Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Working on 2009!


Ho hum, the year is finally ending!! Thank God! Why? Because, I am super excited about 2009. I had some amazing things happen in 2008, but let's just say I can't wait until January 2009. I finally got to do what I have always wanted to do and that was to take the year and pitch my own ideas. After being in production since 2003, all I really wanted was to use my creative mind to come up with show ideas. This is what I want my career to be. I want to be behind it all, in the mix to some degree but really the one who created the series.

All in all, I gained some of the most valuable experience ever with my pitches and my new and old connections. I got to go out to every major Network Executive with Comedian Christopher Titus and pitch our concept "The Devil's Workshop." I also got to pitch pretty much every development executive in town. My success rate wasn't bad either. I had six concepts and two of the six garnered options. One went all the way to NBC execs and one is still being negotiated for a deal (let's hope they renegotiate a better deal this time around). I was on the cover of Kiplinger's Personal Finance as well as featured in several major articles online and in magazines.

I am gearing up to hit the Hollywood streets again with my next six pitches. Of course Jose Canseco is one of them, Girl Powder, Eli Davidson, and two of my own ideas without a brand. I have a few meetings set up in 2009, including one with Jayson Dinsmore over at NBC. We are also waiting on one production company to decide on optioning a new one that we pitched out in November.

My instinct is that in January things will totally pop. I am looking forward to 2008 coming to a close and 2009 kicking off with a big bang! Thank you to every Network Executive, Development Executive and friends and family and most of all Chris Ryan at Oceanside Entertainment for supporting me in my career to sell a reality series. And while I have not officially sold one yet, I know I will -- I am soooooo close and am confident with the two options I still have out there, its going to happen. It has not been a year yet, but come March it will be...so thank you for the greatest 9 months ever.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lunch with Canseco


I had lunch with Jose Canseco and his girlfriend Heidi. Two of the nicest people I have met. What I can say about our lunch is this: Jose Canseco deserves a second shot with America and he also deserves to be forgiven by America. This guy deserves to have a chance to rise back up again. This may not be with baseball, because I know that baseball is less forgiving than the average American will be. America is all about comebacks. Can you imagine being 38 runs away from 500 home runs away from entering the hall of fame, but never able to have that chance again because you are basically banned from baseball forever? That sucks. All the guy has known his whole life is baseball. I feel for him and I am creating something that will give him the chance to make a comeback to re-invent himself. I believe in Jose Canseco.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Through the Grace of the Universe - Jose has entered my world!


The Universe is good to me. It only took less than a week for it to give me the answer that I was looking for! I am now in contact with Jose Canseco's team. They like the concept and we are meeting up to build on what I have created. I am currently reading Jose's book "Juiced," and am learning a bunch about Jose and of course, steroids. I just loved the A&E documentary that Jose's team and Heidi Northcott did recently, which is what inspired me to want to create a show around him. I believe that he will reconstruct and rebuild himself to become strong again!

I had a pitch meeting this week at PB&J Television. I just loved the ladies there! I am confident that they will want to develop something with the talent that I presented to them.

I am looking for a paying producing gig, while I get my own projects off the ground, so if you know of anything please get in touch with me!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jose Canseco, would you please call me?


It's been a long time since I have written! To be honest, I am BORED of waiting for my lawyer to come back with a better offer for the one option. I also took on a new project producing for an internet start up and yes I am bored with that as well. What I really miss is the excitement of coming up with something NEW and fun to pitch!!

I have a great concept that I want to pitch that centers around Jose Canseco and his journey to rebuild his life and have a second career. The guy is totally broke, and for one of the greatest all time baseball players he hit rock bottom a few times, and I know that he can hit the top again. I saw his A&E documentary and ever since I can't stop thinking about creating my next show around him. I've gotten through his first gatekeeper who has forwarded my info on to him, but I may just have to go down to Barney's Beanery and hang out sitting pretty on a bar stool to talk to him. BUT in the case that you may have contact with him could you please email me or get in touch with me asap!! I know he use to live in Encino...

So if you are reading this Jose, "pick up your phone and call me," that is if you have a phone - Just kidding. Seriously, lets make some money together! We can package this up all nice!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Reasons for not Blogging

My Little Protege Lacy!

I figured it was about time that I wrote about why I have not written any blogs for the last three weeks.  First thing, I have been totally consumed with a new project that fell in my lap with Branded Entertainment and the internet and I am rather liking it!  Secondly, one of my television options is being negotiated lawyer to lawyer.  Now that I have a great lawyer, it seems that the potential to get development money is really looking good on this one.  Thirdly, we also have two other parties interested and we're ready to play our cards right if the company starts to balk! Reason number four, I am too tired at the end of the day to be inspired to think anymore and write!!

For the next phase of pitches I need to work on developing the next six to take out with me.  I have three that are great and already ready - need three more.  Because I spent the last few months pitching, I am now working again with this project that I mentioned above, and the potential to rake in a boatload of cash is looking quite good!  

If you have an idea that you want to develop and partner up on, as I said above I am looking to develop three other reality ideas.  I get people every day that write to me and pitch me on the phone or email or in person, and I am on the hunt for a great project that will sell!!  

I thought a lot about the blog and want to retire it when I finally sell the project I spoke about that is in negotiation.  The reason I started this blog was to blog about the journey.  Its been about a month since I stopped pitching and I won't be pitching heavy like I was until next year. I did get some great feedback about the six concepts and for most every pitch they liked anywhere from 1-4 of them.  So I am proud of what I accomplished.   I won't be completely satisfied until I see it on the air.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lawyers, Options and Credits - Oh Boy!



It has all boiled down to Lawyers, options, credits and creating right now.  

I have been working with a few new partners on a couple of new reality ideas for the next round of pitching.  The last two weeks have been spent organizing my thoughts for new concepts, dealing with my entertainment lawyer and the negotiations on this latest option.  

As I wrote about in a previous post, I got an option for another project and landed a superb lawyer through my boyfriend and his long time lawyer's colleague on the tv/film side.  We want the best possible deal so that means getting the lawyer on the negotiations from the beginning. Because, I have only reached the Supervising Producing level, we are negotiating future credits. I know that I can do anything I put my mind to.  Other industry folks who don't know me well enough don't obviously know what I am capable of, like the Executive Producers that I have worked with.  Bottom line can she showrun?  Listen, I did a damn good job on the last job, and even though I have only one credit, I know I rock.  Just ask my old EP's, Network Executives and others that I worked with.  

So, we are negotiating the Creator and EP credits.  At this point, I don't care if I am Creator and EP and I don't showrun and deliver every episode.  You want to do that, than ok.  Pay me and I'll just keep creating and making more shows to sell.  That is the goal.  I am having a blast doing what I am doing...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Exposure

Wow, what a month of exposure its been.  I am estimating that I have had over 2 million people read my cover story about how I invested in myself and my cover story with Kiplinger's Magazine. Its kind of crazy when you think about how 1 million people got a magazine with my face on the cover, delivered right to their mailbox, along with another 200,000 that bought Kiplinger's on the news stand.  Then I had exposure on The Huffington Post, this post is the most widely read blog in the US.  (5.7 million people!)  The Publicity Hound also featured our story and that reached over 50,000 people.  Next up; Seattle radio.  7 million and counting.  

