Chad Gervich Interview, Part 2 - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

 

Monday, December 29, 2008

Crafty: Are production companies interested in new media? Should writers worry about multiplatform spin-offs? Or should they pitch their mobisode/webisode series to people who do just those? (Does anyone just do those?)

Gervich: Yes, production companies are interested in new media… but only SOME production companies. And, unfortunately, not enough.

Personally, I think most TV production companies are CRAZY for not dipping their toes further into the Internet pond. Sure, it's tough to make money with Internet fare… RIGHT NOW. But soon--very soon--the Internet and TV will converge, and production companies that aren't experimenting with web shows will find themselves uncomfortably far behind the eight ball.

Producing Internet shows is valuable for three main reasons…

One: it's a chance to try fun, inventive entertainment that can't be done on TV. The Internet is a different creative sandbox than television, with different strengths and weaknesses, and--just like movies or novels--it has the ability to tell very different kinds of stories.

Two: Internet shows can make great calling cards for TV. Rarely does an online show jump wholly from cyberspace to television, like "In the Motherhood" or "Sanctuary." But creative, well-produced web shows can certainly attract execs and producers. Luke Barats and Joe Bereta, for example, scored a development deal at NBC after producing a popular series of comedic YouTube sketches.

Three: it IS possible to do things on the Internet that can make a huge splash… like "Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog" or "Lonelygirl15." While creating a hit is never easy in any medium, whether it's TV or Broadway or the Internet, hit Internet shows have gone on to become pop cultural phenomena that develop a life of their own. And while "Dr. Horrible" was independently produced by Joss Whedon, part of what allowed it to succeed was the fact that it was developed and produced by people with great creative chops and top-notch production resources. So it saddens me that many producers and production companies are so short-sighted, refusing to see past the Internet's current financial restraints to recognize it as the amazing creative canvas it's poised to become.

Having said all this, two quick answers to your question:

One: Yes, there are production companies--like Disney's Stage 9 and Michael Eisner's Vuguru--producing Internet-specific content, and a wannabe Internet producer's best hope of selling something is to target those companies. I'd suggest watching your favorite Internet shows, or shows similar to your idea, then tracking down the production companies behind them.

Two: if you're pitching a TV show, I wouldn't bother elaborating on how it could foster an Internet spinoff. Not only do Internet spinoffs generate little money, but TV buyers want to know the TV show they're about to invest in can work--first and foremost--as a TV show. The TV idea itself is the "cake;" if it works, there are plenty of people (and time) to figure out how to develop the "icing" (spinoffs, merchandising opportunities, etc.) later. Your job is to sell a television show… so go sell a television show.

Crafty: Do producers and development execs care about Internet script competitions? Or are they a waste of money?

Gervich: I think winning ANYTHING is a feather in your cap. I mean, at the very least, it feels great to win something, and it's validation that you're a good writer!

Having said that… I don't think many producers, agents, or execs are trolling the Internet for the next Marc Cherry, Simon Beaufoy, or Damon Lindelof.

So if you're entering an online contest in hopes of breaking into Hollywood… I'd adjust your expectations. If you're entering the contest because it's fun to win… or you're looking for feedback… or you want some validation… or you just figure, "hey--it can't hurt to have people read my script"… then by all means--BREAK A LEG!

[Ed. note: To me, this is a very nice way of saying "save your money."]

Crafty: Is it a plus if a script is by an international writer (English, Canadian, Australian)? Is it a minus?

Gervich: I don't think it matters. Producers and execs are looking for talented storytellers with unique voices… no matter where those writers and voices come from. In fact, most showrunners want to hire writers who can bring interesting stories and life experiences into the writers room… so a talented writer who hails from a foreign country may have an advantage over someone who's lived in L.A. all their life.

Also--many networks and studios are now implementing "diversity programs" to help find and hire diverse writers for their TV shows. Here's a quick list of some of TV's diversity programs…

Labels: ,

2 Comments:

Also worth mentioning is the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting program, done by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It is suspected that through it is how Damon Lindelof got his break. I know that I will be entering this spring.

By Blogger Nicholas, at 3:47 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger Willard And Zebediah, at 6:14 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.