Newsletter 25 – September 2014
The 2014 Hit Maker Summit has come and gone and if you missed it, well, mark your calender for next year because a most excellent and productive time was had by all. Let’s take a brief journey.
HIT MAKER SUMMIT HIGHLIGHTS
What a fantastic group this year. Everyone came with a project they were passionate about; an eagerness to grab as much information, advice and momentum to propel it forward; a generosity of spirit and enthusiasm toward each others’ ideas; in the mood to have fun; and a serious dedication to crafting the perfect pitch. And they all seemed pretty thrilled.
During the Summit, Mark and Jeanne asked Members to share their big AH-HA moments…Here are some of their responses…
“It’s OK to be emotional in your pitch session!”
“That we were working backwards in the process…we were thinking too small.”
“There is a lot of crap shit involved in putting together the final work for a pitch – so I’m just gonna hire Jeanne and Mark.”
Mark and Jeanne had some comments to pass along:
“This is absolutely my favorite event of the year because of you guys.The friendships and support that develops as we all work together. The stories we tell each other. How many times did I cry? Thanks for putting up with my tears. You all see and feel the power of emotional involvement with your projects. I certainly did. And the three days just flew by. What’s great though is how excited we are to continue working with you, and especially to see you at the conferences, where what you practiced here truly comes to life. I also want to again thank our entire team; Denyse, Heather, John and Tracy who made it easy for us so we weren’t exhausted at the end of the day. Can’t wait for next year!”
“The most exciting part of the Summit for me is to see how each show blooms during this process. The amount of growth for each show was amazing. If we could have a before and after picture of where some of these pitches and projects were, everyone would be shocked. It’s such a huge leap.”
“The Rosen Shingle Creek was a big and beautiful location. The food at the lunches was great. Our team, as Mark, mentioned was a lifesaver. I also want to give a great shout out to the speakers who shared their insights about the television industry, and also their entertaining ‘war’ stories. We got so many good comments about them.
“Kim Dawson was a revelation on his time as a Showtime exec and what they were looking for in pitches. Rhett Banning went through the nuts and bolts budget and details of putting a reality show together that he and I pitched and sold to Animal Planet – and it was a hoot to see Mark’s set design sketches he brought along. Eddie Pittman talked about how animation shows work and told great stories on his experiences writing for Phineas & Ferb. Bill Suchy talked about how shows get on PBS, get distribution, and how to use your local access cable station to get tape on your show to market elsewhere. Tracy Frenkel gave a fantastic talk on how to cast your reality show and did some improvs with the group to show them how to loosen up when creatively working with execs. Wayne Carter (above) emphasized the importance of character in building and creating your story and how to develop winning hooks and log lines.
“I’m sure we’ll have success stories to report as all of our Summit attendees continue the process getting their shows ready for exec meetings and conferences, but for now we can all bask in the glow of a magical three days.”
Heather Worley has been an MVP helper at all of our Summits and we just had to pass along her beautiful note she sent to us about this year’s Summit:
“Today wraps the final day of the Hit Maker Summit 2014. I would like to say how much fun I have had over the last few days. Mark and Jeanne, you guys sincerely Rock To No End. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I have known y’all and I always learn something new each time I’m around y’all. Thank you both for being a huge part of my life and journey. You have no idea how much y’all have changed my life. Truly from the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you two enough. Heck, There are not enough Thank you cards in the world to say Thanks to you two.
“To the Amazing crew I worked with – Tracy Frenkel, I am so glad I found a new friend in you and someone to always make me laugh. You do so good at getting people pumped up. I look forward to learning some acting tips from you in the future. Denyse, I had a great time working with you at the Summit. I couldn’t ask for a better team member to work alongside to make sure things run smoothly. You did a great job. John Bujak, great work with the photography and the filming as always. You know i love working with you and getting to hang with you at events. Missed seeing Sunshine and the kids. Hector Seda, We missed you too!! Wayne, It’s always a pleasure seeing you and learning from you. Loved seeing Bill again!
“Eddie Pittman, I was so inspired by your interview. Being an artist myself I loved hearing everything you had to say. Loved getting to hang with you at lunch. To the rest of the speakers, y’all were also so inspiring. And lastly to the Summit 2014 clients, keep those TV projects rolling. It was great meeting so many of you. I’m happy to help get y’all motivated as much as I can. I get so inspired by being around so many creatives that I want to keep growing in the film industry and also my art career. Thank you all for being the positive spark in my life!! Sorry this is long, but I wanted to tell everyone who was a part of the Summit how much y’all mean to me.”
“I’ve been a speaker at previous Summits, but this is the first time I stuck around for the entire process working with the attendees and seeing the full ‘story’ of the Summit unfold. The story of the Summit truly is a version of “The Hero’s Journey” (for the uninitiated, you can Wikipedia it). Attendees in their Ordinary Worlds heard the Call to Adventure when they signed up to take this journey with their project. They Crossed the Threshold into an exciting New World, where they met Allies and Friends and faced the challenge of a Nemesis (how to wrestle the unmanageable beast of their project into an ‘adorable’ creature ready to show the world). They learned how to defeat the beast with a Magic Elixir (pitch training and Mark and Jeanne’s powerful examples of how to pitch their own shows), and have now Returned with that Elixir to the Ordinary World again. Yes, there’s no place like home. But there’s also no business like show business. The journey of our Summit friends and their ‘elixir’ will make them ‘heroes’ in both worlds if they so desire. This was a great group. I have no doubt they will have other calls to adventure, acquire countless more allies, and use their Elixir wisely to conquer New Worlds.”
We’ll bring you reports and testimonials from our ‘heroes’ in upcoming issues.