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Thanks NATPE

July 12th, 2009 · No Comments

For many things. For the advice, the opportunity, the contacts, the thrill, the enthusiasm, the ideas, the interaction with TV Executives and for giving me a big push. The festival was a great place to make contacts as well as listen to Network Executives talk about the industry and where we (content providers) can fit in it.

My favorite part of the event was the pitch pit. NATPE from day one of signing up supplied me with the tools and resources to pitch a successful pitch. Listened to a live webcast with Carole Kirschner (Founder, Hollywood GamePlan, Philippa Burgess (Partner, Creative Convergence), and Joshua Cozen-McNally (E3E Media). They gave great tips to prepare us for the pitch. I listened to the recording in my car, on the plane and at night.

The first day of the conference they were trying to prepare us what to expect when we pitch as well as understanding where we the independent producers stood with the networks and studios. It was hard to hear that we will basically provide an idea and sit back and watch them go with their production company. Eric Schotz, the CEO and President of LMNO Productions said it best when asked what should we expect…”You’re going to get fucked the first time….If it is a hit you won’t get fucked a second time.” Not sure if that was tongue and cheek or the blunt honest truth. If it was the truth how can that prepare you to give your concepts to the Execs?

As the day progressed I began to understand why Independent Content providers were at the conference. It was because everyone is cutting budgets and wants to find cheap talent. The days of multi-million dollar shows are drying up unless they have a brand attached bank rolling it. They are now listening to us and I feel the closed system of buddy-buddy is beginning to open up. Not because they want to, because they have to.

The pitching was on day 2. In the pitch pit you have 10 minutes to pitch to the catcher. I had 2 pitches one with Tiger Aspect Productions and the other with FX. I had 2 docu-reality shows and 4 scripted shows to present. Tiger Aspect Productions was up first. I sat down introduced myself and listened to Alan introduce himself and what he was looking for. I stated I had 5 ideas that they might be interested in and I started with the docu-reality first. The first show idea he said that they were thinking of a way to get that shot and would be interested in seeing how we can pull it off. The second show idea he was really interested in and gave me some feedback on how it might work. Right after that his phone rang and he answered it. I didn’t know how to react to that. I kept my cool and reached into my pocket and pulled out my PSP and synched up Beat Down Boogie teaser to show him. As soon as he was off the phone we get the shout out from the moderator of 3 minutes left. I told him that we have 2 scripts ready and we are considering it for TV as well as film.

He watched it and loved it. He told me that they were also a film company and this might be something they would be interested in. He gave me his phone number and asked to contact him next week. I gave him a DVD with the material on it and a one sheet. Shook his hand and thanked him and walked out of the pitch pit excited.

I went upstairs and called Angela telling her the good news. While I was on the phone Warren Sapp walked by. I nodded to him and he nodded back. I asked Angela if I could call her back. I walked up to Warren Sapp and handed him my business card. JETSHe laughed and said ah, you’re a Jet fan. I agreed and said something stupid to follow that up. What I wanted to say to him was The Jets should of drafted him instead of Kyle Brady. But then I pulled out my PSP and showed him Beat Down Boogie. He laughed and said pretty cool, but guns don’t go with karate. Guns always win. I agreed and left him alone. Later I went on twitter and thanked him for looking at the trailer and friended him. He later returned the friend request. That was cool!

An hour and half later I sat down with FX. This guy was young but really nice and cool. I presented what I thought was the best idea for FX but it was not what they were looking for. I knew that FX would be tough, they were looking for a comedy like “Always Sunny in Philladelphia“. We didn’t have that. But he made some great suggestions that I took to heart and thanked him. When they yelled out 3 minutes remaining, I got up shook his hand thanked him for his time and left without leaving any materials. I didn’t want to waste his time going through our material or have him toss it in the trash after he left.

The remainder of the conference I met with other content creators and talked about their pitches. Many were excited and happy with the results. How cool.

At the end of the night they handed out the awards for the NEXT TV Web Series Competition it came and went and everyone else was talking it up while getting their free drink. I met up with Svetlana Tyuleneva, a cool down to earth executive producer and Kurt Zumdieck, a very funny intellectual writer/producer and we talked the night away till it was time to depart and end the conference.

I look forward to hearing from all the people I met and hope follow their progress as we all strive to entertain the world.

Tags: Filmmaker · Personal

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