How to Develop, Pitch and Sell Your Family Series or Film- with a Pitch Deck Case Study

Hosted by Mike Sammaciccia

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Mike Sammaciccia

Webinar hosted by: Mike Sammaciccia

Producer (SURVIVE with Sophie Turner) at Afterglow Pictures

Mike Sammaciccia is the founder and producer at Afterglow Pictures, which specializes in family friendly content and has over 15 projects in development, including a documentary and tv series with Will Smith's Westbrook Studios. Mike also produced the action thriller SURVIVE for Jeffrey Katzenberg, which starred GAME OF THRONE’s Sophie Turner and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’S Corey Hawkins. Before creating Afterglow Pictures, Mike served as Walden Media’s first creative executive, bringing in the book HOLES and serving as the executive in charge of production for the hit family film starring Shia Labeouf and Sigourney Weaver. He also served as Senior Vice President of live-action movies and series for Nickelodeon for many years, producing 4-5 live action and animated movies per year. This content consistently broke audience benchmarks and propelled the careers of many young stars. Mike has been at the forefront of family content—both film and television—for almost 20 years and knows better than most what it takes right now to get a family project off the ground. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Long-time family film and TV executives will teach you how to make your family project market-ready and get it sold.

Comes with a case study of a real pitch deck for a produced family film

 

If you’re interested in creating family friendly content for film or TV, you have come across a fantastic time to make something happen. Recent family films like THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, A DOG’S JOURNEY and OVER THE MOON have been hugely popular, and often produced at a lower budget than their more adult competitors, whetting the appetite of studios to create more like these. And on the TV side, family series continue to be wildly successful as streamers and networks continue to seek out and new content and add to their slate. More studios, networks, streamers and production companies than ever before are looking for this type of all ages content, meaning the opportunities are plentiful if you understand how to best put together, pitch, and sell your project.

The opportunity is certainly prevalent for new family films and series to be sold and produced, but it will still be difficult to get your own project off the ground if you don’t understand how exactly your project can fit in. Perhaps more than other genres, family content comes with strict mandates as well as very specific audience demos, each with their own unique profiles and specifications. Projects that can’t easily align or fit into these already defined sections have a much harder to time to sell. Additionally, each studio and network looks for something a little different when putting together their own slate. In order to put your best foot forward and get executives to notice your family-friendly film or series, you first need to understand how the industry works and how best to adjust your project and your pitch.

Mike Sammaciccia is the founder and producer at Afterglow Pictures, which specializes in family friendly content and has over 15 projects in development, including a documentary and tv series with Will Smith's Westbrook Studios. Mike also produced the action thriller SURVIVE for Jeffrey Katzenberg, which starred GAME OF THRONE’s Sophie Turner and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’S Corey Hawkins. Before creating Afterglow Pictures, Mike served as Walden Media’s first creative executive, bringing in the book HOLES and serving as the executive in charge of production for the hit family film starring Shia Labeouf and Sigourney Weaver. He also served as Senior Vice President of live-action movies and series for Nickelodeon for many years, producing 4-5 live action and animated movies per year. This content consistently broke audience benchmarks and propelled the careers of many young stars. Mike has been at the forefront of family content—both film and television—for almost 20 years and knows better than most what it takes right now to get a family project off the ground.

Exclusively for Stage 32, Mike will walk you through how to approach developing, pitching and selling your own family friendly series or film. He’ll explain what the state of family content looks like today, laying out the different demos and what kind of content studios, networks and streamers are embracing. He’ll also point to where family content may be headed in the future. Mike will then teach you how to get your own family film or series market ready by defining your own demo, deciding if it’s better as a film or series, making your characters family-friendly, and developing necessary partnerships along the way. Next he will discuss how to get your project in front of the right studio, network or production company and how to determine which one is the right fit for your project. He’ll also speak to whether you need a manager or agent. Mike will then go through how to best pitch your family project, going through the documents you should have, how to pitch and what should go into your pitch deck.

Mike will even share a real pitch deck for a family film he went out to pitch and explain why he made the choices he did in assembling it.

What You'll Learn

  • An Introduction to Mike
  • The State of Family Content Today
    • Why developing family friendly content is such an exciting opportunity right now
    • What makes something “family-friendly” anyway?
    • Different demos
      • Pre-school
      • 6-11
      • 9-14
      • Family co-viewing
    • What studios, networks and streamers are embracing for family friendly content and what specifically are they looking for?
      • How does family content differ place-to-place?
      • The importance of IP and which companies are open to projects that do not have pre-existing IP
    • The future of family content—Is it going anywhere? Is it evolving?
  • Getting Your Family Film or Series Market Ready
    • Defining a clear demo for your project
    • Is your project a better fit as a series or film?
      • And is that something you should even decide now?
    • Character deep-dive – what makes family-friendly characters effective?
    • Honing an authentic voice
    • Making sure your story is relatable to the whole family
    • Developing partnerships and the necessity of including diverse voices
  • Getting the Opportunity
    • Studios vs. Networks vs. Production Companies
    • How to determine which networks and studios would be interested in your project
    • And how to determine which execs at each place to reach out to
    • Do you need to have a manager or agent? Finding partners and collaborators
    • How Michael finds projects for his production company
  • Pitching Your Project
    • What documents should you have ready for your pitch?
      • And how does this differ between feature and series?
    • Do you need a fully written pilot or screenplay before you pitch?
    • What should go into your pitch deck?
    • Tips on delivering the actual pitch
  • Case Study of a Real Pitch Document for a Family Film
  • Q&A with Mike

About Your Instructor

Mike Sammaciccia is the founder and producer at Afterglow Pictures, which specializes in family friendly content and has over 15 projects in development, including a documentary and tv series with Will Smith's Westbrook Studios. Mike also produced the action thriller SURVIVE for Jeffrey Katzenberg, which starred GAME OF THRONE’s Sophie Turner and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’S Corey Hawkins. Before creating Afterglow Pictures, Mike served as Walden Media’s first creative executive, bringing in the book HOLES and serving as the executive in charge of production for the hit family film starring Shia Labeouf and Sigourney Weaver. He also served as Senior Vice President of live-action movies and series for Nickelodeon for many years, producing 4-5 live action and animated movies per year. This content consistently broke audience benchmarks and propelled the careers of many young stars. Mike has been at the forefront of family content—both film and television—for almost 20 years and knows better than most what it takes right now to get a family project off the ground.

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