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Jacob perdew

Pilot episode, is there a market out there ?

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So I wrote a short film idea for the soul reason of practicing with my equipment. Anyways after

We started shooting it turned out to much more then that and now we have a completely finished pilot episode and two more episodes written up.. Is there a market for already completed pilot episodes ? And what would be some advice you guys have to give ... Should I try to pitch, or stick to festivals etc.

 

 

Thank guys

 

You can check out the trailer http://Vimeo.com/57556662

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Guest Christopher Sheneman

Not bad for a first project, I'm not sure if it's ready for TV, you may need to develop the characters a bit more, I wasn't sure what was going on.

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Yeah I would agree, Its more along the lines of an idea what we shot to provide a showcase for what the show could be like.. Again that was just the trailer. The orginal Pilot is 32 min.. I just dont know how to go about possible sending it to a agent should I write 10 scrips first or would that be a waste of time..

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Guest Christopher Sheneman

Here's a few helpful suggestions when shooting action-type films. Watch the actor's movement, the more "amateur" productions have slow/paced actor movement and static camera placement (your production's ok, I've detailed some constructive criticisms below). Are they really running full out? Are they really hitting each other as hard as they could be? Is that a realistic fall?, etc. Are those guns orange-tipped (that's some humor for you!)

 

Run the actors hard. Push them to their limits (safely), make them mad- call them "dumb cunts"- whatever you can do to get realistic movement. Should they be afraid of something? Actually make them afraid- etc.

 

Don't worry about people quitting. Actors ( and crew) quit all the time on ultra low budget productions- it happens frequently and for no reason. It doesn't mean anything other than you're not prepared, too sketchy/edgy, not enough money, not enough time, too early in the morning, etc. My brother had an actor quit recently because she didn't like someone on the crew- just like that- got up and walked out. Higher budget productions don't usually have these dramas, but they also take very few risks- they have big equipment trucks instead. Take the risks that they can't. Have a shootout in a crowded mall without permission or notice - kidding- but I'm not.

 

 

YouTube is a great resource for watching real violence. It can be tough, but if you want to make "quality" violent films you should model the violence as closely to real life as possible, abet small stylish changes.

 

Type in "Police shooting"- that should get you started.

 

Once you create something hard hitting- people will watch it and word will spread, your career will take off.

 

 

 

 

some "Keys" constructive criticisms (according to me- I could be wrong!)

 

1. Studdering confused narration (speed it up, also torture the actor while he does dialogue by craving a jack o' lantern behind them or to the side. It will definitely make them nervous, esp. if it's not Halloween. Their voice with have that "hint" of fear that you'll need).

 

2. Nice punching through the screen window but try installing sugar glass instead for more realism http://www.wikihow.c...ake-Sugar-Glass and then having a surprise visit by your neighbors violent pit bull dog for added motivation.

 

3. Slap him harder, much harder and grab his hair and pull/jerk it- then hit him again over and over with a closed fist until it's not funny (was it to begin with?). Then apologize and promise never to do it again (you won't need to because you have the footage already). Tell them you got carried away in the moment.

 

4. Actor is too busy swallowing food to speak. Maybe instead he focused on his phone.

 

5. Push the actor off the roof without him knowing what is about to happen. At this point, he'll probably quit and perhaps it's time to add a new character.

 

6. Actor is hanging upside down. Cool. Now have neighbor's pit bull over again for off-camera motivation.

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I agree with some of what Christopher said but I dont think that action always has to have a moving camera. For me, personally, I find that a tight camera shot that is still but catching action running by intensely has more effect than always tracking it. With action, just make sure to get in sometimes and make it real and keep your takes EXTREMELY SHORT. Keeping on a shot, any shot, will really take you out of the scene.

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Yes there is a market for TV shows. I actually have one I wrote that we've been shopping around called "Driveline". There are buyers at AFM and other markets looking for product. It all comes down to the deal but you do have the advantage of having something to show them. If you have something for them to look at, it gets exponentially easier to get them interested even if it's a little rough. You have a completed 1st episode and the scripts for 2 more, try and sell it. You can find listings for tv product distributors in the trades or at these markets and they do buy indie made stuff. It happens all the time.

