Who Doesn’t Love Big Dorks and Indie Spirit?

Twitter has been good to us.

We’ve funded the release of a film, built an audience for our new podcast, and, most importantly, met many, many amazing people.

One of them is Nicholas Brandt, or Super Nick, as we’re fond of calling him.

A screenwriter, film lover, and all around amazing dude (who KNOWS how to rock a viking helmet) he epitomizes what Social Media can and should be about — meeting great people and sharing support when you can.

Well, Super Nick co-wrote a new movie that honestly looks terrific.

With great actors like Jim Belushi and Jennifer Tilly, awesome looking performances from the entire cast, and a trailer that ROCKS we just couldn’t help but post about it. Enjoy the trailer:

The movie hits theaters September 27 — but for a limited time you can also rent it on iTunes premium at this link:

The Secret Lives of Dorks

Congrats Nick! Be sure to follow him on Twitter.

The Ghost Inside My Child: Our Series Returns on BIO

This Monday, August 5th, our series The Ghost Inside My Child returns to Biography Channel.

This Show Came From One Of You

Originally pitched to us by Suzanne Stratford from Cleveland, this show is another example of people just like you who’ve brought your show ideas our way.

(MTV’s CAGED was another example.)

Let’s Make a Show Together

If you’d like to pitch to us, make sure to check out our podcast, aimed at helping you sell shows with us.

In the meantime, be sure to set your DVR’s for Monday night at 10pm — The Ghost Inside My Child on BIO.

Joke and Biagio’s New Podcast: It’s All About You

A Grand Experiment

Producing Unscripted Joke Biagio Make Reality TV Documenary Series 200x200

As you know, awhile back we started an experiment.

Despite warnings from our agents and lawyers, we started accepting show pitches from people willing to sign a submission agreement.

That experiment has paid off.

We credit our unorthodox outreach in helping put CAGED on MTV, GHOST INSIDE MY CHILD on BIO, and to finding our latest MTV True Life Presents: SECRETS, LIES, AND SEX, and most importantly, helping new producers and filmmakers break into the business.

But We Can Do Better For You

We often say things like “send us your show pitches” and “make great tape.”

Sure, easy for us to say. We’ve been doing it for a decade. But statements like that aren’t helpful to you.

So we’ve been working to make it easier for you to pitch shows to us.

Our New Podcast: Producing Unscripted

Over the last month, we’ve secretly been recording a new podcast called:

Producing Unscripted: Make Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series with Joke and Biagio.

The goal of the podcast is simple: to help you create, develop, pitch, and sell unscripted television and film.

Hopefully, by teaming up with us.

[Read more…]

Are You Good In A Room?

As owners of our production company, Joke Productions, Inc., we’ve been on both sides of a Hollywood pitch meeting.

  1. The selling side, when we’re out convincing networks to buy our shows, and…
  2. The receiving side, when taking unscripted TV pitches from agents, producers, talent, and some of you.

In more than a few emails and tweets many of you have asked us for pitching advice. We thought about writing a post series detailing the finer points of the Hollywood pitch meeting.

However, Stephanie Palmer has already beat us to the punch (more like knocked us out) with her terrific blog Good In A Room.

Good In A Room is Awesome

If you want to sell your ideas to Hollywood, you owe it to yourself to visit Stephanie’s blog, check out her book, and sign up for her newsletter.

We’ve been selling shows for almost a decade, and we find Good In A Room informative…that should tell you something.

Before You Pitch To Us

If you’ve been around this blog, you know we’re open to hearing your unscripted TV pitches. But honestly, we wish everyone who did pitch to us would read these posts by Stephanie Palmer first:

Scripted versus Unscripted: There Are Differences

Stephanie’s advice is mostly tailored to the scripted world. While much of it still works for those pitching unscripted TV shows to us, there are some differences we’d like to highlight.

Typewriter Got Beat Up

Here are three posts from Good In A Room on which we offer a slightly different opinion should you find yourself telling us about a show you want us to consider.

  • The Most Popular Pitching Formula in Hollywood (And 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use It)

    Here, Stephanie discusses the old “It’s Good Will Hunting meets House Party” pitch strategy so often made fun of in parodies of the Hollywood system. (But that ridiculous example is all mine.)

    While we agree with Stephanie’s reasons not to use this pitching approach in most situations, we don’t mind hearing it if you’re pitching to us.

    If you’ve discovered a terrific family, business, or world you have access to, and can lay it out for us as “It’s Duck Dynasty meets X” or “It’s Survivor meets Y” it will help us start a bigger conversation about what the show could be.

    In fact, we just sold a dozen episodes of a new TV show to a major cable network using the “It’s X meets Y” formula. (We’ll tell you which one when we’re allowed to talk about it…it’s airing later this year.)

    That’s not to say others in Hollywood won’t be turned off by this practice (we’re sure some will), or that it can’t make you look stupid (please don’t actually pitch us “It’s Good Will Hunting meets House Party.”) but we won’t hold it against you if you use this approach to pitch us.

  • The Best Way To Use Visual Aids In Your Pitch… Don’t!

    While we one-hundred percent agree with Stephanie’s assertion that you could hurt yourself using visual aids in a scripted pitch, they are an absolute must when pitching us your unscripted TV idea.

    Ideally we want to see a beautiful video pitch that highlights the world and talent you are trying to sell. At a bare minimum photos of your cast, their world, and some flip-cam footage with decent audio is necessary to get us excited about the show you’re pitching.

  • How To Pitch And Sell Your Reality TV Idea

    This is a really good post chock full of useful nuggets, but it takes things from a “writer-centric” point of view — it’s more for “idea people” than filmmakers or artists who want to play a bigger role in the show they are pitching.

    The fact of the matter is that unscripted TV budgets get tighter every day, and it’s very difficult to pay someone to just “walk away” from a project.

    That’s why we love teaming up with filmmakers and hands-on-producers who not only have unscripted TV ideas, but also have the skills and desire to work on the shows they sell.

    The young producers who pitched us what eventually became MTV’s CAGED (read their story here) made far more money working on the show than they ever would have made by simply taking a small producer’s fee to do nothing beyond introducing us to the concept.

    There are a lot of people out there pitching “reality TV ideas.” Far less of them are putting together great tape, finding interesting casts, and uncovering new worlds that should be on TV. Bringing us more than just an idea will make you–and your pitch–a lot more valuable to us.

Get Good In A Room

We can’t say enough good things about Stephanie Palmer and her blog Good In A Room. It’s one of those websites we wish existed when we were first getting in the business.

Check out what Stephanie has to say, then come back and pitch us some shows!