I'm waiting for my contracts for one of my options to be drawn up, but it looks like a Dunn deal...no pun intended.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Orchestrate Your Own Success


I am a strong believer in orchestrating your own success.  I've written about it in my previous blogs and we all know that there is no one who is going to do it for you, but you.  You have to navigate your road to your success.  

Opportunities will come and go.  You have to trust and jump and go for it because you deserve the best in life.  You can't see the best if you don't take the risk.  Create the life you want to live.  People who orchestrate their own success should never feel awkward or reluctant about creating advantages for themselves.  If you work hard you will get results.  

I've always been a go-getter, there is no doubt about that.  I have an option for project #2 that looks like it will have huge potential.  (That's option #2 in this round of pitches!) Along the way I have had one person besides my other half, that has believed in me from our first meeting.  His name is Chris Ryan. Together we make a great team.  I have someone that books my meetings, negotiates my contracts and keeps me in the loop with new executives and new production companies.  From the seeds we have planted over the last three months, I have some great contacts that I can go back to and pitch my next set of six concepts.  But it all comes from me orchestrating my own success.  Before Chris, I would cold call and set up meetings on my own and pitch what ever executive would let me pitch.  

My first "development deal" (if you want to call it that, I chock it up to a learning & great work experience from Howard Schultz, to build my creative skills) in Hollywood was with Lighthearted Entertainment about 4 years ago.  I had a great creative writing partner who had a contact there and we set up a meeting and pitched.  It was literally our first pitch out and they liked what we had.  I learned so much from this deal.  In the end I learned that sometimes you have an idea that you think works brilliantly, it gets refined and refined over and over until everyone has a say and then its too late... your deal is up, and they lose interest.  That never stopped me.  I kept orchestrating my success.  I still pitched, and still came up with fresh ideas even when people said "keep at it, you'll get a hit someday."

Act fast.  Be creative.  Come up with as many alternatives as you can to try and make it work. Give it your best.  There is no guarantee and in Hollywood they can open the trap door from under your feet at any time.  Whhooopp...


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Success in Sight


For the last week I have been thinking about success. There are lots of successful people in our world. A few of mine; Oprah, Ben Silverman, Mark Burnett, Cathie Black, Eli Davidson, Ariana Huffington, Tom Brokaw, Warren Buffett. In the book 'Basic Black,' by Cathie Black she states that "no one can define success and personal satisfaction for you, except you."

I got into a funk the last two days, I think because options and decisions are taking a long time. I started to get frustrated thinking about how long it takes and how much patience and time it takes to actually pitch, develop and sell a concept. For two days, I had to tell myself that the frustration will pass, the frustration will pass. For a milla second, I did think about what would I do if I did take on another career?! Dear lord that thought passed too, because honestly I couldn't think of too many other things that I want to do - I love producing and creating television way too much.

It all started in second grade. At my house in Massachusetts we couldn't watch television after the nightly news ended. So, this meant going to the bus stop the next day and listening to Katie (my friend for almost 32 years - since Kindergarten) tell recaps about tv at her house the night before. I was tormented with tales of the Love Boat, Charlies Angeles and Fantasy Island. In a good way.

Some days I would listen intently and savor every morsel of what happened the night before aboard the beautiful ship traveling to tropical or mysterious country, with vacationers aboard the "Love Boat" where Gopher, Dr. Adam, Isaac, Julie and Captain Stubing tried their best to please vacationers and sometimes help them fall in love.

Other days she dripped small sexy details about my favorite characters on Charlies Angels. Three beautiful ladies Jill, Sabrina and Kelly who went undercover to solve crimes. God I loved hearing about them. Kelly Garrett was my favorite (Jaclyn Smith). I had all of the collector cards. In fact in second grade I remember Katie and I laid them all out (they had a puzzle on the back) and they blew away and Rusty Bent (the bad ass in our grade) started to collect them and threatened to keep them. I cried and told him they weren't mine, and eventually he gave them back.

The moral of my rant about not being able to watch tv as a kid...I went in to school and retold Katie's stories just as they were my own, as I if I had watched them. In fact I hadn't - but nobody knew that I hadn't. And in second grade my love for television stories and shows was born.

So two days ago, that thought of frustration came and went. Things take time. And I define my own success. People can comment or have an opinion about anyone and their success, but we as individuals are the ones who define our own success. It also takes direction, purpose, vision and action. I am living my best life, doing what I love and I define my success. I am confident in my abilities and that I am a talented successful producer. God, I love television. Now somebody BUY a show - not just an option - a Flat out BUY... :) He he.

On a side note...I need a new creative partner...got any ideas you want to collaborate on?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seattle Radio - Chat With Women on Oct. 13th!


Want to hear tips for Investing in Yourself? Tune in October 13, 2008, as Coach Eli Davidson and Nicole Dunn will be guests on "Chat With Women," Talk Radio Show! Stay tuned for more information as we prepare to chat about "Investing in Yourself" with my recent cover story on news stands - Kiplinger's Personal Finance - October 2008.

"Chat With Women," hosts Pam Gray & Rochelle Alhadeff are two women who are hilarious! They have funny, life changing & inspiring insights on the radio and on internet radio too!

Chat With Women airs LIVE every Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM on KKNW 1150AM

Check them out on the Internet at:

http://www.chatwithwomen.com








http://www.kiplingers.com

Reality Power List

I am a daily reader of Daily Variety. When my good friend told me to take a look at the Hollywood Reporter for the Reality Power List, I couldn't wait to blog about it on my blog. I knew exactly who the #1 person in Hollywood was going to be, and was right! So read the pre-article taken from the Hollywood Reporter and I included the link so you too can go HU?!

"There are two kinds of people in Hollywood: Those who thumb their noses at so-called “reality” television and its over-the-top populism; and those who are concerned less with the demise of Western civilization and more with entertaining (and, yes, even enlightening) an audience. This list is about those latter people. With unscripted fare now dominating primetime and bringing new viewers to obscure cable networks, few are still arguing that reality TV is just a fad. Even with “American Idol’s” slight ratings slip this past season, Fox is the No. 1 network when it airs and No. 4 when it doesn’t. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” reigned as the summer’s highest-rated series, and this month brings the return of juggernauts like ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” CBS’ “Survivor” and NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” — franchises that are far more reliable than almost anything in the scripted world. That means — brace yourself — the time has arrived for the producers and executives influencing the reality landscape to be spotlighted for what they are: some of the most powerful people in TV. The Hollywood Reporter stranded its editors in a conference room on a deserted island until they came up with the first-ever list of reality TV’s 50 most powerful forces. Consider us a panel of snarky judges evaluating each figure based on his influence over American unscripted television. Candidates escaped elimination based on the number of shows on the air, the ratings and influence of those shows, and the ability to get a new show made, with special deference given to the pioneers in this nascent genre. Foreign execs weren’t eligible, nor did we consider traditional talk shows or live events like sports or news. These are the people most responsible for reality TV’s dominance and those shepherding its bright future. Go ahead and thank them or blame them."
-- Intro by Randee Dawn

I am going to give you the top ten. Guess who is #1? Give Up? Well its the man Titus and I were set to pitch an amazing 6 times, but for reasons we will never know each time he cancelled & rescheduled at the last minute. We are still going back, its just a question of WHEN?!

