Producing Unscripted: Make Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series with Joke and Biagio https://producingunscripted.com The Podcast That Hears Listeners’ Reality TV and Documentary Series Pitches. Tue, 30 Apr 2019 21:09:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 *Named "New and Noteworthy" across all podcasts, as well as TV & Film, Arts, and Education. Subscribe now.<br /> <br /> Ready to create, pitch, and sell reality TV shows or documentary series and specials? From creating pitch tapes to meeting with TV networks, developing your ideas to discovering reality TV stars, this podcast features tips on working in unscripted film and television that you won't find anywhere else. Get top-industry secrets and even pitch your shows to Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers and Unscripted Television Producers Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina. <br /> <br /> Recently, the duo have helped new producers bring projects to television on MTV, BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL, A&E, and CNN/HLN. Your show could be next. Subscribe now. <br /> <br /> ABOUT JOKE AND BIAGIO: With over a decade of experience in unscripted film and television, this married couple has made TV shows, specials, and pilots for A&E, The CW, Biography Channel, NBC, CBS, Discovery, CNN, HLN, E!, IFC, Logo, Oxygen, Style Network, VH1 and MTV. <br /> <br /> Their feature length documentary DYING TO DO LETTERMAN played in theaters across America, was invited by the International Documentary Association to qualify for Academy Award® consideration, and named “New and Noteworthy” on iTunes alongside The Dark Knight Rises, Brave, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. <br /> <br /> Subscribers to this podcast will learn the secrets of the Unscripted TV and Film worlds, and how to apply them toward career success. Subscribe today. Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean episodic Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians biagio@jokeproductions.com biagio@jokeproductions.com (Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians) 2013 Joke Productions, Inc. How to Make Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series -- From Joke and Biagio, Married Film and TV Producers Who Will Hear Your Unscripted TV Pitches and Team Up with You. Producing Unscripted: Make Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series with Joke and Biagio /wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Make-Reality-TV-Podcast-Producing-Unscripted-Joke-And-Biagio-1400.jpg https://producingunscripted.com biagio@jokeproductions.com *Named "New and Noteworthy" across all podcasts, as well as TV & Film, Arts, and Education. Subscribe now. Ready to create, pitch, and sell reality TV shows or documentary series and specials? From creating pitch tapes to meeting with TV networks, developing your ideas to discovering reality TV stars, this podcast features tips on working in unscripted film and television that you won't find anywhere else. Get top-industry secrets and even pitch your shows to Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers and Unscripted Television Producers Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina. Recently, the duo have helped new producers bring projects to television on MTV, BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL, A&E, and CNN/HLN. Your show could be next. Subscribe now. ABOUT JOKE AND BIAGIO: With over a decade of experience in unscripted film and television, this married couple has made TV shows, specials, and pilots for A&E, The CW, Biography Channel, NBC, CBS, Discovery, CNN, HLN, E!, IFC, Logo, Oxygen, Style Network, VH1 and MTV. Their feature length documentary DYING TO DO LETTERMAN played in theaters across America, was invited by the International Documentary Association to qualify for Academy Award® consideration, and named “New and Noteworthy” on iTunes alongside The Dark Knight Rises, Brave, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Subscribers to this podcast will learn the secrets of the Unscripted TV and Film worlds, and how to apply them toward career success. Subscribe today. TV-PG Los Angeles, California Monthly 3 Worst Kinds of Shows for New Producers to Pitch…Unless /3-worst-kinds-of-shows-for-new-producers-to-pitch-unless/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 21:09:49 +0000 /?p=3353 /3-worst-kinds-of-shows-for-new-producers-to-pitch-unless/#respond /3-worst-kinds-of-shows-for-new-producers-to-pitch-unless/feed/ 0 <p>We remember when we were just starting out in the industry. Didn’t know anyone. Couldn’t get a meeting. But…we thought we knew everything! Turns out, like a lot of new producers, we were pitching the worst kinds of projects to launch our careers. Now, years later, receiving hundreds of unscripted television pitches ourselves, we see […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/3-worst-kinds-of-shows-for-new-producers-to-pitch-unless/">3 Worst Kinds of Shows for New Producers to Pitch…Unless</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> We remember when we were just starting out in the industry. Didn’t know anyone. Couldn’t get a meeting. But…we thought we knew everything! Turns out, like a lot of new producers, we were pitching the worst kinds of projects to launch our careers. Now,



New Producers: The Right Mindset
As you know from over
five years of podcasts, ideas are not enough. It‘s all about your package – that presentation you put together that proves you have unique access to a real person, place, or thing. 
When we receive pitches for Joke Productions via the Producing Unscripted portal, the most common mistake we see is new producers ignoring this advice.
For instance, some will pitch a big music competition show concept, but have no connections to the music industry. You’re not gonna sell the next Voice if you don’t have someone as big as Gwen Stefani attached. Networks and production companies will not help new producers meet those people.
Our own competition show Scream Queens would have never been made if Lionsgate hadn’t put up a role in SAW – a world-wide release – as the grand prize. Otherwise, it was just a pitch about actresses competing for a role, just an idea.
Another example is someone who pitches a celebrity based show (“it’s a new show with Jennifer Lawrence!”) but has absolutely no connection to the person they are pitching. Remember, you can‘t pitch what you don’t have.
One other kind of show that gets over-pitched is the “we‘re a new startup company!” Unfortunately, if you have access to a brand new company who is just starting out, networks won’t bite.
For a business startup show to work, that business can’t run out of someone’s living room. There must already be major factors in place to make the company extraordinary. That might be a billion dollar investment from Silicon Valley, a true celebrity who’s come on board as a partner, or a business that’s so unique it already has real momentum. (By real momentum, we mean many people know the company exists, that they‘re already in the public eye.)
Use These Tips to Save Yourself Time and Trouble
We hope you use the tips here and in today‘s podcast ep to save yourself time and energy when developing new show concepts and assembling your packages. Whether you pitch to us, or anyone else, you’ll have a leg up if you‘re not the newbie pitching the wrong kind of show. Just some of what we cover today:

* Why some types shows are totally wrong for new producers to pitch
* Our own mistakes when we were starting out
* How to assess if your concept and package could be valuable
* Big newbie mistakes you should avoid
* Spending your valuable time wisely
* …and lots more!

Hit that giant PLAY button above and you’ll never make a newbie pitch mistake…ever!

Helpful and Related Links
]]> Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Joke and Biagio clean 18:46 Pat Postiglione: Becoming a TV Personality /pat-postiglione/ Tue, 26 Mar 2019 13:30:58 +0000 /?p=3333 /pat-postiglione/#respond /pat-postiglione/feed/ 0 <p>Are you a producer? Or do you see yourself as on-camera talent? Either way, it’s important to realize the challenges and realities of becoming a TV personality. Pat Postiglione is in the throws of that journey right now. He’s the star and host of the new Investigation Discovery series Deadly Recall – something he still […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pat-postiglione/">Pat Postiglione: Becoming a TV Personality</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Are you a producer? Or do you see yourself as on-camera talent? Either way, it’s important to realize the challenges and realities of becoming a TV personality. Pat Postiglione is in the throws of that journey right now.



Pat Postiglione Never Chased Television
In past episodes, there’s one thing we’ve always preched. TV shows built around real people require great unscripted characters whose primary goal is NOT television, but rather is working at a high level in their field.
In other words, some of the best unscripted television characters are real people who care more about their job or mission in life than they do about stardom.
That is Pat Postiglione in a nutshell. For over two decades he helped solve hundreds of homicides in Nashville. Known for his photographic memory (which, by the way, was the second hook of Deadly Recall) Pat never forgot one clue, never forgot one grieving family member who needed his help.


Deadly Recall – A Long Time In The Making
As Pat discusses today, getting the series on air was a long journey. Not only in the time it took to go from pitch tape to TV series, but even after the series was ordered. The show was first hinted at in the Joke Productions RealScreen Article all the way back in July of 2018 (where we couldn’t yet say what the show was). So you can see that even once we knew we had a series, it was a long trek to air.
Now, you can catch Deadly Recall on Investigation Discovery Wednesday nights at 10pm, or anytime on the Investigation Discovery IDGo app.

Today we’re having an honest conversation with Pat Postiglione, and he’s an open book. Pat shares the entire journey from homicide detective to TV personality…and all the surprises in between. Just some of what we cover today:

* How Pat felt about the development process before the show sold
* The long journey from pitch tape to TV series
* How Pat’s life has changed since Deadly Recall started airing
* Handling media appearances
* Stepping onto set for the first time
* Dealing with crews, cameras, and the filmmaking process
* What was important to Pat when it came to making this series
* Dealing with the pressure of carrying a TV series
* …and lots more!

Hit that giant PLAY button above to listen now to an honest conversation about the unscripted TV business, stardom, and what you need to know.

Helpful and Related Links
Our must-listen episode on second hooks (for Deadly Recall it was Pat’s photographic memory.) Here’s a deep dive on how clean 29:46
Deadly Recall – Pitch Detective Based True Crime – 5 Tips /deadly-recall/ Thu, 28 Feb 2019 21:34:09 +0000 /?p=3313 /deadly-recall/#respond /deadly-recall/feed/ 0 <p>If you’ve ever wondered about building a true crime series around a real police detective, today’s episode is for you. We’re sharing everything you need to know, broken down in five easily-digestible tips. What kind of detectives? Which cases to pitch? How do you know if your detective can sustain a series? We’re giving away […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/deadly-recall/">Deadly Recall – Pitch Detective Based True Crime – 5 Tips</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> If you’ve ever wondered about building a true crime series around a real police detective, today’s episode is for you. We’re sharing everything you need to know, broken down in five easily-digestible tips. What kind of detectives?

What Networks Want From You When Pitching These Concepts
There’s a lot of reasons why networks pass on potential shows built around detectives. Do they have the right kind of cases? Have they solved enough of them? Are they great on camera? The list goes on.
To set up our new
Joke Productions TV series Deadly Recall, we needed to make sure we had every single list item nailed down.
Today we’re sharing everything we know and learned along the way. Just some of what we cover today:

* The qualities every detective you pitch must have
* Why some cases work for TV, and some don’t
* What’s a “solve rate” and why is it important?
* The process of pitching cases to the network
* Why you need to know about “overlap checks”
* Being sensitive and only telling stories that should be told
* And…Why Biagio is turning into his Grandmother

Hit that giant PLAY button above to listen now!

Deadly Recall in Deadline Hollywood
We were very pleased that Deadline Hollywood covered the news of our new series. Here’s a bit about what they had to say:
The Discovery-owned cable network will air Deadly Recall on March 5. It will follow Detective Pat Postiglione, who remembers every single detail of the crimes that he’s tasked to solve.
With over 25 years of experience as a Nashville homicide detective, Det. Postiglione has seen hundreds of crimes scenes, and he remembers each as if it happened yesterday.
The series is produced by Joke Productions, the company behind CNN’s true crime series Unmasking A Killer, which told the story of the Golden State Killer. Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina and Jeff Kuntz are executive producers. Alongside Investigation Discovery’s Tim Baney is executive producer.

An Incredible Series to Make
Deadly Recall would not be possible without the amazing Pat Postiglione. A Nashville Detective for over 25 years, he helped solve hundreds of homicide cases in a very unique way. Pat has a photographic memory, and never forgets a single detail of a crime scene or suspect interview.
But it’s a blessing and a curse. Pat’s happy he’s been able to use his gift to bring justice to grieving families. On the other hand, every victim’s face, every gruesome crime scene, live on in Pat’s mind. It can be a heavy burden to bear.
See for yourself. Check out Deadly Recall on Tuesday, March 5 on Investigation Discovery.

Helpful and Related Links
Yet again today we talk about the importance of second hooks (for Deadly Recall it was that Pat had a photographic memory.) Here’s a deep dive on how second hooks work.
Alexis Linkletter, true crime journalist and TV producer, discusses all aspects of casting true crime.
Todd Lindsey discusses teaming up with us on our CNN/HLN series Unmasking a Killer, and describes the journey from his initial concept to hit TV show.
]]> Joke and Biagio, Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina clean 21:18 3 Tips from RealScreen 2019 /3-tips-from-realscreen-2019/ Thu, 31 Jan 2019 20:25:51 +0000 /?p=3297 /3-tips-from-realscreen-2019/#respond /3-tips-from-realscreen-2019/feed/ 0 <p>Today’s episode is coming to you straight from the waiting area of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport! Why? Because we just attended RealScreen 2019, and we’ve got some stuff to share. What is the RealScreen Summit? Well, according to their site: The Realscreen Summit is the definitive global market and conference for the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/3-tips-from-realscreen-2019/">3 Tips from RealScreen 2019</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Today’s episode is coming to you straight from the waiting area of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport! Why? Because we just attended RealScreen 2019, and we’ve got some stuff to share. What is the RealScreen Summit? Well,

RealScreen 2019 Summit
It was a great year for RealScreen. Set against the French Quarter in New Orleans, this summit had a little more of a casual vibe. That lead to some great networking. Lots of good restaurants were in walking distance, and in general we saw a lot more executives out and having fun.


We’ve been to a handful of RealScreen summits over the last six years. And of course, we were flattered (so maybe a little biased) when RealScreen covered us in this Joke Productions story. It’s a good organization that works hard to support our industry.
But it’s a lot to navigate.
Many new producers are there for the sole reason of pitching their projects. A lot of production company owners are there hearing those pitches (we heard quite a few.) Attendees are also there to learn from the in-depth panels. There’s a lot of action to juggle, but it’s worth it.
That said, because it can be expensive (over $1000 to attend, not including hotel and travel) a lot of people just can’t make it. So in this episode we’re sharing some RealScreen “behind the scenes” info, and our top three takeaways from the summit.
Some of what we cover today:

* How things are (and aren’t) changing in the industry.
* The curse of positive feedback (sometimes, not always)
* Why some pitches are dismissed out of hand, even if they’re great
* What role production companies play in new producers’ careers
* Two of our TV projects airing in the next month
* And…a very controversial statement from Joke about a favorite New Orleans dessert!

Click that giant “Play” button at the top of the page to listen now, and get your 2019 underway with a bang!

Helpful and Related Links
At RealScreen and other events, you can pay an admission fee, which gives you access to pitch to many people in one day. Is it worth it? How do you make the most of it? We share it all here: Pitch Fests: Should You Pay to Pitch? 4 Rock Solid Rules for Pitch Fests.
All about how our company, Joke Productions, works with Producing Unscripted to find and team with new filmmakers and talent (We met with many of you at this year’s RealScreen! Thanks to those who took the time to reach out.)
Reach out to us on Twitter! We try to respond regularly, and have actually met a lot of good people there.
Let’s Make some TV Together
Looking to become a TV producer? Pitch your own projects? Thinking about pitching to us and our company clean 22:17
Hollywood Stocking Stuffers – Three Tips from the Trenches /hollywood-stocking-stuffers-three-tips-from-the-trenches/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 19:04:33 +0000 /?p=3285 /hollywood-stocking-stuffers-three-tips-from-the-trenches/#respond /hollywood-stocking-stuffers-three-tips-from-the-trenches/feed/ 0 <p>Happy Holidays from Producing Unscripted! ’Tis the season to be jolly, and if you asked Santa for a new episode of Producing Unscripted, you’re in luck! Today we share some important stocking stuffers with you – three Hollywood tips to make the most of the season. We cover everything under the tree, from important industry […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/hollywood-stocking-stuffers-three-tips-from-the-trenches/">Hollywood Stocking Stuffers – Three Tips from the Trenches</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Happy Holidays from Producing Unscripted! ’Tis the season to be jolly, and if you asked Santa for a new episode of Producing Unscripted, you’re in luck! Today we share some important stocking stuffers with you – three Hollywood tips to make the most of...

