I met with an executive producer for a project format reality show I had created. We met to discuss my format bible. And, even though it was hell to create, I looked on the bright side- Hey, I got to the next steps with her and have possibly began packaging my TV show idea with an executive producer. Yay!
This EP also happens to have headed a development team for a production company, as well as, having executive produced her own notable reality shows.
We talked through my 20-page format bible, and she questioned a few of my creative decisions; ones that I may want to consider changing. She left the decision up to me, which also meant if I changed them; I had more work to do.
Her development thinking cap was on big time, and she forced me to think of the uniqueness of my show and how it fit into the years to come. She got me to thinking how I can reinvent the ways this typical format has been done in the past. (GRRR... I thought I had done that.) Sigh. It's the part I used to abhor when I first started pitching; being told that my idea wasn't perfect. I'm learning to get over myself. Okay, So...I'm not perfect! It isn’t the end of the world. (Well, I eventually landed on this way of thinking; at first I crushed to learn this news!)
In minutes, she managed to brainstorm all of the unconventional, yet brilliant and relevant new innovations that shaped 2015 and how we could incorporate them, turning my show into a...trendsetting and amazing idea.
Did you pick up on the WE like I did? BINGO!!!!!
I still have much work to do as I work on packaging this show and getting it on air. But, WE’RE moving in the right direction.
My takeaways: Don't feel dejected when asked to reconsider new ideas. It's not a form of rejection. It really means your concept has potential. It means you are in the beginning of a potential development deal! It isn’t a NO, it's a MAYBE SO... provided you are willing to collaborate and open yourself up to possibilities. Trust me when I say it took me 2 years to realize this lesson; a mistake I don't want you to waste more than 2 days on. So, if you are in development, accept it as a great possibility and do not allow your hurt pride or stubbornness to get in the way of your potential greatness.
You may not know me personally, but, I'm passionate about helping content creators learn what's needed to get your projects on the big and little screens, and I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you.
For this week only, I'm partnering with The Ocktober Film Festival to help all filmmakers learn more about what it takes to pitch your projects and how to properly prepare your pitch materials for the room when you pitch.
If you've been following me, you know by now that it's my passion to educate content creators on the dos and don't's of pitching. And I'm giving you all I know!
In this jam packed workshop, you will learn some great strategies and great discoveries I have learned overtime. You really don't want to miss all I have to teach you.
Get your tickets now for A LIMITED TIME ONLY for a third of the price.
Can wait to see you!
(Pics from my last two workshops)
Hey content creators!
I'm teaching a pitching workshop at the Ocktober Film Festival this Saturday, 10/8 @ 11am!
Pitching Bibles That Get results!
Ready to Pitch? Have you created a winning Pitch Bible?
SYNOPSIS: This workshop will help you prepare a pitch bible that gets results! In one hour and fifteen minutes, you will learn all that goes into a pitch bible (series and format bible), and how to turn the facts about your television show or film into a great story bible. With case studies and information told to Squeaky by development executives for her upcoming book, #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To, Squeaky has learned how to strategically put together bibles that will get winning results and ensure you are ready to pitch.
- The 8 things you absolutely need to include in your pitch bible
- The difference between a pitch and a format bible.
- How to creatively write your overview, setting, mood and tone through storytelling.
- Also, we will dissect winning pitch bibles!
Get more info and tickets HERE:
Hey content creators,
How are you writing about "setting" in your pitch bibles?
Here is a pitch bible. The show is one familiar to us all. It's LOST. Look at how they wrote about the setting of their show? What are your thoughts? How does it make you think about the setting of your project? Any ideas come to mind on how you could write about the setting of your project in your bible?
I was recently discussing "setting" in my private Facebook group The Pitch 101, and one of the members said, that how the setting was described in this bible made her think of the "purpose" of each location and how it translates.
I agree wholeheartedly. "The purpose" of each setting in a world that has been created should be extremely important. Yet, so many people overlook the purpose of each setting. But, in a practical world, setting plays a huge roll in our lives everyday. The memory of a place lives on forever and makes the moment richer; it layers it and gives it clarity. Things like being proposed to, finding out you are pregnant, being raped, having an anxiety attack... all comes with a memory of a setting. Yet, we forget to think through "setting" thoroughly.
When writing about setting in your bibles don't forget to pay reverence to it and create it from a place of meaning and purpose.
"In every dream journey, there comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. You have to go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
You have to go big or go home.
You have to take the road less traveled or settle for status quo.
You have to bite the bullet or turn your back on your dreams.