1. Mike Darnell President of alternative entertainment, Fox Broadcasting
2. Cecile Frot-Coutaz CEO, FremantleMedia, North America (WHO?!!)
3. Craig Plestis Executive vp alternative programming, development and specials, NBC Entertainment (Biggest Loser fame)
4. Mark Burnett President, Mark Burnett Prods. (I've written about him, he's genuis and should be number 2)
5. David Goldberg President and CEO, Endemol Entertainment USA
6. Howard Owens Managing director, co-head of domestic television, head of digital, Reveille & Mark Koops Managing director, co-head of domestic television, Reveille (nice guy Koops)
7. Vicki Dummer and John Saade Senior vps alternative series, specials and late night, ABC Entertainment (Titus, Boyington, Foose and I pitched John)
8. Tony DiSanto Executive vp series, development and programming for MTV; head of programming for MTV2 (This guy deserves to be on the list working his way up from an intern!)
9. Simon Fuller Founder and CEO, 19 EntertainmentNigel LythgoePresident 19 Television; judge and executive producer, Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance"
10. Frances Berwick General manager, Bravo (A lady in her own right)

To read more go to: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3ia0dd3fad69143d6191e58aa095b67d1a?pn=2

Monday, September 29, 2008

Focus

While watching the Today Show this morning, Matt was interviewing Alice Schroeder, who wrote "The Snowball, Warren Buffett and the Business of Life." She spoke about focus and Warren (being the richest man in the world) and how he built up his wealth - by utilizing his focus.

I think having focus on your project or end goal is very important. The majority of people out there don't achieve their end goals. They often give up before seeing the end results. You need to have great ambition. Odds are always going to be stacked up against you and you really have to keep your head down and focus on that goal.

People who actually have goals are more likely to succeed, because they have motivation. And you can't stay on goal if you lose your focus. And remember to set yourself apart from everyone else. Attention on your goal has to be sharp keeping focus at it all the time. The path will not always be smooth, and again in the end most people end up quitting.
Thinking about focus - are you a left brain or right brain thinker?

*"The right-brained person sees that all problems are connected and are related to each other in some way. Their reasoning can be divergent, and creative. The non-linear individual does not look forward or back. There is a sense of being in the moment, and a loose grasp on the concept of time. This style is interested in brainstorming and exploring options. They will be more receptive to the obscure solutions, and consider all possibilities. Events are connected, so even the most bizarre circumstances can be justified in the strong right-brained individual. This person has the ability to suspend judgment and explore the reasoning behind the actions of the individual. These type of thought patterns characterize the right-brained person."

*"The left-brained individual, or linear thinking person has a different focus. This person sees problems as separate and individual. Each problem needs a unique solution. The left-brained individual believes that by making lists, planning days, and adhering to agendas much can be accomplished. This person believes that by sticking to the rules you can get ahead. This style of thought is devoted to finding out how to get through a situation and onto the next. This style has a need to maintain control of separate events, so that everything can be neatly packaged and handled."

Keeping focus can be hard to do, and it will take a lot of due diligence. Just forget about the doubters because they will just fade into the background like they were never there to begin with. There are always going to be a few along the way. In the business of Entertainment, there will always be an idea or project being pitched just like yours, someone that passes, someone that likes it, someone that wants it etc. Believe in yourself and FOCUS, you'll get somewhere trust me!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hype

Hype. Hype is not always bad. Having excitement around your project is not a bad thing at all. Its actually really helpful if you ask me. The more people who blog, comment, or write about you - good or bad - its all good. Twitter, Digg you name it talk about me!! Hype makes me think of Marky Mark for some reason. Maybe, its because I'm from Boston, and the fact that life is all about Good Vibrations....ok I will stop.


Anyway, all that buzz means attention...attention your or my way. I have had so much attention; the cover of Kiplingers Magazine, the Huffington Post, network execs, three radio shows, and a bunch of newspapers interviewing me and honestly, I really want a bunch of people talking about me... people I love and people I could care less about. Its no fun if you don't have people talking about you and man are a lot of people talking about me. Good and bad what ever anyone is saying, writing, doing - I love it. And the fact that there are people sitting around discussing what I am doing and have I done this or that makes me want to take your face and rub it into a cake and lick it off of your face...and spit it all over you. Thank you!!! Right -Hype -I love it.

I'm back to developing a new set of six concepts so I have a new set of pitches to pitch! I have one option, one network interested in the Titus project, two pilot ideas that need flushing and a new author I am pitching to networks. I am the happiest I have been my whole entire life and the fact that I have absolutely nothing to write about makes me smile...so its all about the Hype.

Go watch your TiVo of the debate. I am ever patiently waiting for my Obama T-shirt to come in the mail for my rather large donation to the campaign...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

DO I NEED AN AGENT?

This blog is awesome. One of the best uncensored breakdowns of the agent/creative love/hate relationship.

read more | digg story

Monday, September 22, 2008

How I Got There

Back in 2005, Newsweek did a great cover story on 20 of America's most Powerful Women on their lives, and the lessons they've learned. The main article titled "How I got there," features none other than Oprah Winfrey, Vera Wang, Karen Hughes, Vera Rubin, Anne Sweeney and several others. I feel like it all ties in to DRIVE. I wrote an earlier blog about Drive and found it interesting how Oprah, Vera, Anne Sweeney and other powerful women got there...

On Oprah, "I'm very conscious and cautious about what I do in my personal life and what I put out into the universe through the airwaves because I realize I'm speaking to millions of people in 118 countries who all have their varying ways of interpreting what I have said. Where I am on the show is always where I am personally, and where I am right now is in a space where I realize that I have less time remaining on earth than I have had--unless there's going to be some miracle that's going to give me another 50 years. The realization of that is exciting and constantly stimulating."

"Success is a magnifying glass on your personality. Who you are just becomes more intense. The real beauty of having material wealth is that you don't have to worry about paying the bills and you have more energy to be concerned about the things that matter: How do I accelerate my humanity? How do I use who I am on earth for a purpose that's bigger than myself? How do I align the energy of my soul with my personality and use my personality to serve my soul? My answer always comes back to self. There is no moving up and out into the world unless you are fully acquainted with who you are. You cannot move freely, speak freely, act freely, be free unless you are comfortable with yourself."