The Reason for the Season
It’s important, especially during the holidays, to go into every production with the right attitude. No matter how long you’ve been in the industry, working hard and getting the job done is a constant must. With every job you take you’re building your career. More importantly, you’re building relationships.
We always talk about paying your dues and working your way up the ladder. None of that can be done without creating meaningful bonds with others in the field. The holidays provide lots of opportunities to strengthen those bonds, and reconnect with people who can help you.
Another important thing, especially during this time of year, is having a penchant for gratitude, not attitude (even for us!) So, take this season of giving and remember to work hard, treat other crew members with respect, learn new things, and most importantly, have fun!
We are making TV after all.
Christmas in Tinseltown
During the holidays, you’ll find a lot of holly in HOLLYwood, and we’re not talking about the Christmas tree atop Capital Records. Sure, there’s the hustle and bustle that goes with the season. But…this is also the time when people find it the hardest to book work. We have some advice for those stretches when the jobs aren’t coming. Don’t worry…the holiday parties won’t stop.
Holly, Jolly Homework
Home for the holidays and already hiding from your family? Or just hiding from the cold weather? (More reason to move to LA!) Take advantage of the downtime. It’s been our little trick for years. For the two of us, it’s one of our most productive times.
Why? This, more than any other time of year, is the time to study up and do some research. If you play it right, you can turbo-charge your career.
We share what to study and how to watch TV like a producer. Plus, some life advice about communicating with your family during this time of year…especially if you’re working.
Click that giant “Play” button at the top of the page to listen now!
That’s a Wrap!
We had such a wild 2018. Thank you for joining us by listening to the Producing Unscripted podcast. Many of you even pitched projects to us at
Joke Productions. Be sure to stay tuned in 2019 for more episodes, tips, and fun.
Happy Holidays!

Joke and Biagio

Helpful and Related Links
More fun life tips to get you through production, especially during the holidays: Surviving Produduction: 7 Tips to Avoid Burnout and Save Your Sanity.
All about how our company, Joke Productions, works with Producing Unscripted to find and team with new filmmakers and talent.
Connect with us on Twitter!
Let’s Make some TV Together
Looking to become a TV producer? Pitch your own projects? Thinking about pitching to us and our company Joke Productions?
Here’s what you need to know:
]]> Joke and Biagio, Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina clean 14:36 Spooky: Pitching Paranormal Shows – 4 Tips & Happy Halloween! /paranormal-shows/ Tue, 30 Oct 2018 19:46:12 +0000 /?p=3244 /paranormal-shows/#respond /paranormal-shows/feed/ 0 <p>It’s Halloween…and do we have a treat for you. A spooky treat that is! This week we cover all things paranormal. Ghost shows, alien shows, psychic shows…they’ve been a staple of television for years. But how can you make your paranormal pitch stand out? What are the pitfalls to avoid, and the mistakes we see […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/paranormal-shows/">Spooky: Pitching Paranormal Shows – 4 Tips & Happy Halloween!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s Halloween…and do we have a treat for you. A spooky treat that is! This week we cover all things paranormal. Ghost shows, alien shows, psychic shows…they’ve been a staple of television for years. But how can you make your paranormal pitch stand out...


Creeping It Real
Paranormal shows are cyclical. That means sometimes networks can’t get enough of the great beyond. Other times, these pitches are just too scary a proposition for network execs.
Right now, paranormal isn’t as hot as it was four years ago…but it’s far from dead and (we hear) making a comeback. Some networks considering other-worldly pitches at the moment are:

* Travel Channel
* SyFy
* Discovery
* TLC
* Lifetime
* E!

Even if the genre isn’t smoking hot at any given moment, the right pitch will always get networks excited. If you listen to our advice, that show might be yours.
If You’ve Got It, Haunt It!
The secret potion to creating a great paranormal pitch and show is not unlike most other shows on TV.
You need:

* an incredible and unique character, or group of characters
* a format that’s completely new and interesting
* a first and second hook to keep people watching

We’re not tricking you, it’s a lot of hard work!
There are many pitfalls (which we share today.) But once you have the right ingredients, a TV network might say the magic words to put your show on the air.
Pitching Paranormal Shows – All The Scary Facts
Obviously, this genre has enjoyed lots of popularity on television over the years. If it’s not hot right now, you can bet it’ll be back tomorrow.
So today we give you all the proper ghouls…er, we mean tools…to pitch paranormal! In this episode, we’ll cover:

* The ghosts of paranormal past – what shows have found success in the space? Why?
* Finding the right “witch or warlock” for your show – why you need a unique character
* How to hook your viewers – both figuratively and literally (It is Halloween after all…)
* The ghosts of paranormal future – what can make your show the next spooky hit on TV?
* The hardest part about pitching shows in this genre
* The secret spell to getting your show on a network – how to know who’s watching and what networks want
* Plus…way too many Halloween puns from Biagio!

Click that giant “Play” button at the top of the page to listen now!

Helpful and Related Links
How our own spooky show Ghost Inside My Child came together (pitched to us by new producer Suzanne Stratford), plus many other success stories.
The bewitching pilot we shot for Oxygen with Joey and Natalie, Sister Witches. (Also discussed on our Success Stories page.)
All about how our company, Joke Productions, works with Producing Unscripted to team with new filmmakers and talent.
Want to create a “boo-tiful” second hook for your paranormal pitch? Head over to episode 27 and learn all about clean 20:54
Roger Nygard: How to Work Both Scripted and Unscripted /roger-nygard/ Tue, 25 Sep 2018 16:35:27 +0000 /?p=3181 /roger-nygard/#respond /roger-nygard/feed/ 0 <p>We travelled the streets of Los Angeles for the 109th episode of Producing Unscripted. Well, we went a couple of exits down the 101, where we met with this week’s guest, the multitalented Roger Nygard. Roger has edited on many highly acclaimed television series, including Grey’s Anatomy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Veep (for which he’s […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/roger-nygard/">Roger Nygard: How to Work Both Scripted and Unscripted</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> We travelled the streets of Los Angeles for the 109th episode of Producing Unscripted. Well, we went a couple of exits down the 101, where we met with this week’s guest, the multitalented Roger Nygard. Roger has edited on many highly acclaimed televisi...


Roger Nygard: Living the Dream in Both Scripted and Unscripted
Roger is living the life many people in the industry strive for their whole career.
He’s successfully working in both scripted and unscripted. Most of the time, he’s editing scripted television, crafting some of today’s most popular TV shows. On the flip side, whenever he’s not up to his ears in footage, he’s travelling around the world, directing, producing, and editing feature-length documentaries.

Climbing The Ladder: How Roger Helped Us
Roger provided incredible advice that helped shape our careers. When we finished our 2011 documentary,
Dying to Do Letterman (which you can watch right now on Amazon), Roger agreed to have dinner with us.
He shared his film festival knowledge over the meal. He also encouraged us to submit our doc to Cinequest, a film festival in San Jose. We hadn’t heard of it, but Roger thought it would be a great fit, and said it was an amazing fest.
He was right.
Our film screened at and won the festival, both the Grand Jury and Audience Award. That led to more festivals, more awards, a theatrical release, distribution, and ultimately, the success of the documentary.
Clearly, Roger knows what he’s talking about, and he’s not afraid to support those new to the industry. In fact, in this episode, you’ll hear him talk about the importance of helping people climb the ladder in our industry. Like he did for us. (And we hope to do for you one day.)

The Truth About Marriage
Roger tackles huge concepts in his films. What better way to follow up his last documentary, The Nature of Existence, than to investigate the deepest secrets of marriage?
Today, Roger shares the inside scoop behind his process. How did he deal with a huge topic like marriage? Plus, some of the amazing things he learned along the way.
Check out The Truth About Marriage trailer from Roger’s Vimeo Channel below:


"The Truth About Marriage" – TRAILER from Roger Nygard on Vimeo.

Tons of Great Advice from Roger Nygard
Just some of what we discuss today:

* How Roger started making movies
* Why Roger passed on film school
* Saying “yes” to opportunity
* How Roger learned to make documentaries
* Crossing over from Scripted and Unscripted and back again
* How Trekkies sold for 1.25 million dollars
* How to keep viewers engaged
* Concept documentaries versus character based docs
* The Documentarian’s question
* How to approach a huge topic like marriage
* New avenues for docs
* The politics of film festivals
* Your chances of getting into big film festivals
* And…last but not least…why Biagio’s taking a much cl...]]> Joke and Biagio, Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Roger Nygard clean 39:29 Amazing Career Advice From Legendary Producer Jon Kroll /jon-kroll/ Tue, 28 Aug 2018 18:06:05 +0000 /?p=2867 /jon-kroll/#respond /jon-kroll/feed/ 0 <p>Jon Kroll is the man behind some of your favorite unscripted television shows. From Big Brother to The Amazing Race, he’s been in the industry for over 25 years. He’s here today to share his secrets to success and amazing career advice. Like the students he teaches in the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/jon-kroll/">Amazing Career Advice From Legendary Producer Jon Kroll</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Jon Kroll is the man behind some of your favorite unscripted television shows. From Big Brother to The Amazing Race, he’s been in the industry for over 25 years. He’s here today to share his secrets to success and amazing career advice.


Success Secrets From a Total Pro, Jon Kroll
Jon Kroll has done it all. He’s an Emmy award winner for his work on The Amazing Race. Jon continues to develop and produce acclaimed TV shows. At the same time, he teaches at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Jon was one of the first people we met when we were breaking into the industry years ago, and we’re thrilled to have him for you today.

With so much experience under his belt, we knew Jon would have some great take-aways for you. And he delivered! Just some of his top tidbits from today’s episode:

* Working with some of the youngest and brightest in the industry at USC
* How to find and work with the biggest and best TV characters. Like Joke’s favorite, Dr. Will Kirby from Big Brother 2
* Pitch must haves, plus how Jon puts together his own materials.
* What do The Jinx, Desperate Housewives, and I, Tonya have in common?
* Breaking into Hollywood DO NOTs, a list that spans longer than the DOs.
* Turning your Hollywood break into a long-term career – the secret you need to know!
* And…Pink Collar Crimes on CBS – an exciting true crime docuseries with no violence and the perfect amount of Marcia Clark.

Helpful and Related Links
In case you’ve never seen one of the most infamous reality TV characters of all time, here’s The Best of Dr. Will Kirby on Big Brother 2
Jon’s new show Pink Collar Crimes on CBS
Follow Jon on Twitter and Instagram
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
Let’s Make Some TV Together
Are you looking to pitch your own unscripted television project, true crime documentary series or reality TV show? Maybe you have the next great family-based docuseries? Want us to take a look? Here’s what to do next:
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Pitching Family-Based Docuseries – A Kardashians Study /kardahsians-pitching-family-docuseries/ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 13:00:20 +0000 /?p=2843 /kardahsians-pitching-family-docuseries/#respond /kardahsians-pitching-family-docuseries/feed/ 0 <p>It’s time for Episode 107! And to celebrate, we’re taking you all the way back to Episode 6 (ah, so long ago.) Pitches come in every day framed as family-centered docuseries. How can you make yours stand out? We checked our own advice, looking back at the six traits that Reality TV characters must have […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/kardahsians-pitching-family-docuseries/">Pitching Family-Based Docuseries – A Kardashians Study</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s time for Episode 107! And to celebrate, we’re taking you all the way back to Episode 6 (ah, so long ago.) Pitches come in every day framed as family-centered docuseries. How can you make yours stand out? We checked our own advice,


TV Shows Need Great Families and Great Hooks
The industry sees plenty of families pitched as “the next Kardashians” (we get these at least a few times a week.) This is usually not helpful, and, honestly, inaccurate. Because no one should pitch “the next Kardashians” – they should pitch families who are “the next big thing.” But in doing so, you have to be able to articulate exactly why a family is ready for a mass audience.
What is your second hook? What is your story engine?
Fact is, few people realize what makes the Kardashians a TV show. Sure, you’ve got drama and interesting characters. But there’s also businesses and celebrities and long backstories revealing how the family got to where they are today. All amazing aspects that make for great television over the past 11 years.
That said, when pitching these kinds of docuseries, families don’t have to be celebrities or “celeb-adjacent.” So what makes a new family TV worthy?

Six Traits of Successful TV Characters – Including The Kardashians
Way back in episode 6, we told you about the six must-have traits of reality TV characters:

* They’re unique
* These characters bring an extraordinary perspective to the ordinary
* The character is someone you can build trust with
* They don’t self-censor
* They’re not in it for the money
* They fit somewhere on the TV landscape

So how do the Kardashians meet these six requirements? And how can families you pitch stand out by focussing on these six traits?
Some of what we discuss today:

* Who are the Kardashians (in case you’ve been living under a rock!)
* What makes the Kardashians stand out among other families vying for Reality TV real estate
* Where to find story engine inspiration for your family centered docuseries
* What exactly is a “Momager” (Biagio had no idea)
* How you can watch the original pitch tape that sold the show to E! in 2007 (you never see these!)
* And…Where you can read about the early days and wild ride that lead to our company, Joke Productions

Press that giant “Play” button at the top of the page, and learn everything you need to know about pitching family-based docuseries and reality shows.

Helpful and Related Links
Read about the wild journey that lead to our company, Joke Productions in this month’s Realscreen magazine, including a shocking admission from Biagio! (Hint, has to do with how the company got its name.)
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Top 3 Pitch Cover Letter Mistakes /top-3-pitch-cover-letter-mistakes/ Sat, 30 Jun 2018 00:00:51 +0000 /?p=2831 /top-3-pitch-cover-letter-mistakes/#respond /top-3-pitch-cover-letter-mistakes/feed/ 0 <p>When you’re pitching a project, whether to us or anyone else, you’ll be sending a cover letter (or providing information) to briefly explain what the project is about. Unfortunately, this is where many newcomers go wrong. There are certain statements that both we and our network executive friends have read from numerous people on multiple […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/top-3-pitch-cover-letter-mistakes/">Top 3 Pitch Cover Letter Mistakes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> When you’re pitching a project, whether to us or anyone else, you’ll be sending a cover letter (or providing information) to briefly explain what the project is about. Unfortunately, this is where many newcomers go wrong.


I Want to Be Anthony Bourdain
Quick side note: as you probably know, Anthony Bourdain, an unscripted TV legend, is no longer with us. He helped define our industry, and seemed to be living an amazing life. So much so, in fact, that a huge number of the pitches we receive reference him.
It shows how much of a mark he made, and how alluring his life seemed to so many of us. While we didn’t work with him directly, we had many friends and associates who did. We’re all deeply saddened by the loss.
What Not to Write in a Cover Letter
Today’s podcast episode goes in depth on the top three pitch mistakes we see over and over again in cover letters. We tell you what not to say, but more importantly, what to say instead.


Some of what we cover today:

* Cover letters come in different forms
* Things you should never say in a cover letter
* Common mistakes and how to avoid them
* How high to “set your bar”
* The problem with comparing yourself or your talent to other people
* And remembering Anthony Bourdain

Press that giant “Play” button at the top of the page, and you’ll be sure to never stick your foot in your mouth when writing your cover letter.

