Written by a reality producer who has run top-rated shows and pitched and
sold her own, The Show Starter Reality TV Made Simple System: Ten Steps to
Creating and Pitching a Sellable Reality Show, walks you step-by-step through:
•What is a Pitch, and Who Do You Pitch to?
•Crafting Your Logline, One-Sheet and Treatment
•Building Your Team—Attorneys, Talent, Production Partners
•Ballparking Your Show Budget
•Setting Up a Pitch Meeting
•Practicing and Pitching Your Reality Show
•The Deal—What to Expect
•The Expenses of Pitching a Project
Donna Michelle Anderson (DMA) wrote this book because Hollywood is hard to
crack. You absolutely have to know somebody - and when you meet them, you’d
better know someTHING. But compared to the rest of Hollywood, non-fiction TV is
considerably more open to outsiders. With this book, everyone from newcomers to
professionals finally has a simple blueprint for how the top of our business
works and the precise steps you have to take to get there.
Entertainment Industry Professionals - It’s important to learn how different the reality TV business model is from other areas of our industry, like music, sitcoms and film. You’re usually not going to get paid up front, or reap a fortune in residuals, or own a piece of your product. There IS money to be made, but in a different way. (Reality staffers, you will make more money at first working on someone else’s show than selling your own!) Everyone, please skip the quick money for now so we can get “big picture” professionally. We break this down in the blog and the book
Newcomers to Entertainment - If selling a show has been presented to you as a way to make a check and walk away, then you were, unfortunately, misled. That does work for selling a screenplay (as tough as that is to do), but in reality TV, it is rare to be paid for getting a series order. We have a different business model that DOES lead to money, though, which we explain in detail in the blog and the book.
Talent - If you are a performer or an established professional in another industry, you may be considering a reality show as a way to extend your brand and make more money. That’s absolutely possible; it just requires a lot of work and a clear strategy to profit. We address this extensively in the blog and the book, and it is our top consulting request.
To get started selling your reality show, please immediately read and subscribe to our “Faster, Simpler, Smarter Blog.” It’s FREE, detailed advice from experienced professionals in our industry and me. If you already have a show idea, get the book. Within months of its release, it was declared the “bible” of the biz. It has sold to successful show creators around the world and is taught in college media programs across the U.S. Read it, take notes all over it and follow the system. And if you need or want more help from there, our reality experts are here for you.
•The Show. All shows start with a simple concept, but a single sentence rarely sells! You want to develop a fleshed out pitch, including reality TV’s five key story elements and at least one original element in the areas where originality actually matters. You’ll then craft a logline, one-sheet and probably a treatment so you can survive in “the room” if your pitch sparks some interest. We walk you through all of it in the book.
• The Business. You will need to build a team that includes an attorney, maybe (but not always) an agent, and your partners in the project, who may be your central talent or expert, a show runner or line producer or another experienced reality insider. Finding that team and professionally structuring those relationships is critical to your success. The book covers who you need, when you need them and where to find them.
• The Sale. You ultimately have to meet people who are in a position to get your show on air, whether it’s a production company, a network or independent distributors for syndication. There is substantial footwork involved in making those contacts - which should never include spamming strangers (or me) with your unsolicited pitch or treatment. Don’t worry the book will guide you through the professional steps! Once you actually set up a pitch meeting, you must have a rock-solid verbal pitch, the necessary paperwork, and a vetted estimate of what it will cost to produce your show, all following our steps from the book. If you get a pilot or series order, it’s Deal Time - congratulations!
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