#NATPE LATV Fest/Brands + Fans + Story

09Jul09

Over 1100 creatives descended upon LATV Fest for the best mentoring and pitch opportunities around, and NATPE delivered pure gold for the indie producer looking to develop, distribute and monetize TV/web shows.  Many in the industry were there – big name showrunners, the networks, studios, online distributors, and agencies.  And hopefully soon, the brands who fund digital will be catching in the pit.  Stickam videos at http://stickam.com/viewMovieGallery.do?uId=175821320.  Podcast interviews at http://latvfest.net/latvfestival/podcasts.   Photos from the HRTS kickoff party at http://hrts.org.  The conversation at #NATPE, #LATVFest, and our review is below:

I.  Keynote:  Jordan Hoffner, YouTube
– 100mm+ views/day, 20 hours of  content uploaded per minute
– The real challenge is getting people to watch in mass
– As the #1 Google, #2 YouTube search engine, search is religion
– People search for videos, not home page or channels
– YouTube is so democratic fan videos can eclipse official videos
– Content owners can request take down or monetize as promotional
e.g. Cheesy David Caruso mashup with its 3mm fans, CBS left it up
– YouTube Screening Room for 90% of festival films w no deal
(Sundance: 1900 submissions/200 accepted/28 deals)
– Indie producers can generate rev-share for their webisodes
by setting up channel partnership, www.youtube.com/partners
– Own the content/music, keep costs down, $1 v $10,000 minute,
invest in sound, pay talent on the backend, make something
great that appeals to audience and advertisers, tag with popular
search terms, friend popular videos with video responses
– Be patient , it can take 4 months to catch on
– direct purchase click to buy ads to drive traffic to carts
Monthy Python had a 20,000% incr in DVD sales on Amazon
– Other ways to monetize in the future incl micropayments
– At 100,000 views/month, a sponsor might be interested
– Can shut off ads for $3-4 CPM if product placement causes
channel conflict or put a media plan against the content
– 100,000 views 24h could get in most viewed and  go viral
– Build audience via consistency, upload same time weekly
–  Fred, 7mm streams per video, uploads a video every Thursday
– When you get to 20mm views, its time to call Kevin Reilly at Fox
– UGC can be leveraged to drive traffic to professional content
which can be monetized more easily
– Brand marketers are used to advertising on this content
– YouTube can offer reasonable $20-40 CPMs
– For big name content producers (e.g. Seth MacFarlane),
YouTube can secure sponsor (BK for 50 webisodes)
– No comment on YouTube Gold web-originals
– Talked about TV as you know it, TV adapted online, future of TV
–  1Q09 (Nielsen) 284mm 153hrs of TV home, 131mm 3hrs web
– TV ad spend was $67.2B compared to $1.5B online
– With Joost going away, lines clearer who the player are,
all owned by big companies who can afford cost of delivery
– YouTube has one of the largest HD libraries, eats bandwidth
– Hulu locked up 3 of the 4 networks as supp to DVD, video store
but not on TV like YouTube because of cannibalizing sub fees
– Hulu is a great competitor, clears more rights for the internet
– Hulu has trained viewers to watch 5-7 15-30s ad units/hour
– The length of short form is increasing from 2-3m to 8-9m
www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/business/media/06video.html
– YouTube has deals with CBS, HBO, ABC/ESPN, Discovery
– Added a shows tab in navigation bar puts viewer one click from shows
– Launched 4/16, still learning levers to drive traffic, happy with growth
– Gives promotional love to partners and flexibility with channel design
– Some partners prefer to turn comments off.
– Some like Sony/Crackle keeps community features but embeds own player
to control viewing experience, secure streaming and ad inventory.
– Partners can allow Google/YouTube to sell ads against content or
can sell own ads with the option of Google/YouTube backfill
– Video:  http://stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=184780349
– Other coverage of Jordan’s talk include: Daisy Whitney, Beet.TV
Marc Hustvedt, Tubefilter and  Liz Gannes of NewTeeVee

II.  Adapting Existing Properties for Digital
moderated by Sarah Szalavitz, 7Robot
(Fred makes $10,000/month off 7mm views on YouTube)

Curt Mavis, Lionsgate
– owns TVGuideNetwork, stake in Epic, Break, FEARnet (Sony/Comcast)
– founded CinemaNow
Gamer – controlling humans in a game environment, extend web/mobile
Weeds 360 – showrunner doesn’t want to lose control of property,
can’t just create a Weed-i-sode, noone’s ever gotten into trouble saying no
– Difficult getting top creatives to sign on for 360 treatments
– need to be daring and experimental in this space
– Texting is a $130B industry, bigger than gaming, tv, movies combined
– Create shows like American Idol based on participation of millions texting
– Lionsgate new show Instantly Rich integrates texting into the creative

Jamie Elden, Alloy
Gossip Girl, Vampire Wars
– owns Teen.com for 10 years, 25mm uniques monthly, 12-17y
– 19% of the billboards in HS across US, Channel One w 4.9mm u/day
– because Alloy owns the platforms, advertisers will underwrite
– uses TV model on web originals e.g. hold Hot & Bothered to #s, .9 GG
What Teens Want, advertiser wanted 10 episodes, 6mm views
got 7mm views, put in real TV terms Nielsen .6, 12-21y, like Hills, GG
– teens don’t want to crowdsource ending, want to give feedback,
e.g. what’s your perfect scenario if this were to happen to you in real life
– give story plus piece of culture but don’t give direction, let them run w it
–  participation is required to justify to backer, sponsor, engaged audience