Helpful and Related Links
Check out our two free ebooks, How to Pitch a Realty Show, and Unscripted Television: 100 Tips for Breaking in and Career Success
Let’s Make Some TV Together
Are you looking to pitch your own unscripted television project, true crime documentary series or reality TV show? Ready to avoid cover letter mistakes and pitch to us? Here’s what to do next:
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Getting Your First TV Producer Credit with Marc Jackson /marc-jackson-first-tv-producer-credit/ Wed, 30 May 2018 23:33:25 +0000 /?p=2808 <p>Marc Jackson says he feels like he’s living his dream. A retired police officer, Marc wanted to start a new career in filmmaking and TV production – but had no production experience. Like many of you, Marc discovered the Producing Unscripted podcast and this site. He trusted us with his concept, pitched it through our […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/marc-jackson-first-tv-producer-credit/">Getting Your First TV Producer Credit with Marc Jackson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Marc Jackson says he feels like he’s living his dream. A retired police officer, Marc wanted to start a new career in filmmaking and TV production – but had no production experience. Like many of you, Marc discovered the Producing Unscripted podcast an...


Marc Jackson – Turning Retirement Into a New Career
We’ve said many times, like in this post, that no matter who you are, there’s a way to break into unscripted television.
Marc is a great example of someone with no connections to the industry who has made all the right moves. He’s now getting his first producer credit on a TV pilot for a major cable network (stay tuned for when we can say more!)
After discovering this site, Marc pitched us several show concepts. It was clear he was creative and enthusiastic about unscripted, but, for various reasons, we passed on his early projects.
He did not give up.
Now, nearly four years later, we’ve teamed up, collaborating, and making a TV pilot together.


Listen Now to Our Conversation with Marc Jackson
Hit that giant play button at the top of the page now. It’s an honest conversation about the journey from concept to pilot, what it’s really like for a new producer in this business, and what Marc did right to get our attention.

Helpful and Related Links

* This episode we did with Abra Chouinard in January details the pitch process from a new producer’s point of view. Excited to tell you…we’ve now set her project up as TV pilot at a major cable network. Stay tuned for more.
* Our recent episode with Todd Lindsey about the TV series we made together, Unmasking a Killer. Todd trusted us with his ten year passion project, and together we turned it into a TV series for CNN and HLN. BTW, stream it free anytime on CNNgo!
* Check out the official Unmasking A Killer podcast we did for CNN and HLN. The newest episode is the one we did right after the Golden State Killer was caught.


Let’s Make Some TV Together
Are you looking to pitch your own unscripted television project, true crime documentary series or reality TV show? Think you might want to pitch to us? Here’s what to do next:
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Puzzling Together Story with Jon Collins /jon-collins-post-story/ Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:00:26 +0000 /?p=2780 <p>Jon Collins has been working in unscripted television for nearly 20 years. He started as a tape logger on the first season of HBO’s Project Greenlight. His credits include The Bachelor and Bacheloette, Project Runway, and House Hunters, just to name a few. And he’s worked on shows at MTV, TLC, E!, HGTV – the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/jon-collins-post-story/">Puzzling Together Story with Jon Collins</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Jon Collins has been working in unscripted television for nearly 20 years. He started as a tape logger on the first season of HBO’s Project Greenlight. His credits include The Bachelor and Bacheloette, Project Runway, and House Hunters,


Jon Collins has a Great Sense of Humor
We, like a lot of people, first discovered Jon through his blog at Jeez Jon. There, he takes beloved movies, and gives them a “round of reality TV network notes” as only he can.
The first “notes session” we saw was If La La Land got a Round of Reality TV Network Notes. Months later we’re still laughing about it.
Jon Collins also started the Notes Notes Notes podcast. There, he puts his Second City training to good use, brining these notes sessions to life as if they’re given over a speaker phone to befuddled producers. It’s sketch comedy and it’s very well acted. Here’s one he did on Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Jon Collins: Years of Experience
You can’t spend almost twenty years in the trenches without amassing a wealth of knowledge. As a result, John is here today with spot-on, real life tips and advice you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, some “inside baseball” that raraely gets discussed outside the industry.
Listen Now
Hit that giant play button at the top of the page now. It’s an in-depth and informative conversation about piecing together story in the worlds of unscripted television, documentary series, and reality TV.

Helpful and Related Links
Check out the Jeez Jon blog for a hilarious look at what happens when notes go wrong.
Find Jon Collins on Twitter, and while you’re there, connect with us @JokeAndBiagio, too!.

Let’s Make Some TV Together
Are you looking to pitch your own unscripted TV project, true crime documentary series or reality TV show? Think you might want to pitch to us? Here’s what to do next:
]]>
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Unmasking a Killer with Todd Lindsey /unmasking-a-killer-todd-lindsey/ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:10:02 +0000 /?p=2738 <p>Unmasking a Killer is our new true crime documentary series for CNN and HLN. It premieres Sunday, March 18, at 9pm on HLN. Todd Lindsey brought us the show. Additionally, he became the series Supervising Producer. A true passion project, we were thrilled when Todd trusted us to be his partners. Today, Todd discusses the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/unmasking-a-killer-todd-lindsey/">Unmasking a Killer with Todd Lindsey</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Unmasking a Killer is our new true crime documentary series for CNN and HLN. It premieres Sunday, March 18, at 9pm on HLN. Todd Lindsey brought us the show. Additionally, he became the series Supervising Producer. A true passion project,


Unmasking a Killer…and a Determined Producer
First of all, let’s call it like it is – very few people chase a documentary project for over a decade. But Todd Lindsey was committed to bringing this story to TV screens everywhere. Not just because he loves the project. Todd has made real connections with the law enforcement officials, surviving victims, and family members whose lives were shattered. Additionally, he’d love to see this perpetrator caught.


A Long Journey for Todd Lindsey
You can’t spend ten years on a case without becoming attached. As a result, this project was close to Todd’s heart, and he was ready to make it.
From booking interviews to noting cuts, Todd was involved with every aspect of production. His passion and commitment were remarkable. There were many late nights and long edit sessions. We were thrilled that Todd was such a huge part of the entire creative process.


Unmasking a Killer – The Podcast
We’ve always told you that we’re just “part-time podcasters” and “full-time producers.” We still feel that way. However, we were thrilled when CNN asked us to host a companion podcast for the Unmasking a Killer TV series. They announced it in the CNN pressroom.
You can read our behind the scenes on making the podcast here.
Here’s the preview episode – please consider subscribing and leaving us a five star rating and review:


From the release:
Unmasking A Killer the podcast is hosted by Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina of Joke Productions and features never-before-heard analysis from Detective Sgt. Ken Clarke of Sacramento Sheriff’s Department plus bonus content that didn’t make it into the television series and in-depth commentary by Paul Holes, Contra Costa DA investigator, Carol Daly, retired Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department investigator, Jane Carson, a Golden State Killer victim, who appear in HLN’s on-screen program.
The HLN television series Unmasking A Killer premieres Sunday, March 18 at 9pm ET/PT and is executive produced by Joke Productions. The five-part docuseries profiles the terrifying real-life story of the Golden State Killer – a man responsible for a staggering 51 attacks and 12 murders in California. Investigators have searched for the sadistic criminal for forty years and with recent evidence suggesting he may still be alive, in 2016 the FBI Sacramento announced a national campaign and $50,000 reward to identify the perpetrator.
Weekly episodes of the podcast will become available at midnight the day of HLN’s linear premieres on CNN.com/podcast, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio. The first episode debuts Sunday, March 18.
You can already check out the trailer for the podcast and subscribe on iTunes here. While a companion to the TV series, each podcast episode will stand on its own.]]>
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Success & Happiness in the Entertainment Industry with Daniel Strange /daniel-strange-success-happiness-entertainment-industry/ Tue, 27 Feb 2018 14:00:10 +0000 /?p=2697 <p>Daniel Strange is a TV commercial director who has also dabbled in unscripted television – and he’s one of the most honest people you’ll ever meet. Today, Dan shares tips and stories about working in the entertainment industry. More importantly, he discusses finding true success and happiness. The conversation is a no-holds-barred discussion of day-to-day […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/daniel-strange-success-happiness-entertainment-industry/">Success & Happiness in the Entertainment Industry with Daniel Strange</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Daniel Strange is a TV commercial director who has also dabbled in unscripted television – and he’s one of the most honest people you’ll ever meet. Today, Dan shares tips and stories about working in the entertainment industry. More importantly,

Daniel Strange – Not Strange at All…
What we love about talking with Dan is that he’s so down to earth and forthcoming.
You might have an “idea” or “image” of what it’s like to live as a Hollywood vet.
You know, working with movie stars, TV stars, famous musicians and top shelf athletes?
Sounds fun and glamorous. However, as you achieve this success, you’ll have to deal with all that comes with it. Many unforeseen twists will pop up in your creative career journey. When that happens, you’ll have to figure how to “live your dream” while staying sane and happy.

Practical Advice from Daniel Strange
Today isn’t simply thoughts on staying happy and sane in the industry. Dan also shares practical tips ranging from working with crews to keeping creative control on set.
We spent time in the trenches with Dan on our show Rhett and Link: Commercial Kings for IFC. In fact, when you listen to today’s wild story about Richard Marx and Biagio, you can rest assured that, at this point, the situation was fixed (The wardrobe should give it away 🙂 )
UPDATE: After we posted this, we were lucky enough to have a friendly tweet exchange with Richard Marx. As suspected…we got away with it!

Haha! I had no idea I had come that close to having to try to get through TSA in my boxer-briefs. That was a fun shoot. Cheers
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) February 28, 2018

Just some of what we discuss today with Daniel Strange:

* How to get the best out of your team and crew – no matter what genre you’re working in.
* Advice for people who live outside of Los Angeles and dream of working in the business
* What you can learn from a former President about handling issues on set.
* Finding happiness in show business — or any business
* Working with famous people
* Hidden ways you can lose creative control as a director
* What makes “glamour” glamorous?
* Defining success
* Balancing your life while working in entertainment
* Growing your distinct voice
* Dan’s two pieces of advice for any aspiring filmmaker or producer
* And…how Richard Marx almost turned Biagio into a vandal!

And there’s so much more to pick up from our conversation with Dan. If you hope to work in the entertainment industry – AND stay happy and sane – hit that play button above now!
More Daniel Strange? Helpful and Related Links
Check out the official website of Daniel Strange
Follow us on Twitter @JokeAndBiagio
Listen to this discussion with Joey Korenman about living a freelance life while staying balanced.
Looking to catch your lucky break in Hollywood?]]>
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The Journey from Seed Idea to Pitching TV Networks with Abra Chouinard /pitching-tv-networks-abra-chouinard/ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:30:01 +0000 /?p=2651 <p>Many people visit this site to learn how to pitch their own TV shows. Today, we give you an inside look at what happens when our production company teams up with an aspiring producer. We met Abra Chouinard through this very podcast and our newsletter. We did not know her before she submitted her concept […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitching-tv-networks-abra-chouinard/">The Journey from Seed Idea to Pitching TV Networks with Abra Chouinard</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Many people visit this site to learn how to pitch their own TV shows. Today, we give you an inside look at what happens when our production company teams up with an aspiring producer. We met Abra Chouinard through this very podcast and our newsletter.

A Work Ethic to Admire
Abra is one of the hardest workers we’ve had the pleasure of teaming with. She credits this to growing up on farms and mountains, where everyday was tough. Says Abra:
I just grew up in the mountains where you got up before it was light out, you put your boots on, and you got to work. So that work ethic just carries through and in any industry, including this industry, you just get up and you work hard. There’s no room for crying. It’s “buck up buttercup.”
With that attitude, it’s no wonder she did everything right when pitching to us.

Abra Chouinard – Getting Everything Right and Standing Out

We receive many, many submisions (and are truly grateful to everyone who trusts us with their pitch materials). However,
like we say here, we can’t make “all the shows.” No one can. We have to be very selective with which concepts we put our resources into. So what is it that made Abra’s pitch rise above? Why did we immediately want to meet with her?
Off the bat, she did a few things right:
1. She was pitching a package and not an idea.
2. Abra already had access and permission to film real people and a real place. Both were TV friendly.
3. The pitch she sent included cast bios and a potential story engine.
4. She included short videos she’d put together without spending too many resources. (Smart!)
Long time listeners to this podcast will recognize these as “good things.” 
(Not sure why that is?  Check out our two free ebooks. How to Pitch a Reality Show, and our newest – Unscripted Televsion: 100 Tips for Breaking in and Career Success).
But Abra had one other thing going for her that made all the difference. 
The Secret Sauce in Abra’s Pitch
Abra watched television and analyzed what is currently on air. That taught her where her show might work. No matter how much we love a project, if we can’t set it up at a network, we can’t be helpful. The fact that Abra developed with a target in mind meant we could not ignore her pitch. She understood the tone, style, and content that appeals to her key potential networks. Every aspect of her pitch package reflected that.
Some Amazing Farm Analogies
Abra uses farming analogies to showcase her approach to TV and film. There are several really good ones in today’s episode. Here’s one of our favorites, Abra’s thoughts on coping with the Hollywood Waiting Game:
The little farmer who’s pulling on those seedlings is not gonna make the seedlings grow any faster. All you’re gonna do is kill your crop.

]]> Joke and Biagio, Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Abra Chouinard clean 45:24 100 Tips. 1 Million Thanks. /100-tips-1-million-thanks/ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:22:01 +0000 /?p=2567 <p>Episode 100! Thanks for supporting us over nearly five years. To celebrate, we made you a “thank you” gift. It’s a brand new resource we wish we had when we started in this business. It’s completely free, and it will save you hours of time. Plus, a very special tip from Joke. And of course, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/100-tips-1-million-thanks/">100 Tips. 1 Million Thanks.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Episode 100! Thanks for supporting us over nearly five years. To celebrate, we made you a “thank you” gift. It’s a brand new resource we wish we had when we started in this business. It’s completely free, and it will save you hours of time. Plus,


100 Episodes – Because You’re So Great

When we started this podcast, it was for a lot of reasons.
We wanted people to know what it was really like to work in unscripted television, documentary series, and reality TV.
We also hoped we’d meet other filmmakers who might want to team up with us.
(And we’ve met a lot of you! Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast ep with Todd Lindsay. He trusted us with his true crime project. Together, we made it for CNN and HLN.)
And…
It’s Fun
Look, making TV is awesome, but it can also be stressful. We love what we do, but everyone needs to do something that feels like a break from work. Starting this podcast seemed like a fun hobby that might be useful to a few people. As long as it stayed fun, we’d keep it going.
You’ve all made it a blast, and we’re going to continue.

Our Thank You Gift: A Brand New Resource For You
If you’ve been listening to the podcast for awhile, you know we wanted to do something special for episode 100. More importantly, we wanted to do something for all of you.
Now, one thing we’ve heard again and again is that our podcasts are very helpful. But they’re spread out over nearly five years of posts. And while we hope you’ve enjoyed every one of the episodes, do you really remember every little bit of advice? Probably not. We all need reminding (even us!)
So we decided to take the best 100 pieces of advice, and make you a brand new, free ebook:
Unscripted Television: 100 Tips for Breaking In and Career Success.



Much more than just a list of podcast episodes, this is a nine chapter book organized by topic. It’s your “at a glance” guide to understanding the unscripted television business.
Chapters include:

* The Basics
* Story Tips for Unscripted Television and Film
* Casting
* Creating Pitch Tapes
* Pitching Projects
* Filming and Editing
* Genre Concerns
* Legal Concerns
* TV and Film Production Tips

We kept today’s episode short and (hopefully) fun. Please have a listen, accept our thanks, and feel free to laugh with us a bit. A few things in today’s episode:

* Thank you!
* Balancing the ups and downs of the industry
* Why our new ebook is helpful to new producers and veterans alike
* Biagio’s wacky numbering system that’s finally paying off
* A very special tip from Joke
* And…Biagio’s NBA dreams gone wrong!

