Introduce Yourself : What is Going on with Stage 32. by Nicholas Nazario

Nicholas Nazario

What is Going on with Stage 32.

Hi, strange to see shows being ordered to pilot, about one or two months after my pitch session with the exec of that company, or listed PRIVATE. Is this what you do? This is how the industry works? Had an unsolicited submission stolen verbatim- and aired on H- My own fault. Learned my lesson and know that I'm good enough to steal off of. However, there should be protections for these meetings and accountability.

Christiane Lange

What do you mean by "listed private"?

Marty Howe

Is your work copyrighted?

Abdur Mohammed

I'm sorry to hear that Nicholas.

Eric Roberts

https://www.wgawregistry.org/

Registering your work with the WGAW Registry documents the claim of authorship of a written work and does NOT take the place of registering with the Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office which primarily documents the ownership or rights of written work. While both create legal evidence that can be used in court, we recommend contacting the Library of Congress directly with any questions regarding COPYRIGHT procedures or practices.

When you register your script prior to submitting it to contests, agents, managers, or producers, you document your authorship on a given date should there be unauthorized usage...

Claude Gagne

And supposedly help you with the work convicting the thief. I was told!

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Marty Howe Anything you write, by operation of law, is copyrighted. I expect Nicholas Nazario is talking about them taking his idea, which has no copyright protection. Just be aware, should you have to pay to attend pitch sessions - IMO producers taking money to listen to pitches (as opposed to teaching how to pitch) already have shady ethics, so don't be surprised when they run with your ideas. In the context of actors auditioning for casting directors - exactly the same situation as writers pitching producers - SAGAFTRA and the State of California took legal action against casting directors who take money to attend "casting sessions" at actors networking groups - finally shutting them down after years trying. They penalized a number of prominent casting directors and 'networking groups." It's NOT a grey area, it's unethical and if it becomes too prominent, the state will likely start coming after those involved in it.

Julia Petrisor

Hey - I'm not super clear on your post. Are you saying you pitched something on S32 and they passed on you but then the very show you pitched got ordered to pilot? If so, I'm sorry to hear that! It's not okay.

Nick Assunto - Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator

Hi Nicholas, are you claiming a private executive on the Stage 32 platform stole your IP and sold the show? Because I just pulled up your feedback from that session, and would be more than happy to look into this for you, but can you maybe provide me some specifics at writerhelp@stage32.com?

That private exec hasn't worked on any pilots recently, nor was her company info listed, so I'm not sure how you connected the dots back to her. It would help know to more about what show you're referring to that was ordered to pilot that you think was your pitch stolen by this exec. Her company only has one TV series in production and it's based on a graphic novel, the rest are features.

Also what do you mean by "aired on H?"

Nicholas Nazario
Nicholas Nazario

Sent Amasia Ent. Specifically the writers- our beloved script, and while I never heard back, the show they produced, on H (istory), used elements of my pilot and even a catchword, ie the name of the pilot itself and the exact line written for that character, Barney Hill, On Episode 8 of the first season. I figured if I sent some work they'd see I could play pro ball. Even sent them a revised one for the BBC- hoping to earn a spinoff. Didn't know this was how things are done.

I don't see the private exec attached to the project either. NOT SAYING IT WAS HER, she seemed extremely cool and it seemed like we got on but who cares. Have also re-checked all of my pitch sessions.

But the notes received and the new show DEBRIS on NBC seem too close. After all, New Girl was a stolen Script Can you imagine the pressure of having to bring hit shows to production. This isn't a rarity.

My piece is going to get on, but folks are going to know I will make all the noise i need to so I can get put on the program. Thanks for looking into this- I am aware you are trying to burst my argument, but if you are at least looking that's good. What if I'm right. I am a neighborhood kid raised in the most reported UFO hotspot in the country, this is my work for almost 7 years now. And i thought i would actually earn my success through S32. Which is why I do the pitch sessions. If my work wasn't good, why the fuck are they picking up shows like it? Absolute hits, too. -Nicholas

Christiane Lange

Nicholas Nazario When did you pitch the series that you think got turned into Debris for NBC? According to Wiki, it is written and produced by J.H. Wyman through Legendary Television.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Christiane Lange Both Amasia and Legendary are associated with NBC-Uni. It would by far not be the first time that ideas get reworked and "adapted" through the essentially closed system. Nicholas Nazario There is NO copyright in an idea, so any idea you share in a pitch session is fair game, legally. That's why I would never proceed without proper NDAs in place which I expect are not done in pitch sessions.

Nick Assunto - Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator

I'm really confused here Nicholas. You said you pitched a private exec on Stage 32, now you're saying you sent it to some writers at Amasia? I'm not trying to prove you wrong, my goal is simply the truth, but I have no idea what you're saying. You're posting an accusation, so I just need more info. This sounds like this has nothing to do with Stage 32 yet your title is "what's going on with Stage 32."