Jeff Katz, American Original
– developed X-MEN franchise, Freddy v Jason
– AO If $35mm production cost, you need to spend $35mm to promote it
– Gaming audience is a bridge, immersive world, mini-movies

Chris Williams, Disney T180 Studios
– Disney www.take180.com awesome web shows made by you all in
180 seconds or less, participatory entertainment, winning videos
rolled into professional production, creating original/derivative IP
– digital will grow 100% this year because market is so small, like a startup
– love self-serve platforms, Facebook a great deal, used for targeting 13-24y
for Electric Spoofaloo, got $.08 CPM, $.02 CPC, Gaia quizzes for gold,
MyYearbook home page blasts, profile videos

III.  Anatomy of a Hit Web Series
moderated by Zadi Diaz, Epic Fu
article on web production companies

Alex Albrecht, Diggnation
– Named one of PGA’s Digital 25
– produce content you are passionate about
– Diggnation – dudes on a sofa drinking beer, talking tech, 55m weekly
– had a tv show, got fired, fans got mad and were looking for them
– it was 3-4years ago when noone was watching except for p**n, MP3s
– Kevin Rose is the founder of Digg
-iTunes was launching podcast channel, rode on that
-swore off celebrities til Jimmy Fallon invited them on, reciprocated
– shoot 2 hours of content/week, takes 2 hours cause its unscripted
– fans follow Alex as brand
– taking three approaches to monetization:  1. Revision 3 – ad-team 5,
2. Totally Rad Show – license fee, 3. Project Lore venture backed
WOW web company, can’t make money on CPM alone,
DVD redistribution, partnering with P&G, high 6 figures deal,
another model is to sell pieces to different advertisers
– Homestar Runner makes millions on merchandise alone
– when you get to critical mass, time to get an agent
– cold call sponsors, say just pay us a $ to put your name on the video
– that’s how Go Daddy signed on, before Diggnation never sponsored a
web show, they’ve grown with Diggnation and so has the sponsorship

Hayden Black, Evil Global Corp
Goodnight Burbank
– Abigail’s X-Rated Teen Diary, 90s
Cabonauts, sci fi musical comedy with iconic stars from the past
in back seat of cab weekly, celebrities bring free press
– monetizing Cabonauts soundtrack, labels remix, backend participation
– episode with space yarn on string theory (big laugh)
– to get celebrities need a contact, hired Erin Grey 1st time at casting
– fans follow Hayden for story
– build base and leverage to new shows, millions of views per series
– build build build, do fresh
– working with DM ad sales team on 20 episodes of Goodnight Burbank
with merchandise sales and spin off

Sibyl Goldman, Y! TV/Movies/OMG/Shine
– 9.3mm streams/day, 37mm uniques month
– Y! unscripted, be responsive to stories breaking, scripted adds time
– turnaround is everything, must be on no later than next day
or story has moved on
– use real time search analysis for insights into timely topics,
and to craft shows with pieces of interest
– when Dancing with the Stars ran over, people didn’t see the end
– same with Ellen DeGeneres dog struggles, saw people searching for it,
tied together the content, layering on top of clips, host w a point of view
giving it perspective, tone and comedy:  Primetime in No Time
– Hulu training attention span, getting longer, beyond 2 minute clips
– JC Penney targeting HH moms sponsoring Daytime in No Time,
dressing the host, the set, very natural production integration
web brings audience to the conversation

Garrett Law, Attention Span Media
Dorm Life, top Hulu show, #20 of all time, #9 last week
– crafted Dorm Life from the start around web video as a social medium
– thought of how to distribute and build audience around it
– got feedback episodes were too short so second season did
13 episodes, 12 minutes each
– not just TV written small, its a new social experience
– regarding whether you keep it on the site or propagate to the web,
old thinking was to get it everywhere – Veoh, DM, Revver, but now
focusing on building critical mass of viewers on YouTube, Hulu, TV.com
– reach viewers where they are, have a conversation with the fans
– Carls Jr sponsor of Dorm Life just hired ASM to produce a series of
Whaaat? spots and a web series that appeals to the short attention
span of hungry young men, and help get more Twitter followers
– Who is watching (12-17/18-34) v. what advertisers want (HH moms)

*Google Ninja with Dmitry Shapiro of Veoh was covered by
Documentary Magazine:  http://www.documentary.org/node/8380

IV.  Deepening the Audience Experience with Online Programming
moderated by David Bloom, Words & Deeds

Marc DeBevoise, Starz
– pay tv model, 16 networks, own studios Overture, Anchor Bay
domestic and intl tv and digital capabilities, VOD, PPV, EST
– IP extensions/extractions, promoting/monetizing IP on mobile/web
– there is no way to prove tv works, but noone gets fired for buying IBM or tv ads
– the web is a measurable media
– make productions cheaper with animated voices not the same talent, use sub star
– theme casual games and connect to brand, free because of the low cost of flash
wrap ads around the games and sell it, ROI is huge, marketing you get paid to do
– casual games targets head of household – middle aged women
Pandorum iPhone app sci fi horror thriller 9/09
– pitch for 120m property, 90m feature, 30m add-on, each stands on their own
great storyline with bits that string out
– find Righteous Kill search and find and PartyDown on BigFish.com

