Newsletter 16 – November 2012
Newsletter 16 – November 2012
This month begins on a concerned note as many of our clients and friends were affected by the devastating impact of hurricane Sandy throughout the Northeast. Our hearts and minds go out to you, and we hope you and your families are safe, your homes have power (and heat!) and that your lives return to normal as soon as possible. We’ve had our own experiences with hurricanes in the past (Charley, Andrew, etc.) but Sandy was a storm of historic proportions hitting areas not used to these elements, and one we hope you never see the likes of again.
Once again, members of our Hit Maker Tours had a productive and memorable experience at MIPCOM this past month, and we hope they will have plenty to be thankful for in November as they follow up with the many contacts they made.
Dayton, Ohio 1917 made a big splash in Cannes, France, 2012, when Hit Maker Tour member Kristin Alexandre had the opportunity to pitch her historical drama series Gem City about that Ohio city directly to the president of Fox Television, Dave Madden. Mark made that opportunity possible and had prepped her for that moment, and she was ready in spades. She had all the right pitch materials prepared and edited by the SYTCN team, and a primo pilot script written by Wendy Riss, a CAA client, and WGA scriptwriter for the AMC series, The Killing. It was a total professional presentation and package that intrigued and attracted Madden’s interest, and he agreed to read her script. You don’t get better chances at the brass ring than that. Nice going, Kristin.
Hit Maker Tour member Dr. Jesse Cole was also in the right place with the right materials to grab Madden’s interest, and he asked to read Cole’s hospital-from-hell TV drama pilot script, Critical Condition, co-written by our very own Wayne Carter. Excellent! Jesse’s comments about his experience at MIPCOM are in the Upcoming Events section below.
More info on our upcoming Tours at: Hit Maker Tour
IN PRODUCTION with MARK & JEANNE
Mark got the exciting news while he was at MIPCOM in France that the Storyboard Pro software he helped ToonBoom improve won a 2012 Prime Time Engineering Emmy. ToonBoom CEO Joan Vogelesang personally credited Mark for his help on improving the software, and said they considered him part of the ToonBoom family. Check out her comments on this video: http://youtu.be/DuhmEEuuCF0
And here’s an article on the win and the software in the Orlando Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2012/10/storyboard-artist-mark-simon-part-of.html
Mark also just gave a talk on story and pitching to a rapt audience of students at Full Sail University in Orlando. Here’s what one of the attendees had to say about it:
“My name is Patrick Knight and I am a student at Full Sail University in the Film Degree program. I attended your lecture today on Perfecting Your Pitch and thoroughly enjoyed your energy and passion for what you do. I really just wanted to thank you for your time and for sharing some key points for our industry and how to survive and on how to tell a story. I liked how you connected everything in life to tell a story, it really helped me grasp the inner workings of filmmaking and my role in it all. I hope I am able to display what you have taught. Again, I appreciate the time you spent with us. Thanks!”
Jeanne is in full prep mode preparing clients for the largest reality show TV conference coming January 27-30 – the Realscreen Summit in Washington, D.C. Last year, two of the clients with her on the Hit Maker Tour were chosen to showcase their pitches at the finale pitch competition in front of an audience of 1,500 and with judges, including Howie Mandel. That’s a testament to how well they were prepared and had sharpened their presentation. She’s expecting more great things for the projects clients are bringing this year, and it’s not too late to come aboard. If you have a reality show idea, the reality IS… you simply can’t miss this event. www.hitmakertour.com
Mark and Jeanne also just closed a deal with the NATPE conference, January 28-30, in Miami, to have a Sell Your TV Concept Now booth on the conference floor. This booth will be used by all of our Hit Maker Tour members attending NATPE for meetings, connections and just hanging out with Mark and Wayne. If you have a scripted show, this is the winter event to attend. Register NOW and party with us in Miami! www.hitmakertour.com
MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Here’s an excerpt from Mark’s recent article on the Animation World Network website.
What Networks Want
What do networks want? Great shows. But what makes a great show varies depending on which network you talk to, who you pitch to and when you talk to them.
It’s kind of like trying to figure out the perfect thing to say to that really hot girl. What do es she want to hear? Is she interested in the bad boy? Does she like adventure? Is she ready to settle down and act like an adult? Or does she just want to party and get her freak on?
