Thanks to everyone who congratulated me on the various projects I’ve got in the works. Of course, the mere fact that I’m busy doesn’t guarantee anything. Three months ago, I had almost eighteen different projects on the go, most of which have since dematerialized like a red-shirt ensign teleporting planetside so that he can lend Kirk some much-needed back-up.
Don’t get me wrong. A couple of the projects I mentioned yesterday look very promising, but I know from experience not to take anything for granted. I learned that lesson the hard way not too long ago…
I received an email informing me that a green lit show was looking for a showrunner and those involved were eager to work with me. I needed to get on the phone with the president of the company that week! So, I read all of the supporting materials, then got on the phone with the president of the company and discussed everything from the show’s budget to where we would shoot. I was told we would need to move quickly!
I spent the weekend reviewing the materials so that we could hit the ground running on Monday. Which came and went with no word. Then Tuesday came and went. Then Wednesday. I emailed the president of the company wondering what was up. Wasn’t this supposed to be a fast track project? No response. Thursday. Friday. Finally, Monday, I was contacted by their director of development who apologized (they were away) and, over the course of the conversation, informed me that the project was not, in fact, green lit. It was a script to series deal (And, days later, not a script to series deal either). I would need to prepare and pitch my vision for the prospective series.
And so, I spent the better of that week reviewing materials and putting together a detailed pitch of the series pilot and a series overview. I got on the phone and pitched my take to the director of development who was very positive, offered me a few suggestions, and then set a time for me to pitch the broadcaster.
The following Monday, I pitched the broadcast exec. He had a few questions. I answered. I was thanked for my time and then…nothing. While I wasn’t expecting an immediate response from the broadcaster, I assumed I’d at least receive an email from my partners on the pitch letting me know how they thought it went, offering me some sort of timeline. Instead – radio silence. The next day, I reached out to the director of development who informed me they expected a decision later that week.
Then on Friday, I received a call from the president of the company. And by the tone of his voice, I could tell it wasn’t good news. “I hate making these types of calls,”he began and I felt bad. Not for me, but for him. I wanted to tell him that I believed we had a great pitch and that we could just take it somewhere else. This wasn’t the end. But, as it turned out, it was the end. For me anyway. “As you know,”he said, “we went out to a number of different showrunners for this project.”
Actually, no. I didn’t know.
Apparently, the show had been picked up, but the broadcaster had elected to go with someone else’s take.
Normally, this would have been cause for frustration, but not to the extent I experienced that day mainly because I had been misinformed about a project that had gone from a green light to a blinking yellow to a full-stop red.
The incident soured me, not only on the industry as a whole, but on a few people as well. Still, it did teach me a very valuable lesson about not counting your chickens before they’re hatched – or crewing your production until you have a signed contract.
So, for the time being, I’m going to pretend I haven’t been offered that showrunning gig, or been hired to write that pilot script, or am on the cusp of having that series I’ve been developing for the past nine months green lit. Instead, I’m going to keep working and focus on those comic book projects.
Oh, and maintain my torrid reading pace. So far this year, 226 books and counting! A job would really throw a wrench into my book-a-day average.