Friday, August 29, 2008


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 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:

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


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 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.


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!
for more information!