Series Creator/Show Runner and Digital Studio Executive - Alex LeMay - AMA

(Amen J.) #21

Is it possible to show one episode, vs. create a sizzle reel, if you already have one ready to go?

(Alex Le May) #22

Most studios don’t take unsolicited ideas, but there usually is a submission process so calling studios and asking what their process is can help. doesn’t always work but often they will tell you. This is why building your own audience is important. They eventually come to you. trust me. I sold a series to Sony because i had an audience they wanted. to date, my biggest pay day.

(Meg Carroway) #23

Adding to this: what IS a sizzle reel? Everyone I ask has a different answer

(Alex Le May) #24

Yes, but be sure to tell them it has room for their opinion. They know their audience best and they will want to have a say. Say something like, “This is only 75% to where I think we can take it. What do you think your audience would like to see in this?” Then if they give you a clear answer, ask them to pay for those changes. They have LOTS of development funding.

(Amen J.) #25

AWESOME. Thanks…that gives me hope :slight_smile:

(Meg Carroway) #26

Seconded! I never know when I should move on or dig in- especially when I love my characters and can write them forever!

(sam lockie-waring) #27

@Alex_LeMay phrased differently- how do you find sponsors as an independent creator? do you have to wait until you have an audience of x size, or are there other ways to convince a company you’re worth investing in?

(Alex Le May) #28

Basically a sizzle is the best thing unless you already have an audience. You lock the studio into one idea that may not work for them. A sizzle allows you to collaborate with the studio. Walking in and saying it’s imovable and I’m an artist, damn it tends to not get you very far. So a sizzle and a tight pitch deck usually gets you where you need to go.

(Alex Le May) #29

That’s makes me happy!

(Meg Carroway) #30

Is there ever an argument for making the whole show yourself, if you have the people and time but not the money?

(Bri Castellini) #31

Assuming there’s no, or very little, money available, how would you “fake” high production quality for a proof of concept or a sizzle reel?

(Alex Le May) #32

A sizzle is just that. It’s a 2-5 minute video that let’s the viewer into your idea without getting into the weeds of every detail you ever wanted anyone to know about your series. Essentially it let’s the viewer know what the hook is. What will grab audiences. It should be fast, easy to understand and fun as hell (even if it’s a serious subject matter)

(Bri Castellini) #33

@Alex_LeMay we gotta know about the fruit, Alex. We just gotta.

(Alex Le May) #34

Bob @thembob and Meg- At some point you need to get paid for your work. Bob, you have a ton of tools to prove to a studio that your series in worth investing in. “Shipping your” is concept in our business that means, "Don’t wait for all the planets to allign to get your work out there. " It’s never the ideal time, but the fact that you have some traction, you should start asking for money fearlessly. You’ve earned it. Getting to a second season is hard as hell and you got yourself there. Thumbs up!

(Alex Le May) #35

Casaba melon…moving on! :slight_smile:

(Bri Castellini) #36

Hah what a fruit hipster. What about the rest?

@mintypineapple How far into developing an idea should one go? I’ve heard not to actually write a script until something has been approved because whoever you are pitching it to will inevitably want to change some of it. So what’s the perfect balance?

(Alex Le May) #37

Don’t try to fake it. Lean into the low budget nature. make it part of your story. you will never have the piles of money in the beginning of your career that studios have available. STORY IS QUEEN! Great story and great performance and great audio is all that matters. Picture matters less at the early stages.

(Bob DeRosa) #38

Thanks for your thoughts, Alex!

(Alex Le May) #39

It was my pleasure. If I didn’t get to everyone, feel free to reach out through my website

Loved it and thanks for having me!

(Amen J.) #40

Thanks for your time, Alex!