Press that giant PLAY button up top for a gleeful episode with a few surprises, and a lot of “thanks” to all of you.
Helpful and Related Links

* Unscripted Television: 100 Tips for Breaking In and Career Success. – the new ebook we made for you. Thanks for sticking with us all these years!
* Our first free ebook, How to Pitch a Reality Show – if you read our new “...]]>
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Casting True Crime Projects with Alexis Linkletter /casting-true-crime/ Tue, 03 Oct 2017 13:17:49 +0000 /?p=2526 <p>Casting true crime projects takes special care. With networks hungry for true crime programming, the genre is currently exploding. But every true crime project has one essential element that can’t be forgotten. At its center is someone who went through a tragedy. It might be a survivor, or friends and family members of a victim. […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/casting-true-crime/">Casting True Crime Projects with Alexis Linkletter</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Casting true crime projects takes special care. With networks hungry for true crime programming, the genre is currently exploding. But every true crime project has one essential element that can’t be forgotten.


Casting True Crime – A Serious Responsibility

For all the reasons mentioned above, casting true crime docs or series is not something to be taken lightly.
Yet, we (and network execs we’ve spoken with) often receive show pitches or stories that feel “cold.” These pitches forget that, aside from a headline-grabbing crime, real people were hurt.
Further, many aspiring producers come up with flashy titles or wild story structures, forgetting to see if the project is castable.
You want to avoid these rookie mistakes. More importantly, you don’t want to add undue pain to people whose stories you hope to tell.
That’s why you need to start casting true crime projects as they’re conceived. You don’t want to create concepts that aren’t based on real cases. And you never want to pitch a specific crime story without first talking to those involved.

What You Need to Know About Casting True Crime

Today, we discuss a lot:

* How do you find families and stories that fit within parameters of a given format?
* How do you approach survivors and victim’s families respectfully and ethically?
* Why do people choose to open up and tell their stories?
* What is an adjudicated case and why is that important when casting true crime projects?
* Which story elements must you consider before casting true crime projects?
* Once you decide you’ve discovered a solid story, what’s your next step?
* A technique to help determine if a survivor or victim’s family member may be open to talking before you ever contact them.
* Preparing yourself for a variety of reactions when your reach out to victims.
* The process of reaching out to law enforcement and asking for their participation on your doc or series.
* What is a P.I.O. and why should you care?
* The ethical rule you should follow before moving forward with a true crime story.
* What is archival? What’s the importance of archival assets when casting true crime projects?
* How can police help you find the right archival?
* And…on a lighter note…what we WON’T be doing for our 100th episode of Producing Unscripted!

Press that giant PLAY button up top for professional tips, earned from years of experience, on how to go about ethically and respectfully casting true crime projects.
Helpful and Related Links

* Follow us on Twitter: @JokeAndBiagio – we’re around often and try to respond to most tweets.
* 5 Tips: Develop True Crime Deep Dives – Tips on developing series like The Jinx, Making a Murderer, and our own upcoming CNN/HLN series, Unmasking a Killer
* Cinematic Storytelling...]]>
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Back To School: TV & Film Style! /back-to-school-tv-film-style/ Tue, 05 Sep 2017 13:15:14 +0000 /?p=2513 <p>If you have, or know, kids — well, you know it’s that time of year…back to school! Being parents, we feel it’s only right to celebrate the spirit of education we feel filling our household. So, we’re sharing our favorite 2017 resources for learning and improving filmmaking skills. We have a wide range of resources […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/back-to-school-tv-film-style/">Back To School: TV & Film Style!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> If you have, or know, kids — well, you know it’s that time of year…back to school! Being parents, we feel it’s only right to celebrate the spirit of education we feel filling our household. So, we’re sharing our favorite 2017 resources for learning and...


You Can Never Stop Learning

Sure, easy to say. But once you get busy (say, start a production company, make a bunch of TV shows, and add two kids) it gets difficult.
You might be tempted to tell yourself that you don’t have the time. Life is busy, the job all consuming. As two working TV and film producers, we can tell you it’s easy to fall into that trap.
Thing is, in every business, everything evolves. TV and film even more so.
Production companies and filmmakers have a lot to keep up with:

* What’s changing
* What’s possible
* Where the business is heading
* How to adapt and change as the world does
* How to add value to their skill set and open new opportunities

What if you don’t do these things? You’ll become the old guard, soon replaced by the new.
So carving out time to learn and grow isn’t just about self improvement. It’s about survival in the entertainment business.

Your Favorite Resources?

Today we share some of our favorite and most visited resources. No doubt we’ll miss many you love. Tweet us
@JokeAndBiagio if there’s some more we should consider listing. We’ll embed some of the best tweets in this post.
What We’ve Got For You…
Just some of what we cover today:

* Expanding your filmmaking skills
* Sites we use for hands-on learning
* Stealing like an artist
* Sources and remixing
* Watching TV as both audience member and professional
* The recent TV series that’s inspiring our work
* How to build good, appropriate, and current taste
* The tool that inspires our mood boards
* An incredible resource to help you brainstorm shots and framing
* The brand new “top secret” Hollywood newsletter we can’t get enough of
* And…Biagio shares his most surprising secret!

Your continued success in the entertainment industry is directly related to your continued improvement as a filmmaker.
Press that giant PLAY button for some great resources, inspriation, and practical advice to help you keep evolving and succeeding.
Helpful and Related Links

* Joke and Biagio on Pinterest follow us, but be sure to follow who we’re following
* Evan E. Richards – This blog is a reference site for cinematographers, matte painters, artists, photographers and filmmakers. It posts a still frame of every single shot of popular films. A great way to see how directors think about framing and transitions between shots.
* Art of the Title – go-to for understanding the breadth, depth, and history of title design for film and TV. Incredible resource, and will get your head around appropriate taste for elevated fare.
* Wine After Coffee Vimeo Channel Curated by 30 moderators and animators.]]> Joke and Biagio, Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina clean 29:20 How To Freelance in Hollywood with Joey Korenman /how-to-freelance-in-hollywood-with-joey-korenman/ Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:00:43 +0000 /?p=2491 <p>If you want to work your way up in the entertainment industry — especially in unscripted television — chances are you are going to spend more time freelancing than working staff jobs. Today, Joey Korenman, entertainment professional and author the book The Freelance Manifesto is here to inspire you to greatness. Get practical, hands-on tips […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/how-to-freelance-in-hollywood-with-joey-korenman/">How To Freelance in Hollywood with Joey Korenman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> If you want to work your way up in the entertainment industry — especially in unscripted television — chances are you are going to spend more time freelancing than working staff jobs. Today, Joey Korenman, entertainment professional and author the book...


Joey Korenman – Running a School of Motion…and More

Like we discuss in today’s episode, we first discovered Joey Korenman and his School of Motion while prepping for our new CNN/HLN TV series. Shortly thereafter, Joey released The Freelance Manifesto, and we just knew he was our kind of guy — and yours.
We reached out to Joey, and he even had us stop by his podcast to share some advice for artists who want to work in unscripted TV…and to grill us about how the unscripted television and reality TV business works.
Joey is an inspirational, ambitious professional who has dedicated his life not just to his success, but to helping others achieve their own.


Design Your Career, Your Projects, and Your Life…

As we discuss in today’s podcast, freelancing…especially in unscripted television…is one of the only ways to “work your way up” through the ranks. But it can be a scary proposition.
What we love about Joey’s new book, The Freelance Manifesto, is that it offers easy to follow, no-nonsense advice that’s not scary.
It’s important to note that the book is aimed at those pursuing a career in motion design. However, the advice completely transfers to any area of the entertainment industry (or any industry, for that matter.)
It’s the same kind of advice we give aspiring editors, cinematographers, directors, and producers all the time.
Because we know YOU, our listeners and readers, are smart people, we have no doubt that if you do pick up the book, you’ll put it to good use, no matter what career you’re pursuing.
Just some of what we discuss with Joey Korenman today:

* Being ready when opportunity strikes
* Taking creative control of your career
* Rolling the dice on yourself
* Creative risk versus job stability
* Is job stability an illusion?
* Building a bigger safety net
* Working your way up to “shot caller”
* Does achieving your dream equate to happiness?
* Climbing the “wrong mountain”
* Going freelance versus taking a staff job
* The importance of freelance in unscripted television
* Where to find staff jobs in unscripted television
* The five phases of freelancing (sort of!)
* Tips to connect with people who will hire you
* Getting specific with who you contact during a cold call
* Personalize your cover letters using internet research
* Is showbiz a meritocracy?
* Why being the “most talented” doesn’t guarantee you work
* The traits that get you rehired
* Fighting perceptions people have of you
* Our favorite tip from The Freelance Manifesto
]]>
Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Joey Korenman, School of Motion clean 51:35
Who Owns a TV Show? Can it be You? /who-owns-a-tv-show/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 14:12:09 +0000 /?p=2473 <p>Who owns a TV show in the land of unscripted television? Like it or not, when it comes to documentary series, reality TV, true crime, and anything else that is considered “unscripted” — the owner is not usually the producer (not in America, anyway. Europe is different.) Just like us, you may spend months or […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/who-owns-a-tv-show/">Who Owns a TV Show? Can it be You?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Who owns a TV show in the land of unscripted television? Like it or not, when it comes to documentary series, reality TV, true crime, and anything else that is considered “unscripted” — the owner is not usually the producer (not in America, anyway.


Who Owns a TV Show? Probably Not Who You Think…

If you’ve heard stories of writers in scripted television who make a fortune in royalties once their TV show goes into reruns, you might think a similar model applies to unscripted television.
Unfortunately, at this time, it does not.
(At least, not in America. Our friends across the pond work very differently, but today we’re discussing American television. If you’re listening to this in Europe, it’s a completely different ballgame. More on that some other time.)


So How Does it All Work?

As we discuss in today’s podcast, we still love making unscripted television for a variety of reasons.
So in this ep, we’ll help you explore how the industry works right now when it comes to who owns a TV show. We’ll also give you some options if you feel there’s no way you want to let go of owning the show you develop.
Just some of what we discuss today:

* Understanding how ownership in usncripted TV works
* Why we still love making shows even with the current business model
* Trailblazers in the unscripted industry…and why things have changed
* What a Time Buy is…and isn’t
* Considerations about other platforms for content creators
* People who are doing better on the web than on TV
* And…they day Joke stole Biagio’s heart!

Ownership in unscripted television is tricky, and understanding it will likely affect how your mold your career.
Press that giant PLAY button at the top of this page for the ins and outs of who owns a TV show in the land of unscripted television.
Helpful and Related Links

* Launch Your Own TV Channel on Brisquet – we recently had an interesting meeting with this new startup. They want to help people launch their own TV channels that will show up in places like Roku boxes. Sounds very promising.
* Is Hollywood As We Know It Already Over? – A thought provoking read about why one Hollywood insider decided the game was no longer worth it, and is instead looking at tech.
* Rosanna Pansino on YouTube – a contestant on our TV show Scream Queens went on to start her own incredibly successful YouTube channel. She’s doing far better than most TV producers.
* Rhett & Link on YouTube – They were the stars of our IFC TV series ...]]>
Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 24:02
Producer Takeaways from Four Years of Podcasts /producer-takeaways-from-four-years-of-podcasts/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:10:41 +0000 /?p=2460 <p>Just a tiny bit over four years ago this site launched with its very first podcast episode. To be honest, we didn’t know if anyone would listen, or be interested in learning the nuts and bolts of unscripted television, documentary series, and reality TV. How It All Started Way back in 2009 we started a […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/producer-takeaways-from-four-years-of-podcasts/">Producer Takeaways from Four Years of Podcasts</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Just a tiny bit over four years ago this site launched with its very first podcast episode. To be honest, we didn’t know if anyone would listen, or be interested in learning the nuts and bolts of unscripted television, documentary series,

How It All Started

Way back in 2009 we started a general filmmaking/TV producing blog at
JokeAndBiagio.com.
We hoped to be able to share a unique POV about the business. No one was writing about how filmmaking techniques could launch a career in TV. Also, not many producers were actively sharing what it was like to make TV and Film. So the blog was (and still is) meant to cover a broad range of filmmaking and entertainment business topics.


Two Things Many People Asked Us

From early on, we got two questions quite a bit:

* How does the unscripted TV business work?
* Can I pitch you a show?

And while not everybody was asking, it happened often enough that we figured we should address it. We didn’t want to turn the filmmaking blog into a niche “craft of unscripted TV” blog, so we figured we better come up with something else.

Our Solution

So, four years ago we launched Producing Unscripted. Our goals were pretty simple:

* Share how the industry works.
* Share who we are.
* Allow those who want to pitch to us to do so.
* Give away enough free info that even if people never worked with us, they could still be successful in the industry.

We never would’ve guessed that four years later we’d still be at it!

So What Are Listeners Picking Up?

We reached out via our newsletter to ask listeners what their top four takeaways were from four years of podcasts. Thanks to everyone who replied!

Celebrating You!

We were really happy to see how many of you were using concrete, real tips from the podcast to shape your careers. And it was great to see how many of you have a much better understanding of how the industry works.
Whether you’re brand new to the podcast, or have been listening for all four years, we think you’ll love hearing what the vast majority of this show’s listeners have been taking away and using in their own careers.
So…press that giant PLAY button at the top of this page for the cheat sheet to the last four years of this podcast!
Helpful and Related Links

* This classic podcast about why ideas just aren’t enough – and never will be. No worries – we tell you what to do instead.
* This post will help you get your mind around an important fact: Showbiz is Slowbiz!
* A podcast ep many listeners pointed to as being helpful to them was this one on writing one sheets – Paper Pitches: Five Steps to Awesome.
* Not sure what to develop? This ep on developing ideas wisely might be right up your alley.
* Follow us on Twitter: @JokeAndBiagio – we’re around often and try to respond to most tweets.

Let’s Make Some TV Together
Trying to break into unscripted television, reality TV, documentary series, or true crime? Want to pitch to our company? Here’s what to do next:
]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 12:26 5 Tips: True Crime Series – Develop Deep Dives /true-crime-series-deep-dives/ Wed, 31 May 2017 03:57:52 +0000 /?p=2447 <p>“Deep Dive” True Crime Series – you’ve seen them. The Jinx. Making a Murderer. Our own upcoming CNN/HLN series, Unmasking a Killer, is also a deep dive. How do these series work? How can you develop true crime series like these? And why do these types of series come with far more responsibility than others? […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/true-crime-series-deep-dives/">5 Tips: True Crime Series – Develop Deep Dives</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> “Deep Dive” True Crime Series – you’ve seen them. The Jinx. Making a Murderer. Our own upcoming CNN/HLN series, Unmasking a Killer, is also a deep dive. How do these series work? How can you develop true crime series like these?
 

True Crime Series – Just What Is a Deep Dive?

In terms of true crime series in unscripted television, a “deep dive” is an exploration of a single case over several…or many…episodes.
As mentioned above, The Jinx and Making a Murderer are recent, popular examples of this style of TV.
Also, our own upcoming CNN/HLN TV series Unmasking a Killer, is a true crime deep dive. (Proud to say this was just announced – and we’re thrilled to be working with CNN/HLN)
However, there are some specific things you need to consider before developing any true crime series (and we go into FAR greater depth in today’s podcast episode, so be sure to listen.)


True Crime Series: Not Just Entertainment. Not At All.

The big thing you must remember about producing true crime series is that the people sharing their stories have been through something unspeakably awful.
They are not reality TV contestants. They’re not big personalities who want their fifteen minutes of fame.
These are human beings, and if they choose to trust you with their story, they have a reason.