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You also need to ensure that your pilot is the correct running time for a TV slot, 32 mins is too long, even for BBC half hour. You don't need all the scripts for a series, but you need to put your scripts through a process of development so they're sharp and possibly have brief outlines on each proposed episode.

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I have a feeling that the only way to become a TV writer is to be best buddies with all the people who sign off on things for TV channels.

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Guest Christopher Sheneman

If you're in a big enough town you may have a public access channel. That might be something to consider especially if your show has local appeal. Here in Seattle it's very easy to start working on public access producing. Just pay a modest fee, take a few classes and you're in business. They provide studios, editing suites and camera equipment (not that you need all that). Nobody has creative control except you (nothing "profane", of course, they will kick you off the air if you attempt to air porn, etc.).

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Guest Christopher Sheneman

Probably can't do anything overtly commercial on public access, but you can build a following, craft a "brand"..then try to cross-over or whatever. Thing is to build it up, if you can. Once you have an audience you can figure it out from there.

Have a public access show and a internet show, etc. I'm too old to do poop like that, but the" yooths" and all their non-baby times, spouse-free days can do it!

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Here's a few helpful suggestions when shooting action-type films. Watch the actor's movement, the more "amateur" productions have slow/paced actor movement and static camera placement (your production's ok, I've detailed some constructive criticisms below). Are they really running full out? Are they really hitting each other as hard as they could be? Is that a realistic fall?, etc. Are those guns orange-tipped (that's some humor for you!)

 

Run the actors hard. Push them to their limits (safely), make them mad- call them "dumb cunts"- whatever you can do to get realistic movement. Should they be afraid of something? Actually make them afraid- etc.

 

Don't worry about people quitting. Actors ( and crew) quit all the time on ultra low budget productions- it happens frequently and for no reason. It doesn't mean anything other than you're not prepared, too sketchy/edgy, not enough money, not enough time, too early in the morning, etc. My brother had an actor quit recently because she didn't like someone on the crew- just like that- got up and walked out. Higher budget productions don't usually have these dramas, but they also take very few risks- they have big equipment trucks instead. Take the risks that they can't. Have a shootout in a crowded mall without permission or notice - kidding- but I'm not.

 

 

YouTube is a great resource for watching real violence. It can be tough, but if you want to make "quality" violent films you should model the violence as closely to real life as possible, abet small stylish changes.

 

Type in "Police shooting"- that should get you started.

 

Once you create something hard hitting- people will watch it and word will spread, your career will take off.

 

 

 

 

some "Keys" constructive criticisms (according to me- I could be wrong!)

 

1. Studdering confused narration (speed it up, also torture the actor while he does dialogue by craving a jack o' lantern behind them or to the side. It will definitely make them nervous, esp. if it's not Halloween. Their voice with have that "hint" of fear that you'll need).

 

2. Nice punching through the screen window but try installing sugar glass instead for more realism http://www.wikihow.c...ake-Sugar-Glass and then having a surprise visit by your neighbors violent pit bull dog for added motivation.

 

3. Slap him harder, much harder and grab his hair and pull/jerk it- then hit him again over and over with a closed fist until it's not funny (was it to begin with?). Then apologize and promise never to do it again (you won't need to because you have the footage already). Tell them you got carried away in the moment.

 

4. Actor is too busy swallowing food to speak. Maybe instead he focused on his phone.

 

5. Push the actor off the roof without him knowing what is about to happen. At this point, he'll probably quit and perhaps it's time to add a new character.

 

6. Actor is hanging upside down. Cool. Now have neighbor's pit bull over again for off-camera motivation.

 

 

WOW Guys thanks for all the Feedback, Wonderful stuff. Thanks Christopher ! I Love you feedback I will definetally review your comments before shooting again.. I am debating with the idea of shooting the next episode or holding off for awhile, I got my canon 7d in July of 2012, So i feel like i have learned so much during the proccess of the first Episode, I wanna test myself again and see if I can have noticable improvement Plus I have a little more of a budget now ( Frist ep cost $130 dollars not including camera stuff of course). The actor is actually my little brother so there will be no quitting haha

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Yes there is a market for TV shows. I actually have one I wrote that we've been shopping around called "Driveline". There are buyers at AFM and other markets looking for product. It all comes down to the deal but you do have the advantage of having something to show them. If you have something for them to look at, it gets exponentially easier to get them interested even if it's a little rough. You have a completed 1st episode and the scripts for 2 more, try and sell it. You can find listings for tv product distributors in the trades or at these markets and they do buy indie made stuff. It happens all the time.

