, email Mathew, email@example.com, directly with MARK SIMON 1ST TIMER in the subject line.
- Mathew will verify your first timer status and then email you the promo code to register online and get the discount.
MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Here’s an excerpt from Mark’s recent article on the Animation World Network, www.AWN.com, website.
Mind Your Business: Pre-production Needs to Change
Change is hard for some people. But change happens anyway. The sooner you get on board, the less painful it will be and the less you will be left behind.
There are times when a piece of hardware and/or a piece of software makes such a difference in an industry that everything changes…whether some people want it to or not.
The iPod and iTunes changed the way we buy and listen to music. Lots of people bitched about it, but that didn’t stop the revolution.
Editors who are fighting this transition, while trying to hold onto their turf, are only hurting production. I’m not saying we don’t need editors, we do. I’m saying editors need to use the same previs software the artists are using (at least use it during the boarding process and THEN move to their favorite editing software) and the entire process will be immensely better. I’ll describe the new and improved process in a bit.
See the entire article, including a new guideline for pre-production here…
- The Strain on FX
- Under the Dome on CBS
- Welcome to Sweden on NBC
- So You Think You Can Dance on FOX
- Halt and Catch Fire on AMC
- Masters of Sex on Showtime
- The Leftovers on HBO
- Wipeout on ABC
- Penn & Teller: Fool Us on the CW
What do all these shows have in common?
Answer: They all premiered as summer shows this year. The important takeaway here is that there is no one season anymore and big shows can premiere in the summer, fall, winter or spring. It doesn’t matter anymore because the need for shows is insatiable and the ability to reach enough viewers to sustain a show is now continuous throughout the year.
NEW TRENDS IN REALITY TV
Another takeaway Jeanne got from talking to network execs at Realscreen West this past summer, including her former Nickelodeon protege, Chris Linn (now the President of truTV), is the direction reality shows are moving in.
“The big trend I was hearing in reality programming,” Jeanne reveals, “is a move toward lighter, more humorous fare, and away from the sarcastic, mean or more caustic type shows such as ones with abusive practical jokes.”
Jeanne said she heard the same thing from all the networks she spoke with. What does this mean? Is our society becoming a little less cynical and mean at each others’ expense? We can only hope. But the fact networks are looking toward lighter, more positive content can only be a good sign.
OUT AND ABOUT
Mark was a speaker at Full Sail University’s Orlando campus, where he gave a lecture on character and story development, as well as how to speak quietly but wear loud pants.
He was also the subject of a 45-minute live online interview with Mr. Media, where he talked extensively about Storyboarding and using the new software available.
You can watch the entire interview here:
AMERICAN SCREENWRITERS ASSOCIATION
We’re very pleased to announce we are new corporate members of the American Screenwriter’s Association. We’re very excited about working with this useful and prestigious group.
The mission of the ASA, as stated on their homepage reads:
Our mission is to help screenwriters hone their skills and sell their screenplays. We are dedicated to creating a dialog between screenwriters, producers, filmmakers, actors, and industry to ensure mutual success.
We are a community of screenwriters and filmmakers, and strive to share our combined knowledge to help each individual member reach the pinnacle of their success. We seek new avenues to promote and market our members’ screenplays, and develop new relationships within the industry to increase member visibility.
Here’s their website: http://www.americanscreenwriters.com/
YOU ASKED IT
Questions. We got loads of questions at our last virtual workshop “7 Deadly Sins of Pitching TV” on July 29th (with over 600 attendees, Yahoo!), so we would like to take this moment to answer a couple more of them here.
Q: “I have pitched to local television before and received clearance in the past, but now I would like to pitch to the majors. What is the difference pitching to the majors like truTV et al?” – Philip from Dallas
A:Philip, first of all congrats on getting your ideas onto local TV. That’s awesome. The good news is that a great pitch is a great pitch. We pitch the same way to small cable stations as we do to NBC and Fox. However, it’s the quality of the characters and size of an idea that’s bigger and more important for national networks than for local stations. The development of your ideas needs to be different for the larger arena and you’re competing against a higher quality of show creators. You need to make sure your pitch package and your pitch itself is as strong as possible before you get in front of the networks. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.
We had a lot questions during our recent “7 Deadly Sins of Pitching TV.” Many people asked about how to land pitch meetings with executives. That is a much bigger answer than we had time for in a packed one-hour webinar, which already went 25 minutes long. The good news is that YES, you can pitch to executives without an agent or attorney. HOW to do that is covered in depth in our Hit Maker Summit.
Q: “Can you go to the Hit Maker Summit with ideas and no script yet?”
-Erica from Roanoke
A: Yes. Many of our Hit Maker Summit attendees do not have scripts yet. What you will gain at the Summit will help you create a better script and a better show. Many of our members revise their shows with us to make them more sellable and more pitchable. You are at the perfect place to attend and take the next step. If you already have a script, you will leave knowing how to make it better and more sellable.
Again, not many spots left, but here’s the link for more information:
Enjoy what’s left of your summer before school starts, and we hope to see you at the end of August!