* Maybe they’re a survivor who wants to inspire other victims to pull through.
* They may be family members who want to memorialize a loved one, while sharing a message to others in their situation.
* Police who sit for an interview may do so in hopes that just one person, somewhere, will pick up a tip that could save their lives.
* Or perhaps your story (like our new series) covers an active investigation, and the airing it could help provide victims with justice.

If anyone sits for you, they’re not thinking about making entertainment. For them, a true crime series is about something much more. A true crime producer can never forget that.

Yes, It’s Still TV and Film

Of course your series still needs to be compelling. If people don’t watch, no message will be heard. No criminals will be apprehended. No good can be done. But more than any other genre of TV, we believe true crime comes with real responsibility.
We go into this and so much more in this podcast episode.
Just some of what we cover today:

* The responsibility of true crime and dealing with real stories from real people
* The gut check we’ve always used when making our shows
* Why make a true crime series in the first place?
* Your “why now” and what you need to share with TV networks
* What attachments are necessary to pitch a deep dive true crime series?
* What about cases that have a real time, active investigation angle?
* Your second hook for a true crime series – how does it work?
* And…where we’ve been for the last two months. Plus, the future of this podcast.


True crime may seem like an exciting genre to new producers, but it has its own rules. More importantly, it comes with a lot of responsibility.
If you’re passionate about producing true crime series — and in it for the right reasons — today’s podcast will help you immensely. The five tips we share will help you develop a great true crime series,]]>
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Life After Reality TV with Shalandra Champ of Beauty and the Geek /shalandra-champ-life-after-reality-tv/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 13:00:06 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2330 <p>Shalandra Champ is more than just one of our favorite cast members from Beauty and the Geek. She’s a working mom, a fearless go-getter, and as of now…officially a “Beauty” turned “Geek!” Today she shares the truth about life after being a reality TV star, and so much more. Listen in on a spirited, intimate […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/shalandra-champ-life-after-reality-tv/">Life After Reality TV with Shalandra Champ of Beauty and the Geek</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Shalandra Champ is more than just one of our favorite cast members from Beauty and the Geek. She’s a working mom, a fearless go-getter, and as of now…officially a “Beauty” turned “Geek!” Today she shares the truth about life after being a reality TV st...
 

Shalandra Champ Loved Life Before, During, and After Reality TV

Shalandra Champ first stumbled into our lives at an open call for season four of Beauty and the Geek back in 2007 (a decade ago!) On the show, she paired up with Joshua Green for one of the most memorable Beauty and the Geek duos ever..
How did it change her life? Would she do it again? What’s life been like since?


Shay: The Perfect Reality TV Contestant

Shay is just as authentic today as she was when Joke first met her in Little Rock, Arkansas all those years ago. Which is why today’s ep was such a blast to record. It’s also why she was so beloved on Beauty and the Geek.
Just some of what we cover today:

* How reality TV contestants can change each other’s lives for the better
* Are reality TV contestants recognized years later, or does that notoriety fade?
* What’s it like being eliminated from a reality TV show?
* Advice for those considering auditioning for a reality show
* The infamous bug challenge – and Joke’s big fib!
* And…how to turn a question mark…into an exclamation point!


Shalandra Champ shares real insights about life as a reality TV star…and a real person. Whether you’re a producer who wants to know more about how your contestants will feel after a TV show, or a real person who wants to be on a TV show, this ep is for you! Hit that giant “Play” button above now!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* This episode on Great Traits of Reality TV Characters – no wonder Shay was such a hit!
* Follow us on Twitter: @JokeAndBiagio – we’re around often and try to respond to most tweets.

Let’s Make Some TV Together
Trying to break into unscripted television, reality TV, documentary series, or true crime? Want to pitch to our company? Here’s how:
]]>
Shalandra Champ, Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina clean 11:14
TV Network Executives – What You Need to Know from Paul Croce /tv-network-executives-paul-croce/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:28:21 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2305 <p>TV Network Executives: the elite group that filmmakers and producers wish to meet, hope to pitch, and pray will fund their projects. For some, they seem to be mysterious, god-like figures who can make dreams come true. To others, they seem a closed-door group impossible to access. Today, Paul Croce is here to shed light […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/tv-network-executives-paul-croce/">TV Network Executives – What You Need to Know from Paul Croce</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> TV Network Executives: the elite group that filmmakers and producers wish to meet, hope to pitch, and pray will fund their projects. For some, they seem to be mysterious, god-like figures who can make dreams come true. To others,
 

Paul Croce: Network Executive, TV Producer, Generous Professional

Paul Croce is one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet in TV. We had the pleasure of producing a pilot for him when he was a TV network exec at VH1, where he was a part of numerous hit shows. He also had a successful run at TLC. On the producer side, he’s helped numerous production companies (including Mark Burnett and World of Wonder ) in their TV endeavors. Most recently, he produced on Bravo’s Then and Now with Andy Cohen.
Additionally, he and Lindsay Harbert Silberman recently launched the buzz-worthy podcast Wigs and Wice. It’s a fun pop-culture romp with the tagline, “Two friends, one bottle and plenty of things to wig out about.”
Today, Paul puts on his TV network executive hat to give you great advice on playing the TV network game.



TV Network Executives – Not As Mysterious As You Think

If there’s one thing Paul is clear about, TV network executives are real people, just like the rest of us. They’re under pressure. They want to be fair. They want you to succeed. They’re also facing a lot of obstacles in helping you put a hit show on the air.
Just some of what we cover today:

* Misconceptions about TV Network Executives
* Who network executives answer to, and how it affects producers
* The myriad of departments that weigh in on show pitches
* How a lawyer or risk management professional can kill your project
* The way a TV network executive listens to your pitch
* How fast some executives know if your pitch is right or wrong for their air
* The delicate balance a network executive walks when hearing pitches from producers
* The hard truth for people just trying to get into the business – and what to do about it
* Straight from a network exec’s mouth: every idea has been pitched. So what now? Solutions.
* Why creating the “perfect cast” doesn’t usually work
* The “one third” rule that used to exist in pseudo-scripted reality
* How great leadership at a TV network operates
* How to find out what buzzwords networks are using at any given time
* The right way to couch an out of the box idea for a network pitch
* And…advice for all those Biagio’s in Ohio (this applies to you!)


Paul Croce is giving you great advice and revealing the truth about working with TV network executives! Hit that giant “play” button above and learn the right way to think about the TV business.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Keep up with with Paul’s podcast Wigs and Wice on the website, over on Instagram, on the Wigs and Wice Facebook page, subscribe on iTu...]]>
Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Paul Croce, Joke and Biagio clean 30:00
Producing Documentaries with Sundance Fellow Amanda Spain /producing-documentaries/ Tue, 07 Mar 2017 14:15:03 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2290 <p>Producing documentaries sounds alluring or terrifying. It depends on where you’re sitting. Today, we’re sitting with Sundance fellow and TV producer Amanda Spain. Amanda is one of those rare people who’s managed to bring her talents to both the doc and unscripted TV worlds. As a seasoned filmmaker and newly minted Sundance fellow, she has […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/producing-documentaries/">Producing Documentaries with Sundance Fellow Amanda Spain</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Producing documentaries sounds alluring or terrifying. It depends on where you’re sitting. Today, we’re sitting with Sundance fellow and TV producer Amanda Spain. Amanda is one of those rare people who’s managed to bring her talents to both the doc and...
 

Producing Documentaries – A Journey, Not a Destination

Amanda should know. She has over a decade experience making docs. She’s one of the elite few honored by being named a 2016 Sundance Producing Fellow. Amanda is currently producing a handful of documentaries. One of them, The Industrial Musicals Movie, is even executive produced by David Letterman (someone we also have
a unique connection with!)
Amanda’s produced and directed two documentaries for ESPN: a 30 For 30 short called Wrestling The Curse and another short for their Versus series about basketball star Manute Bol, entitled Son of South Sudan.
She also produced and directed In Their Boots, a series covering how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan affect us here at home. It was nominated for an IDA award in the Limited Series category.
Oh, and luckily for us, Amanda’s also been working with our company Joke Productions for the last four years, most recently on our new true crime TV series Three Days to Live. We first worked together on our MTV docs True Life special.
So she knows what she’s talking about!


Some Great Docs to Watch
If you’re new to the documentaries, Amanda says there’s a documentary genre for everyone. Even if you think you’re not into docs, you’ll probably find one or two genres you fall in love with.
With that in mind, Amanda has a list of some of her favorite docs you might want to check out. Amanda points out this list is in no particular order, so dive in with any film you like:

* Dig!
* Grizzly Man
* The War Room (one of the first docs Amanda remembers watching. She LOVED IT…got her hooked on politics and docs.)
* Private Violence (changed the way Amanda views how domestic violence is handled in the country)
* Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom (triumph in editing)
* Strong Island (Amanda saw it this year at Sundance and says it is a beautiful, thoughtful and artful film)
* Queen of Versailles
* The Umbrella Man (A short by Errol Morris)
* OJ Made In America (If you haven’t already seen it, Amanda says watch it!)
* Weiner
* God Loves Uganda
* Hands on a Hard Body
* The Internet’s Own Boy
* Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger


Real Advice from Amanda on Producing Documentaries

Just some of what we cover today:

* Misconceptions about documentaries
* What makes a good documentary versus a good TV show
* How to decide if you want to make a specific documentary
* When is it time to let a documentary project go? Ever?
* Different genres of documentaries
* How do you fund documentaries?
* What is the process like to get grants?
* Becoming a Sundance Fellow
* Documentary genres that will always have a market
* The journey from new producer to established documentarian
]]> Biagio Messina, Joke Fincioen, Amanda Spain clean 35:44 How to Cast Reality TV with Top Casting Director Dana Golder /how-to-cast-reality-tv-dana-golder/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:14:12 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2276 <p>Dana Golder is one of the biggest casting directors in reality TV. Just some of her credits include The Biggest Loser, The Amazing Race, and Cash Cab. We’ve been lucky enough to work with her on Beauty and the Geek, Scream Queens, Ghost Inside My Child, and Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne. Today, Dana is giving […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/how-to-cast-reality-tv-dana-golder/">How to Cast Reality TV with Top Casting Director Dana Golder</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Dana Golder is one of the biggest casting directors in reality TV. Just some of her credits include The Biggest Loser, The Amazing Race, and Cash Cab. We’ve been lucky enough to work with her on Beauty and the Geek, Scream Queens,
 

Trying to Cast Reality TV or Documentary Series?

You better be a people person…or learn to be. One thing Dana is very clear about today is that you have to remember real people are just that…real people.
They are not actors. They are not performers. They’re real people living their lives.
That means when you’re trying cast reality TV or documentary series projects or pitch tapes there will be a learning curve.
For you, and them.
They don’t know how TV and “showbiz” work. You’ll need to educate them without alienating them, and we talk about that a lot today.
More than anything, remember that you’re not looking for a performance. You don’t want anyone “acting” on any TV show or documentary you’re making. You need real people to be real…to live their lives openly and honestly.
Getting to that point begins with your very first conversation, and continues for years after you’ve rolled your last frame.


Going in-depth with Dana Golder

Just some of what we cover today:

* How to recognize if someone is right for reality television
* The one trait great reality TV potentials have in common
* The importance of who surrounds your talent in real life
* The wrong way to approach a casting director if you want to be on unscripted television.
* How casting directors find real people (and how you can, too.)
* Finding the right chemistry for a reality TV cast
* The role of social media in casting TV shows
* What NOT to say if you’re trying to get cast on a TV show
* What hobbies tell you about a potential cast member
* Differences between casting docu-series and skill-based competition shows
* Checking for the right cast motivations
* The best place for YOU to find new talent for TV shows
* What to remember about talking to real people
* The handoff of casting team to producing team
* A casting director’s responsibility for the people they cast
* Experts versus real people and where they intersect
* Why being just a “host” is not enough
* Scary talent contracts – pros, cons, and that time Biagio signed one
* What an embarrassment clause is…and isn’t
* How to know when to put something on a shelf…temporarily or permanently
* And…how Biagio funded early projects with game show winnings, while fire was shot at his head!


Dana Golder has a lot to share with you about how to cast reality TV and so much more! Hit that giant “play” button above for great tips on finding, talking to, and grooming real people for your unscripted TV projects.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Have a show you want to hire Dana for? Here’s Dana’s DLT Casting Website.
* Building on what Dana said, you should know this: Filming Real People – 5 Crucial Factors
* What makes great reality TV characters? We go in depth.
]]>
Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Dana Golder, Joke and Biagio clean 39:09
Reality TV Stripped Naked with Mickey Ramos /mickey-ramos/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:26:18 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2263 <p>Mickey Ramos is not only a terrific, prolific TV producer who survived an attack by over 600 killer bees while filming Naked and Afraid. She’s also the voice of Kenny’s girlfriend on South Park (how cool!) Plus, she’s dealt with some of the most difficult situations you can imagine in reality TV and documentary series. […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/mickey-ramos/">Reality TV Stripped Naked with Mickey Ramos</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Mickey Ramos is not only a terrific, prolific TV producer who survived an attack by over 600 killer bees while filming Naked and Afraid. She’s also the voice of Kenny’s girlfriend on South Park (how cool!) Plus,
 

Mickey Ramos Has Seen (And Felt) It All

Mickey Ramos is a talented TV producer we’ve been lucky enough to work with in the past few years. She’s one of those rare, uncensored, funny, and honest people who make everything they work on better.
Mickey has worked on some of the biggest shows on TV including Project Runway All Stars, Naked and Afraid, and Paradise Hotel.
Along the way she’s dealt with tragedy on sets. She’s almost been killed by killer bees (not a joke.) And she’s had to be part TV producer, part friend, and even part counselor to those real people who’ve trusted her to tell their stories.

Mickey’s Skill with Real People

Mickey Ramos has a unique knack for connecting with her documentary subjects and reality TV cast members.
In fact, it goes beyond a “knack” or a “skill” – the reason Mickey does so well when capturing real life is that she cares. Her concern for her cast, as well as her curiosity about their lives, is 100% real.
That leads to her making amazing TV. It’s also a lot of responsibility.
Sometimes it means she’s a cast member’s confidant, emotional crutch, and lifelong friend. It’s a responsibility she carries with her long after a TV show wraps.

Just some of what we cover today:

* The #1 take-away in dealing with subjects and talent on documentary series and reality shows.
* The surefire way to earn trust and get people to open up to you. (And really, the only right way to do it.)

* The responsibility of putting real people on television.
* Balancing what’s real with what a particular show “needs” (without crossing the line.)
* The human element of making reality TV.
* The ripple effect that occurs when someone appears on unscripted television.
* Making sure that you — and your subjects — understand the kind of TV show you’re making.
* Can reality TV actually change someone’s life for the better?
* “Pickups” and how to make sure you can get them.
* Dealing with real-life tragedy when producing a show.
* And…The dangers of shooting unscripted television – including getting attacked and stung by over 600 killer bees!


Mickey Ramos has a lot to share with you! Hit that giant “play” button above for great tips on breaking into the business, building amazing relationships with your cast, and making better TV!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Have a show you want to hire Mickey for? Here’s the Mickey Ramos StaffMeUp page.
* Building on what Mickey said, you should know this: Filming Real People – 5 Crucial Factors
* Truly understand how to pitch unscripted television and how real people play a part in that.
* Follow us on Twitter: @JokeAndBiagio – we hang out there often and try to respond to most tweets.

