When I decided to pursue the entertainment business I was told by the “experts” that breaking into the industry for a “nobody” was like trying out for the NY Knicks basketball team at 5’ 10”! It was virtually impossible and I needed to stick to what I knew best, business.
But instead of heeding the advice of the naysayers, I decided to follow my desire to make it in Hollywood. I had no experience in the TV or film industry accept the courses in TV/film production I took as a student at the NY Institute of Technology. I had no mentor and no guidance on the direction to go in…but I had a dream.
I began developing ideas and put them on paper. I used my business experience and my ability as a sales closer to get doors open and put deals together. My first TV project, Street Games, a sports reality competition show, was a partnership I developed with Octagon, one of the world’s largest sports entertainment companies in the world; Greenpoint pictures, the producers of the multi-million dollar And1 streetball TV show franchise; and myself. After months of working on a one sheet, network format, bible and 2 minute promo, the show was pitched to Fox Sports Network… and was green lit. Then I brought them another sports competition talk show concept, RACK, and that was green lit as well. Two out of two, not bad!
Then, while watching the movie Robots with my kids, I came up with, what I thought was another brilliant concept, an animated feature film/TV series called Creepers. But what did I know about animation? About the same as I knew about reality TV!! So, it was back to the drawing board.
I found my way to an experienced animation producer and the first thing she told me was that I “would never get an animation project off the ground” because I had never worked in the field, didn’t know anyone high up in animation, so, basically, if I wasn’t Walt Disney himself I should quit right there. My response was, “thanks for the advice”. I hung up the phone and said to myself, “I’ll show her”!
Now what? As I had learned in business and sales, you have to go the extra mile to make a deal happen. And that’s just what I did. I began to open doors in the animation world that were miracles to open. I ended up working with an experienced, successful animation producer and a Disney animator to develop and create my characters, one sheet, bible and a 6 minute short. Funny, I now have learned that the “experienced, successful” animation producer has never had a single project of his own produced and aired on TV nor distributed anywhere. I have accomplished more in 8 years in the business, from animation to reality TV, than he has in his so called 25 years in the industry. I watched as he made mistake after mistake in directing my steps. But I will say that he did point me in the right direction…Los Angeles & Hollywood. And that enabled me to use what I know…how to put a deal together.
I headed out to LA to start pitching and landed a worldwide distribution offer at my first pitch meeting with one of the entertainment industry’s top distributors. I also entered Creepers in film festivals around the world and have won over 30 International Awards, which include Platinum and Gold Awards for Animation, Writing, Humor, Directing and Producing. My short has also been screened at the Cannes Short Film Festival in France, an honor in itself. Creepers is now in the funding stage for production. While pitching animation in LA I also made some great connections with the heads of programming for networks such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network as well as studios/distributors such as Porchlight, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. and Frederator.
In the short time I have been in this business I have written for other producers; created TV shows; signed deals with major production companies and distributors; successfully pitched projects; developed award winning animation; Produced/Directed and hosted a syndicated TV show; partnered with companies like Pink Sneakers (producers of hits such as VH1’s Hogan Knows Best and MTV Cribs); worked with well known producers and celebrities; and helped many others to bring their project from concept to pitch so they can pursue their dreams as I did.
One of my shows, Hog Heaven, is airing on both Untamed Sports and CoLours networks reaching over 30 million viewers, is in its 5th season of production and was recently signed for an international syndication deal. Currently I am working on a new show for NBC Sports with one of their top producers of the Olympics. I have connections with the heads of programming and development at networks such as NBC, Bravo, WEtv, Travel Channel, Food Network, Animal Planet, VH1, Lifetime and just about every major network on air today.
There is no reason why you can’t become a success story like I did. I didn’t live in Hollywood. I had no experience in the TV or film industries when I got started. I had never pitched a TV show or film concept.
The things I did have were…a dream, a desire, a willingness to put money into my projects…and I took action. Your TV show will not get on a network if you don’t take the steps to pitch it!!
On your own it could take you years and tens of thousands of dollars in wasted money. I can help you speed the learning curve and get you where you need to be for a lot less than you would spend trying to figure out what to do on your own.