I may not know what women want (who does?), but I do know what networks want.
Unfortunately, they usually don’t.
They know what they want only after they see it, not before.
Years ago my wife Jeanne and I helped open the Nickelodeon studios in Orlando. It was a great time, everything was new, and we were all in on a building new and exciting brand. But all the concepts were coming from New York and Los Angeles.
A couple of times a year the network would host a video Town Hall. The network president Geraldine Laybourne and her executive team would gather the three main network facilities in L.A., New York and Orlando together for a live video chat.
Part of the chat was to share with us lowly Orlando denizens (we felt like the ugly step-child of development) what they were looking for so we could pitch new ideas to them. We all got so excited! We’d team up and put pitches together. We’d rush off to pitch the next hit show that was exactly what they were looking for! We felt so special that we had the inside scoop and we were all going to be rich and famous with our own shows on the air!
And then the next show they would buy would be from an outsider that had nothing at all to do with what they said they wanted. Nothing. Nada.
What the hell?!
We learned a few things from that experience.
For the full article go to:
Free Webinar – 30 Minutes with Mark & Jeanne
This Thursday, November 8 at 9:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. PST) we offer a new, live edition of the always popular “30 Minutes with Mark & Jeanne,” where you can submit any question about developing, packaging, or pitching your TV show idea and Mark and Jeanne will answer as many as they can during the session.
For complete information and how to phone in or Skype to attend, go to:
Make this your Winter of Contentment! Sell your show!
Still on the fence whether you should go to one of the winter television conferences NATPE, Realscreen Summit or Kidscreen coming in January and February 2013?
Listen to show creators Jesse, Amir and Nikolae, who just got back from a Hit Maker Tour with Mark to the MIPCOM conference in Cannes, France:
“I went to the TV Conference (MIPCOM) to pitch a one-hour medical drama of mine called ‘Critical Condition.’
“What I liked about it especially is that you DO get the chance. Lightning does strike. I was able to pitch my script on a completely unplanned basis with the president of a big network (FOX Television).
“I think it would have been a complete waste of time for me to come here on my own. There’s no question about it. Especially if you’re not in the industry and don’t know where to begin talking to people. Obviously, i t’s easy to be shy and scared off just by the titles of the people (execs), but everybody here is quite nice. And having Mark along to give an intro along and help facilitate some of the introductions and make you go, ‘introduce yourself’ was invaluable.”
“This is my first time at a TV conference to pitch a reality show called ‘Get Rich Challenge’ based on a book ‘The Science of Getting Rich.’
“For me, it’s a treasure because it saves me time, money and energy instead of having to chase these guys (execs) from all over the world. It’s just three or four days event over here and it makes life much easier for me.
“The amount of information and contact I’ve gotten from this show is huge. So I’ve got a lot of follow ups to do, and people getting in contact with me as well, so it’s going to be good.”
“I’m here at the conference (MIPCOM) with my company Freedom Films pitching an animation project, which we specifically sought out Mark for his expertise.
“There’s a lot of access to people you would never have all in the same area at one time: top execs, decision makers – people you can actually talk to and get some feedback from instantly, and develop a relationship with. Having that all under one roof really gives you the opportunity to develop strong relationships. Ultimately, people want to work with people they feel comfortable with. I think it’s very important to go through the process.
“This is my first time at a TV conference. It’s been very successful. The guidance and wisdom I’ve received from their (Mark and Jeanne’s) services is pretty much priceless. I think we’ve solidified some deals based on some initial things, and I think they’ve been a huge part of that. I’ll be forever grateful for them. Thank you.”
SellYourTVConceptNow offers mentored tours, with pre-conference training, material rev iews, and on-site mentoring for both NATPE and Realscreen Summit, as well as the Kidscreen Summit television conference coming in February. For details, prices and more information visit: http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/hit-maker-tours/
Or call now at 407-351-0893 to get a guaranteed spot on one of the tours. Spots are limited.
We also offer discounts for conference registration. Here are those codes and the links to the conference registration sites.
January 27 – January 30, 2013
Use our discount code, SYTCN13, to pay only $1,175 for your registration fees. This discount is only good until November 11, 2012.
(Regular registration rate: $1,550 – save $375!)
Go to https://summit.realscreen.com/2013/register/ to register.
Perfect for reality and game shows.
