Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lessons from The Big Guys

Its been a crazy year with lots of pitches. I am finally seeing some results from my hard work. I have pitched my way all over Hollywood - meeting with some of the best and brightest Executives in town. We pitched last week in NYC at A&E and TruTv and LA for NBC. Now, its back to LA and set for another two big meetings today and tomorrow.

One great lesson that I learned this past month. I've created lots of shows over the past two years and learned a lot from the Talent. When creating a show around a talent you MUST make sure you do one thing with your Shop and Pitch Agreement...make sure that you have your talent sign an agreement that is longer than three months with a clause that will cover you when you are in the middle of pitching!

See the problem with Reality TV is you are dealing with newly found talent and they don't necessarily know our industry. They might think they know. They don't realize that any pitch takes time to move up the ranks and get a green light to start production. There are so many roadblocks, that you could never imagine. Russell Simmons has a great story about this very subject. I have blogged about him in past blogs. He states in his book "Do You!" how long he fought for MTV to take a chance with "Runs House," which did end up on MTV. BUT they told him NO over and over again - and he fought hard for his project and he believed in it 100%. He worked hard to get the end result - a show on the AIR!

What I got was "something should have happened by now." Mind you we pitched two weeks ago. Sometimes people are their own worst enemies. This business is all about who you know, who likes you and is your stuff good and LUCK! Glenn Larson, who had like nine series on the air at once once told me that there are so many factors that go into getting a show on the air. (From IMDB: Glen A. Larson is the man behind some of the world's best known primetime shows. His highly successful productions (successful both financially and popularly, less often critically!) include "Knight Rider" (1982), "The Fall Guy" (1981), "Battlestar Galactica"(1978), and "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century", "Knight Rider" (1982) and "Magnum, P.I." (1980). His venture "One West Waikiki".) He said "There are lots of office politics and you have to have LUCK on your side! It isn't just one factor like a good show that will get it on the air." So, for anyone who thinks that they will land a show with one pitch is crazy. You have to pound the pavement and you are going to get a lot of Passes or No's before you get a YES. And look - you can even get a YES and then someone up above changes their mind and says NO! You could even have a check in your hand - and shows in the can - and they still cancel it!

Everything takes time. Nothing happens over night in Hollywood. Patience is your friend. Having good Producers pitching you is also key. And Producers who know everyone in town is even better!


Anastasia said...

Great insight for us "newbies" in the pitching world...which is its own entity from my world! Looking forward to applying your tips! You RAWK!

jt said...

Great post Nicole. So true. -JT - Creator/Producer JOBz, "Putting the World Back to Work"