Monday, October 6, 2008
80% of Success
If we are to believe Woody Allen’s quote, “80% of success is just showing up…” then in the world of pitching projects, we can assume that developing and pitching projects frequently must be fundamental to success in that arena. Until this post, I never compiled an exact count of all the pitches I juggle year-to-year (see image above showing a blitz of pitch meetings a couple of years back). For fun, I’ve labeled each pitch that went nowhere with a “DUD!” and each pitch that led to a deal of some sort with a “SCORE!”
one animated preschool idea ended in a year-long option/development deal at Playhouse Disney in 2007.
one animated older kids (age 6 to 11) concept has failed to find a home even after three years of redevelopment and repitching.
My idea for a stars-of-animation live action TV interviews show fails after 3 pitch meetings with various networks.
pitched an animation pitching and development book, which ended in a deal to write my second book for Allworth Press. The manuscript was finished and delivered in early August 2008 and the book’s publication date is September 2009.
SCORE! and DUD!
my deal with Playhouse Disney stalls after we complete scripts––before we get a chance to go to pilot. Still, it was a great experience to have a project optioned at a major network.
two animated pitches for adult animated series. One has more legs than another, but is still on the back burner until I can put some energy and resources together to make a 2-minute test film to help sell the show. A 2-minute test film seems especially necessary with adult projects.
I pitch a children’s book agent five children’s book ideas. All are rejected.
two weeks after the Disney deal goes south, my network contact recommends me to be the creator/writer/developer of a new project for an independent production, giving me my second paid experience as a TV writer. This project remains active and is likely a pilot (if not a full blown series) will be ordered soon.
I pitched a third concept for an adult animated series, which goes nowhere.
pitched a third “animation” book for Allworth Press, which ended in a deal to write the book. The contract was signed last week. Writing begins January 1, 2009.
after seeing my short “Good Morning,” National Geographic Kids development hires me to direct an internal pilot, allowing me to contribute on the ground floor of a new project.
pitched two old concepts to a new shorts program at Cartoon Network.
after showing clips of my work-in-progress, an independent producer hires me to animate/direct/develop her self-funded pilot, which I start in mid-October.
***Note that the only consistent successes on my pitch roster have been my book proposals to Allworth Press, where I am (miraculously) 3 for 3. Not every pitch on this list has become a major creative priority in my creative life. There’s NO WAY that I would ever devote to pitching and development full time. This is a speculative business with no guarantee that any project will take off. Instead, pitching and development has been a side-bar to my career, offering a chance to reach for the moon (sorry for the cliché), while I happily toil away in the animation industry.
As we move into 2009, my pitch sites are set on another personal film, a new children’s book pitch, and three proposals for an animated feature film. Hey––you never know, right?