 

DO you think its a good idea to try and find some kind of an agent first? I have been looking around and I guess i should just sent the pilot to them and try and sell the idea to them first.. Im a 24 year old Door gunner for the army who just picked up a camera in July of 2012, So i dont really have to much exp. with the whole business. But I would love to get more involved..

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Agents won't do s#it for you. They're too busy working for their clients that are making them money so no, don't worry about them. You'll get an agent that works for you as soon as you have some modicum of success. They'll come looking for you. Essentially, you are now a producer. That means you have to shop your projects around. The easiest way is during film markets. There is AFM, European film market and the Hong Kong film market. It's easier because buyers are looking for completed projects at these markets. The next alternative is doing research and finding buyers for your product. The trades, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter are invaluable for keeping a pulse on the industry. There are also books available listing production companies and studio, mini majors and independents. The next trick is to find someone who you can work with and has the goods. There are a LOT of "producers" out there that are useless. The axles of Hollywood are greased with bulls#^t so take everything with a a grain of salt until they prove otherwise. The rest is just a lot of work. I'd call the AFM offices and see if you can buy any of their list books and buyer information. Tell them you plan on attending next year and you want to do some research well in advance of the market to increase your chances of making a sale. All they can say is "No" but they are really cool for the most part so it's worth a call.

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Agents won't do s#it for you. They're too busy working for their clients that are making them money so no, don't worry about them. You'll get an agent that works for you as soon as you have some modicum of success. They'll come looking for you. Essentially, you are now a producer. That means you have to shop your projects around. The easiest way is during film markets. There is AFM, European film market and the Hong Kong film market. It's easier because buyers are looking for completed projects at these markets. The next alternative is doing research and finding buyers for your product. The trades, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter are invaluable for keeping a pulse on the industry. There are also books available listing production companies and studio, mini majors and independents. The next trick is to find someone who you can work with and has the goods. There are a LOT of "producers" out there that are useless. The axles of Hollywood are greased with bulls#^t so take everything with a a grain of salt until they prove otherwise. The rest is just a lot of work. I'd call the AFM offices and see if you can buy any of their list books and buyer information. Tell them you plan on attending next year and you want to do some research well in advance of the market to increase your chances of making a sale. All they can say is "No" but they are really cool for the most part so it's worth a call.

 

 

Awesome thanks for the help. Im gonna go ahead and move forward, try and find someone interested in the idea. In the mean time I may also start shooting the second episode.. AFM Looks pretty amazing, the problem I am going to encounter is not being established. But nothing comes easy .

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Don't worry about that. If they like what they see, it doesn't matter.The problem will be finding someone who is real. Remember the first rule, the axles of Hollywood are greased with bulls#^t so do your research and make sure they have the green before you sign anything. You've already got a completed project so you're halfway there. If it fails, you try again. There is no secret other than quality work and dogged, unshakable determination. I have the advantage of having been a salesman for a long rime so it's easy for me to talk to people. You should develop that skill. I was once told that one should pitch you story to several people, complete strangers to get used to doing that so when you're pitching to investors or buyer, you're comfortable doing that. Give it a shot.

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I have a feeling that the only way to become a TV writer is to be best buddies with all the people who sign off on things for TV channels.

 

I can confirm that this is the case here in the UK.

 

I've had a lot of adventures over the years and at one point managed to get my foot in the door at a significant industry conference. I tried very hard to get a meeting with someone there who I wanted to talk to, but they were too busy schmoozing with the significant industry people to have a chance to talk to me. Let me clarify that too, when I say schmoozing, you probably think I mean kicking back and having fun with some cocktails or something, but it wasn't like this. This person was working really, really hard. She barely had a chance to breathe. I think at that moment in time they were fighting to not have one of their tv series canned, despite the fact that they had won serious industry awards for their content. Their company is one of the few in the country really focused on trying to make high quality content, but at the end of the day that doesn't count for as much as being in with the right people. Actually it might have even been one of those moments where the right people were shifting around which obviously makes it all even more complicated.