On Vera Wang: "I knew the world I wanted to be in, but I wasn't sure I could break into that world. My mother was an incredible clotheshorse, so I grew up loving fashion. I lived in Paris during my junior and senior years at Sarah Lawrence. When you're in Paris, you can't help but notice fashion. I wanted something to do with fashion. I would have done anything. I would have swept floors. I would have licked envelopes. I just wanted to be part of it."

"In the summers, I worked for Yves Saint Laurent--as a salesgirl in the boutique on Madison Avenue. I met Frances Patiky Stein, an editor at Vogue. She told me to give her a call when I got out of college. I did and I got a job. She felt I had a special something. On my first day at Vogue, I wore Saint Laurent and my nails were painted black or red, which was very much the rage in Paris at the time for young women. The editors looked at me and said, Go home and get changed because you're going to be doing dirt work. I came back wearing jeans. It was a dream come true."

"Vogue is a seductive place because of what you get to see and what you're privy to; it's a world that I can't even explain. I thought I would do it for a year or two and I ended up staying 16 years. During that time, I rose to be one of the youngest editors ever in the history of Vogue. By 23, I was a senior editor, and then I became European editor for American Vogue in Paris."

As Cathie Black says "drive is what sets you apart from everyone else. Focusing on your strength's and work on your weaknesses and keep a balanced perspective you'll naturally accrue power along the way." What are YOU focused on? I know what I am focused on and its on my pipeline. The seeds I'm planting. The relationships I am building. Giving back and being of service. I'm not focused on anything or anyone else. I care that you read my blog but at the same time, I don't have an attachment to whether you read it or not. I want you to succeed just like I want to. In my opinion our drive says a lot about who you are and what makes you tick. I feel that I share the same drive like that of Black, Wang and Oprah. How about you?

What does your Pipeline Look Like?






Last year I tripled my income, this year I'm planting all the seeds! Last year has afforded me the luxury of going out and meeting key people in Hollywood and pitching my ideas. My pipeline will pay off - I took the time necessary to develop ideas and concepts and meet the key people in my industry that I needed to meet. Its been my dream to just focus on pitching my concepts for as long as I can remember. I can't stress enough to friends that finding something you love to do truly makes life happier and more enjoyable.


Again, all things take time and I have heard so many stories from other women producers and creatives where if they had given up or listened to those "NAYSAYERS" that their project probably would have never been produced. I know I am doing a lot - pitching and selling a television show or a movie is not the easiest thing to do... I read something recently that told how it took 13 years for the recent movie "The Women," to become the movie it is today starring Meg Ryan. I also previously blogged about Mark Burnett and his journey. Journey's are like pipelines. I have faith in the Universe and I am ready to receive all the good based on all of my hard work.

Did you watch the Emmy's last night? I really was quite bored by the whole 60th affair. I remember when I first moved to Hollywood, I went to the greatest Emmy parties and it was a big to-do! Now, instead of inviting friends over for cocktails to see all the fashion and funny speeches, I watch, do laundry, watch, email, watch, comment on fashion, watch and do sit ups...

The highlight of the whole affair last night: Ricky Gervais regaining his Emmy from Steve Carell!! That was hilarious! I of course loved the ending and Jimmy giving out the Emmy for best Reality Host...made me feel like it was a reality show mock which was brilliant. Other than that, like I said yawning...boring.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Huffington Post

Today I am featured in an article on the Huffington Post! I would love everyone to go and check out the article! It ties in with the press from Kiplinger's Personal Finance October 2008 issue that I am on the cover of! Eli Davidson, my coach wrote the article in her weekly column on the HP...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eli-davidson/investing-in-yourself-hot_b_127302.html

Thank you to everyone for your support and wishes!

xoxo Nicole

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Drive

DRIVE...In my world, I will do whatever it takes to get me to the next level, pump up my pitches and sell a show to a Network. That's because I have DRIVE. If I didn't I would be depressed and a mess. Today I pitched Bunim/Murray and learned quite a lot. The person that I pitched was reality smart, greatly resourceful and gave me some additional insight for some of my concepts. My first meeting with Darnell's office for Devil's Workshop was as I predicted... "RESCHEDULED." I hear that office is notorious for rescheduling and cancelling meetings at the last minute. Man, I hope its not 6 for 6 coming up here...anyway I am rambling...back to DRIVE...


My drive is literally on 100 m.p.h. In Cathie Black's book, "Basic Black, The Essential Guide to Getting Ahead," she writes about DRIVE. She defines DRIVE "by doing whatever it takes to propel yourself to the next level, whether its aiming for a big promotion, looking for a new job, accepting a transfer, starting a whole new career or just figuring out the next step in a project. DRIVE is the act of moving forward on your own initiative, and its one of the most important traits to have if you want to succeed in your work and your life!" God I love her. This woman has DRIVE!


Cathie Black is the president of Hearst Magazines, which publishes some of the best known magazines in the world. This woman is genius. If you don't have her book you need to get it and read it!!

I have in the last nine months moved forward so much by my own initiative that I have to give myself a huge hug and kiss. It sounds corny but really have you given yourself the credit you deserve today? I owe quite a lot of credit to my career coach, Eli Davidson for getting me on track and helping me to visualize the life I wanted and now I am living that life right now. And thank you Chris Ryan. What more could I ask for...oh I know a CHECK in my hand!

Well, we got an option the other day for one of our concepts and I couldn't be more excited about that project! Big company, talent attached and fun concept! I would like to have 5 of my concepts optioned before 2009 rolls around. I have planted my seeds, and they are growing! So, Mike if your reading...Titus and I are looking forward to meeting you...FINALLY!?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Inspiration, Determination and Risk

Sometimes things happen when the universe is ready to deliver them to you. There is no universal time line that says when things will begin or will end. Through inspiration, determination and risk you set out with your goal and hope for the best.

When it comes to pitching my television concepts, I realize that when the timing is right - the universe will deliver. I did get incredible news on Friday, which I am dying to share, but can’t until everything is in order…

After talking to friends in the industry before I got this good news, they brought up many scenarios and stories of great projects that didn’t happen until the universe was ready to let them happen. There were many stories that involved people who put their heart and soul into writing, creating and pitching all for the hope of a sale. One story stood out in my mind and this person’s determination reminded me of mine and my recent path…it’s about Reality Creator and really the Father of Reality TV, Mark Burnett.


Of course you know of him. His name is Mark Burnett. He is the genius behind the wildly popular "Survivor" and "Apprentice" series. But this reality television producer wasn’t always the hottest reality producer in town. When he first came to Los Angeles he was a nanny…or “manny” as I like to call the male nannies. In 1990, he was selling t-shirts on our beaches.