Hardie Tankersley, Fox
– using web to get people to watch more TV and create new business online
– creating ad-supported channels around an audience (24, Simpsons)
– ratings v. online traffic, standard ratio vs. outliers like American Idol, Family Guy
(2007 article: www.juiceanalytics.com/writing/tv-ratings-and-online-audiences)
– web fundamentally different interaction than tv, its not just tv on the web,
Fred interactive message boards, video responses, no longer about
choosing endings/following characters, its about creating a new piece of content
– Fox #1 TV network 5y in a row (Idol), sponsors buy big broadcast reach 20mm
– 50 years of TV buying proves TV works, buy on Fri, sales up on Saturday
– Upfronts started out with autos and fast food
– Fox makes $$ on Idol, but still tiny compared to what you make on a TV show
– When Sprint buys 24, everyone is using Sprint phones
– Josh Whedon’s Dr. Horrible was backend financed with foreign rights
– TV folks say to digital folks why are you killing my business, same happened
w the bricks and mortar business with the advent of Amazon, eBay,
people still go to stores
– TV watching is up overall, TV is losing ratings to cable not online, online is
additive, no evidence that online is cannibalizing TV at all
Family Guy outsized disproportionately online because of teen following,
don’t have tvs
– Other types popular online are competition shows where audience can
argue for favorite, see big spikes Idol, So You Think You Can Dance
–  URLs on shows don’t drive traffic unless there is a specific call to action
Don’t Forget the Lyrics has play along game but URL onscreen doesn’t
drive traffic

Lisa Hsia, Bravo
– e.g. TopChef, Housewives surround with Bravo interactive content, deeply engage
with live interactive events, viewing parties, exit interviews, twitterfest,
Watch What Happens outfits
– give it Bravo imprimatur
– still make mini TV shows, virtual viewing parties
– great UGC, Levi’s What’s My Story, Superbowl Doritos
brands pushing medium more than the networks who haven’t fully grocked it yet
– Scion is an all digital brand, site is all video based
– What will sponsors pay for, Toyota doesn’t know, they’re still feeling their way
get a Top Chef to drive off in a Toyota Venza, find partnerships working
– Virtual viewing metrics states 20% referrals from FB invites
– Web thrives as bottom up, networks are top down
– keep productions costs low
paid $2500 for 14 1-minute videos for a mobile series
– consider your per minute cost per production
– video ad inventory is in high demand, sells out
– Bravo midnight talk show about to transition from online to tv
– Bravo is owned by GE, must deliver double digit growth year after year
– contain production cost, link to TV property, create inventory for ad sales market
Beet.TV interview with Lisa Hsia:  http://www.beet.tv/2009/07/with-a-pedigree-in-non-fiction-and-reality-shows-bravo-is-looking-to-mimic-its-on-air-advertising-strategy-on-the-web-by-inc.html

Greg Goodfried, EQAL
– EQAL is a social entertainment company to build audiences around
original online properties and established IP with studios, celebrities
– Providing Paula Deen, FoodNetwork star, with tech/creative solution
for online presence, producing content, aggregating audience
– other celebrity clients incl Alicia Silverstone for a vegan/PETA campaign
– no standard ad unit on the web like the 30s tv spot, need to pitch differently
to the brand’s stakeholders: the advertiser, agency, media buyer, creative director
– many shows are zero cost look at Fred, What the Buck, Lisa Nova, Smosh
– Paula Deen done with a Flip to the Fred standard, as good as Fred, feels like Fred
totally different feel than her $100,000 episode FN show
– Can’t do network tv online, need to find another way
– Hulu is subsidized by 1st rights network TV
– Harpers Globe not same actors from Harpers Island
– according to HitWise, web property did better than show
– develop a web property that is not technically derivative, relevant but not required,
prevents story from being given away, and can live online after show dies
– in general sponsors will back online communities with 100,000+ monthly uniques
lonelygrl15, escape evil secret society a la Blair Witch, goal was to drive DVD sales
– get the property out to the audience, keep costs low, build up brand
– when monetizing, its all about metrics, reach, ROI

Mark Ostrick, eGuiders.com
– Mark produced the 24: Conspiracy mobile series
– eGuiders.com where tastemakers editorialize their favorite online video,
e.g. celebrity playlist, validate space as a legitimate platform for web producers
– who is doing cool stuff you’re not doing, curates online videos, magic moments
– best branded entertainment – IKEA Easy to Build, Lexus Web Therapy
CPE cost per engagement when factoring in TiVo

