The 2016 Annual Public Meeting of the Board of Governors of the TV Writers Fund for the Future will take place on Saturday, December 17th, at 3:30 p.m. at the TV Writers Fund offices, 11340 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 242, Los Angeles, CA 90064. There will be a Holiday Pot Luck following the meeting, so plan on staying afterwards to raise a glass with your Board members and fellow beneficiaries. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.!
The City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division is seeking proposals from writers living in Los Angeles County for their Writer Residency Program at the Annenberg Community Beach House. The program offers writers a private, beachfront office for nine weeks to complete a work-in-progress and the opportunity to engage the public in aspects of their work through readings, events, and the Residency blog.
Eligibility: The residency is open to all writers of fiction, poetry, plays, and screenplays. Projects in biography/memoir, essay and nonfiction are not eligible. Also not eligible: artists who have received a Beach House Residency in the past two years, or are currently arts grantees or resident artists through another City of Santa Monica program, or are currently employed by the City of Santa Monica. The residency will be awarded to one writer. Writing teams will not be considered.
Don’t delay to apply, as the September 15th deadline is fast approaching. Please click here for further details about this exciting opportunity. Good luck!
The 2016 Annual Public Meeting of the Board of Governors of the TV Writers Fund for the Future will take place on Saturday, December 17th, at 2:00 p.m. at the TV Writers FFF offices, 11340 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 242, Los Angeles, CA 90064.
There will be a reception following the meeting, so plan on staying afterwards to talk with your Board members and fellow beneficiaries.
Keep a look out for notices with instructions on how to register to attend and other updates as we get closer to the event.
We look forward to seeing you then.
ScriptChat was created for the purpose of bringing new and seasoned screenwriters together to network, improve their writing, learn about the industry, and support one another both during and after a one-hour Twitter chat. Every week there’s a new topic, often with an honored guest from the screenwriting/filmmaking world.
This week, the special guest is Kam Miller (@kammotion). Miller is a writer/producer who has created pilots for Fox, CBS, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Television, and Universal Cable Productions. She wrote for Fox’s Killer Instinct as well as the long-running NBC show Law & Order: SVU. In The Hero Succeeds: The Character-Driven Guide to Writing Your TV Pilot, Kam shares her hard-earned knowledge about creating TV series that sell to Hollywood.
Kam Miller will be giving away a copy of her book during this Sunday’s ScriptChat, so don’t miss out!
For more information about how to participate in the conversation, please click here.
The mission of the WGA’s Career Longevity Committee is to assist writers of all ages in planning for long and successful careers by giving them the tools and knowledge to adapt to changes in the marketplace. One of their most exciting programs, “Seasoned Readings,” provides older writers with an opportunity to produce their own work and reach an audience for it, often receiving useful feedback in the process. Each Guild member doing a staged reading in the series is encouraged to put together a targeted invite list of personal and professional contacts.
If you’re a member of the WGA and you are interested in arranging a Seasoned Reading, reach out to the Career Longevity Committee here.
It’s easy to forget how valuable of a resource The Writers Guild Foundation really is, so we are here to remind you. Last month, we attended a handful of events put on by the WGF that gave us unparalleled access to a number of impressive shows, writers, and showrunners. The WGF brings in guests who speak candidly about their work, careers, processes, successes and failures and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Don’t miss out! Click here to check out their upcoming events. And remember, tickets are discounted for WGA members.
“Special Screening and Panel with PREACHER.” May 31.
“Inside the Writers Room with BETTER CALL SAUL.” May 27.
“Master Class with Courtney A. Kemp.” May 17.
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! 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
We’ll be attending Digital Hollywood next week (Tuesday, May 3rd through Friday, May 6th.) We look forward to seeing you there!
Check out their website for more details – click here.
We knew our administrative assistant, Christine Avery, was destined for bigger things and, as predicted, has moved on and is now working at WIT.tv. We will miss her very much, but wish her all the best. They are lucky to have her.
Even more exciting, her web series Zeus School premieres today.
Check it out!