In 1995, with no television experience he sold a show to MTV called Eco-Challenge. Through inspiration, determination and risk he transformed his life from manny to on his way to becoming a mogul reality tv producer. But it didn’t happen overnight…

In the summer of 1999, he pitched an unknown executive at the time, Ghen Maynard over at CBS. Ghen was a young executive at the network who took a call from Conrad Riggs about a hot producer with an exciting idea for a new kind of show…Burnett was an unknown producer that was producing Eco-Challenge. So on July 27, 1999, Burnett pitched Ghen “Survivor.” In May 2000, Survivor aired and the reality frenzy began! And so did the making of a reality superstar producer and creator.

Here is someone that took many risks. He went out virtually as an unknown and pitched his ideas. He found that “someone” to believe in his idea and who ultimately saw that same vision that Mark saw. It wasn’t easy - even with a big believer like Ghen, who pitched his boss Leslie Moonves several times to get him to see the great vision that he saw in Mark’s idea.
If someone like Mark Burnett who was virtually a nobody in our reality tv world can set out and carve his path...so can you. I say three cheers for anyone who is out pitching and determined with their vision to sell a show. Keep pitching and paint your vision with your words like its a painting...with hard work and determination your bound to be rewarded by the universe if your ideas are good!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Kiplinger's Cover is on News Stands!

It's official! My Cover and cover story are now out on news stands across America! I've gotten hit by a triple whammy with some really GREAT news today...I can't reveal all of it right now but just know that it has to do with my blog and the reason I set out to write the blog in the first place!! It has to do with a Magazine, Television and Radio...

God I can't wait to share it with everyone! Please support and go get a copy and read about my success through paying a career coach. Kiplinger's did a story on my coach Eli Davidson and the magazine interviewed me as a part of a story they were doing about her group coaching program. I did the interview and they called back the next day and said that my story was so inspirational "how would you feel about being on the cover?" My response was "that sounds like so much fun, I would love to!" Here is a big cheer for Eli's program! Thank you Eli!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Road To Making a Sale

I felt compelled to have to write something based on Sarah's comment and MR. Anonymous' comment from my last post. I totally respect her comment and love that I have people interested in my blog...

First things first. Selling a television show is no easy task. I would love to hear your success and all about you selling a show if in fact you are in the business! You just may have some secret ingredient that I don't have wrapped up in my pitches, but you could teach me!? You must not be in this business and don't understand how long it takes and how many seeds you have to plant before you get a sale! I've said before that I think it's a lot of seeds planted, luck, likability factor and lots of other things tied in.

I have seven concepts. I started out in January of this year developing and flushing out the concepts. So from January to May, I spent 5 months on developing. In May 2008, I made a shop and pitch deal for the project that I have with Christopher Titus. MIND YOU THIS WAS MY FIRST PITCH OUT!!! We then started pitching that concept in June of this year. Our pitches for that one show to all the big Networks went through to September! Like I said we have one big bite and one pitch left to do. This project only went straight to the Networks. And you are not sitting in a Network Executives office pitching a show with a major celebrity if its a piece of crap...They screen every pitch before you even sit in their presence! People have tight schedules and meetings get pushed and changed around. Networks are constantly changing their programming schedules around. Network Executives are constantly changing jobs. The Universe is swirling with constant flow.

So, from May until September I was also out by myself at all of the production companies listed pitching my other six concepts. Out of those 10 or so production companies I would say three have given solid passes. But 7 are currently interested in one to four of those six concepts...that's a pretty damn good ratio if you ask me or anyone else who has gone out there and pitched ideas to Network Executives and Production Companies.

You could in fact get a Yes and then at the last minute the network or company decides its not for them, so its a gamble. I am taking a risk pitching. I know I will eventually sell something. This blog is all about my pitching journey and the road to making a SALE!

Also, I love my career. I love what I do and I also love making television. I have my hands in quite a few other projects at the same time that pay me money. People in the film industry know all too well how hard it is to sell a film. There are some films that were huge blockbuster films that took years to get someone to invest in it...so you don't know what you are commenting about...and if you do, please fill me in on your success selling a show. I'd love to hear about it!

My Persistence will pay off...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Summer 2008 Pitch Schedule

(Me at my Kiplinger's Cover Shoot with the LA Skyline in the background!)


It was a summer full of pitching! I have to say a big thank you to Chris Ryan, my manager over at Oceanside Entertainment. He has done such an amazing job working on my team and booking all of my meetings and following up.
Our Summer pitches included the following Networks & production companies...
It was me and the "suits" at:

ABC
NBC
CBS
SPIKE
FOX
MTV


3Ball
Stone & Company
Trump
QED
GRB
Evolution
A. Smith & Co.
Granada USA
LMNO
E!
Intuitive Entertainment

Whew, it was a full schedule that is for sure! We have 6 solid concepts and a bunch of bites. The biggest bite again is with our Devil's Workshop, the show Christopher Titus and I came up with. Here I sit typing and waiting ever so patiently... read my previous posts on how I am waiting patiently for the universe to reward me for all of my hard work! :)

I am in the process of preparing my next six concepts to hit the road with this fall. I've got two of them that I need write treatments for and 4 more that I still need to think up! I actually have two docu-soaps that I am researching. I really need to find more time during the week to really focus on doing the research. One of the subjects is in San Diego and I will need to go down there and sit and watch them a bit more...

In the mean time I am interviewing for Supervising Producing jobs and had a great interview on Monday. Keeping the fingers crossed, because my brain needs some outside stimulation - outside of my own office that is...I love working on shows and love being around people and creating!

I would love to have you comment on my blog! If you have not signed up to get my blog - please do so! I also want to hear if you enjoy reading my blog. Oh and if there is anything else you want me to cover - that you are interested in about pitching.

(I know I have not sold anything just yet, but I have huge bites and its only a matter of time and I know I can give you great advice if you are looking for a pitching question to be answered!) So please comment, sign up and tell me how much you love my blog!?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ask Yourself - Am I Really Giving a Good Pitch?

Saturday, I was a panelist expert at the "Final Draft Take a Meeting" PitchFest. What a great venue for writers new and old to have a chance to pitch their ideas. My managers table was one of two reality television tables taking reality pitches at the event. At exactly 9:30 the clock started to roll as people ran in to the hall to find their "appointment" for the next 15 minutes to give their pitch. So for 15 minutes participants got to try and sell their idea and get sound advice for their projects. What a great inspiring place!

Our first pitch of the morning was the best pitch of the day. I can't say what the pitch was about, but it was in the High School genre. The gal pitching had just graduated from Vanderbilt College and was full of energy. She had done her research and it was a well thought out idea. She took notes from our notes and listened intently as we told her we liked her idea...put together a treatment and get back in touch with us.
Our table was specific to the Reality TV genre and we did have one guy who snuck into our table to sit down and pitch us his "movie." It was all about Cocaine. A town that was duped into eating a cookie that was unannounced to them was made with...you guessed it...COCAINE. I got really confused because he started talking about Sigmund Freud for 10 minutes and then about his story. I felt he took to much time explaining the inspiration for his script rather than his storyline. Anyway, bravo for being there and having the guts to pitch! The rest of the day was filled with average ideas. And my relief for the second half of the day turned out to be 2 other clients of my manager - both of whom are very funny, have great ideas and Sold and idea...Just signed papers this week. So Congrats to them!

