I decided to start my blog again after realizing many people are completely unaware of the challenges of bringing a project to screen and they often ask me to weigh in on an assortment of decision-making so I felt it would be beneficial to share a lot of my journey to both bring some of my projects to fruition and discuss projects that I admire.
One of the biggest obstacles has been the funding. I’m not looking for a huge amount of money comparative to a standard Television production. I’m trying to shoot and package a ten episode series for under a million dollars and I have name talent attached. The advantage of doing it this way is to hold onto creative control and also being able to hand over a completed series to a streaming platform ideally Netflix and have the investors make a handsome return and open a relationship where the platform wants more content and is willing to deal direct.
A huge factor in killing deals has been the middle men. There are people with talent and people with money and people that introduce the two. In my case most of the introductory people have tried to position themselves too heavily in the deal rather than letting the process take its course and its made for protracted development discussions or reluctance by the financing party to engage as they read the middle men as obstacles. I had two four hundred thousand dollar deals go sideways because of people who tried to control the conversation to its detriment.
The pilot for the series is on Amazon and is doing well. We have the internal metrics and the show is performing really well in the UK. Another challenge is not having an agent to represent you. Most agents come in when the deal is already done versus the old days when they would find and develop talent. I’ve had a few meetings with agents, one on the TV packaging side but again there were middle men involved and those opportunities went away as I was not about to go through a lengthy series of conversations which would be filtered through inexperienced people who were only trying to position themselves for financial gain.
One of the things that I consider my mantra is that I care more about the work than I do about making money. Usually if you do good work – the money will come. If you go after projects for money they usually don’t have the fabric of good work. There are of course exceptions to every rule.