Newsletter 04 – November 2011
Our client spotlight this month is not just focused on one client, but on ALL OF OUR GREAT CLIENTS. It’s focused on …
We have a lot to be thankful for as the holidays and Thanksgiving approach; our families; our health; our homes; our business; but this month we are especially thankful for the wonderful clients we have had over the years. We’ve been very lucky, and we know it.
You have been an inspiration and a joy to work with. The creative collaborations have been a blast. We’ve made lasting friends with almost everyone of our client collaborators. We’ve been on the phone with you, traded emails, huddled in hotels rooms strategizing at conferences with you, made the rounds with you on the tours, shared breakthroughs with you at our Hit Maker Summits, vicariously lived all your pitch experiences, consoled you when you get down on your project, and celebrated your many success.
We’ve been through a lot together, and it’s amazing just how close we’ve stayed with most of you. That’s a testament to the class, caliber and demeanor of the people we deal with. Either we’re doing something right to attract the best clients possible, or we’re just plain lucky.
Either way, thanks for being you, and for choosing us to help you follow your dreams of creating and selling a TV show.
IN PRODUCTION with MARK & JEANNE
Here are some projects we have to be thankful for this month.
Mark completed more storyboard drafts for Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros big screen adaptation of Hong Kong Phooey, starring the voice of Eddie Murphy as the classic Hanna Barbera character. You may have noticed Eddie Murphy is hotter than ever with his new comedy feature Tower Heist in theaters, and his mug on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone magazine.
Mark is also busy directing the Cyber Optics animated pilot with the Canadian studio Loogaroo. It’s based on the comic book of the same name. You can download the digital comics online at http://www.cyberopticsentertainment.net/comics/
Jeanne and Curtis Sponsler are editing a sizzle reel for the reality series pitch Bass Kicks Ass, detailing the exploits of Australian martial arts and fitness video star Bass Gabrielle trying to build an empire as an entrepreneur and action star in Hollywood. It is promised to be action-packed (both the show and the sizzle reel).
Wayne just did script coverage on a short animation piece by Brian Burroughs. It’s a funny, offbeat short with a lot of visual humor. Wayne’s coverage showed how to make the dialogue and impact scenes pay off even funnier, and provide a more satisfying story and finale. Mark’s company Animatics & Storyboards, Inc. will be putting together the storyboard.
Yes, the holidays are coming, and YOU will be thankful if …
… You have a good idea for a reality show … and you give it a chance to BECOME a reality by attending REALSCREEN this January 29-February 1 as part of our exclusive Hit Makers Tours.
Production and development executives from all the cable and broadcast networks will be there looking for the next big reality idea. You could be the one to provide it.
You can also be thankful if you register for RealScreen at https://summit.realscreen.com/2012/register/ before November 11 and use our exclusive SellYourTVConceptNow.com discount code: SYTCN12 and save $175!
So provide yourself the opportunity to jump into the business of pitching and selling a reality show in the best crash course available right here at http://www.hitmakertour.com/
And you can really be thankful for the training Jeanne will be providing if you sign up for the Hit Maker Tour to RealScreen Summit.
Jeanne offers three master prep training webinars with the first one on November 17th, that’s next week! Pitch material review is also part of the training. In addition she will be on hand at Realscreen providing mentoring, guidance, consultation and priceless advice to those on the Hit Maker Tour.
You’ll come out of this experience more skilled at pitching, more confident at networking, and potentially wealthier with a good lead or a initial bite to make your show from a network or producer.
There are only 3 spots left. Book your tour now. Cost is $2,297.
Call now at 407-351-0893 to get a guaranteed spot on the ultimate reality tour, or visit our website and look under Live Events for more information. Spots are very limited and going fast.
MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Here’s an excerpt from Mark’s latest article on the Animation World Network website.
THINK AHEAD – GET AHEAD
From the moment someone starts their job, they ask:
- How can I get a raise?
- How can I get a promotion?
- How can I get my boss’ job?
How? By doing more than you are asked, before you are asked.
Let me explain. The way I look at it, if you are just doing your job, you’re not doing your job. A great employee is one who looks at the big picture, everything that’s happening, and figures out on their own what needs to be done next.
If you are always waiting for your boss to tell you what to do every step of the way, you will not advance past your current position. But you may not stay in that position since a newer employee capable of thinking on his or her own is likely to move into your position.
Budgets are dropping which means we can hire fewer employees and each employee should be able to help us in as many ways as possible.
If you can take care of a problem before I even know a problem could exist, I’m going to want you around. So will other employers.
The best way to get promoted to a new position, is to already do the job of that position. I don’t want to hear you tell me that you can do something, I want you to show me that you can do it. The easiest way to show it is to already have done it.
When I was art directing in Hollywood, I wanted to move into storyboarding. No one wanted to hear me say I could storyboard. They wanted to see my storyboards. So I drew a bunch of samples and went to Storyboards, Inc. to show them my work. An agent there gave me notes; I made new samples and kept going back. Once I had great samples, he gave me work.
If you are already working for someone and want that promotion, step it up and do the work as if you already had the new position. Make their decision easy. Once they see you do the work of the position you want it’s a small step to getting the position that you deserve.
When you think ahead, you move ahead.
Don’t say it, show it.
