I Wish Someone Had Told Me…

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Hey content creators!
What's up?!? How is your creativity coming along? 

The new year is approaching fast and I know many of you are preparing to finish up your projects so that you are ready to start your pitching off strong in 2017. I wanted to leave you with a tip while you are preparing your pitch materials for pitching.

My word for the day is "deconstruction".

Deconstruction: To take something apart.

My tip: 

When preparing your bible or pitch deck, you will find yourself focusing much of your attention on the concept and the characters or prototypes of your tv show, but spend just as much time deconstructing the format and the elements too. Ask yourself some of these questions: 

-What does the backdrop look like?

-What's the environment? 

-What's the style? 

-What makes it uniquely different and why?

Remember, if you don't see it, neither will they. 

I hope you have enjoyed this tip! 

Creatively,
Squeaky Moore

#100Pitches

#thepitch101

Deconstruction

Interview: Endyia K Sterns –  Formerly OWN Network

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You heard It Here First
 
I grappled with what part of the twenty minute interview I did with former, Vice President of Programming and  Development at OWN Network, I would let you hear.  There were so many gifts of information she gave to us in this conversation! 

On our brief, but informative call, Endyia talked about packaging, what OWN looks for in a pitch, why OWN doesn't take unsolicited pitches, and she even told us how to get our pitches heard by OWN.  

There was so much to choose from! So, I put all the topics of advice in a hat and picked one short segment. You are gonna appreciate her words of wisdom! 

Once you are done, Let me know if Endyia's pitching advice came as a surprise to you.  I want to know what you think. ​

I can't wait for you to read all of the interviews in my book #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To, and learn step by step tools and strategies for pitching that will help you make the best or most effective use of every situation, opportunity, and resource that you may have missed and show you how to use them and your creativity to sell your ideas.  

Enjoy!

P.S: Calling all Authors!!!

Do you have a novel that should be on tv or made into a movie? Let me teach you how.  Register now and get a discount at BOOK TO SCREEN - REGISTRATION.

From Book to Screen Webinar

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Can I share my successes with you? As I am coming to a close on my book writing for #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To, I'm thrilled to have some really awesome endorsements and recommendations to add to it. Among them all, I've included a few below. It's so wonderful to be able to help people, and its great to hear people sing my praises. It makes me feel happy about walking in my purpose.

I hope many of you authors will join this webinar on 1-26-17! Early Registration is NOW! 

       WHAT CONTENT CREATORS 

ARE SAYING ABOUT SQUEAKY MOORE …

______________________________

“One phone call with Squeaky Moore and I went from a bit directionless and somewhat passive to inspired, encouraged - re-energized in the pursuit of my dreams. 

Her passion is infectious; her enthusiasm is sincere. Squeaky truly believes in the independent creator (being one herself), and deeply desires for each and every one of us who travels this uncertain road to achieve success. 

But it's not all rah-rah. After briefly sketching out my project, Squeaky saw right to the heart of the issues and began suggesting strategies - nuts and bolts, step-by-step actions that I could take to move forward. As valuable as her unflagging encouragement was, to have her propose a plan with achievable goals, tailored to the specifics of my project - this was the most meaningful aspect of her consultation. 

If you have a desire to move your project closer to success and a willingness to take the steps necessary to realize that progress, then by all means contact Squeaky. She will immediately become an enthusiastic advocate for your project; and with her hard-won, real world experience, she will quickly come up with pragmatic advice and an actionable plan for your success. 

Getting Squeaky Moore on your team could be the wisest thing you do for the future of your project!”

~John E. Ellis
“While researching to present my pitch to Producers I came across Squeaky's free webinar on her Nine Rules of Pitching. (There were probably more but I really only remembered nine...) It was a real eye opener and gave practical concrete steps to be as prepared as possible before stepping foot in the room. A lifesaver for anyone about to take a meeting with potential collaborators. She gives you straight up advice and doesn't sugar coat it. I got my current deal using her techniques and can honestly say that if you follow her rules, you'll probably walk out with a deal.”

~Greg Paul

I got in my own way! But Squeaky helped me break out of a holding pattern and helped me to develop and finalize a fantastic pitch. I knew I could trust her judgment and her expertise to guide me in creating the perfect pitch. I now have the tools to pitch effectively every time. She took the time to connect with me in an authentic way. She quickly identified ways to make my pitch more effective in order to reach my specific demographic of women. She helped me create universal themes from my story that could reach a broader audience. Squeaky encouraged me in a way that built my confidence, shared lots of tips, and gave examples of written and verbal pitches. She took the time to hear my story and understand my perspective; gave me homework, and encouraged me along the way. She helped me identify themes that were not ready for pitching and directed me to work on the other areas that had more potential. She empowered me by giving me the tools to “do my own work;” now I can use what she taught me to pitch other ideas and products.

~Alicia Moss, Entrepreneur, Educator & Exhorter

From Book to Screen
From Book to Screen webinar

Should Content Creators Ask For an NDA before Pitching? 

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We Pass

Someone asked my thoughts on getting NDA's before pitching show ideas to network and production companies. It's a topic that distresses me greatly! As you see from the email pictures below, 3 years ago, during my first pitch ever, I'd received earth shattering news days after having received "next steps" from the network. I truly believe it was because I'd asked them to sign an NDA. But, I digress.

