The first idea I ever pitched, The Guinea Pig Club, was commissioned within about a week. Little did I know that it was the easiest commission I would ever get! I’ve since written more than 400 proposals and have been directly responsible for originating, researching, writing and/or pitching 80 commissioned programmes. But I’ve also had many hundreds more rejected – some repeatedly.
If you’ve suffered rejection too you’re not alone: fewer than 1 in 100 TV proposals get even a second glance from buyers. That’s a lot of work to put in for a small chance of success. Even worse, when your pitch keeps getting rejected, it can cripple your confidence as an ideas person and make you doubt your future as a TV producer or filmmaker. And the frustration of having to rewrite a proposal time and time again turns it into a tedious chore instead of an exciting game of persuasion.
Fortunately, there are some simple (but powerful) things you can do get your idea noticed – ways of writing proposals and producing pitch tapes that will get commissioners emotionally invested in your idea and ready to greenlight it.
Greenlit: Developing Factual /Reality TV Ideas From Concept to Pitch shows you – whatever your prior level of experience – how to take an initial idea for a TV show from concept to commission, step-by-simple-step. It is a comprehensive manual, stuffed with hundreds of killer resources, candid commissioner interviews, case studies and practical tips that will help you take any idea and turn it into a viable TV proposition. It’s ideal if you have new development staff you need to get up to speed, or are pitching your own ideas for the first (or umpteenth) time.
Getting ideas commissioned is very difficult, especially in today’s climate, but it’s not impossible. The more you understand how the business works, the better able you are to play the game. You’ll immediately have a massive advantage over your competition if you know what’s going through a TV commissioner’s mind when they are reading or listening to your pitch.
Amazingly, the smallest things really do make a difference to your chances of success, whether you are pitching to an independent production company, TV channel or international buyer.
Greenlit is packed with down to earth advice, tips, resources, case studies and sample proposals that you can use to develop, write and pitch your own proposals, along with:
I interviewed 50 top industry names – producers and buyers – to find out what works, and what doesn’t across the board. The book offers insights and advice from:
The book also incorporates advice from a Hollywood agent, several video editors, a storytelling consultant, two production managers and four commercial rights experts.
Collectively, these people have originated, pitched, bought or produced some of the most successful, award-winning TV shows and documentaries in the world, including Supernanny, Who Do You Think You Are?, Touching the Void, Meet the Natives and Deadliest Catch. You it condenses hundreds of years of experience into a few hundred pages.
A few hours of reading gives you proven pitching strategies that you can use over and over again.
There are a number of ways to purchase the book, depending on where you are in the world:
“After 25 years in this crazy business, it’s the first time I have seen TV commissioning so comprehensively and entertainingly dissected.” Mike Slee: Independent Film & TV Producer/Director
“The most comprehensive, insightful and entertaining book on television commissioning you’ll ever read.” Christian Drobnyk, Director of Entertainment, UKTV.
“The inside track on TV development from one of the best developers in the business.” Saul Nassé, Controller, BBC Learning