Newsletter 03 – October 2011
If you want to sell a reality show, there’s no better opportunity to get your pitch heard than the world’s largest summit for reality programming, pitching and networking … REALSCREEN this January 29-February 1 in Washington, D.C.
It’s coming faster than you think, so NOW is the time to finalize your pitch materials, one-sheets, treatments, sizzle reels and BOOK your tour package.
You won’t know the players without a program. The latest RADARSCREEN guide from Realscreen features an overview focusing on how to approach 12 U.S. networks, including OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, PBS strand ‘POV,’ Spike TV, Sundance Channel, Syfy and TLC.
If your show fits any of those channels, be aware that key executives from those channels and many many more will be at Realscreen looking for projects. The guide tells you what they’re looking for and even suggests HOW to pitch to them.
For example, Rod Aissa, senior VP of development for OWN: Opray Winfrey Network explains:
“We are looking for all types of programming that appeals to women 25-54 – shows that are entertaining and uplifting with compelling characters,” says Aissa. “We like to call it ‘real life, well told.’ That’s the overall brand ﬁlter for the network.”
And how do you pitch to Rod?
“Make sure you’re ready to talk about the ‘why’ behind the project, says Aissa. “Why should the story be told and why will it connect with the OWN viewer? It’s important that it’s relatable for the viewer and while entertaining to watch, it should also have some takeaway and intention behind the concept.”
Production and development executives from all 12 of those networks and many more will be at Realscreen. You can read more of their tips on what they’re looking for and how to pitch right here …
But more importantly, make sure YOU are THERE.
Jeanne offers master prep training webinars on November 17th, December 8th and a follow-up webinar on January 16th for all those booking a tour. In addition she will be on hand at Realscreen providing mentoring, guidance, consultation and priceless advice to those on the Hit Maker Tour. It’s the ultimate crash course to prepare you to sell.
Time is running out. Plus, space is limited for the Hit Maker Tour to Realscreen. Jeanne will only accept 12 projects
Book your tour now. The rate is $2,297 and spaces are going quickly.
To find out more about payment plans, email us at Team@SellYourTvConceptNow.com.
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 inf
Basketball player Michael Thompson failed at his attempt at an NBA career and soon found himself with no job, no money, no future, and living in his mom’s basement. But he reset his life, piece by piece, step by step, and eventually became the successful CEO of his own financial services company.
But the experience of rebuilding his own life and direction gave him an unexpected idea for a reality show called ReSet, and a new mission. In his own words …
“In the world of professional sports, men and women give their all to be the best in their field. But for some, the pressure of fame is too great … and they fall from grace. It is my mission to find fallen sports heroes and help them ReSet their lives. With the support of loved ones, superstar mentor ‘angels’ such as boxing legend Evander Holyfield, and Olympian and ‘genius coach’ Otto Siegel, ReSet will give these fallen greats a chance to succeed in life after sports. Some will resist and fight every step of the way. But for those who rise to the occasion, I will help them have another opportunity to win in the game of life.”
SellYourTVConceptNow and Doug Stanley, the Emmy award-winning producer and director of photography of Discovery Channel’s top rated series, Deadliest Catch, put together an astonishing six-minute sizzle reel to showcase the potential of Reset. The reel focuses on Michael and Otto’s attempts to help guide former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Quincy Carter out from a decimated life of addiction and alcohol, and back to a productive direction beyond sports stardom.
The sizzle reel, combined with a treatment describing how the show plays out featuring six fallen sports heroes are a fantastic one-two punch to instantly clue networks and executives into the storytelling gold within a show like ReSet.
We have great hopes for Michael’s very worthwhile show, and will keep you posted on where you can be seeing it in the future.
IN PRODUCTION with MARK & JEANNE
Halloween’s not too far away and you’ll find the SellYourTVConcept crew in great spirits over these developments.
Dolphin Tale, the number one movie in the country two weeks in a row, beating highly promoted premieres of Moneyball and The Lion King 3D used storyboards drawn by Orlando artist R. C. Aradio working through Mark’s company,k Animatics & Storyboards, Inc.
R.C. drawing on location by Winter’s pool. Mark and artist R.C. Aradio
Aradio worked with director Charles Martin Smith and the director of photography as part of his research designing action sequences, and spent time at the Clearwater Aquarium Florida location to get a sense of the backgrounds.
Here’s more on the story from the Orlando Sentinel.
Mark produced the pitch package for the completed 13-episode series based on the long-running comic strip Baldo, which was just picked up by U.S. distributor, The Television Syndication Company (TVS) as part of a package of shows they are promoting at MIPCOM. Baldo is coming to TV with thirteen 30 minutes episodes in both English and neutral Spanish. Baldo is a Latino high school teen who lives in the USA with his family, and the strip and series covers his daily exploits in the world of girls, cars, and little sisters.
Mark has been a fan of the Baldo comic strip for many years, even naming his family’s dog, Gracie, after the sister in the strip. He has gotten to be friends with Baldo co-creator Carlos Castellanos over the last year, which led to him creating the pitch package so instrumental in selling the show to TVS.
The Television Syndication Company has been offering programs for domestic and international syndication for more than 20 years, including genres of reality, lifestyle, documentaries, travel, music, educational, children and more. Their full catalogue may be found at www.tvsco.com.
Jeanne finished supervising the creation of another spectacular 1-sheet with visual designer Curtis Sponsler, this time for the reality show ReSet created and hosted by Michael Thompson (and featured in our client spotlight). Writer Wayne Carter wrote a new treatment for the series, as well as copy for the 1-sheet.
MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Here’s an excerpt from Mark’s latest article on the Animation World Network website.
I Hate AT&T
You’ve heard the term, ‘only as good as the worst part of your system?’ AT&T phone service is a great example of ‘worst.’ Obviously, our business depends on our phone service. I’ll just touch on the highlights of the hell we suffered in dealing with moving our phones to their U-verse system. It took six weeks to get their phone guys to come to our offices to install the VOiP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone lines into the already functioning U-verse set up. Not a big deal, as our phones still worked up to that point.
First the tech couldn’t hook up the phones because our numbers hadn’t been ‘ported’ over yet. The next tech didn’t have the materials to run the new lines. And when they finally ‘ported’ our phone number to their digital system, that’s the day our main business phone lines stopped working.
Promises were made that it would work out soon, but to no avail. After a few days of nothing working, we cancelled their digital VOiP service and wanted to go back to POTS. We figured this would be easy, since no one had touched our physical phone lines yet. Nope. Not easy. A call to the AT&T Hotline led to a tech telling us they needed to determine why we cancelled before they could fix anything. “No”, I told him, “you don’t. You just need to get it working back on the original system, now.”
Every time we called AT&T, we got someone else. We tried to work with the same person, but the AT&T phone system didn’t allow us to call any individual. We spoke with supervisors, more promises made, more promises broken and still no phone service. There were days we spent over 12 hours on the phone trying to get our system working.
One technician admitted that no one at AT&T understood the VOiP technology. He also admitted that no one at AT&T used the U-verse phone system. That should tell you something. I got so frustrated that I stood in front of the AT&T repair truck and wouldn’t let him leave until he got it working. Don’t believe me? Look at the photo. He actually told his boss I wouldn’t let him leave. That’s when I got his boss’s direct phone number.
Most of us can relate to calling AT&T over and over, getting caught in a cycle of phone options and then finally being hung up on. But that happened to our technician too. Watching his frustration was somewhat entertaining.
Then we tried to move our phone service to Brighthouse, but AT&T wouldn’t release our phones to them for over a week. All this while we have no business phones.
We threatened to file a complaint with the FCC if they didn’t resolve this problem. They didn’t. We did. Yes, we filed a complaint. It’s easy. You can do it too. Go to esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm.
All of a sudden AT&T was calling us about the problems. Don’t get too excited. They called, but couldn’t reach us on our main lines. The phones still didn’t work.
Okay, so we finally got it working, but anyone running a business depending on another service for communication can understand why a rant can be a cathartic experience.
For the full, “unrated” rant, go to … http://www.awn.com/articles/advice/mind-your-business-i-hate-att/page/2%2C1
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
Mark and Jeanne like what’s happening on the Spielberg-produced FOX science fiction series Terra Nova, which is like a Swiss Family Robinson time travel adventure back to when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Is it scary? Just ask the Simon’s 12 year-old twins Luke and Reece, who strangely cover their EARS during the dinosaur attack scenes instead of their EYES. Maybe there’s something to the idea that a sound cue like screeching violins (think Psycho) or a ferocious growl contribute just as much to what makes something terrifying as the image.
Mark and Jeanne caught comedienne Whitney Cummings’ self-named NBC sit-com show Whitney, but think the other show she co-created called 2 Broke Girls (CBS) is much better. New Girl, which finds goofy charming Zoey Deschanel suddenly rooming with three guys also shows promise as a funny AND intelligent sit-com. Imagine that.
Wayne’s trying to like the new Christina Applegate, Will Arnett NBC sit-com Up All Night (which just got a full season order) about new parents adjusting their lives to a crazy baby schedule, but that’s nothing compared to what happens to your life with a freshman high school student who has to get up at 5:30 to eat and be at the bus stop on time, has band practices until 9 p.m. some nights, away football games that don’t get him back until 1 a.m. Saturday morning, and parades and competitions during the weekend. Up All Night? Give me a break. Try Frazzled All Week (from ferrying around).
Wayne also liked Suburgatory better when it stared Claire Danes and played in the 90s’ as My So Called Life.
Wayne’s wife, Danette, is flying the friendly skies of ABC’s Pan Am (oops, wrong slogan), thinks the early 60’s setting has great nostalgia appeal to baby boomers, but wonders where all the cigarettes went. Yes, you COULD smoke on a plane in the 60s; most did, and cabins were often choked with smoke.
The Playboy Club. The bunny died. After three airings. R.I.P.
WHERE ARE MARK AND JEANNE?
Mark recently returned from Bogota, Columbia, where he gave lectures and participated in workshops for an international animation conference.
He was in good company. Some of the other speakers were Jean Thoren, publisher of Animation magazine, Rusty Mills, producer from Animaniacs, Joel Kuwahara, producer from Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers and Ann Austen, WGA writer and past Cookie Jar and network exec.
Pictured below are Mark Simon, Jean Thoren and Rusty Mills at a very late dinner in the hotel and Mark giving his talk in the state capitol auditorium.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
With the upcoming Realscreen summit pressing upon us, and spots for the tour going fast, here’s a flashback video postcard from one our clients on the MIPCOM tour package in France a couple years back.
Jim Morris is the writer/creator of a scripted horror show called Shadow’s Pass, Check out his report. It wasn’t only Jim’s first tour; it was his first time out of the country. His smile and enthusiasm over the experience and some of the contacts he made will give you an idea how much he thought it was worth it.