Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reality TV & Branding

I was recently asked to evaluate a treatment for a reality TV series.

Many writers and producers come up with good ideas for reality shows, but there is a key component they don't realize they need, and it is essential when trying to sell a show -- which is you must attach a significant element. Without the auspices of having a renowned expert or celebrated personality in the field, the idea will be too generic, in that many people can come up with an idea. It’s the auspice that you can attach that distinguishes your project and becomes the tipping point to get buyers’ (i.e. network, cable, etc.) attention. "America's Next Top Model" sold because the producer attached Victoria Super Model, Tyra Banks. "Project Runway" had the auspices of another Uber Super Model, Heidi Klum. Without these well-known celebrities, the shows would not have sold.

Other ways to make your project stand out is to use on-line media. You can work on generating a buzz by creating a digital series, filming individuals with compelling stories, and putting them on youtube. If you are able to develop a following, you might be able to attract network and cable interest, as well as a sponsor, especially if there are products and brands that tie in with your show. Another possibility is to create a blog or use Twitter. Examples include "Julie and Julia" which started out as a blog, became a book and then was optioned by a top Hollywood producer and turned into the blockbuster film with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. "Sh*t My Dad Says" started out as a bunch of tweets and developed a huge following as well, eventually gaining the attention of a production company which in turn sold the project as a series to CBS. While the series ultimately did not succeed, it turned the Tweeter into a millionaire.

I hope the above provides useful information. If I can be helpful in providing further insider tips and strategies to advance your projects, please feel free to contact me. 310-994-3258

Recognized by Creative Screenwriting Magazine as "Top 3 Consultants" in the Industry

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Landing a Job in Hollywood When You're Just Starting Out

I recently received a question from a young woman who had just completed a course in 3D Animation and was having a hard time finding work. In spite of being immensely talented, companies require experience in order to hire you. Because she just finished school, she didn't yet have that experience. She wanted advice on what she could do to break in.

"Is it the typical catch 22 that all new graduates face today, particularly in this economy where there is plenty of surplus and a plethora of experienced talent?" she wanted to know. "How do you get your foot in the door?"

My suggestion is the following:

It's always a catch 22, but there is also a solution which is to call companies and offer to work as an intern. While clearly the end-goal is to land a paying job -- working as an intern can be an invaluable experience that can cement relationships and offer great returns on your investment in a relatively short period of time. Many studios and networks have diversity programs and if applicable to your situation, these programs are extra ways to gain opportunities. Working as an intern gets your foot in the door, allows you to prove yourself, develop contacts and exposure for a promotion or paying gig within that company. You've also solved the catch 22 problem because now you do have experience. Additionally, it looks good on your resume, enhancing your overall "hire-ability"as companies love seeing other "name" companies on applicants' resumes.

I hope the above is helpful. If I can provide additional tips and advice, or if you need assistance polishing your screenplay and selling your project, please feel free to contact me.

Wendy Kram, Producer/Owner
WK Productions & L.A. FOR HIRE, Inc.

Ranked by Creative Screenwriting Magazine as Top 3 Picks
for "Best Script Consultant"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wendy's Script Tip

Brief Script Tip:

If you've been working on multiple drafts of the same script and feel like you're starting to beat a dead horse, take a break and work on some other projects. Very often, the distance from the work will do your head a world of good! Engaging in some of your other projects will stretch different parts of your brain and help you step out from places you've been stuck. Freeing up your mind to explore different avenues of your creativity will most likely unleash new inspiration for you. Then when you go back to your old project, chances are you will come to it with fresh perspective that breathes new life into your characters and story.

For other tips, career advice and private script consultations, please feel free to contact me me.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and that 2011 brings you lots of "Go" projects! :)

Wendy Kram, Producer/Owner
L.A. FOR HIRE, Inc. & WK Productions
Creative Screenwriting Magazine Top 3 Picks for "Best Script Consultants" *