Pitching is the Art of Attrition

Here is what I notice about how movies and tv series get done. You have a meeting, talk about some cool stuff, bs about other things, have a meal, talk about more bs, and POSSIBLY plan the time for another meeting. Then you go away wondering, “Did that go well?”

If you are lucky, you will have a partner in the room that can say if it did or did not. If you do not have a cohort, you are on your own. 

What happens after the meeting is a lot of waiting. I mean a LOT of waiting. Oh sure, there will be phone calls and sometimes you will get a live person on the other end. Most times it is a relationship with voicemail. I even got a date that way! (not really).

If you are lucky to have ANOTHER meeting, you get to do the dance all over again. The problem is that usually that next meeting is months sometimes YEARS after the initial meeting. In this ' meeting, everyone is pretty jazzed (biz term for being excited at least when you are in the room) for the project. They want it NOW! You get all excited, do some more work and then…

...you wait again.

This exact thing happened with a certain spinoff from a certain show about a very smart large-headed kid. The production company wanted the project right away – at the end of the week!

It took FIVE YEARS before the project actually got into pre-production…

All that and the show barely lasted a season.

The sad thing about all of this is the people all involved are usually super people. They are all good intended, nice and sincere. They are not demons who simply like to string people along. They all want the same thing – a hit!

I am not sure why this process takes so long. Is it because people are afraid to make a mistake? Afraid to take a chance? Afraid to say yes?

Who knows…this is all definitely a battle of attrition. The last man standing wins…

The point is you can never give up. No matter how many rejections you get. J.K. Rowling got rejected 12 times before someone finally accepted it. I cannot remember how that project turned out.

You must keep fighting. Keep trying to get your idea out there and then get it sold. After that, get it produced. That is when the real heartbreak begins...

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