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Copywriting A Television Show Series.

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
I have some great ideas for introducing a never done yet tv show- How do I start to put it on paper and making it more than an idea. What are the proper steps to putting a package together and submitting it into the right hands.

Thanks in advance for any help.

  • Posted by mbarber on Accepted
    Sazor99 the most sensible thing to do (imo) would be to contact a lawyer that specialises in the TV/Film industry. They should be able to tell you about hopw to best protect your 'format' so that you can licence it out.

    Word of warning - just because you haven't seen it done where you live, doesn't mean it hasn't been done elsewhere around the world. There's planety of really innovatiove and interesting formats I've seen travelling OS that I haven't seen elsewhere.

    Best of luck
  • Posted by on Member
    Hi Sazor99

    I may be able to come up with some ideas but first please let me know the answers to the following:

    1. In which country are you based, and in which country would you seek to get your show produced? Would it be English language or other?

    2. What is the "genre" of your show? (Game show, chat show, drama, soap, documentary, music/dance, etc.)

    3. What do you do when you're not thinking up great TV ideas? (So I know what skills you may need to add - e.g. writer, director, production manager - to come up with a plausible treatment for the show.)

    I went through a phase of coming up with TV show ideas a few years ago and got stung, so be warned ... Marcus is absolutely right about lawyers, although it's virtually impossible to safeguard an idea.

    I worked with a production manager (I'm a writer/producer, although I don't produce much these days) and we went three times to present our concept to a certain UK TV network who shall remain nameless.

    We worked everything out carefully, explained the technical elements of it over and over again, and costed it out to the last penny. Then it all went quiet.

    One year later the TV network produced an identical show themselves, even using our title. For us to have taken legal action would have involved us in finding thousands of GBPs with no guarantee of winning, because copyright is such a grey area worldwide.

    What these big companies do in such circumstances is to keep you fiddling along with their lawyers (which they can easily afford) until you, the little person, run out of money. It's an all-too familiar story in the UK and I'm sure it happens in most of the other main markets too.

    However, depending on where you are there are ways you can work that will minimize the risks of this happening.

    As you suggest, before you even approach a lawyer you need to get rather more than a few notes together and when you've answered my questions I might be able to help you do that.

    Get back to us soon!

  • Posted by on Member
    Hi again

    As you're in show business already you may well have access to literary agents or at least talent agents of one kind or another. See if you can get an introduction to one who handles TV scripts and concepts, and then ask his/her advice on how to proceed with your idea.

    You're reasonably safe explaining your idea to an agent; if they like the idea they'll probably want to take you on, and anyway they have reputations to keep.

    Also, because the show is music based and you know (I assume) a lot about that sector of the music market, anyone taking the project on will probably want to keep in with you because they need your expertise. That's the best safeguard of all, frankly.

    By all means consult a showbiz lawyer too, at the same time. However s/he is unlikely to advise you on how to put your show's proposals together, which is where an agent will be more useful.

    I don't know any talent agents in NY, but I found a few literary agents in NY who do TV - here are the details:

    **Stephen Pevner (specializes in pop culture, so could be a good match for you)
    Stephen Pevner Inc
    382 Lafayette St, 8th Floor
    New York
    United States
    +1 (212) 674-8403
    +1 (212) 529-3692

    **James W. Grau
    Charisma Communications
    787 7th Avenue, 9th Floor
    New York
    United States
    +1 (212) 832-3020
    +1 (212) 786-6017

    **NY Creative Management
    Drawer 1578
    Stony Brook
    United States
    +1 (631) 751-5776
    +1 (631) 751-5209

    If these people can't help you they may well know someone who can. They won't charge you anything for their advice - but they may be a little hard to nail down! Try phoning first, because if they're anything like UK agents they won't exactly answer your emails in a hurry...

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.


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