Are you listening to The Nerdist’s Writers Panel podcast? ?>

Are you listening to The Nerdist’s Writers Panel podcast?

The Writers Panel series is an informal chat moderated by Ben Blacker with professional writers about the process and business of writing. It covers TV, film, comic books, music, novels, and any other kind of writing about which you’d care to hear. Not only is it a wealth of information for any writer trying to engage with the market today, proceeds from live panels benefit 826LA, the national non-profit tutoring program.

The Writers Panel is available online and on iTunes.

Check it out!

THR Reports on Pre-Upfronts Wave of Cancellations ?>

THR Reports on Pre-Upfronts Wave of Cancellations

THR reports that the pre-Upfronts wave of cancellations at the broadcast networks went into full swing on Thursday. Here’s how it stands now:

► CBS cancels “CSI: Cyber” after two seasons and gives a series order to Kevin James family comedy “Kevin Can Wait.” Meanwhile, CBS’ streaming service All Access is nearing a deal for a “Good Wife” spinoff series.
► ABC cancels “Castle” after eight seasons, “Nashville” after four seasons, as well as freshman show “The Family” and sophomore series “Galavant.” The network also axed the reboot of “The Muppets” and “Marvel’s Agent Carter.”
► Those that are living at ABC with a renewal include “The Catch,” “American Crime,” “The Real O’Neals” and “Dr. Ken.” Meanwhile, it’s ordering to series “Still Star-Crossed,” “Notorious,” “Imaginary Mary,” “Time After Time,” “Conviction,” “Downward Dog” and “Second Fattest Housewife.”
► NBC gives a series order to “Chicago Justice,” the third spinoff of the 4-year-old franchise and also orders Dan Fogelman dramedy “This Is Us” to series.
► Fox cancels “The Grinder” as well as “Grandfathered,” “Bordertown” and “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life.”
► CW picks up CBS’ “Supergirl” for a second season, hands out series orders to “Riverdale,” “Frequency” and “No Tomorrow.”

NBC’s Writers on the Verge Program – Accepting Applications! ?>

NBC’s Writers on the Verge Program – Accepting Applications!

NBC’s Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. They look for diverse writers who are “almost there” but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills.

The application window is open through May 31st — don’t miss your chance to submit to this amazing opportunity!

Click here for more information on the program.

Digital Hollywood Spring 2016 ?>

Digital Hollywood Spring 2016

Day One – The Wild West of Digital Deals 

With an explosion of digital platforms and niche markets over the past 10 years, there are more opportunities to engage with the market today than ever before.  However, because of the sheer volume of content flooding the market, the dealmaking process has become increasingly complex and competitive.  Traditional and digital platforms are generally looking to make content at a minimal price and they’re looking for content that checks the necessary boxes — Can it appeal to diverse markets?  Is it unique?  Will it give their service a boost in viewers or customers?

In this climate, having a firm grasp on your business and marketing plan is key.  Knowing your numbers and your bottomline will help as you navigate the choppy waters of digital dealmaking.  Have a distribution strategy in mind.  Demand transparency from potential distributors or buyers.  Have a good lawyer to help you along the way.  According to a number of panelists, it’s important to realize that in today’s market it is unlikely you will see any money up front.  Backend deals are almost nonexistent.  Authorship can fall by the wayside.  And more often than not, checks won’t make their way to you for years.  While this may sound bleak, if your expectations are in check and you can judiciously manage dealings, you’ll have a better chance of a positive outcome.

A large part of marketing involves knowing your target audience.  Twenty years ago, Hollywood had to appeal to the lowest common denominator.  Today, there’s an unprecedented level of specificity in the content that’s out there and it’s easier to tap into those niche markets.  With that said, knowing how to engage with your audience is imperative.  Find a platform that best suits your content and a platform that you see yourself being able to comfortably use and navigate.  Crowdfunding is also a great way to generate audience interest and involvement around the project.  With the democratization of investments and donations through online services like IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and StartEngine, there is a larger pool of investors than ever before.  Keep in mind that most people exploring these services will get behind a project because they are passionate about it or connect to it, not because they see a huge financial reward or return, which is why knowing and appealing to your audience is key!

It’s also worthwhile to identify and corner foreign markets for your content.  Carve out your own international rights instead of giving them all to your distributor.  This way, you’re more likely to see money from the deal.  If rights aren’t available outside the US, you will want to know this information in advance as this could potentially compromise the deal.  Additionally, through the development stages of your project, keeping universal themes in mind and speaking to a global audience can be advantageous when you have to cross the international marketing bridge later on.

