Okay, so I was about to go into a meeting and pitch a show that my agents were now telling me not to pitch.
I walked in. We did the usual small talk, and the director asks, "what do you got?" That's the international sign for "commence pitching now". But instead, I explained what my agents had said. He was sort of confused by this, as was I. And I said, "you know what? Fuck it. I prepared this pitch, I'm gonna pitch it".
Though frazzled by the events of the morning, I fairly smoothly present my TV show about a coach. It lasts for 20 minutes. It goes really well.
(I forgot to mention in the last installment that the asshole development exec who threw me under the bus had also told my agents that it didn't seem like I was "passionate" about the show. Which is funny because my mom is a coach, and so is my uncle, and it's been pretty much my whole life story and I've wanted to do this idea for years. In short, fuck that guy!)
After my 3-thousand word spiel, including the premise, the world, the characters, the tone, and several future episodes, the director says great job. Everyone seemed pleased. He then proceeded to pitch his coach show idea (Remember, my agents put me with this guy because he also had a coach idea).
His pitch isn't 20 minutes long. It doesn't include a premise, or the world, or the characters, or future episodes, or any of that stuff. His pitch consists of 1 sentence.
He's a great guy, extremely talented - more talented than me, for sure. But his 1 sentence idea, well, let's just say it wasn't for me. And it was completely contradictory to my idea, in a way that they could never be combined.
And he liked his idea more than mine. Of course he did! It was his idea! Who is gonna like someone else's idea more than theirs? No one, that's who.
At an impasse, we began to talk about other ideas. He responded to one of my other ones, and I agreed to flesh it out more and come back. But we'll get to that in the next post.
In the meantime, I still wanted to figure out an hour long show. I went to a general meeting at a big production company. I talked with a lovely woman there, and we chatted for an hour. It was great. She said if I had an hour I wanted to pitch, she'd love to hear it.
Well, over the next weekend, inspiration struck me. I thought of something I actually loved. I honestly believed I had figured this whole thing out and this was all going to work out. Nothing but smooth sailing from here! It's insane how optimistic I still am. I am an idiot.
Anyway, the only concern I had about it was the fact that I had cooked it up over the weekend while in desperation mode. I wondered, is this really this awesome or am I just grasping for straws?
I sent it around to Team Handleman and they didn't reject it outright, so that was huge. They didn't have amazing enthusiasm either, but they're agents, it's their job to be non-committal.
They said, "hey, send that idea to that woman you just met with and see what she says". So I did. She wrote back with her thoughts. Now, at this point in the story what do you think she said? It was a funny 1 hour idea, so she said:
"Sounds more like a half hour".
She wasn't interested. I wrote back a polite thank you to her for taking the time. And then, surprisingly, she wrote back again. She wasn't interested in my idea, but she was interested in going on a date with me.
I felt like Michael Douglas in Disclosure. This isn't supposed to happen! Plus, between Match and Tinder and Whores.com, my dance card is full. And I'd really like to work with her in the future! Quite a predicament.
Well, I didn't want to burn a bridge, and she was nice to talk to, a drink couldn't hurt. So we drank. And chatted. It was fine. We went our separate ways and I didn't call or email her. As I said, my dance card was full, but I thought I handled it well.
But the more important thing here, was that I was back to square one on the dramedy front. I went on a meeting and was offered a property to develop that was originally a book, and then made into a pretty bad movie. I was kind of excited about it, and was encouraged by Team Handleman to get the pitch prepared ASAP.
3 days later, I was told it was dead. The network that we were "targeting" was all bought out on SciFi. Um, okay. I didn't even know we were targeting!
Then I had another meeting. Another book. This one a memoir. One that was supposedly "hot". Once again, I went to work. This needed to get done fast! Days later, they found out they couldn't get the rights to something that was very necessary in the book. So that was dead.
And then (!), a high level exec had an idea that would be perfect for me to write. I started on pages for that...and then word came that the network "didn't want anymore cop shows".
It's safe to say that at this point I was pretty fried. And depressed. And annoyed. I came home and checked good ol' deadline.com. And remember that idea I had earlier that the girl and others didn't think was a drama? The one I had come up with in desperation over a weekend? Well, it wasn't good enough for me, but apparently it was good enough to sell, because another writer sold almost the exact same idea. Except shittier. Oh, I guess it could work as a drama after all. Amazing how that happens. Thanks a lot, dicks!
I was then summoned to a last ditch meeting with the company I had the deal with. It was late in the season and we needed a Hail Mary. It just so happened I had one in my pocket. It was actually an idea I had thought about years ago and forgotten about, but I suddenly realized it was perfect for what they were looking for. I pitched it...and they LOVED it!
They wanted me to write up the pitch immediately, and they knew exactly who to pitch it to..
The girl who asked me out.
To be continued...