V.  Greg Berlanti, ABC Showrunner
in conversation with Josef Adalian, TVWEEK

– master of the 10 spot scripted character dramedies
– Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone
– network shows in the age of cable, on tentpole franchises, tv can’t spend
what cable can
– TV can tell a story that is small and insular, about the moment of the
character like Mad Men
– just starting to talk to cable, pilot script with Lifetime
– networks want the dramas to look as good as Laguna Beach, cost money
– networks also pay higher union rates (DGA, etc.) than cable
– at its height, Sopranos had a big budget
– half the pilots this year were shot digitally over 10-11 days bringing cost way down
– supportive of the strike but it killed Dirty Sexy Money, wrapped up quick for strike,
put together 30 episodes
– when things work they catch fire in the ether and magically it all works
– try to control quality and go smarter, better, deeper
– had 3 shows that worked, 3 shows that didn’t, good track record for the business
Jack & Bobby, Eli, Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, you are 24/7 with network studios
writers actors crew, all-consuming job, to do it right train someone to take over
– got a lot of stories, want to get them all out, move on after 2 years
– excited about Green Lantern, shooting starts in Atlanta in 2 weeks
– huge creative difference between tv development and movies
– in the old days the studios used to turn out 100s like a factory to hone their craft
– you make a film a week in tv from writing through production to post
– TV is a great learning ground, take it all with you to features
– used to be greater division bw TV and film but not now, its about scripts, stories
– healthy to go back and forth as the wind takes you
– these days the networks only have a few hours for scripted, about characters
– ABC (Grey’s, Lost) is the grown up WB (Dawson’s), female skewed, more liberal
– so we ask what would a 35y woman like about this story
– large ensembles affect storytelling, different points of entry, need a strong
backstory
– amazed how quickly CG can be incorporated into a story, quick Fx turnaround
– did a ton of green screen on Eli, only had 3-4 weeks to air, came out looking great
Dirty Sexy Money, Episode 5, used virtual backlot, blew up Brooklyn Bridge, all CG
– once a week gets a script from his mom, many aspiring screenwriters in Palm Desert
– get started in the business as a PA if you can, there is a path
– wrote 10 feature scripts before landing first job
– careful not to put yourself in a box, e.g. only wirte nighttime melodramas
– loved reading comics as a kid, recognizing that led to Green Lantern
– if you put yourself in a box, you’ll never grow, how do you know
what you’re good at
– watched lots of tv as an 80s kid, Famly Ties, Northern Exposure, Picket Fences
– liked Norman Lear
– TV is collaborative, learn quickly what you’re good at, what your team is good at
– late night do teary-eyed drama better than quick one-liners, when tired give
comedy writers the script to punch it up
– long weekends of script rewrites, do so much very fast, hard to get it on the air
– from an Irish-Italian NYC family where it was common to duke it out over dinner
– togh mom, no unexpressed thoughts, draw on your childhood, not from a big family
– large extended family in LA, mark your life by your adult siblings,
those who are in the fabric of your life for better or worse
– advice on pitching, tell a great story, must captivate/interest in 10/20/30 minutes
– think of the scripts you wish you wrote, where are the twists, hooks, surprises
– showrunner’s job is to convince team to do their job, pitch writers, network
studio why its a good story, be enthusiastic, energetic, passionate, connected

**Pitch Clinics
only had a minute to eavesdrop on Laurie Scheer, Flashpoint Academy
– recommending Cynopsis, MediaBistro, ProgrammingInsider,
– commenting on Ypulse:  MyYearbook cost 25% of MySpace,
– stating Perez Hilton earns $50,000/day as a blogger and a maven
– advising to create content for advertisers #1 targeted quadrant HH moms
– informing 30m cable show costs $25,000, 60m $40-50,000, web $2-3000/5m

VI.  Online Video from the Media Buyer and Brand Perspective
moderated by Tania Yuki, comScore
– measures online video, 150mm can be reached 110x using video

Steven Amato, Omelet
– spinoff of TBWA \Chiat \ Day
– produce 50% work for hire, 50% original IP
– audience wants to watch great entertainment, brands want to sell stuff
– creating content to solve a business problem
– strategic entertainment, focus on marketing format

Sarah Baehr, Razorfish
– work with client on planning cycles
– need to make idea shine, understand the elements
– need to present distribution plan
– not knowing the CPM drives media planners insane
– leverage talent that has a fan base- digital stars of web and mobile as
part of content development
– some brands want to be part of the creative, others just shortening 30s spots
to 15s preroll is a big step, must understand brand essences, Mercedes not
advertising online because their 50y+ is on TV
– ideas don’t help, the package does
– will work with producers who have access to talent, that can create a story,
has a vast distribution network, means to deliver above, beyond and new,
want proven track record regarding distribution
– car companies want to generate leads, CRM, broad based awareness
– parameters – views, impressions, lead requests, success for brand is ROI
– don’t buy ideas, buy a solid plan

Jason Meil, Initative
– talking brand affinity, reaching the audience, brand integrating with content
– get involved early to shape core idea to goal
– brands will put out RFPs to generate ideas
– work with TubeMogul to discover content producers
– upfronts are onfronts online

Sara Morton, OMD
– creating digital presence for Nissan Infiniti
– looking for content consumers want to watch and share
– brand wants to be part of it, and within it
– ambient media on movie screens
– most detested buzzwords social graph, branded entertainment, context

Doug Scott, Ogilvy Entertainment
– creates brand essence for Kraft, BP, Y! as well as original IP
– not going to pilot broadband series
– currently too much supply, hard to sift through where opportunities lie
– content that is multiplatform, engages the consumer (that’s diff from the audience)
– success metrics moving from CPM to CPA, CPL
– many brands transitioning to earned media, working content
– using social media:  Twitter, email, social networks, tapping the social graph
– Unilever, Dove targets women
– align with digital talent with big following, make sure they are workable,
not enough to just have a great scene for soap, Dove stands for female empowerment
– must understand the creative brief, the channel strategy brief, and the brand brief
– benchmark where the brand lives, what its broadcast and SM spend is
– these days its very difficult for brand to reach mass
– fit under an IMC, integrated marketing communication, create cultural reference
– brand briefs are not widely distributed, sign NDA, provided to Freemantle, Generate
– the only way to get RFPs or brand briefs is to build relationship with agency,
build trust and track record
–  Dooce.com, mom blogger making $40,000/month
– key metric is sales increase day to day, m-to-m
– see new media spike if you normalize media spend
– shelf life of an ad campaign 6-9 months, of IP 12-18 months
– if targeting Build-A-Bear, holiday coupons Reindeer Bear, test one market, build out
– Banner ads are not working, noone clicks on them, oversupply, clutters the page,
page views is like display ad, tonage, gone, top of the funnel awareness
– indies can compete, stickier, talk to audience regular basis, have ongoing dialogue,
believe what you’re saying, you’re a key influencer, charge a hooking fee
– geotargeting

VII.  Animation:  The Web Levels The Playing Field
moderated by Norman Hollyn, USC School of Cinematic Arts
use the web for:  deals, development, staffing, production, post,
distribution, monetization