January 28-30, 2013
Use our discount code, N13Sell for a $500 3-day price for conference with no NATPE membership, good until Dec 15.
(Regular advance registration rate: $850 – save $300!)
Share our company booth at the show and have a place for your meetings.
Go to: http://www.natpemarket.com/natpemarket/index.php/registration-rates
Perfect for scripted content.
February 5-8, 2013
Go to: https://s ummit.kidscreen.com/2013/register/
*You don’t need to go on one of our Hit Maker Tours to enjoy the conference registration discounts above.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
The Simons all love the SyFy reality series Face Off, which pits special-effects makeup artists in a competition to find the best monster maker. This season has been particularly compelling because a local central Florida makeup artist Laura Tyler was one of the finalists. The next season starts in January.
The Walking Dead delivered unbelievable numbers to AMC for its third season premiere. And no, we’re not talking about the 15 or so million human viewers who watched it that evening; we mean the 75 or so zombies that were gored, gutted, smashed, smushed, shanked, cross-bowed, batted, shot, crowbarred and stomped in what had to be a record brain-bashing festival for a one-hour television drama. There are plenty of other television shows that destroy brains, but this is the rare show where it happens ON t he screen instead of before it.
Wayne loved the original Robert Altman movie Nashville that deftly wove together the lives of several characters in the country music capital, and he and his wife Danette are pretty impressed with the ABC show of the same name. Friday Night Lights MVP Connie Britton plays a fading country superstar and Heroes cheerleader Hayden Pantierre plays the scheming tart quickly eclipsing her in the country music landscape in this Tennessee twang version of All About Eve. In this case it’s really all about great acting, good writing (Thelma and Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri created the show), and some tasty licks (T Bone Burnett is the music supervisor).
The Simons and the Carters are still on board the Colorado for The Last Resort . Mark says the story reminds him a bit of the current book he’s reading, Goliath, by Steve Alten. In The Last Resort Pakistan has been nuked, China has invaded Taiwan, and a rogue American nuclear sub has 16 Titan missiles and awesome actor Andre Braugher as the commander saying, “Don’t mess with me.” The only thing that can stop him now is ‘Admiral’ Nielson, commander of the U.S.S. Ratings.
By now you all know Disney bought Lucasfilm for over $4 billion and plan to release Star Wars VII in 2015. But what else went with the deal? Here are some details:
- Deal includes Star Wars franchise and all Lucasfilm operating businesses, including the special effects division Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).
- Indiana Jones franchise rights are also included in this deal.
- First project under the joint under Disney/Lucas partnership will be Star Wars: Episode 7 in 2015, followed by Episode 8 and Episode 9.
- Disney purchased “extensive and detailed” treatment for Episodes 7-9 as part of this deal which they “feel very good about.”
- Disney long term plan is to release a new live-action Star Wars film every 2-3 years – films may eventually explore entire 20,000 year time-span of the franchise.
- George Lucas will serve as creative consultant on new Star Wars films, though officially retired. Kathleen Kennedy will executive produce. Both are now discussing stories with potential screenwriters.
- Fox retains certain distribution rights to the existing Star Wars films but not the new franchise films going forward.
- Kennedy will serve as Lucasfilm president, reporting to Bob Iger at Disney.
- Disney plans to expand Star Wars brand into many new product categories and internationally.
- Star Wars brand will also be expanded into Disney parks, games and TV businesses.
- Iger says Disney XD would be a good TV home for the franchise going forward.
- Star Wars interactive strategy: Disney will focus more on social and mobile platforms, opportunistically on consoles.
- Deal was 50% cash and 50% stock – $4.05 billion
- Disney believes Lucasfilm value is comparable to value of Marvel, but valuation is only based on Star Wars alone – value of other Lucasfilm intellectual properties are in addition to this.
- Disney plans to let ILM continue operating as it currently does.
WHERE ARE MARK AND JEANNE?
Jeanne just got back from a birthday trip to her home state of Missouri where she had a great time catching up with old friends, visiting her mom and pausing to appreciate the beauty of the traditional neighborhood she grew up in and the magnificent Fall colors. Happy Birthday, Jeanne! (We encourage designating an entire month for everyone to celebrate their birthdays).
OLD NEWSLETTERS NEVER DIE!
They live on at our archive site for you to visit any time for free!