Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"I'm Not Getting A Shot"

Okay - so I was in an online chat room the other day. Yes, I really should know better, but "oh, Dopey me", I wasted my time there anyway. To be honest, I forget what the discussion was about - but it quickly degenerated into the usual flame war.

But something interesting came out of it. One of the people wrote (in part):

"I would like to have someone explain why there are so many people willing to show what they've done to "get there", but not explain the process of what it takes. Who helped you? Who did you submit to? How many times? Who did you create for? Could you show me how to get to where you're at too? Seriously, I've seen your credentials and I'm glad to see you've gotten to where you are. I haven't got enough time to do that kind of hustling anymore! Things cost money, and if I just want to survive I take whatever I can get. Sure, I could have pushed when I was fresh out of Sheridan back in '89 - '90 too, but now - I'm not getting a shot."

So, great humanitarian that I am - I directed the individual to this blog. But I know that A) they aren't going to read very much of it - and B) It's not what they're looking for.

Why? Because it takes work and perserverence. What is "perserverence"?
  • Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
  • Perseverance is trying again and again (probably long after a sane person would have given up).
What that person really wanted was for me to give them a show. "Here ya go - Here's a whole career for you!" Sorry kids - life doesn't work that way. Well, for most people anyway - and especially not for me. But the point is - this business isn't easy for anyone.

I got an email this morning from a key player in my "BIG" project. Bottom Line:They aren't getting involved. They love the creative but the show isn't right for them at this time.

Fair enough - I can't argue with that. So what do I do? I picked myself up, dusted myself off and wait -- an email came in from someone I spoke with over a year ago. They weren't interested in the project than - but they are interested in the project NOW...

So as one door closes - another one opens. Funny how that happens...


  1. I noticed that you started posting on Cartoon Brew. Watch out I know that you can easily get banned from posting there too.
    I have to admit I thought it was easy to get biz and I especially thought it was easy to sell an idea. I thought well as long as its good, then people will snatch it up. Then I watched my friends go into the industry. Now I realize if you want to do anything great it requires a substantial amount of hard work. I mean every year that talent pool gets better.
    By the way what do you think about pitching to Toy companies? Have you ever pitched your properties directly?

  2. Did anyone say it's easy? I never said it was easy. If you want the big bucks - you should sell drugs or rob banks.

    Hmmm... note to self...

    I'm not worried about Cartoon Brew. They're pretty level-headed. I just like to poke them every now and then.

    Toys - YES! I came up with an idea for a toy in 2001. I made some industry contacts and sold the toy to a large toy manufacturer. Then some planes crashed into the World Trade Center - and somehow that killed the deal. I got some money out of it. Wild Planet Toys bought the name that I'd trademarked, so I actually made a few bucks.

    BUT - They Toy Business is damned tough. MUCH tougher than pitching TV Shows. If you hear bad things about TV Producers and Executives - they are NOTHING compared to what's in the Toy business. Just sayin'...

  3. Okay. To actually answer some questions:

    Who helped you? He's retired and out of the business. You have to find people who believe in you and your work - no one can do it for you.

    Who did you submit to? Merv Stone was the Director of Programming at YTV in 1990 and is long retired.

    How many times? How many times did I pitch Freaky Stories? Three: Once to CBC. Once to Global and the third door that I knocked on was YTV.

    Who did you create for? I created Freaky Stories for my self. It was a show that I believed in - a show that I would want to watch. While many people create shows for "the market" - and are successful at it, I only create shows that I would want to watch myself.

  4. My naivete(about pitching) was based solely on my assumption at the time (around 2006), I guess I was delusional at the time. I don't know how I came to that conclusion.

    Also I hear that it is better to work in the industry first and then pitch your show? I heard that you are more credible with industry experience.

  5. When I pitched (and sold) Freaky Stories, I had no broadcast (TV series) experience. My relative experience was as a producer of low-budget local retail TV commercials. I had also worked in an animation studio making commercials for blue-chip clients.

    So I guess the answer is No - you don't need to be working in the industry - BUT it would sure help. How? Connections, industry-speak buzzwords and knowing the do's and dont's.

    Having said that, I had a very good sample reel for the show. But in today's terms, it was nothing that a good film student couldn't put together in a couple of week's spare time.