Some Components to Giving a Good Pitch:

Introduce yourself, give a brief background of you and then your logline.
The most important thing of your pitch...is your logline. Get out what your project is about within the first three minutes of your pitch. I personally don't mind if you open with a short sentence on why you thought of the idea, but have your logline memorized and ready to roll off your tongue. "Its a competition to see who gets the most fame...the fastest! The tables are turned on “Celebrity Bloggers” to see if they can make ‘stars’ out of total nobodies, in the ultimate quest for fame. Can just about anyone with a little determination, winning personality and a desire to inspire, become famous?"Now this is one of my own loglines... but you get the picture.

Practice your Pitch!
The thing is, I am not going to be excited if you are not excited about your own creation. I know that its nerve racking to do it all in under 15 minutes, (or how ever long you have) but you have to get over the nervous factor and get your pitch out. Practice your pitch. Do it in front of a mirror. Pitch it to your brother, mother or lover. Just keep practicing. And, you want to be able to have good energy, because it will help people visualize your idea. If you describe it as though its unfolding right there at that very moment - and I can see your excitement THEN I can see your vision and I am going to want to hear more!

Always Have a Back Up!
I say this as experience from pitching. A few scenarios can happen:

A. They have something just like it! What else do you have?

B. Pass, what else do you have?

C. I love it, what else do you have?

Take Constructive Criticism Evenly
When the person listening to your pitch explains to you why they are passing, listen to their comments constructively on why they are passing. Don't get mad if the other person is giving you a pass. Listen, there have been times in my past that Network executives have told me their thoughts on why it wouldn't work at their Network. I take everything they say into my brain - even if I don't agree. Chances are its only going to help me at some point down the road with this project or another one.

All in all it was a good day for me to see just what other people are pitching. You want to be in the know, to see if your ideas are on the money, and to see what not to do! Congratulations to everyone who pitched on Saturday!
P.S. I want to know are there people out there that would be interested if we set up a REALITY TV pitch fest? Please comment and let me know!




Thursday, September 4, 2008

Believe in Your Vision


Last night, I was finally finishing up a book I have had on my nightstand since January by Russell Simmons, "Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success."

I got to thinking this morning about how much he stresses in the book to believe in your vision. Never giving up. He gave great examples in one of the chapters about people he knows who never gave up. Kanye West, Puffy, and Michael Jordan are three people he specifically writes about. I bet you didn't know that Michael Jordan was cut from his HS basketball team? He worked hard to get back on the team and in his senior year brought them to state championships. Look at his career span now...

Some of the most successful people started at the bottom of the barrel. But they kept their vision clear and they kept going. They didn't listen to the naysayers. They just didn't give up. If they did hit a wall they found a way to go around it, on top of it, through it...

You can't quit, because when you quit and give up its over. As Russell says in his book, "its your job to make the universe say YES!" Persistence pays and the world rewards people who don't quit. You may think that the seeds that you are planting are going no where, turn that thinking around because those very seeds are going to bring you rewards. Great rewards.
So, thanks Russell for keeping me going, its only a matter of time now with all of the patience I have gained (read my last post) that the universe will reward me and buy one of my shows!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

NBC Rumors

According to reports, Ben Silverman and his head of development are getting fired and the network is already dreading their programming slate for the new season! Could it be true? Could they hate "Knight Rider?" I found that story on two of the popular gossip websites! One of them Perez...and he usually is on the money with his "rumors." Another website said that he had not been into his office for over a month and had been at the Olympics "partying" if you know what that means...not the liquid kind of party like most of us do. Please say it isn't so. He is a smart man, so I doubt this is true.

Devil's Workshop is on the radar at NBC and I wonder what effect this will have on our show?!

Does anyone know if this is a bad rumor or not? I'll have to scour Variety today...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Patience

I have felt like I have been in a kiddie pool walking back and forth in the same pool this summer waiting...waiting...waiting. I have been very patient for the universe to deliver to me what I have worked so hard for, what I enjoy doing. I didn't always have the best patience. I had to learn how to have patience. Its taken me many years to master...what am I saying, I am still learning patience.

I know that I have great ideas, people tell me they like them and they like me. I have sat in pitch meetings before 2008 where people flat out said they were not interested, they were passing, needs more developing - blah blah. You know the Hollywood drill "that's been pitched around town." In 2008, I have had a few passes but more "Boardwalks" than "Oriental Avenues " if you know what I mean. I have given my sole focus to coming up with ideas and pitching them. I am totally risking it all here. But I can feel "Park Place," in September. The good news I have been patiently waiting for. I mean I am prepared either way. You have to be when you take a risk.

Exactly why I know that the universe is going to deliver good news. I feel 98.6% confident that one or a few of my concepts will sell. I have managed to put together the dream team to help me get to that place. My manager has been especially supportive and has gotten me in the door with my great ideas to just about everyone important all over town. I sold myself at a meeting I set up myself. I pitched something that they had that was the exact same concept - exact same name even...they asked "What else do you have," and then said "We want to package it." I casually pitched the other idea which was Devils Workshop. I did what Sandi Pepe told me to do.

Sandi Pepe, who was my agent at Gersh for a blink of a moment when the project was in its very early stages - when it was called Lady Mechanics. (the concept has completely changed since that one meeting) In the short time that she was in my life she taught me something very valuable. Paint the picture of what you are pitching, paint is so the other guy can REALLY see your vision just by your words. Be excited! If you are not excited they are not excited. They hear a million pitches. Sandi, she is a smart woman and Hollywood needs more women like her! Too bad she fell off my radar when Gersh reality division sort of pummeled. I got a note giving me her personal cell and that is when I knew there was something happening at Gersh. I don't need an agent right now anyway. She taught me about visioning and painting that vision for other people - especially the suits.

How are you going to make your concept stand out from everyone else's? There are probably three concepts EXACTLY like yours out there already and they've been pitched! Let me tell you one thing I learned...you are not going to be sitting in a room with top suits in Hollywood if your idea isn't good. I've sat in the rooms with top suits and they loved our concept. Some networks may have passed but there is a reason for everything. The feedback was good, not bad.

Anyway, I am on a rant right now about the universe giving me everything I need. It has. I mean at the beginning of the year I thought about last year and how I tripled my income and how I really need to TRUMP that one. How the heck is that going to happen. And then right when I knew what the answer was and why was I ever questioning how that was going to happen...I got a check. That check signaled to me that the universe is providing me what I need, stop worrying and start being patient. So, very patiently I type this blog - visioning my sale, visioning me walking in to the bank and depositing a rather large sum of money into my account(trumping last year) and going home and happily kissing my boyfriend in our home - while I jump up and down and cry out I did it "BUG!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

America's Toughest Jobs

Last night I watched Thom Beers new series "America's Toughest Jobs." I had been waiting a few weeks to check out the series. The concept of taking a little bit of all of his hit shows and combining them into one show was what really appealed to me.