Uri Shinar, Aniboom
– used to be cartoons for kids, now its primetime tv, gaming, merchandise
– Aniboom is a virtual animation studio, 14,000 animators ww,
wisdom of the crowd ranking, top 25 signed for series to make a South Park
– created on the web (Webisodes, mobisodes) to pitch to TV
History Channel using it for Project Greenlight with Matt Damon, etc.
–  animation uploaded from around the world, a DFJ funded venture
– all the eyes are on the internet but the $ are not
– follow the $, animation cross-platform, theatre-TV-web-mobile
– Fox is the mecca of primetime animation (Simpsons, Family Guy)

Allen DeBevoise, Machinima
– machine + cinema = machinima
– animation created in game, real time, using video game engines
sophisticated imagery, virtual worlds
– create films in Little Big Planet, Halo3, Guitar Hero, Neopets, COD
– brand resonance, WOW, South Park Make Love Not Warcraft
– #1 entertainment channel on YouTube, 61mm video views in June
– now looking to bring more traidtional storytelling to the medium
– hired Felicia Day to create Chronicles of Humanity sitcom
http://www.whedon.info/Felicia-Day-Machinima-Web-Sitcom.html
– use talent to drive numbers
– like when John Lasseter made Siggraph cool
– its the moment that changes everything
– you can get huge numbers on YouTube and in the blogosphere
– when you shoot live action you need hundreds on the set
– machinima can be an art of one
– launched project with Fox for Idol
– animation not just for kids/family, Dark Knight, 300 action horror sci-fi
– episodic tv cannot afford action either
– Grand Theft Auto, Little Big Planet is building in free play, one with a camera

Lifeng Wang, Xing Xing Digital
– CGI and Flash fx studio, game trailer work for western studios
– China box office growing 37% year after year
– use OPM other people’s money, co-develop with US partners
as well as create original IP
– casual mobilsodes

Chuck Williams, Walt Disney Animation Studios
– 20 year studio guy, Editor on Little Mermaid, Lion King
– in development hell the last 3y, King of the Elves, out 2012
– tell a good story, keep audience on the edge of their seat
– seek inspiration, look at Aardman’s purple/brown blobs
CG Society, deviantart.com
– Disney uses shorts as a bridge to keep characters alive,
e.g. bw Toy Story 2 and 3, even if no $

VIII.  Future of Television: Texaco Star Theatre, Brand Integration
moderated by Brian Seth Hurst, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
– Emmys.com live, 9/20 CBS

Adam Armus, Heroes
– product integration with Nissan Versa, show product, describe product,
integrate into storyline, mention name of car
hero was going on a roadtrip so the car was a natural fit with the script
– NBC makes introductions, does deals with brands, keeps the $ but
Heroes is a viable show because of the ability to secure sponsors
– start with the story, what does script require, don’t start w we have Nissan
– can earn $30mm in product placement
– btw Mark Burnett (unscripted programming deals, e.g. Survivor)
keeps sponsor money, depends on your deal
Heroes kept GH, generated by show for show

Josh Bycel, Scrubs
– it is the economics of modern TV, 15-20mm are not watching anymore
– putting KFC in the hospital, but eat and ER may not fit brand brief
– 30 Rock gives a wink to the camera when they get a mention in
– shines light on the absurdity in the comedy
– ok to sell out if you do it in a fun and interesting way

David Norton, Ladder Up Media (Biggest Loser)
– product placement for The Biggest Loser brings in multi 7 figures
– ok to charge different sponsors different amounts for the same show
– look for brands that support Biggest Loser lifestyle
– as a product placement producer take a retainer and commission
– same for Miss America, secured the crown
– some have a trade out producer, in kind sponsors give products,
Amy Grant show Three Wishes saved $3.5mm w product placement
– important to be with the show for credibility w the brand

Daniel Harris, MP+G
– there is a shortage of brands that will let you do what you want
– Media Pass did a 23 camera shoot at the LA Nocturnal Festival
attended by 133,000for branded programming and approached
brands to see if they wanted to participate with audience,
wanted turnkey access, band cleared, performances provided,
got high rate card, 22 episodes, A list artists,
$100,000 reps considered cheap per episode

Mark Vega, Omelet
– old model was linear, brand-agency-prodco-agency-brand-network
= we’ll buy time on network
– out of harmony comes chaos, network, production, creative,
agency, prodco, talent agency, broadband hub, social network/
mobile platform, network ad sales, brand
– Omelet works with USA content, shares DNA with brand,
creates ancillary complimentary content

IX.  NATPE Innovator Award:  The Biggest Loser
moderated by Rick Feldman, NATPE
video:  http://stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=184783953

Honored Paul Telegdy, NBCU, JD Roth/Todd Nelson, 3Ball, Mark Koops, Reveille,
Dave Broome, 25/7 Productions
– Wanted to change the lives of viewers who were going through dark times
– pitched Ben Silverman in 2005, cut through and changed perception
that weight loss and primetime could ever mix
– created and delivered financial success (books, merchandise) and ratings

Talent:  Jillian Michaels, Bob Harpers, contestants Hollie Self,
Ali Vincent “show gave me back myself, learned could do the impossible,
shows is about empowerment, now a cast member”
Jackie & Dan Evans “show teaches to dig down and find the power
of the human spirit, that dreams come true, and if they could be the
Biggest Loser, he could then be a rock star, now #7 Billboard.”