 

So yes, it's definitely like that.

 

I could say more as I have seen a lot of things over the years but...

 

Freya

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Don't worry about that. If they like what they see, it doesn't matter.The problem will be finding someone who is real. Remember the first rule, the axles of Hollywood are greased with bulls#^t so do your research and make sure they have the green before you sign anything. You've already got a completed project so you're halfway there. If it fails, you try again. There is no secret other than quality work and dogged, unshakable determination. I have the advantage of having been a salesman for a long rime so it's easy for me to talk to people. You should develop that skill. I was once told that one should pitch you story to several people, complete strangers to get used to doing that so when you're pitching to investors or buyer, you're comfortable doing that. Give it a shot.

 

Thanks for the quality Advice, I will do that I am not easily shaken. The problem I am running into is just finding contact info for people so I can try but like you said that is just determination and I will continue to ravage the internet untill I do..

 

 

Thanks man !!

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De nada, amigo. I know this is all overwhelming but take it one step at a time and learn everything you can about how the business works. Remember the old Hollywood adage, "There are no rules in Hollywood but you break them at your own risk." and the other one by William Goldman " Nobody knows anything." . These stupid little statements will serve you well. Go with your heart and with your gut, They're usually right. Remember that "Business" is the big word and "show" is the little word so never forget the necessary reality of that indisputable fact. Film making is first and foremost a business so don't get caught up in being an "artist" . You're an artist when someone calls you an artist.Remember that. Do good work and stay focused on the long term goals. Never take yourself too seriously because ultimately all motion pictures are the resulting blend of several very talented people so no one person can truly say it's their film. You WILL meet people in the business if you go to the markets and conferences so don't worry about finding distributors and producers, they're there. What you're doing right now is research. Try going to the old AFM information,last year, the year before that ect. Look at the conference panels and do some research on these people. Also do some buyer research. The net is FULL of this s#^t, you just gotta find it, again, dogged determination.

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I'm in the process of selling a show. The next time I do it I won't shoot anything until I have a network that already wants to see the footage first. To pitch all you need is a one-sheet and/or a script. Your footage is not really network quality, but, your idea is cool and that's the more important thing anyway.

 

Assuming you're going for television - the biggest problem is finding somebody who will take your call. Even if you are very gung-ho about it, the system is designed to keep everybody out! All of the networks these days have a "portal" system and they want pitches and stuff to be sent though their portal. It may be problematic registering because they don't consider you to be a real production company unless you've already had something on the air. Just as an example, the Discovery network portal is at https://producers.discovery.com/producersPortal/login.jsf

 

Even though I had already produced part of my show, just as you did, I found the best option was to team up with an established production company that is already producing similar shows. I have been lucky to find a production company near me with similar shows on the air. But even still it's hard for us to get somebody's attention at any of the networks. The odds are stacked against us, but we gotta get our foot in the door somehow!

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If you're aiming at a network drama, you need to have an established producer. On the other hand, you might able to do a web series as a starter, there have been a number that have processed to become international franchises. It really depends if your project is suitable for that sort of approach.

 

It's touch even for established writers, so you need to do your homework and present the project in the correct way. There are a number of books on the subject. plus many workshops. It's not impossible, but it's not easy.

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Awesome Thanks for all the advice, I will definitely keep pushing forward, I love the idea of finding some established production companies and trying to get there notice. I honestly want to learn more through the whole process even if that entails handing the show over and interning for it or something. I just have a thirst to get in the business anyway possible and learn more. Its all about that OJT !

 

Thanks guys

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Bare in mind, it doesn't necessarily have to be a network buyer. There is a market for independent televising programming that can be sold by territory. I was working with a producer that did just that. Network is the equivalent of studio. Not all project belong in the network mold. Keep you options open when you pitch.

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