Let’s Make Some TV Together
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 38:51
3 Ways Aspiring TV Producers Can Stand Out in 2017 /3-ways-aspiring-tv-producers-can-stand-out-in-2017/ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 21:02:45 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2249 <p>Happy 2017! Today, on episode 88 of Producing Unscripted we’re helping you kick off the new year right. Trying to break into unscripted television, documentary series, true crime or reality TV? Here are three ways you can stand out from the crowd in 2017.   2017 – The Year You Separate Yourself From the Hollywood […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/3-ways-aspiring-tv-producers-can-stand-out-in-2017/">3 Ways Aspiring TV Producers Can Stand Out in 2017</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Happy 2017! Today, on episode 88 of Producing Unscripted we’re helping you kick off the new year right. Trying to break into unscripted television, documentary series, true crime or reality TV? Here are three ways you can stand out from the crowd in 20... Producing Unscripted we’re helping you kick off the new year right. Trying to break into unscripted television, documentary series, true crime or reality TV? Here are three ways you can stand out from the crowd in 2017.

 

2017 – The Year You Separate Yourself From the Hollywood Crowd
Just some of what we cover today:

* The list of things you must know about each project you pitch
* The “elevator pitch” culture and what to do instead
* What not to say in a pitch meeting in 2017 – or ever
* The scope of a producer’s pitch
* Should you seek sponsorship or integrations for your show before pitching it?
* How to take your pitch from “idea” to “package”
* Why packaging makes all the difference, especially when you’re just starting out
* Type of shows you can pitch that are automatically a package
* The pros and cons of learning new skills and how to find the right balance
* The real point of learning new skills in Hollywood – and how that helps you
* And…the one thing Biagio hopes Joke NEVER LEARNS how to do 🙂


Here’s the cheat sheet to today’s podcast episode. It’s based on all the filmmakers and producers who’ve impressed us lately. It’s also inspired by those who haven’t. Be sure to listen to today’s episode for all the must-know details. Hit that giant red “PLAY” button above to listen here.

1. Prove You Know Your Stuff – Seriously!
This might surprise you, but we receive TV show pitches from people who can’t answer questions about their pitch. You better know how your show will work from week-to-week. Another “can’t blow it” moment is when we ask you which TV networks would air your show and why. (See helpful and related links below for more on this one.)
2. Pitch Packages, Not Concepts
Maybe we’ve said it a thousand different ways over the course of this podcast series. That’s still not enough. Now, more than ever, you must think of your pitches as “packages” and not “concepts.” Please, don’t EVER pitch “ideas.”
3. Keep Learning, And Let It Inspire Your Work
There’s a fine line between learning skills that improve your work and just spinning your wheels. Some people study for years and put none of it into practice. Others read a blog post, steal some tips, and instantly improve their work. Which would you rather be?

It’s a new year, make it a great one. Hit that giant “play” button above and make sure you stand out in Hollywood in 2017!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Follow us on Twitter: @JokeAndBiagio – we hang out there often and try to respond to most tweets.
* Truly understand how to pitch unscripted television so that people take you seriously.
* Here’s the 101 on pitching packages not ideas
* Can you say – realistically – where your potential TV show could air? Check out Top Secret: What TV Networks Buy (And Why)
* Understanding the soft pitch – what it is and what it isn’t. CRUCIAL if you’re pitching to someone you know or who is willing to meet you in the early stages of development.
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How To Survive The Hollywood Notes Process with Troy DeVolld /notes-process-hollywood-troy-devolld/ Tue, 13 Dec 2016 14:30:19 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2224 <p>The Hollywood Notes Process: also known as “collaboration” to some and “notes hell” to others. Today, on episode 87 of Producing Unscripted we’re thrilled to be joined by Troy DeVolld, TV Producer extraordinaire and best-selling author. His new book is about the notes process in Hollywood. Today he gives you incredible free advice on surviving […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/notes-process-hollywood-troy-devolld/">How To Survive The Hollywood Notes Process with Troy DeVolld</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> The Hollywood Notes Process: also known as “collaboration” to some and “notes hell” to others. Today, on episode 87 of Producing Unscripted we’re thrilled to be joined by Troy DeVolld, TV Producer extraordinaire and best-selling author. Producing Unscripted we’re thrilled to be joined by Troy DeVolld, TV Producer extraordinaire and best-selling author. His new book is about the notes process in Hollywood. Today he gives you incredible free advice on surviving and thriving when you’re faced with an avalanche of notes. Getting notes might be confusing, helpful, or soul-sucking. Regardless, the notes process is something you’ll deal with on every project you ever make…from YouTube videos to network TV series. So spend a little time with Troy today and learn…to rock the notes process!

 
Hollywood’s Notes Process – And What It Means For You
What is the notes process?
For the uninitiated, when a network orders a TV series, a movie studio funds a film, or any client hires any artist for anything — there will be a “feedback” process. Those clients will give you one – or several – or many – “rounds of notes.”
These notes can be very helpful and detailed. They can also be vague and destructive. Usually, they lie somewhere in-between. They are almost always well intentioned, and that’s important.
See, the notes process CAN and SHOULD be extremely helpful. At best, the process of getting feedback from your client can elevate your project. At worst, the process can destroy it. Ultimately it’s up to you to make sure the notes you receive improve the project, or, at the very least, don’t make it worse.
That’s why we’re so thrilled to sit down with the guy who LITERALLY wrote the book on dealing with the notes process, whether for scripted or unscripted projects.
Enter Troy DeVolld – Your Cure For the Notes Blues

Troy DeVolld is not only a best-selling author. He’s also a prolific TV producer, and has helped guide some of the biggest unscripted TV shows in history (The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, Basketball Wives, and The Surreal Life just to name a few.)
His first book, Reality TV: TV’s Hottest Market is simply a must-read for anyone who wants to work in unscripted television.
But recently, he’s released a new book all about the Hollywood notes process: And Another Thing…A Beginners Guide to the Television Notes Process.
It’s awesome.
And today, Troy is giving away amazing tips from the book, plus other priceless information on “the biz” – just for you.


Just some of what we cover today:

* Learn to use notes to make your project better and not worse
* When to push back on notes you disagree with…and when not to
* The importance of timecode, and how it can trip you up with “grenade accuracy”
* The pitfall you’ll likely face on a pilot or season one of a new TV show
* Global notes: what they are, and why you may fear them
* Understanding how an exec’s past experience can color notes
* Using postmortems effectively
* 3 kinds of execs who give notes (plus one extra bonus!)
* Knowing how pressures executives face affect the notes process
* The real danger of “rage loops”
* The political nature of handling notes
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Production Hangovers: How To Survive, Recharge, & Move On /production-hangovers/ Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:30:54 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2180 <p>Production hangovers? It’s episode 86 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re being way too honest. Want truth? Production can burn you out! Doesn’t matter how much you love your film or TV project. Doesn’t matter how impressively it comes together. At the end of a project worthy of your passion, you will be fried. Production […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/production-hangovers/">Production Hangovers: How To Survive, Recharge, & Move On</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Production hangovers? It’s episode 86 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re being way too honest. Want truth? Production can burn you out! Doesn’t matter how much you love your film or TV project. Doesn’t matter how impressively it comes together. Producing Unscripted, and today we’re being way too honest. Want truth? Production can burn you out! Doesn’t matter how much you love your film or TV project. Doesn’t matter how impressively it comes together. At the end of a project worthy of your passion, you will be fried. Production hangovers are real. Here’s how to get through the fog and come out more creative than ever.

 
Production Hangovers: Unavoidable. Kind of Awesome. Must Be Dealt With.
Today’s post and episode comes from a real place.
Last week we finished a highly satisfying TV series. But it was a totally grueling production schedule (they usually are).
Today, we started a brand new TV series (stay tuned for more!)
In between, we dealt with what we knew was coming: not the first, and certainly not the last, of many production hangovers that will litter our career.


On one hand, that hangover is FANTASTIC.
Why are you so drained? So fried? Because you’ve just given everything you have to make the best possible film or TV project.
On the other hand, that hangover will last a LONG time if you don’t take proactive steps to end it.
It Can Be Hard to Say “Good-Bye”
You’ve just lived and breathed your film or TV project every waking moment…possibly for months. Maybe years.
When it ends, you might feel like you’re in limbo. But you can’t let “postpartum depression” wreck you…or extend your production hangover.
After all, this is show business. And you need to move on to your next project.
Remember: You Are In Control (If You Want to Be)
Recovering is crucial…and completely up to you. YOU have to make that recovery active.
We’re here to help you do that (even as we work on doing it ourselves!)


Just some of what we cover today:

* Why you’ll always burn yourself out in production
* The Jedi mind-trick that will heal your brain and get your creativity back
* One thing you must give yourself permission to do
* A scheduling tip you can’t miss (even if Joke thinks Biagio is crazy for sharing it!)
* The special guest we’re bringing to you in two weeks
* And…what do Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf and massages have to do with any of this?

Want to work in showbiz? You’ll be dealing with production hangovers. Hit that giant PLAY button above and make sure your hangover is NOT a career-wrecker, just a badge of honor!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Survive Production: 7 Weird Tips Guaranteed to Save Your Sanity and Help Avoid Burnout – you need to do these LONG BEFORE production hangovers set in. These tips will also ensure your friends and family don’t unfarily disown you.
* 5 Traits of Successful Film & TV Producers (And the Letter “L”) – for the part that comes after preparing for production, and before the production hangover.
* 3 Tips to Break Into Hollywood And Stay There – now that you won’t be suffering from production hangovers all the time, you’ll want to make sure your career lasts awhile.
* Follow us on Twitter: @JokeAndBiagio – we hang out there often and try to respond to most tweets.

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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 13:30
Handling Criticism in Hollywood: Your How-To Guide /handling-criticism/ Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:35:39 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2165 <p>It’s episode 85 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re discussing a crucial skill that will help you in business…and life. Handling criticism. If Steven Spielberg, Mark Burnett, and Shonda Rhimes have to deal with criticism, you can bet the rest of us will, too. Here are six useful tips, along with real-world advice, to help […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/handling-criticism/">Handling Criticism in Hollywood: Your How-To Guide</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s episode 85 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re discussing a crucial skill that will help you in business…and life. Handling criticism. If Steven Spielberg, Mark Burnett, and Shonda Rhimes have to deal with criticism, Producing Unscripted, and today we’re discussing a crucial skill that will help you in business…and life. Handling criticism. If Steven Spielberg, Mark Burnett, and Shonda Rhimes have to deal with criticism, you can bet the rest of us will, too. Here are six useful tips, along with real-world advice, to help you when handling criticism.

 
A Really Great Article from RealScreen on Handling Criticism
Today’s post and episode sprang from a recent article in RealScreen Magazine written by Chris Palmer and Shannon Lawrence.
The article discusses handling criticism in a smart, “keep your sanity” kind of way. And sanity is important in this business! After reading it, the two of us talked alot about how handling criticism is something that is just “part of the job” we’ve learned to accept over the years.
But it was not always that way.
Learning to Love (Or At Least Live With) Criticism
If you want to work in the entertainment industry, you will get critiqued daily. Perhaps hourly (or minutely.) When we first began our career, it was hard not to take those critiques personally.
We got over it.
You’ll need to get over it, too.
At it’s best, criticism is a tool that can make your projects great. At it’s worst, criticism is bad advice given by people who really don’t get your project. Either way, you’ll need to deal with it.
In today’s episode, we discuss the six tips Chris and Shannon give in their article. We also give you some personal insight into why we, as working professionals (and a working married couple) see these tips on handling criticism to be right on the money.
Just some of what we cover today:

* Six tips to help you when handling criticism
* The Jedi mind-trick that will help you pull emotion out of any situation
* Talking with executives and team members in helpful ways
* Keeping your sanity when things get rough
* What to do when the critique you get is just plain wrong
* And…a slew of previous jobs Biagio likes slightly less than working in TV and film

Want to work in showbiz? You’ll be handling criticism. Hit that giant PLAY button above and set yourself up for success.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Dealing With Network Notes – your CRUCIAL guide to working with network and studio execs. How to take their notes without ruining your project or your relationship with them.
* Survive Production: 7 Weird Tips Guaranteed to Save Your Sanity and Help Avoid Burnout – some of these will also put you in the right state of mind for handling criticism.
* Follow us on Twitter: @JokeAndBiagio – we hang out there often and try to respond to most tweets.

Let’s Make Some TV Together
Trying to break into unscripted TV, reality television, or documentary series? Want to pitch to our company? Here’s how:
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Catching Your Lucky Break In Hollywood – A Spooky Discussion /lucky-break-in-hollywood/ Tue, 01 Nov 2016 20:27:39 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2150 <p>It’s episode 84 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re having a crucial discussion about the illusive “lucky break.” We’re not just talking about finally catching your lucky break in Hollywood. We’re also helping you stay sane and survive until you do. We’ll help you explore the big picture along the way. Is this business right […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/lucky-break-in-hollywood/">Catching Your Lucky Break In Hollywood – A Spooky Discussion</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s episode 84 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re having a crucial discussion about the illusive “lucky break.” We’re not just talking about finally catching your lucky break in Hollywood. We’re also helping you stay sane and survive until you d... Producing Unscripted, and today we’re having a crucial discussion about the illusive “lucky break.” We’re not just talking about finally catching your lucky break in Hollywood. We’re also helping you stay sane and survive until you do. We’ll help you explore the big picture along the way. Is this business right for you? Will it make you happy? How do you keep yourself going when things get tough? Should you get out all together? We give you honest answers, based on our many years working in this business. We want to help you decide if your Hollywood career is worth waiting for…your lucky break.

 
Does Your Lucky Break Equal Happiness?
To make it in Hollywood (or any business, for that matter) you eventually need to count on the one thing you really can’t control: luck.
No matter how good you are, no matter how great your material is — at some point, you need good, old fashioned luck if you’re really going to succeed.
Many will tell you that, “you make your own lucky break.”
That is so true.
It also doesn’t help you any when you’re fighting negative emotions and waiting for that chance to finally make your own luck.
And when that wait is over…will it have been worth it? Will you be any happier when you achieve the dream than when you were chasing it?
It’s these very questions (and doubts) that plagued us early in our career.


Now, we’re the first to say we’ve been lucky. We’ve had a few breaks that we know were the result of good fortune smiling upon us. Sure, we were ready for those breaks when they came…but they definitely didn’t arrive on our schedule! We talk about that in today’s episode, and discuss why the journey from initial hopes to lucky break can be illuminating and life-changing.
Still, we know, and you know, that when those lucky moments happen is totally out of anyone’s control.
Since You Can’t Control Luck, Control What You Can…
Since you can’t control how and when that break will come, we want to share how to survive until that lucky break hits.
Just some of what we cover today:

* How luck can become a lens to help you determine what really makes you happy
* Feeding your creative soul and why it’s important
* How to decide if Film and TV is really a business you want to work in
* Crucially important clues that are revealed by…your happiness
* Why Biagio decided to walk away from one of the biggest breaks of his life
* And…why we’re so peeved about Halloween this year! (Can you say “Fuddy Duddies?”)