X.  Pitch Pit/NextTV Finalist Screenings
videos:  http://www.youtube.com/user/natpe
*everyone was in the pitch pit, noone was at the screenings
except me and eGuiders, I thought had Vegan Vampire
had put the El Taco voice box in, and dropped Hulu segment,
maybe it would have had a shot, spent the rest of the time
waiting for my pal Lee Miller’s Dangerous Women to screen,
then did exit interviews with producers who had just pitched.
Great experiences with Generate, CBS Interactive (TV.com),
MGM, WMA, Babelgum.  Here are the twitpics:
http://twitpic.com/9sgd4, http://twitpic.com/9sgz3
(E!, Endemol, FEARnet still available as of the start),
http://twitpic.com/9si8i

XI.  Steve Levitan, ABC Showrunner
in conversation with Melissa Grego, Broadcasting & Cable
videos:  http://stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=184709601
twitpic from the green room:  http://twitpic.com/9tcc8

Modern Family, new show this fall, anchoring ABC Wednesday comedy block,
– love the single camera mockumentary style, 3 kids modeled after his own
“I was sick of the kids freeloading and wanted to make some money off of them.”
– hasn’t been a family show for awhile and so much has changed: texting, cells
– “I am the cool dad” in the show who says WTF “Why the face?”
– Made Foothooker 22m pilot for Fox for $30,000, didn’t get permits, “said
we were UCLA students” sold it to Fox for 6 episode summer, cancelled after 3
– Fox cancelled Back to You after network executive who passed on it at NBC
became the head of programming at Fox, seems to be a theme with Fox
– But had the upset at Fox never happened, there’d be no Modern Family,
so very happy to be at ABC now
– a lot of shows are about style and the swooping camera, but one bump and you
can’t use the shot, you can feel the camera, with documentary you can use it,
makes it feel more real
– the whole single camera movement with wall to wall music is insane,
Modern Family has 15s of music
– now believe established actors don’t do much for you, had Kelsey Grammar
in Back to You, believe TV makes stars, people like to discover new talent,
but could not pass on Ed O’Neill, he’s such a great talent, couldn’t be nicer,
and is the best actor for the job, don’t think the audience will mix him up with
Al Bundy, did notice at the Upfronts, the network did put him front and center,
established talent helps you get it bought, networks feel more comfortable with
a star, believe this cast will pop
–  work hard on a 2nd episode to live up to a pilot everyone was happy with,
great writing staff and putting in a lot of hours early, a good story will come
together, if not, it will never add up, its a matter of 8 writers putting in the time
to break the story
– go home and tell your spouse the story, note where they started to tap dance
– co-producer is Christopher Lloyd, worked together on Frasier, Wings
– brings a different sensibility, I’m very fast, leap before I look, he’s very deliberate
– together we reach a broader audience
– was a kid with too much tv, grew up memorizing the network programming grid
(me too, I dreamt of being Brandon Tartikoff looming over the big board)
– went to school in Madison, WI, worked at an ABC affiliate, took a job in
advertising in Chicago and came to LA to shoot commercials, realized
the only way to break into the sitcom business is to be out here, took 1.5 years
to get my big break
– worked 4-5 years on Wings, Frasier, Larry Sanders, hard to be the new writer,
I am an overthinker and would get paralyzed, inside my head I’d be thinking
I’m not funny, how did I get here, I’m going to lose my house, will they laugh
Just Shoot Me was first pilot ever written, David Spade SNL got it on the air
shocked it beat Arsenio Hall, knew I made it when Fonzi and Norm, two of
the greatest sitcom characters ever called to congratulate me
– the networks are so impatient they move around shows so much TiVo misses it,
Just Shoot Me was in 13 time periods over 7 seasons, the fans couldn’t find it,
the networks need to let a show breathe, stick with it, leave us there, promote us,
ultimately we will find our audience, love how CBS sticks with shows for
multiple years, lets the audience build slowly, keeps the habit going,
long term stability is good
– learned a good lesson when a friend was told to change the nature of one of his
characters, he protested saying its the essence of what made the story interesting,
the network insisted, and when the showed aired it epic failure, the networks told
him you shouldn’t have listened, don’t fail on anyone else’s terms, fight for it
when you believe you’re right, I wrote it this way because I believe I’m right,
dig in, don’t be afraid to say no to a network executive when they are wrong,
but be right, if its a part of the show that is the reason you are writing it,
don’t change it.  NBC said, we love Modern Family but too much like The Office,
just lose the mockumentary, so I passed, don’t change the thing that makes your
heart proud of the show
– will read spec scripts, sometimes pilots
– advice to writers, write something great from the first page, from the opening line,
get a laugh, something that says something about their character, every now and
then the door will crack open, be ready w something great, something that pops,
something your friends can’t stopping laughing over, most won’t read something
from someone twice, be ready for your opportunity
– get discovered on YouTube, put it up, promote it, don’t worry about it getting
stolen, write what you know, find what is unique in your life experience that you
can’t get enough of and write that, do what you want to do

***Mobile: Concept to Monetization/iPhone Apps Channel to Consumer
Jim Beddows, MEF, Mike Bailey, FLO TV, Joanne Waage, MobiTV
Frank Chindamo, Babelgum, Dave Ulmer, Motorola, Steven Masur
http://www.stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=184711996

XII.   So You’ve Pitched, Now What?
moderated by Carole Kirschner, Hollywood Game Plan
video:  http://stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=184710790
http://stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=184709721

