Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is My Idea A Good Idea?

How do you know?

I mean, you've thought up an idea for a show. You think its a good idea - how do you know? Who do you ask?

Don't trust your Mom, Wife, Husband, Boy/Girl Friend, Dog, Cat, Budgie, Fish - because they love you and they'll love everything you do. So they're out. Can't be trusted.

And you can't trust your friends and co-workers. Because as William Goldman's "First Rule of Showbiz" tells us: Nobody Knows Anything. So the only way to know if its a good idea is...

Let the Market Decide.

In simple terms - if it sells, its a good idea. If it doesn't - it isn't a good idea. Which isn't to say that good ideas don't sell - I have a whole file cabinet full of BRILLIANT STUFF that hasn't sold for one reason or another. But if it doesn't have market acceptance - if someone outside your circle of family and friends isn't willing to put bucks into it - you might have a problem.

And that's where the pitching comes in. When I pitched Freaky Stories, I did it cold - with no knowledge whatsoever of the industry. I knocked on 3 doors before I made the sale.

At the CBC, their Head of Creative - a former member of a well known sketch comedy troupe, kept pontificating about the colour blue. To this day, I have no idea what he was talking about.

The second pitch, I don't remember.

The third pitch was to YTV - and it took a couple of additional meetings, but I got a development deal and some money from them. The rest is history. It took 10 years to bring Freaky to TV, but because I had some real market interest, I knew that I was onto something.

Just saying...


  1. Youtube comment re: Freaky stories: "OMG! I LOVES THIS SHOW WHEN I WAS A KID!". Heh. So, guess your idea was a good idea.

    I've never caught the show myself. Too bad there don't seem to be any dvds available.

  2. The show is owned by DECODE Entertainment. While it would make sense to release it on DVD or on free or pay TV, they prefer to keep it gathering dust on the shelf.

    Common sense says that if there's a demand for a product - you should fill the demand. But common sense never applies in this business.