For the full article, including how Jeanne used initiative doing a full break down of a Francis Ford Coppola movie on spec in order to go from a production coordinator to a job as a production manager, see the entire article at …
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
Mark and Jeanne and the boys spend family time scoping out the singers and production values of Simon Cowell’s X-Factor on Fox. The show has a lot of visual splash, but many times the vocals are drowned out by echo or backing tracks. Maybe that’s deliberately to mask the lesser quality singers, because some of them are standouts. Jeanne likes Chris Rene. Mark likes Josh Krajcik. And, of course the boys, never mind the contestants, like judge Nicole Scherzinger.
The Simons also still love Modern Family on ABC. It’s great to see a good show stay consistently funny. And it will be fascinating to see big gay teddy bear character Eric Stonestreet make an appearance on this week FX’s American Horror Story, probably playing someone or something even more against type than the one he plays now (Stonestreet is straight in real life).
Wayne has been investigating Homeland on Showtime. This one has Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) as an American soldier returning home after eight years prisoner of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and Clare Danes as the CIA analyst who suspects he was turned into a sleeper terrorist. But then she’s hiding her anti-psychotic medicine from everyone and could just be crazy. Mandy Patinkin plays her CIA supervisor. This one’s like a cross between a Y chromosome version of 24 (producer Howard Gordon from 24 is aboard) and The Manchurian Candidate. But as a standard TV thriller, why is it on Showtime? I suspect this series might have been additionally pitched as the show where stunning actress and fan favorite Morena Baccarin (the companion in Firefly, and the queen alien in the remake of V) finally gets naked. She plays the wife of the returning soldier with a few secrets of her own, though what IS revealed might have popped the pilot into a full size series … on pay cable.
He’s also felt eerily drawn to American Horror Story on FX, which started off with a mess of a pilot, but has got more coherent, dramatic, disturbing and demented with each episode to the point where it has succeeded in giving Wayne USDA prime grade American nightmares.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Wayne had meetings with Cannon Films back in the 80s to adapt Colin Wilson’s popular science fiction novel, Space Vampires, into a feature. That film eventually became the cult movie Lifeforce, written and directed by Tobe Hooper of Texas Chainsaws Massacre fame.
Wayne was hired instead to script another film Cannon was developing and very excited about called Space Bounty Hunter. This film was very important to them because it was using a new technology called “Wonder-Vision” that was going to relaunch a 3-D revolution in film. What a crazy idea, right? 3-D movies hadn’t been popular since the mid 1950s, when they were first introduced as a gimmick to pull viewers away from this new thing called television.
It turns out another space bounty hunter movie was already in development, so the entire concept of the picture changed to a mythological El Cid-style chariot race action adventure on another planet. The new title was called Escape From Beyond, and the film was promoted with posters and pre-sold for international distribution at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
But a funny thing happened on the way to building the sets in Mexico and training the chariot stunt crews … chariot races are really expensive. Go ask Cecil B. DeMille, the director of Ben Hur (oops, too late, he was dead). The preproduction and film were eventually abandoned when they realized the costs were far beyond what they collected up front to distribute the film internationally (which was Cannon’s business model).
So the world never got to see the amazing relaunch of 3-D technology with a science fiction epic. Sigh. Too bad, huh?
But they did see the poster art at Cannes and in the Hollywood Reporter.
Wayne’s got a ton of insights to pass on detailing how to make that first script sale, what you can do to make your script and characters better, and what to expect working with studios or producers. Don’t miss this rare chance to get the full scoop on how to “Sell Your Script” webinar TeleSummit on December 14th at 9:30 p.m. EST, 6:30 p.m. PST.
For more information, go to http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/sell-your-script/
Speaking of 3D…
Hollywood plans 39 more 3D feature motion picture releases next year, but at the same time some studios such as Sony have announced they’re going to stop fronting the bill on the glasses. This is infuriating the theaters, or ‘exhibitors,’ who either have to pick up the tab or pass the costs along to consumers. You could either be charged an additional separate $1charge for the glasses at the box office, or have the cost absorbed into a higher ticket price. Or the theater could just decide to stop showing 3D movies altogether as a form of rebellion against the studios. Consumers could rebel by keeping the glasses to use in the future instead of returning them for recycling, adding even more costs. All this at time when consumers have already fatigued paying higher prices for 3D movies that don’t do anything to improve a movie if the story is just plain lousy.
The actual cost of those 3D glasses you either return (or don’t) after your $18 Transformers 3D experience run anywhere from 40 cents to a dollar depending on the size of the order. But studios have historically picked up that cost for exhibitors. Fox studios tried stopping payment for the glasses in 2009, but later relented after strong exhibitor protest. Now, with Sony’s bold move, other studios might quickly pile on. It’s a radical change in policy for them and could dramatically affect the future of this current 3D “revolution” both in film and television.
Our suggestion … if you’ve got a pair, hold tight on to them.
Oh, and also, next time you go a 3D film, you might want to ‘bring your own.’
Where are Mark & Jeanne?
Mark and Jeanne hit the BIG APPLE this Thanksgiving week with boys Luke and Reece on a family vacation. The Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade, Broadway musical STOMP, the Rockettes’ Christmas Show at the Radio City Music Hall, the new 9/11 Memorial, and street vendor food from a loud, rude guy with a gut hanging out, are all on tap for holiday excitement and thrills. New York City 24/7; you gotta love it.