Daniel Weidenfeld, Generate
– pitch concise, clear, storyboard pictures, make a connection
and reference that connection in the follow up email
– don’t bring writing samples, follow up with that
– goal is to create a dialogue going forward
– subject line follow up “Great meeting you” “Thanks!”
– comedy, drama are very subjective
– the goal is to cultivate a relationship so you have it in the future
– two guys with zero credit came in with a spec script, they had a voice,
core DNA of what would work, could elevate it
– brands are underwriting the digital space, they want to know the
distribution plan, takes 6-9 months
– clumsy followup is being argumentative, contentious, usually
happens when its the creative, too close, too personal

Laverne McKinnon, Shibui Entertainment
– was at CBS
– July – Sept is the buying season
– gets 1000 phone inquiries from agents during that period
– hears 7-8 pitches a day, 300 total
– buys 50-60 of them, this season much less
– today noone has the authority to buy in the room
– must have a concise log line
– after the pitch there is a 90s conversation in or out, fast assessment,
1 in 100 take a day to think about, like if auspices are of such importance
like its Bruckheimer pitching, always gracious in relating how to make
a maybe a yes
– after a yes, a deal memo is sent usually minimum scale for 1st time,
produced gets a bump, notes from the pitch, make adjustments,
1-3 outlines, go to script, what you get for the outline is prenegotiated
– classiest pitches had talking points to address concerns, had credibility

Andy Stabile, CAA
– works on unscripted
– job of an agent is to push projects through, extension of client
– pitch is a relationship, one 1 in 10 shows sell, want to be invited back
– follow up the same day/day after, bring added relevance
– if they raised a concern about how to promote it, answer the question
to help them pitch it up, conspire with your buyer, convince them this
is a home run, help present to his/her boss, but can’t sell ice to eskimos
– a quick no is the second best answer
– the number of mistakes you could make in following up outweigh
the number of things you could do right
– consider it kind when they give the pass and leave with your credibility
instead of chasing a yes
– yes is good for everyone, noone likes to say no
– treat pitch like Spielberg is going in next, make pitch comprehensive,
well though out, make it a most compelling game plan, a must buy,
more prepared, buttoned up creatively compelling
– even with Drew Barrymore waited til the marketing on her film kicked
up to pitch her celeb-reality show

Marcus Wiley, Fox
– comedy development
– was seller, now buyer
– the game is the pitch, do little afterwards
– can’t change a no to a yes
– everyone’s empowered to say no, few can say yes
– be clear, concise so they can rearticulate up the ladder
– relationship is key, you’ll rarely sell something
– keep  the door opens for the larger dialogue longer term
– listen to concerns that might hang them up,
pick up on signals, leave unfinished business to send in an email
– don’t send an email inviting to coffee in a couple of months
only after you’ve done business can you go for a drink
–  don’t call without something of value
– calling on someone 3-5x a year is too much
– come to me only when there is a body of work
– ok to ask is there anything I can do to move this along
– pitch has 24 hr turnaround time, 1-3 days to prompt them
– you don’t have a deal til business affairs offers a contract
– in a multiple offer scenario you do let them know you have
other offers

XIII.  Insights from the Upfronts
moderated by Arnie Semsky, Media Advisors
– Revolutionary period, dispersion of target audiences and content creators
– Upfronts got started with the Detroit cars mid September
39 originals, 13 repeats, February/Spetember starts
– Broadcast has 40% audience, 60% rev, Cable 60% audience, 40% rev
– NBC might wind up cable success like USA, Sci Fi
– polled advertisers for favs:  Fox Glee, ABC Modern Family, CBS NCIS LA
others:  Brothers, Forgotten, 100 Questions
– 18-49 age up, but 45y+ spending power

Scott Vila, A&E
– structurally studio/network, low headcount, half of 10 scripted
dealing with reduced revenue, fewer scripts, fewer pilots
– aging down was 44-46, reducing median age to grow network share
– scripted helps the network brand
– USA reality “The Intervention” leverage into scripted “The Cleaner”
about transformation in people’s lives, consistent with the brand
– broadcast acting more like cable, Fox throughout the year
– CW lost 1/4 of its audience last year
– ABC looking forward to Wednesday comedy night, fresh scripted,
contemporary, family, nostalgia, comedies are a winner,
people want to laugh
– A&E cops doctors lawyers , the good life
– watchword is change, in the way advertisers look at broadcast,
cable moves ahead of broadcast, content is king, its about the show,
not when it is showing or what network it is on

Cherie Cohen, ESPN
– partnering with advertisers, looking for big ideas, innovation
– expecting scatter market to be strong
– ESPN locked up major rights, live sports are DVR proofed
– ESPN sees more men as HH principal shopper with women
in the workforce, speaking to men in a different way
– we’re upon the precipice of change
– Upfront network play, buy ratings points in demand,
could be gotten in scatter marketplace
– Ad dollars are being diversified on all mediums
– Jeff Zucker – fiscal restraint bottoming out
– batch of pilots on cable – strong and complex shows
Breaking Bad, Damage, Treatment, Mad Men, Hung, Nurse Jackie
– Cable can take the risk, the license fees are different than the network
– networks are learning from cable, good time for tv now
– big events all spoken for CBS Superbowl, Fox World Series, NBC Olympics,
ABC Oscars, ESPN championship pickup from Fox
– viewers will follow great content
– ABC is a risk, hope it will pay off, need to go bigger or go home
– NBC is in a position to take a risk with Leno but no advertiser knows
how to pay for Leno at 10 5 days a week
– CW grew up watching 90210/Melrose
– CBS – steady
– Fox banking on Idol with strong Glee
– ESPN’s goal is to serve sports fan wherever they consume
– online, tv, radio,
live, magazine, creating for mobile
Hulu, iTunes, IPTV relevant part of the landscape
– great content wins eyeballs, online watch 3m/dy, tv 309m/dy
– in 2 years the 3 screens will be interchangeable, at work at home on the go
– goal will be how to keep the brand on all 3 screens
– ESPN content is clear, beautifully consistent, online is a blessing and gift
– advertisers will only sponsor a show with ratings,
vast accessibility to content online
– ESPN has scripted 30 docs with famed directors to tell sports stories
in 1 hour primetime episodes this Fall, favorite moments in sports