Deciding to go into showbiz is a big decision. To be successful, you’ll need a lucky break. Figure out if that journey is right for you. Click that giant “Play” button above right now!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Pressure is a Privilege – some of the best advice we EVER received in this industry, and a podcast ep you might have missed. That pressure is something you’ll no doubt feel while waiting for that big break to come.
* Survive Production: 7 Weird Tips Guaranteed to Save Your Sanity and Help Avoid Burnout – some of these will also help you stay creative when you’re feeling burnt on your long career journey.
* Another spooky discussion: 5 Scary Things about Producing TV Shows

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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 10:07
Television Post-Production: Tips You Can Steal! /television-post-production/ Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:25:38 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2132 <p>In this episode, part 2 of Tools We Use to Make TV, we discuss our television post-production workflow. We’ve spent many years building a post workflow that can help us deliver any kind of TV or film project our company takes on. Today, we’re giving it all away to you. Take these tricks, tips, and […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/television-post-production/">Television Post-Production: Tips You Can Steal!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> In this episode, part 2 of Tools We Use to Make TV, we discuss our television post-production workflow. We’ve spent many years building a post workflow that can help us deliver any kind of TV or film project our company takes on. Today, Tools We Use to Make TV, we discuss our television post-production workflow. We’ve spent many years building a post workflow that can help us deliver any kind of TV or film project our company takes on. Today, we’re giving it all away to you. Take these tricks, tips, and insights and use them to help you build your own perfect television post-production workflow… while saving time and money.



 
Television Post-Production Starts in Pre-Production
Ever seen a project through from initial concept to final delivery? Then you already know that choices you make early on can have a severe effect on post. Questions that you have to ask yourself include:

* What camera should you use?
* Should you shoot 2k or 4k? (And is 4k worth it?)
* What editing software will best support those choices?
* How will 3D play a role in your production, both in graphics and computer generated imagery?
* Are you outputting for the web, kiosks, television, or motion picture theaters (or something more exotic?)
* Is the studio or TV network asking for special post deliverables?

It’s a lot to consider, and a lot can go wrong if you don’t plan right. That’s why waiting to think about post…until, well, post…is a huge mistake.
For instance, don’t shoot 6K raw on a RED WEAPON when you know you’ll be editing it on your 2009 laptop and streaming it on the web. Your computer will explode and almost no one will see the difference 6K gives you on YouTube.
Building A Post Workflow for Multiple Productions
Things get more complex when you’re building a company around your post workflow. For instance, at our TV and Film production company, Joke Productions, we produce a wide variety of TV and film projects. It wouldn’t be suitable to have a solution for only documentary series, since we also do competition elimination shows, true crime, reenactments, and live-to-tape studio shows.
Because of that, shaping our television post-production in “the right way” was a long, complicated journey. Ultimately, it came down to building a workflow based on two things:

* reliability
* flexibility

In that order.
Reliability of your post workflow is the most important thing. You can’t have your system go down when you’re up against a delivery date, or have twenty editors trying to meet those dates.
Flexibility, a close second, ensures that you can adapt to any production you’re lucky enough to get off the ground.
Choosing Post-Production Tools Wisely
Another stumbling block in building your post workflow is deciding which of the many existing post tools are right for you. Will you use a prepackaged suite of tools, or save money by piecemealing a unique solution together? For instance, will you just get Adobe CC and call it a day? Or will you use free and open-source alternatives to get yourself up and running? If you do use less-known tools, will you be able to find and hire people who know them if you get busy?
In addition, you need to decide if you’ll handle all of your post-production needs in-house, or if you’ll build part of a pipeline and send some work to third-party vendors. (For example, many production companies will outsource sound-mixing or color correction.)
Finally, you have to be honest about your budget and your potential income. It just doesn’t make sense to spend $100,000 on post equipment when you’re just starting out. Especially when so many free and inexpensive tools can still allow your to achieve pro-level work.
As a result of these considerations — thi...]]>
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Tools We Use To Make TV Shows /tools-use-make-tv-shows/ Tue, 04 Oct 2016 13:30:15 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2122 <p>You asked, we answered. These are the tools we use to make television. Many are free or inexpensive. All have free or less expensive alternatives.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/tools-use-make-tv-shows/">Tools We Use To Make TV Shows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You asked, we answered. These are the tools we use to make television. Many are free or inexpensive. All have free or less expensive alternatives.
 
Nothing Has To Be Expensive Anymore
One of the big misconceptions we hear is that “you need expensive software to do pro work.”
That’s just not true. We do use some expensive software – because we like it and can afford it. We could also do just about everything we do (for pilots and presentations, at least) with free or inexpensive alternatives.
So today we want to tell you exactly what we use every single day to do our work. We’ll also mention free or less expensive alternatives that do the same thing. More than anything, we want you to know that if something works for you…well, that’s all that matters!
Just some of what we cover today:

* A surprising camera secret you might not know
* The number one tool we use for casting — and it’s free
* A little known Quicktime feature that saves us time and money
* Software we use for writing – and it’s probably not what you think
* The free office software suite you should know about
* How we share files — and videos
* And…that time Biagio charged into an MMA cage fight match

For all this and more (and did we mention that Biagio cage match story?) hit that giant PLAY button at the top of this page!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* How to Pitch a Reality Show – everything you ever wanted to know in this free 10,000 word guide.
* Follow us on Twitter! @jokeandbiagio

Let’s Make Some TV Together
Trying to break into unscripted TV, reality television, or documentary series? Want to pitch to our company? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 13:13
Develop Ideas Wisely: Your How-To Guide /develop-ideas/ Tue, 06 Sep 2016 13:30:05 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2096 <p>Do you develop ideas wisely? You already know (from many episodes here at Producing Unscripted) how we feel about ideas. TV show and movie ideas, in and of themselves, are not worth much. It’s how you package up those ideas that makes the difference. But how do you decide which initial ideas to build out […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/develop-ideas/">Develop Ideas Wisely: Your How-To Guide</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Do you develop ideas wisely? You already know (from many episodes here at Producing Unscripted) how we feel about ideas. TV show and movie ideas, in and of themselves, are not worth much. It’s how you package up those ideas that makes the difference. Producing Unscripted) how we feel about ideas. TV show and movie ideas, in and of themselves, are not worth much. It’s how you package up those ideas that makes the difference. But how do you decide which initial ideas to build out into amazing pitches? Today, you’ll learn four useful considerations to develop ideas wisely. (In an interesting twist, inspired by two iPhone app developers!) Plus, how to decide what you really want to get out of any project you develop.

 
Develop Ideas Into Useful Things
Just peruse the related links below. They will remind you why ideas are pretty much useless things all by themselves. Your ideas aren’t enough to get you taken seriously in the entertainment industry.
At our company Joke Productions, we never walk into a TV network sporting “an idea.” It’s always a fleshed out “package.” We bring at least a pitch tape and short but targeted write-up.
So you have to move far beyond an “idea” to pitch a project to Hollywood. But when you’ve got a million ideas, choosing which ones to focus on can be a real challenge. Even for us (and we’ve been at this awhile!)
An Interesting Development
That’s why we were intrigued when Biagio stumbled onto an episode called “Ideas” from the podcast Under the Radar.
In it, wicked-sharp indie software developers David Smith and Marco Arment discuss how they evaluate ideas for their iPhone apps.
We realized we do many of the same things when we consider our television show ideas. But David and Marco managed to put a nice, short, creative spin on their approach. We thought much of what they discussed would translate well to those who develop ideas for Hollywood.
Now, there are some big differences between making iPhone apps and making TV Shows (including potential number of customers — David and Marco have far more than we do!)
So of course, our discussion centers on using some concepts from David and Marco as a springboard to rate your own TV show and film ideas.
Just some of what we cover today:

* Four “lenses” to help you consider every one of your concepts
* Develop ideas with an eye on the prize…but what is that prize?
* Why easy development can mean difficult sales in the film and TV industry
* Where passion projects fit into your idea development
* The best target for aspiring unscripted TV producers to aim for

Okay, ready to sort through all of your creative sparks and develop ideas wisely? Hit that giant PLAY button at the top of this page!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* The Truth About Your Big Idea in Hollywood Our seminal post on Hollywood, ideas, and you.
* How to Pitch a Reality Show – get way beyond just pitching ideas by really understanding the unscripted television industry in this free 10,000 guide.
* Soft Pitch Blueprint – If you’ve just started to develop ideas, this is a much better way to pitch a concept than ...]]>
Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 16:31
Reality TV Questions Answered /reality-tv-questions-answered/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 13:12:59 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2074 <p>It’s episode 80 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re answering your reality tv questions. How to stay creatively motivated? Should you work with a distributor? What concerns change as you earn more success? What’s the best way for a new producer to sell a show? This and more…all thanks to YOUR questions.   Reality TV […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/reality-tv-questions-answered/">Reality TV Questions Answered</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s episode 80 of Producing Unscripted, and today we’re answering your reality tv questions. How to stay creatively motivated? Should you work with a distributor? What concerns change as you earn more success? Producing Unscripted, and today we’re answering your reality tv questions. How to stay creatively motivated? Should you work with a distributor? What concerns change as you earn more success? What’s the best way for a new producer to sell a show? This and more…all thanks to YOUR questions.

 
Reality TV Questions You Asked Us Today
Truth is…we were humbled–and overwhelmed–by the number of great questions members of our newsletter sent our way. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t possibly answer them all this time around.
So, we picked those that seem to hit on common themes, and felt like ground we hadn’t covered in previous episodes.
Creativity in Unscripted Television – and Hard Times
Greg asks,
What helps to boost your mind if you end up in a creative slump?
To this, Biagio makes a very embarrassing admission, and we offer some real-world tips.
Distributors and Credibility and Middle Men, Oh My!
Beth hits us with two reality tv questions. Here’s her first:
Is it better to sell your show directly to a network or a distribution company? Pros and Cons? If you did partner with a distribution company and they are pitching it to the network (for North America) is the deal less attractive to the network? Why?
A very timely question, and aspects of what Beth is asking here affect us to this very day. We talk a lot about it, and then hop into her second question:
Discuss the middle man! Most of your audience is a no name producer. They need a known entity to show credibility to the network or purchaser that the content ordered will be delivered on time. So most of us will partner with a middle man… right?  Are these entities production studios, well known names in entertainment, producer agents, distribution companies, investors? 
Middle men! While we never thought of ourselves or the companies we worked for when we were starting out as “middle men” we understand the question — and possible underlying frustration many new producers may feel. We share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences on this one.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy?
And finally, Johnny asked one that made us laugh, sigh, and wish for simpler days:
What are some things you used to worry about (in the early days) that don’t matter now?
A great question, and the answer might surprise you.


To hear us answer the above, and explore other reality TV questions, hit that giant PLAY button at the top of this page!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Budgets, Investors, and More — a MUST listen before you ever think about taking a dime from any investor, as Beth alluded to in her question above.
* Pressure is a Privilege – some of the best advice we EVER received in this industry, and a podcast ep you might have missed. Give it a listen, especially in context of Johnny’s question above.
* Survive Production: 7 Weird Tips Guaranteed to Save Your Sanity and Help Avoid Burnout – some of these will also help you stay creative when you’re feeling burnt, as per Greg’s question above.
* Selling Reality TV: Your Questions Answered – another podcast driven by YOUR questions we put together last year. Advice still holds, enjoy!]]>
Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 26:57
Filming Real People: 5 Crucial Factors /filming-real-people/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:25:22 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2058 <p>Filming real people is crucial to making unscripted entertainment. It’s also very delicate. It takes trust, respect, forethought, communication, and silly arguments with lawyers. Here are five factors you must consider when filming real people. Don’t roll one second of footage without really thinking these through.   Filming Real People While Earning Their Trust When […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/filming-real-people/">Filming Real People: 5 Crucial Factors</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Filming real people is crucial to making unscripted entertainment. It’s also very delicate. It takes trust, respect, forethought, communication, and silly arguments with lawyers. Here are five factors you must consider when filming real people.
 
Filming Real People While Earning Their Trust
When someone hands their life over to your cameras, they’re making themselves completely vulnerable. It’s up to you as a good, moral producer to do everything you can to capture and edit an honest and fair portrayal of their story.
This involves massive communication and honesty right from the get-go. Filming real people isn’t like filming actors. They’re not playing a role, they’re bearing their soul.


If you’re not careful, you can inadvertently confuse those you’re filming, and shock them when your project airs. You NEVER want this to happen. That’s why preparing them for what’s about to happen is so important.
What Are They Signing Up For?
Part of preparing your cast is educating them about what kind of show they are joining. A cast member will have totally different expectations for being on an episode of MTV True Life than they will on Big Brother or Survivor.
But if you’re making a brand new show, your cast might not really “get” what kind of TV they are participating in. Again, it’s up to you as a producer to communicate honestly and effectively.
Filming real people is serious business. That’s why today we discuss:

* How to refer to talent (this is one time when labels are crucial)
* Differences between docu-soap, game, documentary, dating shows, and more
* Expectations of cast, producers, and TV networks or film studios when filming real people
* Deciding whose story are you telling
* How to properly communicate with your cast
* Showing all sides of a story
* What are releases and how do they work?
* When hidden cameras aren’t really hidden
* Imaginary hazardous activities
* Real trust and the editing process
* Distilling reality without reinventing it
* Should you let your cast see the show before it airs?

For all this and more, hit that giant red PLAY button above!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* 6 Must-Have Traits of Reality TV Characters – this is how you know you’ve discovered someone who is great TV.
* Casting Tapes – here’s how to make them and what to put in them.
* Casting Agreements for Reality TV: What-When-Why-How? Before you can start filming real people, you need a real agreement with them that allows you to “shop” them around. This ep explains it all.
* 3 Steps: Turn a Character Into a TV Show Discovered a great real life person? Here are some concrete steps to develop a TV show around them.
* Find us on Twitter and Facebook

Let’s Make Some TV Together
Trying to break into unscripted TV, reality television, or documentary series? Want to pitch to our company? These are the steps you should take:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 20:19
Pitch Tape Budgets – Warning: Avoid Traps & Scams /pitch-tape-budgets/ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:25:39 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2032 <p>Today’s episode about pitch tape budgets may be the most serious we’ve ever recorded. It includes important tips for anyone who wants to pitch TV shows, but also a warning. We’ve received a cluster of emails in past weeks reporting something that concerns us. Some companies are asking aspiring producers to fork over thousands of […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-tape-budgets/">Pitch Tape Budgets – Warning: Avoid Traps & Scams</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Today’s episode about pitch tape budgets may be the most serious we’ve ever recorded. It includes important tips for anyone who wants to pitch TV shows, but also a warning. We’ve received a cluster of emails in past weeks reporting something that conce...
 
Pitch Tape Budgets, Goals, and Realities
We’ve discussed pitch tapes (a.k.a. sizzle reels) before. Essentially, a pitch tape is like a “movie trailer” for your unscripted TV show concept — whether for a documentary series, reality TV show, or even feature length doc. (For instance, we made pitch tape for Dying to do Letterman originally framing it as a documentary series long before it made it to theaters and streaming as a feature film.)
The goal when making a pitch tape is to get a TV network or legit production company interested in your concept. This begins a journey that hopefully ends with your TV show concept on the air.
There’s no doubt that pitch tapes are an important part of our industry. Our own pitch tapes jump-started our careers and have sold numerous TV shows. That said, we’ve also preached about not going broke while putting together these kinds of presentation tapes.
Playing the Numbers Game (Without Going Broke)
The honest truth is that every individual TV show concept pitched (including those created by Mark Burnett, J.J. Abrams, the two of us, or anyone in Hollywood) is a long shot. You always pitch more shows than you actually sell. When you need to pitch so much, so often, it just doesn’t make sense to spend big, big money on any one pitch tape.
In fact, when we first started out, we never spent more than $500 out-of-pocket on our pitch tapes (and often far less than that. Granted, we were also shooting, editing, and making the graphics for our own productions, so that helped a lot.) To this day we warn people not to spend more than a few hundred dollars on their first-crack at a pitch tape.
Scary Emails from Some of You
That’s why we were so concerned when we received several emails — all within a relatively short time — from people asking if it was normal for production companies to ask them to personally fund pitch tapes. And these were enormous pitch tape budgets! Tens of thousands of dollars to make a sizzle reel for a concept these producers had pitched.
Most frightening was that the producers who reached out to us were seriously considering paying up — all so their ideas could eventually get “pitched to TV networks.”
 