And Shadow Dragu-Mihai that is not true. You own your IP the moment you create it. Any idea you pitch in a pitch session is definitely NOT fair game legally.

Christiane Lange

Shadow Dragu-Mihai The way I understood his account, he had a pilot stolen (in part) by Amasia, and now he is concerned that Wyman/NBC stole another idea from him through a pitch here on Stage 32

Nicholas Nazario

Yes, Nick. I am saying that after pitching with a couple execs at stage 32 from I think Sept- Dec 19- I now see a similar project getting picked up at large network right after. (DEBRIS gets picked up by NBC in January 2020). This concerns me, as it would anybody. The Amasia experience was a real example that I have come across. And Its no secret you work closely with them. I could be on a shitlist and they have to ignore me. But here, on S32- high strangeness -Most recently, my project looked like a go- meeting seemed great, a few days pass and I get a request from a script consultant on IG in LA. Ok, I think- we must be getting started. I live in PA, below pov with my 3 sons. No one knows I write or act. The feedback then comes two weeks later, comparing it to large properties then it looked like a straight cop out- Like this looks like a proven multimillion dollar success story- you got my attention immediately- this is exactly what the big studios are looking for- but you talked about aliens for two seconds and it was distracting. So pass.

I used to think how are these execs sleeping on this.- Now I actually don't believe they are picking up shows legitimately, Nick. And I have something that should be looked at, maybe even given a blessing. Because it seems like the large networks really like the idea. And I'm making ramen fucking noodles over here. When I should be Stage 32's biggest success story.

Erick Freitas

Interesting... I hope Stage32 gets to the bottom of this!

Ben Patrick Yates

Hey Nicholas, so the show you pitched was about "A pair of agents work together to investigate an alien spacecraft that is causing mysterious effects on people". (Debris)

Honestly I would say that sounds extremely similar to another show....... "Two FBI agents investigate cases dealing with unexplained paranormal phenomena." (X-Files)

As for "similar projects getting picked up at large networks" New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Friends are all extremely similar and are just "reconfigurations" of Seinfeld. Compare Seinfeld's story lines to each other series, you will be shocked how close some of them are.

Also regarding "protections for these meetings and accountability" there is and it is your responsibility, you should have all work (dated drafts, treatments, synopsis, concepts etc.) registered with a Guild or Library of Congress. You should have all this before even pitching a company. In the case of a direct lift of your work / words then maybe consider getting some legal advice but an unsolicited submission is just that and proving it was "stolen verbatim" will be extremely hard.

Look I get being pissed if you think someone may have stolen your work and I have had dozens of meetings I thought went extremely well, follow up calls, script reads, what else do you haves etc. only to not go anywhere. What I have found is people in LA have the politest way of telling you no thank you or to fuck off. As an Aussie it takes some getting used too, if that was here they would actually just say "mate that's shit and not for us" or "sorry but that eats a dick".

I am sorry to hear you and your boys are doing it tough at the moment mate but feel free to reach out and message me.

Dan MaxXx

I thought these pitches are for education and practice only, and the industry folks represent themselves as sole individuals, not the companies they work at.

Nick Assunto - Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator

Dan MaxXx that's correct. They aren't submissions to the company they work for. They're here to give feedback and help writers out with their pitches, and then if they like the pitch might ask the writer to submit the script to them, and if they like the script probably bring it to their company.

Nicholas Nazario I'm not seeing how you're connecting the dots here. You think from a 6 minute pitch years ago with some execs on Stage 32 that they then stole your idea and gave it to completely unrelated companies (not their own, mind you)? Look, I know it sucks when similar ideas happen out there, and more connected people get to get theirs out there first, but it doesn't mean someone is stealing from you. These seem totally unconnected. We don't "work closely" with Amasia. And DEBRIS sounds like a dozen other shows that came before it, nor is it a production of Amasia anyway. Not sure what Amasia has to do with any of this.

People don't hear a pitch then decide to steal it but then hand it off to an entirely different company. It makes zero business sense.

It is far cheaper for any company to buy your IP from you and rewrite it, then it is to steal the idea and then deal with any legal repercussions, even if they win the case.

So you wrote a script that now has a similar show coming out? It's happened to most of us writers. Similar concepts float around in the zeitgeist. It's a constant. There are only so many ideas, and no such thing as something wholly original. Just fresh or updated. You should take it as a sign that you have good ideas.

Also if you think TV writers have "multimillion dollar success stories" out of the blue you're greatly misunderstanding how much writers get paid and how much you can sell a pilot for. Even the biggest screenwriters in the business will cap out at a few million dollars on what has to be a huge budget picture with really big names behind it.