I had a hard time even watching the host that they picked (Josh Temple), who just appeared out of no where. I thought that they would have at least picked someone from one of the more popular Thom Beers series (Deadliest Catch or Ice Road Truckers) that was more of a known Blue Collar type that had some credibility.

The casting I thought was not as stellar. I am from Massachusetts and noticed that there were like 4 contestants from Boston...I thought that was kind of weird. I mean I know this is a heavy blue collar state, but find some other red necks to compete. There wasn't much going on in the drama/personality department either. I know that these contestants were every day people, but what about some backstory on the contestants, showing that they really are every day people? I just know that I would never want to be on a boat in the middle of the Bering Sea. I'd rather be in a posh hotel with room service...say in Dubai.


The elimination was lame. I don't think there was enough build up to even make the eliminating exciting. By the end of the show, I was typing on my computer and also talking on the phone. But I still think that Thom Beers has great concepts and great signature shows. Congrats.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

ABC Passes on Devils Workshop


We got word the other day that ABC passed on the Titus project. I had to mull it all over in my head for a day or two, before I could write in my blog. I thought for sure there would be a great chance that we would have some serious interest at ABC considering Titus has a deal in the works there. The notes that we got were "cool project that had promise," but after the initial comments, the second call got the pass.


Now, I got to thinking about the pitch in general. We totally went off topic with a new angle that Titus thought up the night before and I really thought that it took away from the actual concept as a whole. We took a chance and went with it. Titus and Foose spoke a lot about cars and the culture of cars, and we really missed the boat on the mechanics of how the show works - the nuts and bolts of the show. At the end of our pitch we handed them a packet and they stated "oh we have a lot of reading to do..." I just didn't think that the pitch went as smooth as our NBC pitch. Which by the way was one of our best pitches. We are still in the running over at NBC. Major white light for NBC and DW!


We all stayed in the conference room at ABC for a half hour gabbing about the pitch and other car related things...while I pondered about us missing the mark with the mechanics...ahh, but you can't live in the should have, would have world so you just have to move forward and tell yourself - you did great even if your pitch wasn't completely on the mark. I also realized another thing...In most of the network pitches I am the only woman in the room! Gotta love that. I just have to tell myself every day... that this show will sell, I believe in me, my concept and my work!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'll Come Up With your Next Big Idea!


I have been working with Authors and Experts to come up with clever pitches to help elevate them onto the morning shows, talk shows, reality shows etc. Some of the same questions from people constantly come up...

How do I create a sell able angle for myself?

How do I write a clever pitch that will catch a TV Producer's eyes to put me on TV?

How do you I find and create a hook for my brand?

What are sound bites anyway?
Hire me for a consultation and then you hire me for my two day minimum and I will help you come up with something clever that you can use to market yourself to Producers. You'll go from getting no response to being on TV faster than you can say "I want to be on the Today Show!" I help you think outside your box = your brain. So, its like having 50 brains all in one hot Producer - that's me Nicole Dunn!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ABC Pitch



We finally had our pitch meeting over at ABC with John Saade, Chip Foose, Christopher Titus, Cal Boyington and myself --Nicole Dunn.


Our meeting went smooth and it was nice to finally meet the one and only Chip Foose. If you don't know anything about Chip, he pretty much rules the custom car world and is a legend in the custom car building world. Check out his website: http://www.chipfoose.com/

Not to mention getting the honor to pitch the legendary John Saade, who oversees Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night for ABC Entertainment as senior vice president, and heads the department. So it was a great day today...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dyn-o-mite!!


We are now pushing into month three of pitches for the Devils Workshop. Things are finally worked out with Titus (and his secret deal) and our pitch is now rescheduled at ABC tomorrow. I never in my wildest dreams thought we would be pitching past July 4th! We now have Chip Foose on board and can't wait to finally meet him tomorrow. The last two meetings he drove almost all the way up to LA from Huntington Beach and Darnell cancelled.

Anyway, we have ABC tomorrow and looks like the Darnell pitch is set in September. Gee, let me count the reschedules from his office...hmm I think we are going on 15 or something like that. (Not really but were getting up there) I have heard stories about people kept waiting in his waiting room while he strolled by 2 hours late eating an ice cream asking the person, so what are you doing here?! Yikes that is scary. I really hope that is a rumor. I know when I have my own production company...no more than 3 reschedules due to unforeseen schedule changes! But then again, this is Hollywood and anything goes with the big guys. And I say big guys because most of Hollywood is run by men.
The women I can think of in Hollywood that are successful and right up there with the big boys; Sherri Lansing, Nina Tassler, Lisa Levinson, Sally Ann Salsano, and the up-and-coming Nicole Dunn! :) Can you think of any more hugely successful women in our industry? I have met some amazing Directors of Development and they were mostly women and very smart!

I had a pitch over at A. Smith and Company Friday, and really liked them! I think they were more interested in me for work, but that is ok, cuz I would like to start working on something fun soon! I want this to be my own show, so I am holding out for DW.

Yesterday, I pitched Granada USA again. This time I brought Eli Davidson. She is so dynamite! This woman needs her own show reality tv watchers! So look out, cuz here we come! We have come up with a few show scenarios around her and so far we have three production companies interested in us. Each has a different show and scenario, we didn't plan it that way but we came up with it the day of the pitches and each development crew we met with inspired us to go in a new direction! So, the more people you pitch = the better your chances of selling something! I believe its a numbers and popularity game...and I am in to win!
Eli Davidson rocks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Great Article from Variety by Brian Lowry

Hollywood's tough road to TV

Festival proves how difficult it is to break in

GIVEN THE ABUNDANCE of material in theaters and on TV it's easy to forget all the stuff that never makes it. Yet as last week's L.A. TV Festival demonstrated, even with so many new pipes, the industry's filtering process prevents most concepts from ever seeing the light of day.

Sponsored by NATPE, the event -- which included a "pitch pit" for aspiring producers -- was another occasion for people with noses pressed against the glass to make contact with shakers and movers, or at least agents and managers. Based on the clear hunger for such opportunities, that's obviously a service.

Having attended plenty of such forums, though, the "Selling Your TV Show" panel moderated by LMNO Prods. CEO Eric Schotz proved especially refreshing and frank-- departing from the uplifting norm, where hopefuls are cheerfully told to doggedly bang on doors and steadfastly pursue their hearts' desires.

There's a fine line, admittedly, between tough love and trampling on people's dreams. Still, erring toward the latter seems preferable to soft-peddling the industry's intricate safeguards designed to keep interlopers out. That also means sharing harsh truths about how hard work doesn't necessarily pay off, not everyone being destined to succeed and recognizing the difference between admirable persistence and misguided delusion.

