Development

The place to discuss, share content and offer advice and tips on the film or television development process

Tips on Developing a Non Scripted show?

I was just curious if anyone here has had any experience with unscripted/reality style shows? I am currently working on a pitch for a unscripted travel style show and was wondering if anyone here has had experience with that style of production? What is some must have information to put in the pitch? ...

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Richard "RB" Botto

Most unscripted pitches come down to two things - Is the concept interesting/different enough and are the hosts (in this case) someone an audience is going to want to live with episode to episode.

One other thing with reality...If you can afford to make a sizzle reel, do so.

Rachael Saltzman

Characters are key here - personalities and conflict trump subject.

Richard "RB" Botto

Absolutely agree on that Rachael Saltzman

Sharing is Caring

I submitted an original sit-com pilot to agency a few weeks back and am still waiting to hear from them. Should I post it to my profile for feedback, or is that not recommended? I was also thinking of posting some other eps I have written for it, or would that do more harm than good? (I asked this y...

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Jeff E. Gregory

I have written a blog here entitled, "Seeking an Agent." Let me know all the steps you took with your submission please.

C Harris Lynn

Thanks, Steven! I'm older, so I did a WGAW before submission, and it was an old pilot I reworked, so it's been under WGAW in a similar form before. I held-off on LoC copyright only because I had heard...

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Jeff E. Gregory

Okay. your job is to find an agent before reaching out or submitting to producers. Let potential agents know you have an interested producer and that you need representation to pursue.

Rachael Saltzman

Are they actively looking? If so, the response time should be listed.

C Harris Lynn

Thank you for the reply, but it's been handled. :)

Union

When you're shooting a film and the actors are all SAG does your crew have to be union as well or is that determined by what kind of project your filming, IE short film, ultra low budget, low budget, etc?

Larry DeGala

thanks, Joanna. as a member of SAG, I have worked alongside IA and respect the skill sets they bring to the table. IA has a similar Ultra Low contract for technicians. however, if this is your first U...

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Larry DeGala

if you need DGA, I believe you can get a first-time DGA director (virtually free), but you would bring on board a UPM and 1st AD. You may not hire one without the other. Both must be hired on for the DGA low budget agreement. then again, you do not need this for your SAG ULB.

Allen Gandler

Lauren, Everyone has provided good information here. However, I understand your question and I'll give you a simple answer. The answer is no. SAG is only one union, specific to actors (which can inclu...

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Lauren McKean

Thanks for the input guys!

Rachael Saltzman

Depends upon the contact. If you're doing ULB/shorts, no.

opportunities in Atlanta, GA

I'm moving to Atlanta in the next month or so in the hopes of finding a job in film/television. Would anyone have any suggestions on places in Atlanta I should look into? I'm hoping for something like Development Assistant, but anything to do with writing/producing would be ideal, or any assistant position. Thought I'd ask around - thanks!

Devon Carey

I'm in Atlanta actually, I might have some ideas. Let's connect.

Rachael Saltzman

Have previous experience. Atlanta is importing experienced crew. Or contact the commission and get listed as an intern or PA.

Finding sales numbers for a book

HI all, I'm considering optioning a book but I want to learn more about its sales. Although I can find information about the author and her other books, her awards, etc., on line, I can't find anything about the sales of this particular book (or her other books). Any suggestions? (I do know that pub...

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Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Jeff - I had not thought of that. Thank you.

Heather Hale

Some numbers can be found on Amazon. Do a little digging. Look in the reviews.

Dougie Brimson

Ask the author! Most will be honest about sales given that if an option is taken on that book, at some point the truth will inevitably out!

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Thanks to all who commented. Heather - In the context of my being a bit 'web challenged' or at least 'web self taught', I took a look at what's available regarding the book on Amazon and did not see n...

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Rachael Saltzman

Ask the publisher.

Ways to find developing projects or scripts

Hi all, I need a little advice. I am currently working for an international film acquisitions and distribution company and they recently want to get involved into more production work. Preferably looking for scripts or projects in development that we can collaborate on with other industry profession...

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Justin K Hayward

Action Adventure feature here: https://www.slated.com/films/194921/team/

Samantha Mauney Aiken

We've got a romantic comedy here: www.mysweetaffair.com Twitter: @Affair_Movie It features an Asian male romantic lead!