In focusing on the business and marketing end of your project, and less on your personal or emotional attachments to your work, it becomes undeniably clear how important networking and industry relationships are.  Align yourself with the right producer to collaborate with and find an advocate at the right network to go to battle for you.  But keep in mind that you won’t be able to cultivate these relationships until you prove your value in the marketplace of ideas and content creation.  You have to have more than one idea or story.  Express your ideas in proof of concept pieces or demonstrate your unique access point to these stories.  In today’s market, ideas alone are no longer sufficient, so it’s important to paint a fuller picture for your potential partners and collaborators.

Write it, express it, put it in the marketplace until it sells, repeat.  Simple, right?  It’s important to realize that in today’s market, a “sale” might be a “like” or 10,000 “likes” online.  There are new and changing measures of reach and success.  Accumulated “likes” might lead to a meeting with a digital platform, which might lead to a distribution deal, and so on.  So while it may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar, it’s time to embrace the sprawling, uncharted plains of the new digital landscape.

Digital Hollywood Starts Tomorrow ?>

Digital Hollywood Starts Tomorrow

Digital Hollywood starts tomorrow!  Please find a list of panels below that might be of interest to you.  You may also find a complete list of events here.

Please follow us on twitter (@tvwriters) for updates and to find out where we will be throughout the festival.

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Dealmaking Process: From Feature Film, Reality TV & Specials to Web Series and Indie Film Making 12 Noon – 1:00 PM Guerin B, in Herscher Hall

Live Streaming, Social Streaming, The Video Phenomenon of Everything 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM Haas Conference Center, Room 172-173

The Hollywood Masterclass: TV, Film and Video – Packaging – Producing – Bundling – Distributing in a Cross-Platform World 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Guerin B, in Herscher Hall

Investing in Diversity: The Social Impact in Higher Education & The Entertainment Industry 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Guerin A, in Herscher Hall

Crowdfunding Update:  Exploring Innovation in the Crowdfunding Film-TV-Start-up Process 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Guerin B, in Herscher Hall

The TV/Film/Video – Developing Strategies and Partnerships – Developing Hollywood Content as Brand and Franchise 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM Guerin B, in Herscher Hall

 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Future of TV – Wall St. Analysts Meet Industry Executives – It’s All About innovation and Disruption – Chasing the New Normal in the Entertainment & Technology Industries 7:45 AM – 9:00 AM Haas Conference Center – Room 172 & 173, Breakfast Session

Investment & Funding of Film, Indie Film and TV: from Theatrical Features to Cable Networks, Netflix and Amazon 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Ahmanson Tent

Women & Original Content: From Internet Video and Advertising to TV and Film 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Ahmanson Tent

Working in the Industry: An In-Depth Discussion with Executives and Creatives from TV, Film and Technology 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Guerin A, in Herscher Hall

Hollywood as the Entertainment Capital of the World: Executives from Film Studios and Television Discuss the Industry & Its Future 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Guerin A, in Herscher Hall

 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Introduction of DigiFest and Women in Film 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Herscher Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 303-304

Women Entrepreneurs: Sharing Experience – Real Life Stories – Building the Brand, the Personal and the Company Identity 10:45 AM – Noon Haas Conference Center – Room 171

Digital Deals – Networks, Studios and Producers – Monetizing Content Across Platforms 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Herscher Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 202

Women Leading the Digital Charge from Content Creation to Distribution 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM Haas Conference Center – Room 171

Branded Entertainment Marketing – Across Platforms – Leveraging Image, Content and Celebrity 3:50 PM – 5:00 PM Haas Conference Center – Room 171

 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Strategies in Start-up Business Development:  Developing Concepts, Lean Start-up Techniques and Positioning Your Company to Succeed! 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM Ahmanson Hall

Video Innovation! Social Video, Personalized Video, Real-Time Video – Communication and Commerce 11:05 AM – 12:20 PM Haas Conference Center – Room 172-173

The Crowdfunding Update: A Roundtable of Experts Noon – 1:00 PM Ahmanson Hall

Twitter, Facebook & Social Media – Transforming Marketing, Transforming the World 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Haas Conference Center – Room 171

 

WGFestival 2016: The Business ?>

WGFestival 2016: The Business

In partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowship Programs, the Writer’s Guild Foundation presented on March 19th,  Day One of their WGFestival for 2016.  For this full-day event, the festival focused on the business of screenwriting and the career paths within the trade.  During this crash course on the business, each guest offered their unique perspectives and experiences in the industry.  Here is our report in a nutshell on how the day went. New Spaces in Distribution The New…

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