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02 September 11
Searching For Inspiration For Our 1st Tweet
It's Monday night… Tomorrow we're going to probe the minds of some top US TV Execs and the only question I can think of is "who would win in a fight, Jack Bauer or Phoebe from Friends?" Somehow I don't think that's the best question to start with... or end with for that matter.
My Facebook friends suggest that I ask what happened to Molly Ringwald and Andrew Macarthy, or pitch a remake of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Instead I jot down questions about pitching new ideas and make a mental note to get some younger friends!
It's Tuesday… Unfortunately Charity can't make today's calls as she's travelling on a train from Edinburgh. Ordinarily this wouldn't hamper conference call participation but the train is totally packed with rowdy performers leaving the Edinburgh Festival, discussing whether their show, ‘Broken Britain -The Musical’ will get a West End transfer. (It won't.)
Our first call is with Terence Gray, the Executive Director of the New York Television Festival. The festival kicks off in 3 weeks and so I'm amazed that he can find time in his jam-packed schedule to talk to us, but he does and manages to do the impossible - makes us even more excited about going to NY. It sounds like we're going to mix and mingle with some amazingly creative people - both those starting out in their careers and those already experts and icons in their field. We were told about some attendees 'off the record' but as I'm writing this I've just seen that the NYTVF twitter feed has announced that Jason Sudeikis, Damon Lindelof, Marc Maron and JB Smoove will be attending! Terence was also incredibly encouraging about our scripts and reminded us to focus on promoting them in NY. (What script? In the excitement of finding out we’re going to hear a panel discussion chaired by Jason Sudeikis, I'd almost forgotten that this is about promoting our work too!)
It sounds like we're going to mix and mingle with some amazingly creative people.
Our next call is with Val Boreland, Senior Vice President of Programming, Promotion And Multiplatform Strategy at Comedy Central, as well as Seth Cohen & Gary Mann who are both Co-VPs of Development and Original Programming at Comedy Central. Seth & Gary advise us to research networks before pitching to them and then tailor our pitch accordingly; know the difference between the various cable brands; and don't try to make our script fit a particular network when it just won't work.
This led on to a discussion about shows such as Louie, Workaholics and Tosh.0 and how important it is for a show to have an individual voice and offer a unique view of the world. Obviously we feel that 'Pregnant Pause' does that, but it emphasised to me that we need to hold onto that. It's one of the things Charity & I admire most about our favourite writers in the UK such as Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, Victoria Wood & Miranda Hart.
Comedy Central also places importance on multi-platform programming, which Charity & I are particularly interested in as we've spent huge amounts of time writing and producing sketches to put online. So it was fascinating to hear that Development Execs still see this as a useful tool for finding or trialling new material. Apparently now the general trend is for presentations from writers to often contain some filmed material, even if it's a trailer. The impression I got was that it shows the networks another side to your creativity and commitment. That’s encouraging. Charity & I recently filmed some footage for another new idea of ours (we've just the small matter of a trip to NY to deal with first!)
But at the end of the day how likely is it that a network would employ British writers, after all there are already so many talented ones in the US to choose from? Well, according to Seth & Gary it doesn't happen often, but it's not impossible; we just need get over that first hurdle of getting our script seen and getting someone excited by the show, our voice and our vision! Which really brought home Terence Gray's point that we need to focus on promoting our script while we're at the NYTVF. We want someone to get as excited by 'Pregnant Pause' as we are. We just need to find out the best way to go about promoting it!
StopPress! Charity & I have joined the Twitter Party so please feel free to check out our @DraycottTrimm tweets!