Heather Hale

Darren - I'm sure you've been inundated ;-) but what budget levels or genres are you looking for? I'd love to discuss some possibilities with you! ;-)

Rachael Saltzman

Search for other production companies that do similar work, contact them. If yours brings resources, they'll talk to you.

Advice on Pitching

I have a face to face pitch meeting with a producer who has 5 reality shows on 2 different networks and who is into publishing. This is the perfect meeting for everything I do, but I can only talk up the show that the meeting is about because it's attached to other people who got us the meeting. I w...

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Vanar Jaddou

Don't worry so much. Be you and you'll be fine :)

Karen R. Hardin

Thanks for the advice. I have a full pitch with log line ready to go and I will stick to the one project unless asked for additional projects as you all have suggested. In the back of my mind I'm thin ...

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John Charnay

Dress for success!

Max Malik

Confidence. Take a few deep breaths before going in, and make sure to shake hands with everyone there.

Rachael Saltzman

If she wants to see more, she'll ask. Stay focused.

Amazon Studio's Development Slate

I've sent 5 different types of scripts to Amazon Studios for consideration and all 5 were passed on (no surprise there) with them saying, "...we have determined that it does not meet the needs of our Development Slate at this time. If you have other material...." Why won't they just say what they ar...

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Jim Jackson

They haven't picked anything up from their site in 2-3 years.

Regina Lee

A studio might be targeting certain genres, but if the execs read an awesome script in a different genre, all bets are off. No studio wants to take themselves out of the running for receiving something unexpected and awesome.

Rob Alicea

Charlie, see if you can get coverage on your materials. There are things beyond a great script that have to be on point- like your pitching materials. If your treatment isn't in a great place they may...

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Rachael Saltzman

Because all they're looking for is good. That's one of the most polite form letters I've seen.

How to get published fiction optioned for screenplay adaptation?

I'm not a screenwriter, and I'm still working on the final two volumes in what will be an 8 volume sci fi/detective/speculative story series, The Casebook of Elisha Grey. The backstory & details of Atlantis are, yes, in my head (it's a crowded place!) What's the best way to market my work for adapta...

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Regina Lee

There's more than one way to skin a cat. That said, one great way to score points in your favor is be reviewed by Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Books that receive a Starred Review certainly get a look...

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Isabeau Vollhardt

one of my favorite sayings! thanks for the tip on where else to get reviews, i'll check it out!

Rachael Saltzman

Win awards, become a bestseller, or get packaged in a options buy with one of the above.

How to get started as a PA

Just starting out in the industry and I am looking for advice on how to get office PA, Producer PA or Writer's Assistant jobs. I know you start off in the office and move up to the other two after gaining enough experience. But how did you get your start?

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

My suggestion is sent out a query e-mail to the Directors Guild of America or the Producers Guild of America. Since I am a screenwriter most of the books I have are on my craft. However , There is one...

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Matt Trudell

I have several projects i need help bringing to fruition.

Rachael Saltzman

Contact your local film commission.

Question on selling OPTIONS on Novels

Stage32 offers plenty of pay-to-play pitch sessions for screenplays... but does anyone have leads, recommendations, advice on pitching NOVELS to Hollywood that could be converted to screenplays? I've written 16 novels and only 2 screenplays. I have some content that could be great for the big screen, ...

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Regina Lee

I respectfully disagree with the above. 1) Not every author is (or wants to be) a screenwriter. 2) If the book really does have good sales that make it an attractive IP, it may be easier to attract a...

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Sybelle Cheesman

I appreciated this because I too am and has been interested in getting my Novels submitted for revue in the desire to have them noticed for film...very informative discussion thanks

Slavica Bogdanov

If you ever want me to write the scripts, let me know. There are some agents that deal with book to script kind of deals but you would have had to have sold a lot of books for that to happen.

Jeff E. Gregory

Create a separately copyrighted treatment.

Rachael Saltzman

Step one - become a bestseller.

TV Show Idea

Hello, everyone. I would like to pitch a TV show idea. I believe this show would be perfect for the CW and similar stations, or perhaps Netflix. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Jeff E. Gregory

Create a treatment, copyright it, obtain the ISBN, register it with the Guild, and then secure representation.

Rachael Saltzman

Plus a show bible, look book, etc.