Now, I have a better understanding of the reasons why networks and production companies cringe at being asked to sign NDA's after recently speaking to the same network executive that wrote the email and interviewing him for my forthcoming book, #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So Hou Don't Have To.  But I'd like to dialogue with the general public about this topic to get your input.

I pose this same question to all my fellow content creators, as well as, to the buyers, lawyers or anyone who has input.

"Do you think content creators should ask for an NDA before pitching their show ideas? What are your thoughts?"


…Pitch #17 – Speed Dating

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Pitching is like speed dating...
Pitching is like speed dating...
…Pitch #17- Speed Dating

Most of you have heard me say "Ask Big" when it comes to asking people you know to do soft introductions to people you want to pitch and yet you still will do either 1 or 2 things:

  1. Nothing. You may be too afraid to ASK.

Or

  1. Nothing. You may not believe that sometimes all it takes is an open mouth.

I’ve written about this topic in articles before and I’ve also suggested this very thing in most of my pitching workshops and when I follow up with people to see if they have used their networks to get pitches, the answer is most of the time a resounding, “no.”

To test this theory, I decided to take my advice about asking people I know to introduce me to people who I wanted to pitch, by asking them to do a soft introduction. So, I asked a friend of mine if she wouldn't mind doing a soft introduction to the head of development at a pretty well known production company, with hopes that I can pitch the production company.  I knew she and the lady were associates, and I felt based on the company's previous projects and what they currently had in development, that at least three of my television shows could suit their mandate.

You've heard the saying; "a closed mouth won't get fed," haven't you? Well, taking my advice worked for me. After the introduction had been made, I followed up asking for a chance to pitch.  As a favor, the executive responded that same day, she expressed how busy she was, and told me to fill out their release form with more information on the projects I was interested in pitching. She said if she were interested in any of them, she would follow up with me and let me know which she'd like to hear about.  That day, I filled out the release and sent six projects to her, 3 of them fit, and the others I was unsure about, but just incase they were heading in a different direction, I wanted the others to be considered.  My submission included the: Title, genre, logline, and a brief synopsis.

A month had passed, and I hadn't heard from her. I had had a conversation with then Sr. Director of development at BET on the topic, "When and how to follow up," (You can read his entire interview in chapter 9), and based on our conversation, I decided to reach out to her based on the fact that she said she was “very busy.”  I didn’t jump to conclusions that she was uninterested, I figured, she could have forgotten about my email. I followed up with her by email asking her when would be a good time for a brief chat. Another twelve days passed before receiving an email from her asking me if I had time to meet the following Thursday. She was giving me 15 minutes of her time! Honestly, I stressed out. Why? Well, because she hadn't said which project she was specifically interested in, and I forgot to ask and was too afraid to email her back, which meant I had to prepare to pitch them all. Also, the thoughts looming in my head were that I was developing a new relationship and this meeting could determine if my network would grow, and if the door would be open in the future for all of the ideas undoubtedly my mind would produce. Relationships are everything! I was able to pass my bout with fear, and create a one sheet for all of my projects for guidance. Then, I rehearsed.

On the call, (our meeting was by phone since the production company is in L.A., and I’m in New Jersey), She sounded rushed. She said she had a deadline to meet that day. Crap. I asked her if she wanted to hear about any of the projects in particular. She stated that her company was interested in scripted content so to start there, but that I could choose which project to discuss. It was followed by another mention of her deadline; I knew there wasn't much time left. Oh the joys of pitching by phone. It was now or never.  At that moment, I heard Robert Townsend's voice blaring out at me from when I pitched him, "Just tell me the story!!!" So, I began telling the story of the strongest, most interesting character I'd written about. Then the next one and the next, until the silent alarm rang, telling her time was up. Our speed dating pitch session was over. She said she would get back to me.

The next morning in my inbox was an email from my newly formed relationship, asking me for a second date. She inquired if I had a series bible and a pilot script written for my project with the intriguing character whose story I told first. I replied, "Well, of course! She also expressed interest in another project too. To which I thought, but hadn't said, "Jeez, you are asking for a lot of goodies on the second date!" But for the sake of my characters, I decided to take one for the team and relented: "Oh, what the heck, just take all of me."

My takeaways:

  1. Practice prepares you to have grace under pressure.
  2. Always think of Robert Townsend in tough pitching situations and just tell your story.
  3. Most importantly, start your story with the character that is the most intriguing to you. Start first talking about the character that is like the love of your life or a miracle baby that came into your life and changed your world forever.
  4. Lastly, be prepared and have all pitch materials ready in case they ask you to hand them over. Just make sure you have registered them all with WGA first (Writers Guild of America).

 

Stop Faking It!

Stop Faking It!

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I'll admit it, there were so many things about pitching that I was clueless about! I was depending on the "faking it till I make it" way! And quite honestly, it (along with my instincts) carried me a bit far. 

But, faking it could only take me so...far.

I wanted to go all the way! I wanted to understand how to pitch my projects the right way. Then, I'd know I've done my absolute best and all that I can do to see my projects through to fruition. 

That's why I learned more about pitching content. What about you? How would selling your project make you feel?

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