IN THIS REGARD, locating the Straight Talk Express can be as difficult in Hollywood as it is in Washington during election cycles -- partly because many of those trafficking in "You too can make it" platitudes are eager to fill seminars and separate wannabes from their money.

Rarely does anybody answer the novice's question "How do I sell my show?" with brutal candor -- something like, "You don't, not until you've gained admission to this exclusive club, usually by scrounging work on somebody else's show. Better yet -- go back in time and be born into it." Then again, those marketing the dream can point to the flukes -- the clerical worker that improbably triumphed with a pitch and a prayer, keeping the audacity of such hopes alive.

So credit Schotz and his panel for their honesty, yielding rough guidelines worth repeating not only to newcomers but anybody addressing a room populated by those with more ambitions than connections:

  • Don't trust family and friends: "They suck" as a test audience, Schotz said, "because they want you to do well and don't tell you the truth."
  • Lose the 'You stole my idea!' paranoia: As producer Arthur Smith noted, people constantly pitch similar ideas -- especially in reality TV. Besides, producing a TV pilot is "the easy part," as "Two and a Half Men" producer Chuck Lorre observed during a separate session. There's extra time and money to shoot prototypes; the trick is having the ability (and track record, thus reassuring nervous network suits) to replicate that template six, 13 or 22 times a year.
  • Understand the buyer's perspective: As "Deadliest Catch" producer Thom Beers colorfully put it, execs warily view every potential supplier with the same concern: "Is this the person that's gonna screw my fuckin' career up?" Sure, they crave hits, but since self-preservation is Job One, it's always safer to say "no."
  • Being derivative has limits: While imitation remains the sincerest form of television, Schotz counseled against "more than three crosses," as in "It's like 'Survivor' Meets 'Wife Swap' meets 'Daddy Day Care.'"
  • Take "no" for an answer: "Learn how to take a pass," said Sharon Levy, Spike's senior VP of alternative programming, indicating that nothing irritates buyers more than continued pleading after rejection.
  • Take "yes" for an answer: Schotz quoted CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves as telling him, "If someone says, 'We'll buy it,' get out of that room as quick as you can."
  • Stick-to-itiveness is an asset only up to a point: "If everybody tells you it sucks, listen to them," Schotz said.

The impulse to be encouraging -- or at least polite -- is natural. Fostering false hope, however, is like spinning a Vegas roulette wheel and saying, "Keep trying, 22 could come up next time" to someone determined to literally bet the farm. Given the long odds, dispensing a dose of painful reality now might actually be the nicest advice you can offer.

link: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117990092.html?categoryid=1682&cs=1


Monday, August 4, 2008

Kiplingers Financial Magazine - October 2008


It's official! I am the cover girl for the October 2008 Issue of Kiplingers Financial Magazine! It will probably hit newsstands in September! Read all about my inspirational story! I shot the cover on Friday in Los Angeles!! Oh it was so much fun! I can't wait for everyone to see it!

http://www.kiplinger.com
for more information!

Monday, July 28, 2008

3 Ball Entertainment


Today, Eli Davidson and I pitched 3 Ball Entertainment. The development team likes me over there. They are an engaging group that really is interested in my ideas and concepts. I especially love Dan...I raved about Eli and the show that I was trying to create around her. At the time when I pitched the first time I didn't really have a solid concept for a reality show for her yet. We are getting closer, and it will be really interesting to be able to develop something with them around her. As you probably are aware, she is my career coach! She and I have wanted to do a show since 2006, and it really feels like the timing may be more right now than ever.


I forget if I posted in my blog yet my big news? I was recently interviewed for a major financial magazine and they called the day after my interview and asked me to be on the cover of the October 2008 issue of the magazine! They said they were so inspired by my story and how I invested $1,000 dollars in myself - I said it was the best $1,000 dollars I have ever spent on me...my income tripled, people responded to me better and Damn it I am GOING TO SELL A SHOW!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Reality TV World: CBS Passed on DW

My Reality TV World: CBS Passed on DW

CBS Passed on DW

We got word today that Ghen Maynard over at CBS passed on the "Devil's Workshop" with Christopher Titus. I hadn't imagined it on CBS to begin with. I feel like the Network has programming geared toward older Americans, and is considered by many as a less hip and trendy network. Also, I hadn't had them on my vision board at all... The comments we got back - it was too narrow. I wonder now, too narrow because of audience ie. older audience and really wouldn't have the audience for it? or too narrow in concept? These are notes I want to know to see what I am missing in my concepts as I am out pitching...or not missing in the case of it just wasn't right for a certain network...becuase it needs to be on NBC!


On another note, I was interviewed for a major financial magazine regarding the career coaching I did last year with Motivational Speaker, Author and Coach Eli Davidson. She helped me triple my income and set the path for pitching my show ideas to the big guys! To make a fun story even funner...they emailed me today saying that I am going to be on the COVER!! How fun is this?! My photo shoot is set for August 1st! I had been visualizing August 1st as the big kick off to a busy end to the year selling, selling, selling my shows!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

5 Things I have learned out Pitching


Another week and yet more reschedules. Mike Darnell's office has once again had to move our "Titus Project - Devils Workshop" meeting. It's all good in my book and I feel like when the Universe wants us to be in his office it will happen. We literally have rescheduled this meeting now five times due to his busy schedule. I'm not complaining, I'm learning to have patience!! ABC has also been put on hold to next week as well.

Thing is, before the Titus Project, I was not pitching the Networks or BIG time people like Darnell, only production companies.

The most important things I have learned during my six month pitching schedule:

1. Don't be offended when someone reschedules & reschedules. Our Assistant on the "Devils Workshop" explained to me that half of her job is to reschedule appointments. This is TV and things change all the time and its OK to reschedule on their end. Whenever the Universe decides it will happen it either will or won't.

2. Dress to impress. With Network pitches I always dress my best. Nice skirt with a great top and a suit jacket. Recently, I met with a Development person at a Production Company, who was wearing an outfit fit for the beach. I was really taken a back at how unprofessional the person's outfit was. Not to mention the fact that they didn't even get up to shake my hand or give me a hug, which I thought was terribly rude. (considering I had met this person several times!)

3. The more people you pitch, the greater potential you have to sell something. I feel that its a numbers and personality game. The more people you pitch the better potential you have to gain more interest in your concepts and $$ down the road. The more people like you and believe in you, the greater potential to sell it!!

4. A Deal takes Time! It takes so long for a deal to go down. From the creation to the pitch to the sale. My friend Dan optioned a show to MTV, and he is still waiting after 4 months for it to get thru the legal department and start up production.

5. Always keep Positive! That feeling that you are never going to sell it is going to be there. It happens to all of us! You just have to put your head down and keep moving forward and please don't listen to the naysayers...you know those people who are negative and don't believe in you! If you have great ideas and people tell you this, then you know you are on the right track!! Always do your best work no matter what. If you feel down, tell yourself "The Universe will always take care of me! Everything takes time, I will sell this show!"