Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Warner Bros. And A "SouthLAnd" Pitch Video

After mulling it over for a while, I have come up with some ideas for the "SouthLAnd" pitch videos.  Yes -- videos -- as in plural.

"Why," you may legitimately ask, "do we need multiple pitch videos???"

Because I think we need two -- one for Warner Bros. and one for the Kickstarter campaign.

(Note: I am not going to go into all the legal necessities involved in producing these videos.  I touched on them very briefly in my last couple of posts, and I suppose -- if this actually goes forward -- we will all just deal with them.  Besides, I am no lawyer.)


After doing a bit more research on the "Veronica Mars" movie project, I discovered that Rob Thomas approached Warner Bros. about doing a movie quite a while before the project actually happened.  Apparently, Warner Bros. wasn't interested, and that was that.  It seems to me then, that our first task is to get Warner Bros. interested in going forward with a "SouthLAnd" movie.  And here's where a pitch video would come in quite handy.

What might be included in such a video?

Warner Bros. needs to be assured that there will be a market (which translates into both $$$ and an increase in the studio's prestige) for a "SouthLAnd" movie.  How could we accomplish this goal? -->
     1. The sincere interest of the creator(s)/executive producer(s), cast, and key crew members would need to be expressed.  The studio would probably want to to see a definite willingness to commit to the project by the key players, assuming that the financing/scheduling/all other necessary pieces of the puzzle were to fall into place.
     2. A budget would need to be presented, as accurately as possible.
     3. Data should be presented, comparing the ratings of "Veronica Mars" to the ratings of "SouthLAnd."  The ratings would most likely reflect the potential success of a Kickstarter campaign.  If the numbers for "SouthLAnd" are lower than the numbers for "Veronica Mars" -- which, unfortunately, I think they are -- we would have to discuss how we would make up for this deficit in a fan-based funding drive.  For example, might there be other funding sources?  We could also argue that the "clout" of the major players in "SouthLAnd" has greatly increased since the show's cancellation.  Shawn Hatosy, for instance, has a new show coming out this summer, which will increase his visibility in a huge way.  He is also a big hit on Twitter (for good reason).  Michael Cudlitz is now extraordinarily popular with the extraordinarily large fan-base of "The Walking Dead."  Regina King blows everybody out of the water with her number of Twitter followers and numerous, interesting projects.  And Ben McKenzie has "Gotham" in the works.  The number of existing "SouthLAnd" fans combined with potential new social media connections is enormous.  These things should be emphasized in any pitch to Warner Bros.
     4. The video might also drive home the point that "SouthLAnd" has a very dedicated core fan base, willing to work hard in the effort to get a movie made.  Footage might be included of some of these fans telling about what the show means to them, expressing their passion for it and their desire to see this project happen.
     5. A (gentle) reminder should be included in the pitch of the critical acclaim "SouthLAnd" has always earned.  After all, doesn't the studio wish to garner as much prestige as possible?  There is a compelling argument to be made that the studio would look bold and brave and interested in art for art's sake if it green-lighted this project.  Warner Brothers could be seen as a courageous maverick in the industry for its willingness to go forward with a "SouthLAnd" movie.  And -- frankly -- I don't think this movie would bankrupt them, especially if there were some other significant funding sources (like a Kickstarter campaign).  I may be wrong about this, though.  Maybe studios operate somewhat "on the brink" fiscally.  If so, then our financial data need to be especially solid, to provide reassurance that the project wouldn't be an economic disaster.

Given the assumptions I made about what would need to be included in a pitch video for Warner Bros., there is one further consideration.  This thing could get incredibly long and incredibly boring.  And what comes to mind here is an interview with Ben McKenzie in which he describes how some of the Powers That Be of a project he was auditioning for left the room while he was auditioning.  (That was very lame of them.)  Now, given that Ben is unfailingly interesting -- and that still happened -- I really, really don't want anything like that to come to pass with this pitch video.  That would sink the project before it even left the dock.  So, the pitch would need to be concise, yet chock full of the necessary information.  It would also have to be entertaining.

Well, this is enough for today.  Next time, I will discuss what I think should be included in a Kickstarter campaign pitch video.  Thank-you all for your kindness in reading this, because I really don't have any credentials in "showbiz."

I'll again forward this to Deb Craig, Regina King, Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Ben McKenzie, Andrea Lynch, Julia Swain, and Kiaya Mangan.

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