Jennifer Grisanti, Jen Grisanti Consultancy
Chuck was saved by Subway
– trend toward cost effectively producing shows, focus on ratings,
less risk on new shows, cutting budgets on old shows
– Leno at 10 less costly than scripted dramas, will get a third of
the ratings, brands won’t pay primetime CPM for a late night show,
but Mark Burnett’s Survivor was a success in primtetime
– writers strike killed scripted programming
Trauma fantastic pilot, see ton of story, emotional
Forgotten being reshot with Christian Slater, concept is solid
– CBS playing it safe, worked for them last year
– ABC takes on the most risk with new shows but development
and scheduling spot on, like the ABC Wednesday comedy block
– CW descendent of Aaron Spelling thinking, beautiful casts
Vampire Diaries, 90210/Melrose
–  Fox programs 15h not 22h like everyone else, Idol platform for
Past Life, Human Target
– Trauma, Vampire Diaries, Forgotten, Eastwick, Hank in the Middle
– Pilots that didnt get picked up didnt resonate emotionally,
accidentally on purpose
(In the Motherhood, Cougartown)
story is at the core of everything, reflect economy or escape,
writing is stronger than ever, supporting scripted and reality

XIV.  Round Robin Mentoring
6 tables, 10 minutes each, 10 at a table, each has 1 minute with mentor
insane, most were red in the face and panting by the end, could barely get any of it
one group bantered about some brilliant strategies for pricing sponsorship:
(production cost + media CPM) x 2 = sponsor charge,
adsense drives traffic, reaches guaranteed audience with 1-3% conversion,
they also talked about Google TV ads to get show on remnant TV inventory
as part of distribution strategy to sell sponsor
the following is what I was able to attribute to the mentors:

Cameron Death, NBCU
– program across all NBCU platforms, 75% developed in house
– goal is to drive engagement and time spent on the brand
– will craft/create according to brand, brand relationship most important
– create a safe place for the brand
– won’t deliver any content they don’t want to associate with
– need high quality female programming by women for women
– have plenty of teenage boy stuff
– single camera comedy 10-12 episodes 3-5m recut VOD, mobile
– 50-episode “Gemini Division” stars Rosario Dawson and is backed by
NBC Universal’s Digital Studio

George Ruiz, ICM
– aim for 500,000+ views
– if content is great, get $ upfront, will be disappointed in a rev-share deal
– don’t give it away, CPMs are small, got Guild a sponsor, Sprint, MS
– positioning for Wonderwall brand + content
– start with content, go to brand
– still big $ in traditional media
– start online, build audience, generate smart distribution, get $
– go to agent when audience is big enough
– used Gloomers as an example
– ICM works with established talent like Electric Farm
– 90% referrals from clients
Bridget Dale video blog on AOL smart/insight/ POV/personality/celebrity gossip
got her deal with ABC Family, large tween following, 75,000 views/week
– most celebrities don’t get full quote for digital, monetize with product integration

Lori Schwartz, IPGLAB
– brands learn consumer behavior in a lab setting to learn how to communicate
– don’t preshoot, get idea in front, what’s their digital strategy
– Carl’s Jr hired top 7 of the YouTube creators to access their audience
– tap into social media stars
– YouTube has aggregated talent
– pt some $ into a test and learn engagement
– research is driving a lot of test, its an experimental space
– boomers is the most untapped market
– gather.com, tvd, eons.com

Daniel Weidenfeld, Generate
– branded entertainment/management 170 clients, 8 managers/prodstudio
– Fox exclusive for scripted
The Lake, WB.com, shoot 116 pages in 12 days
– 3-5 minute retains viewership but 10-11 minutes more compelling, breathes more
– how to DIY, serialized with talent, character
– brand integration don’t want mini TV, takes brands 6-9 months
– incubates on the web, plot plot plot, sizzle reels help pitch tremendously
– ripomatic stitch it together, its your calling card online
– lessons from Pink, 10 episodes 5mm views
– preroll doesnt work, its all product placement
– back to Texaco Star Theater, its all brand, tv packaging around commercials
– no money in CPM, charge whatever the brand will spend
– MSN Republicrats

Barrett Garese, Spytap
– need 150,000-200,000 views from a consistent audience to interest a brand

Max Benator, RDF Media
– Podbusters, contain sponsor messaging in and around short-form content
created especially to complement the ads

XV.  NextTV Awards
moderated by Chris Hardwick, G4 Web Soup
video:  http://stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=184769167

http://latvfest.net/latvfestival/natpes-nexttv-competition

– Ogilvy Branded Entertainment winner:  Lexux
– Moderati Comedy winner:  Natural Hazards
– TruTV Doc/News winner:  Bit Museum
– Lionsgate Drama winner:  The Franki Show
– RDF Lifestyle/DIY winner:  Word To Your Mutha
– YouTube Long Form winner:  Dueling VHS
– Comcast E! Reality/Unscripted winner:   Spot Lab

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2 Responses to “#NATPE LATV Fest/Brands + Fans + Story”

  1. FANTASTIC wrap up! Thank you. I am re-reading and taking notes about things I missed while in other panels.


  1. 1 All Time Best Action Movies – Take The Action Movie Quiz « Wicked Blogging

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