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Brokered program production advice?

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Travis SimpsonBrokered program production advice?
by on Apr 22, 2010 at 7:58:49 am

Hope this is the right forum for this one. Sort of a general and vague question, but thought I'd toss it out because, if there's one thing I've learned in this short life, it's that you don't know if you don't ask. And if nothing else, for your entertainment, I'm sure the vets around here will get a kick out of the "biting off more than you can chew" nature of this post.

I'm about a year out of a grad program in broadcasting and a partner and I have come across the opportunity to produce a brokered program for network air. Neither of us has any formal tv experience outside a student channel and public access. We feel skilled, competent and well-connected enough to staff a crew and produce broadcast quality content, but the thought of organizing a television program from scratch is beginning to become a bit overwhelming. So I thought I'd toss out the bait here for any advice whatsoever that might come our way, even if that advice is "run fast and find a good place to hide."

We're producing a hosted lifestyle type format that will showcase various local businesses and events. We're targeting 18 to 40's and approaching locations -- nightlife, trendy restaurants, etc -- that want to appeal to this demographic.

We've shot a pilot and we're pitching a demo soon. If we get a green light from the station we'll have a weekly slot at a good rate and an opportunity to earn broadcast credits.

What are some of the things you wish you had known when you were in my position? What should I especially look out for? What are some good resources I can get my hands on? Is it ridiculous to assume we can accomplish any kind of success with a small, inexperienced and relatively unfunded team? In your experience, what's the minimum staff necessary to execute this kind of venture?

Again, I know that's pretty general and asking a lot of rookie questions, my apologies if they grate any nerves as I'm sure they might. Really, any and all advice would be welcome and very much appreciated.

Travis Simpson | Symbolscape Media | mobile: 510.858.1101 | office: 510.868.0540 | |

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Shane RossRe: Brokered program production advice?
by on Apr 22, 2010 at 5:54:56 pm

Hire people who have done this before. A couple people in key positions, someone in production, someone in post (the editor), so that this is done right. If you have NEVER done this before, and NEVER worked at a company that has done this, then you risk falling flat on your face. This is why it is good to learn on the job, work at companies that do this sort of stuff so that you can get experience in what is required to do TV shows. Or, as I said, hire people who have worked on TV shows before, because they'll have the experience and know-how to deliver what is required.

Us giving advice on what to do on a forum is no substitute. You won't be able to gleen all you need to know from reading.


Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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Bill DavisRe: Brokered program production advice?
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:11:03 am

Shane is spot on.

Also - never forget that the production is always the EASIEST part of any video production.

Getting a consistent stream of actual money from people to support said production - THAT's the hardest part.

Always. Always. Always.

Success starts and ends, not with the show itself - but with SALES. Period.

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Travis SimpsonRe: Brokered program production advice?
by on Apr 26, 2010 at 6:51:47 pm

Bill and Shane, Thanks both for your advice and feedback. I have been headhunting sales people from similar programs in the region. Do either of you, or anyone else, have any advice regarding a compensation model for this type of sales work? I realize every business will do this differently, but what are some systems that you have seen that work well?

Travis Simpson | Symbolscape Media | mobile: 510.858.1101 | office: 510.868.0540 | |

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