I get it, you're a struggling writer. I am, too. I almost sold a script four years ago but then a script with a similar concept was announced. I finally optioned mine last month then actually spoke with the writer of the one that beat me to it and we kind of chuckled about how it's one of those concepts everyone had at the time. I had to revamp mine a lot to separate it from what hers was, and we had THE SAME EXACT JOKE in a similar scene. Not because she stole mine, nor I hers, but because it was one of a few jokes that made sense for that particular scene moment we both chose to parody, and it only made sense. It's great minds thinking alike.

So you can take it as proof that you're one of those "great minds" thinking alike, or you can believe someone stole your idea because you're the only one capable of coming up with it.

Nicholas Nazario

SO Nick - Either I can comfort myself by saying great minds think alike- or I must be somehow incapable of understanding that other people can think up similar ideas.

I contacted an entertainment lawyer, its a 50k buy in. Funny right? Especially after you read something like they'd rather buy it than steal it. These execs know they can get away with a ton. And they do. It's obvious. Also, Having a website that baits talent is no strange thing to see as an actor. How many websites can one find with 'real auditions', and a steep buy in? There are many.

These execs are taking pitches because right now- there is a content boom. THEY ARE BUYING.

I have a product, and it's right in line with what they're buying. I'm not looking for feedback.

Shows that are in line/competition are getting picked up soon after my pitch sessions. Debris gets on in Jan, and my sessions were in the two months prior, And Nick, yeah, these dots aren't clearly connecting for me either- but the red flags they are raising are telling a story.- A major one. Saying that if the execs pass, expect to see a bastardized version on a network. Whereas if I didn't pitch, say for all the fucking years I never did, and all the January's that had no UFO show. But this one time. It was a coincidence. Did you ever work for Drug Dealers, Nick? Like serious men. Try to use that fucking one.

My exec told me my show had everything a studio wanted but talking about aliens, in regards to a show about aliens was distracting, so pass. Pass? After you just used two huge successful properties as examples of my potential work? Pass? Still. In a buyers market. Oh, this was all for fun, right. Dan Manxxx

If I wanted to pay 35 bucks to ride a Ferris Wheel I'd go to Hershey Park-I'm not here for entertainment purposes.

I'm not writing scripts to drool over while I play with my dick in the dark. I'm writing the shows that need to be on air. So my ideas, although thoroughly researched are unique and my own. If I was pissing away buddy cop ufo scripts I couldn't say anything but I've been on this one over 7 years.

Ben Patrick-New Girl was a stolen show, research the writers. I'm trying to bring to light a possible practice that would get pushed down and swept under the carpet, otherwise. I will thank the Aussie for is saying make the right noise but not everyone can hear the same sounds. Sometimes you have to yell at grandpa to tell him you love him. Or tell grandpa Nicholas Nazario is legit awesome and his show is actually lit. Or tell him he crapped his pants. By the way, Ben- Fuck you for mansplaining. Or whatever that was.

Per Assunto and D maxxx,- 'then if they like the pitch might ask the writer to submit the script to them, and if they like the script probably bring it to their company.' Ok, now that we just talked in a circle. Honestly. This is where new blood is found. You think the execs are like, 'Maybe I'll just pick up a few of those...pitch sessions, help pay off my student loans. Maybe I'll help educate a young aspiring writer: Note to the Aussie- we also have a saying in JC - "Fuck Outta Here"

And if you are a new writer, don't ever let anyone quiet your voice. I'm still trying to figure out if this site is legit. That's on me. Don't be discouraged by my path or how I go about things. This is my voice. Your voice is for you and if you have an idea you don't want to get stepped on then make your fucking noise. Because no one else is ever going to do it for you. And they will fucking take your shit. And break bread with dudes that would take your shit too, and laugh about it. Cause odds are, you can't afford the lawyers.

Jeff E. Gregory

I would advocate to register the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office for your work and obtain proper representation through an agent or manager before considering pitching. I did.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Nicholas Nazario I am not trying to invalidate what you are thinking or suspect could have happened, but the truth is, similar and even identical ideas happen All.The.Time. They're in the air, they're in the culture and again and again courts have seen that people have used what they legitimately and truly thought were original concepts - sometimes down to the dialog and character names - to see they were already copyrighted. It's one reason, historically, that ideas are not subject to any copyright protection. In my experience, you can be 100% certain that if you have an idea, someone else already has it and is developing it right now. It's not the idea that is interesting or valuable - like backsides, everyone has one and they all have holes in them - it's the execution of the idea that is yours alone and valuable. So when you pitch, you need to be very sure your execution is amazing.

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