If you find yourself in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, you’ve got a decision to make. A decision that will determine your destiny. You can run away from what you are afraid of, but you’ll be running the rest of your life. Or you can face your fears, taking a flying leap of faith, and chase the lion!
What is your “lion”? What are you going to do with it?"
Chase The Lion (A devotional)
Lion chasers aren't normal, they don't run away from things that scare them!
Mistakes. We all make them. However, the differences between people that win and lose are how they apply the lessons learned from the mistakes they’ve made. In this video, I explain common mistakes made by content creators when pitching. Unfortunately, I have made most all of these mistakes, which is why it is so important to write about them in my book, #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To. I hope you learn from all of the mistakes I have made. I'm hopeful that sharing this with you today will help you better prepare your pitches in the near future by eliminating these common mistakes.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.
Content creators, let's face it, we all think our ideas are the best! (Who else is guilty of this? I know I don't stand-Ialone here.) But, How do you know you really have a good idea? I laugh at myself when I think of all the American Idol Audition Round ideas I have had, with my mom, family and best friends in tow rooting me on. Many of you are familiar with the reference. If not, it's where contestants who were auditioning for the show waited in line for 3-4 days to be seen by the auditors, only to sound like an injured seal. And even after their entourage overhears the audition, they can't quite figure out why their beloved family member (the singing seal) didn't make it. (Hilarious).
I have been that singing seal for content. Thankfully, I've gone outside of my family and friends to get advice on how to create better content. I am a work in progress. I spoke to an executive at a network, and I asked him what was the difference between a good and great pitch, and among a lot of great answers, a few stood out. He said it's important to make sure the concept aligns with what the network is seeking. Which is to say, no matter how good the idea is, if it is not the type of show the network or production house is known for doing then it won't be great for that company. So we should all be researching before pitching. He also said there was a difference between an executive asking you questions because they are utterly confused about your concept, and one who is asking questions because they are digging deeper. One is good, and the other is...so bad.
What he said made me think, “Well, how can one know?”
So, I'm asking all of you content creators to tell me, How Do You Know
You Have a Good Idea?
TIP: GET SCRIPT COVERAGE FOR YOUR SCRIPT TO MAKE SURE WHAT YOU THINK IS GOOD, IS REALLY GOOD!
WHAT IS SCRIPT COVERAGE?
It's a written report done by a person who specializes in analyzing and grading scripts. He/she then does a report that grades the write on:
Concept, Plot, Characters, Arcs, Dialogue, and Structure.
I've been asked lots of questions from people about not knowing how to start their film or television projects. Many of you have amazing ideas that you want to someday share with a broader audience, but feel overwhelmed as to where to start it. In my book, #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To, I talk about the strategy I use to develop my projects and pitch them. It's a 3 step process: Create, Prepare, and Pitch. With every step, I do a mind-map. I've decided to briefly walk you through a process of how I create the world of my projects through mind-mapping. In the book, I go into a more detailed step-by-step process (I do this in my pitching bootcamps as well), but below I describe the nuts and bolts and give examples.
The first thing I suggest doing is mind-mapping your project to simplify it! For many, a film, TV, or even book project is too big to look at as a whole. It's overwhelming. So, what you need to do is break it down into chunks by mind-mapping.
Start by writing the title of your project in the center of a page. Then start brainstorming everything you want to include in your project by drawing lines from the title to your thoughts. Don't hold back; just dump your thoughts freely. If it is a film, digital or tv show, it can be characters, themes, scenes, locations, moods, background, style elements and many other things can be included depending on your project. If it is a book, it can be chapter titles, themes, situations, and/or anecdotes you want to tell.
After you are done, you will begin to chunk all of the things that are similar together. You can either draw a circle around all of the things that fall into the same category, or you could categorize by giving everything a title and putting under the title everything that goes together.
- When I started my journey
- Rising above obstacles
Anecdotes if a book:
- Story of my childhood
- Story of my biggest challenge
- Opens with Amy Adams packing to leave for the marines
- Amy goes out for one last soirée with friends
- Amy's boyfriend dumps her
- Amy grows close with others in her unit
- Amy in marines, sees her best friend gunned down, she never said she loves him.
- Amy gets hurt in an attack
You get the point!
Spend time mind mapping your project. It will help get your thoughts together and the project won't seem so overwhelming.
I hope this helps some of you. I pray it alleviate any fears you may have about starting your projects and preparing to pitch.
Feel free to join my private pitching Facebook group HERE!