Now, we’re not saying that, in all these cases, there was some kind of malicious intent behind these big asks. We don’t know these companies in question (nor did our agents.) That doesn’t necessarily mean that the people who run these places are trying to “rip producers off” or are “bad people.” We don’t know or understand their business models.
However, our own production company would never ask someone to pony up out-of-pocket cash for a show co...]]>
Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 20:29
Setiquette: Be a Pro on Any Film or TV Set /setiquette-pro-film-tv-set/ Tue, 28 Jun 2016 13:26:00 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2019 <p>Your first time on set? Your 1000th? No matter how many times you’ve worked a film or TV set, it’s important to remember setiquette. That’s a fun way of saying “on set etiquette.” The little things that you have no way of knowing if you’re brand new to Hollywood, or that veterans might forget when […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/setiquette-pro-film-tv-set/">Setiquette: Be a Pro on Any Film or TV Set</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Your first time on set? Your 1000th? No matter how many times you’ve worked a film or TV set, it’s important to remember setiquette. That’s a fun way of saying “on set etiquette.” The little things that you have no way of knowing if you’re brand new to...


 
Setiquette – Make a Positive Impression
There are no “secret handshakes” or clever passwords we can share that will help you convince others you belong in the industry. But stopping to think for a few moments about your behaviour on set will instantly make others respect you. Awhile back we posted about how to ask questions the right way — and that in itself is a HUGE part of set etiquette.
 

Today, we give you our top three setiquette faux pas, and point you towards more great resources to help you come across as professional at all times.
Just some of what we discuss:

* The importance of cell phones (and how to use them the right way)
* The truth about learning on set
* Everyone’s most precious resource
* Avoid the Starbucks blunder
* Who the heck is Mr. Butchko, and how can his advice help you?

For all this and more, hit that giant red button above!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Know how to ask questions without looking like a newbie. These simple tips will help you get the info you need without annoying anyone. 3 Secrets to Asking Questions in Hollywood
* Some excellent advice on acting like a pro from Joe DeVito – How Not To Suck: Hollywood Advice We Love.
* A great post from Filmmaker Magazine: The Seven Arts of Working in Film: A Necessary Guide to On-Set Protocol
* Equally important post from Filmmaker covering What Everyone Does on a Film Set
* Read our free guide How to Pitch a Reality Show – and you’ll have a better understanding of how the whole business works in general.
* Find us on Twitter and Facebook

Ready to Pitch some Unscripted Entertainment?
Are you trying to break into unscripted TV, reality television, or documentary series? Want to pitch to our company? Here’s what you need to know:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 18:21
Who Gets Creative Control in Hollywood? /creative-control-hollywood/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 13:15:24 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=2007 <p>Creative control. It’s something most artists strive for — even demand. At the same time, in the entertainment industry, there are a lot of entities entitled to shape the creative of a TV show or movie. So how much control can you really keep over your projects?   Creative Control: Can You Control Your Creative? […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/creative-control-hollywood/">Who Gets Creative Control in Hollywood?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Creative control. It’s something most artists strive for — even demand. At the same time, in the entertainment industry, there are a lot of entities entitled to shape the creative of a TV show or movie. So how much control can you really keep over your...


 
Creative Control: Can You Control Your Creative?
We often hear from people pitching projects that they need to have “creative control” over their projects. They want “veto power” or “final cut” or “complete authority.” It’s a common request, and one we completely understand. But is it realistic? The answer might surprise you.
 

Just some of what we cover today:

* Can you ever be the one with final say over exactly how audiences see your finished project?
* Can your film or TV series truly be 100% under your creative control?
* Should you ask for total creative control?
* What’s Hollywood’s golden rule?
* What is the one way to GUARANTEE you have complete creative control over your project?

For all this and more, hit that giant red button above!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

* Always make yourself valuable. It only helps you in your quest for creative input.
* Looking for a patron to finance your project your way? You could always check out Patreon.
* Variety announced our new TV show 3 Days to Live
* Read our free guide How to Pitch a Reality Show – and you’ll have a better understanding of how the whole business works in general.
* Find us on Twitter and Facebook

Ready to Pitch some Unscripted Entertainment?
Looking to break into unscripted TV, reality television, or documentary series? Want to pitch to our company? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 11:06
How Stu Maschwitz Can Help You Make Film, TV, Or Anything Else /stu-maschwitz/ Tue, 31 May 2016 13:45:16 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1816 <p>Sure, we’ve made a lot of television. Yes, we’ve had a few (small) films in theaters. But there’s always more to learn. And when it comes to pure, unadulterated, guerrilla filmmaking awesomeness, there’s no one better to learn from, more helpful, or just plain cool than Stu Maschwitz. Affectionately known to legions of Twitter fans […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/stu-maschwitz/">How Stu Maschwitz Can Help You Make Film, TV, Or Anything Else</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Sure, we’ve made a lot of television. Yes, we’ve had a few (small) films in theaters. But there’s always more to learn. And when it comes to pure, unadulterated, guerrilla filmmaking awesomeness, there’s no one better to learn from, more helpful, in theaters. But there’s always more to learn. And when it comes to pure, unadulterated, guerrilla filmmaking awesomeness, there’s no one better to learn from, more helpful, or just plain cool than Stu Maschwitz. Affectionately known to legions of Twitter fans as @5tu, he’s had a real impact on our careers. Today, we’ll share a few ways Mr. Maschwitz’s advice helped make us successful Hollywood producers. More importantly, we’ll show how @5tu can jumpstart your filmmaking success.


 
Who Is Stu?
Stu describes himself as a “a filmmaker, photographer, and writer, with a passion for kinetic storytelling” and “a champion of accessible filmmaking.” That’s putting it mildly. A brief glance a Stu’s IMDB page will tell you he’s worked on some of the biggest movies of the last 20 years.
It’s the kind of experience that seems far beyond anything that could be helpful to your average, indie filmmaker. And yet, somehow, Stu manages to convert that knowledge into inspirational DIY filmmaking tips and tricks. You can find this priceless info freely available on his blog and densely packed into his ultimate rebel guide on filmmaking (see below.)
Additionally, Stu serves as creative director for Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet product line, which we own and use regularly (more on that in the podcast today.)
Please know this: Stu, the free advice he shares on his blog, and the apps he creates for filmmakers are priceless resources for anyone who thinks of themselves as a visual storyteller. That’s why we’ve dedicated this, our 75th podcast episode, to exploring how Stu can help you make better film and TV.
 
Just some of what we cover today:

* How Stu’s DV Rebel’s Guide shaped our career and can still shape yours
* Stu’s philosophy that took us from one-bedroom apartment to 7000 square foot facility
* How we used a chapter from Stu’s book on our A&E reality TV show
* Software Stu created that we own and use, plus how and why we count on it
* The one color correction tool we recommend for unscripted film & TV producers
* Is there a color grading magic bullet?
* What the heck is a 5TU?

For all this and more, hit that giant red button above to play now. Read on for more Stu Maschwitz awesomeness.
Stu Maschwitz: The Man Who Wrote Our Favorite Filmmaking Book
It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a decade since Stu Maschwitz released The DV Rebel’s Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap.
Even more amazing is that, specific tech aside, the book still holds up. Stu’s philosophy of ignoring naysayers, embracing the impossible, and using creativity to solve any problem has always spoken to us. Before each new TV series we produce we still go back to the book for inspiration and ideas.
In fact, Stu’s write up on using forced perspective photography to pull off in-camera effects inspired us on our A&E TV show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne. Have a look at this video to see how the book help...]]>
Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Stu Maschwitz clean 22:44
Can Anyone Break Into Hollywood? /can-anyone-break-into-hollywood/ Tue, 03 May 2016 13:15:02 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1969 <p>You’re dreaming of working in the entertainment industry. But you have doubts. Are you too young? Too old? Live too far away? You can come up with a million potential stumbling blocks to your career. But is there a reason that you — you personally — can’t make it in Hollywood? Well, believe it or […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/can-anyone-break-into-hollywood/">Can Anyone Break Into Hollywood?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You’re dreaming of working in the entertainment industry. But you have doubts. Are you too young? Too old? Live too far away? You can come up with a million potential stumbling blocks to your career. But is there a reason that you — you personally — ca...
Making it in Hollywood? Possible for You?
We received a question from writer/producer/director Mike Sobola. Like a lot of filmmakers and producers who reach out to us, Mike wonders about his particular situation, and if it will stop him from achieving success.
Mike asks:
Dear Joke & Biagio,
I’m an old guy who has been doing this on and off for a while: Writing/Producing, development, EP’ing–all at various levels. It’s been a few years since I seriously developed and pitched shows and the landscape has changed drastically.
As someone in my 50’s who’s trying to “break back in”, is age a barrier? Your podcasts are spot-on and full of useful information-which I am taking to heart, but I wonder if my age will be a hindrance if I actually sell a series? (Let’s assume I am willing and able to put in whatever work is necessary and that stamina is not an issue).
Thanks for considering my question and I appreciate the opportunity you’re providing by “pulling back the curtain”.
Great question, Mike! Many, many people have similar apprehensions.
Now, there’s no way to sugar coat this — making it in the entertainment industry is hard…period.
It’s an uphill battle for all of us. That said, we’ve dedicated today’s entire podcast episode to exploring whether or not your own perceived hindrances — whatever they may be — are actually enough to stop you from making it in Hollywood.
A few things we discuss today:

* Understanding your pros and cons
* Knowing what Hollywood wants to get from you
* Understanding what strikes a nerve when someone interviews you or considers your show concept
* And as a side note, where and when to see our upcoming season of television

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above to learn the secret to leaving your perceived shortcomings in the dust!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Unscripted TV Success: Instantly Up Your Odds with This Secret
Looking for the “cheat sheet” to pitching us shows? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
Looking to team up with us?
Okay — you listened to today’s podcast, and understand your “pros and cons.” You feel ready to pitch your show concept to us. Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 10:27
Shopping Agreements for Reality TV Concepts /shopping-agreements/ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 13:10:32 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1959 <p>A production company (maybe ours) wants to team up with you on your reality TV concept. The idea of “shopping agreements” comes up. But what does that mean? How long should you agree to let someone pitch your idea? What will that process be like? Let us answer all these questions…and more. If you have […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/shopping-agreements/">Shopping Agreements for Reality TV Concepts</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> A production company (maybe ours) wants to team up with you on your reality TV concept. The idea of “shopping agreements” comes up. But what does that mean? How long should you agree to let someone pitch your idea? What will that process be like?
Shopping Agreements: What to Expect
Those of you who get our newsletter know that we reached out two weeks ago to ask what questions you would like us to answer.
We received a lot of questions about shopping agreements.
This one came in from Kevin Hanna, who writes:
Long time listener, first time caller….How long is someone normally locked in to a submission agreement before they are free to shop their show elsewhere?
Ryan Murphy also reached out with a more in-depth question:
What is the right amount of time to give a producer to shop your show to the networks? I had a known, successful producer shopping my reality show to the major networks. We had a 6 month agreement in place. At the end he asked for another 6 months… I wasn’t sure if I should have my idea tied to this one producer for a year so we agreed on 2 additional months. My show did not get picked up but now I am seeing other similar shows being advertised.  Should I have just given him more time? Should I actually be part of these pitches to the networks or is it standard for my producer to handle it on his own? We recorded some sizzle reel stuff but the rest of the time I was just sitting around waiting for feedback.
Great questions, Kevin and Ryan! So today, we’ve dedicated the entire podcast to answering these.
NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above learn everything you NEED to know about shopping agreements.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Showbiz is Slow-Biz – It’s a simple truth that can drive you crazy. This post breaks down how to win the Hollywood waiting game.
The Truth About Your Big Idea in Hollywood – More advice to help you get out of the “waiting game” rut.
412 Days Later – a true story of winning the Hollywood waiting game (sort of!)
Soft Pitch Blueprint: Beyond Ideas for Reality TV Pitch Success – beofore anyone talks shopping agreements with you, they’ll want to know what you’re pitching. In certain circumstances, the “soft pitch” technique can be helpful.
Hollywood Pitch Meetings: Pro Tip For Success – Blow ’em away at your next pitch meeting and shopping agreements may be in your future.
Want the “cheat sheet” to pitching shows to us? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
Dying to collaborate with us?
Okay — you listened to today’s podcast, and think you might like to have a shopping agreement with us? Here’s what to do next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 20:08
Sizzle Reel Secret: How We Sell TV Shows /sizzle-reel-secret/ Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:15:55 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1935 <p>It is a truism of reality TV. There’s no better way to sell a show than to produce a great pitch video. Most pitch reels are low-budget. But, even if you have no money there’s one thing you can do to make sure your tape stands out. In fact, we used this secret to sell […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/sizzle-reel-secret/">Sizzle Reel Secret: How We Sell TV Shows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It is a truism of reality TV. There’s no better way to sell a show than to produce a great pitch video. Most pitch reels are low-budget. But, even if you have no money there’s one thing you can do to make sure your tape stands out. In fact,
Sizzle Reel Secret: We Do This On Every Tape We Edit
On today’s short and focused podcast, we give you the sizzle reel secret we use on every pitch tape we edit. It’s helped us sell numerous TV shows and pilots. This little nugget is also what made us stand out when we were breaking into the industry.
Today we explain how we used this secret to sell three different television shows.
You don’t need to be a great editor or a terrific graphic designer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve ever edited a pitch reel. In fact, before we understood this technique was a “secret” we used it to cut our first ever pitch reel. That tape earned us a ton of meetings in Hollywood, and lead to our first producer credit. And it was the first one we ever made…using this sizzle reel secret.
And stay tuned to the end — we share a graphic tip ANYONE can use that itself is worth the price of admission!
NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above and make your next pitch tape shine.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Steal this Editing Secret to Edit Film and Video Like a Pro – More advice to help you rock the house, no matter what level your editing skills.
Pro Tip: Awesome Beginnings – Yet anoter sizzle reel secret to make your pitch tapes shine.
Check out What Goes in a Pitch Tape? Should You Make One?
Should you take investment money to make a sizzle reel? Sizzle Reels: Budgets, Investors, and More.
Want the “cheat sheet” to pitching shows to us? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
DreamJobbing named Producing Unscripted one of the five podcasts to check out in 2016.
Dying to show us your Sizzle Reel?
Okay — you listened to today’s podcast, made a great tape, and want to share it with us? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 17:12
Making TV Pilots: 5 Practical Tips You Can Use /making-tv-pilots/ Tue, 08 Mar 2016 14:30:13 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1912 <p>We just came off of an exhilarating – and exhausting – weekend shooting a cable network pilot for a huge, formatted TV show. In our sleep-deprived, semi-delirious state, it occurred to us this is the perfect time to discuss something we’re asked about often: making TV pilots. Rather than just blathering on (we did mention […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/making-tv-pilots/">Making TV Pilots: 5 Practical Tips You Can Use</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> We just came off of an exhilarating – and exhausting – weekend shooting a cable network pilot for a huge, formatted TV show. In our sleep-deprived, semi-delirious state, it occurred to us this is the perfect time to discuss something we’re asked about ...

 
Making TV Pilots: Part Art, Part Science, All Sweat
 

Once you’ve been in the TV business for a while, getting the greenlight to make a TV pilot is cause for huge celebration…and reason for total terror. We’ve learned that, like hopping on a roller coaster, it’s best if you throw your hands up, scream real loud, and try hard to enjoy the ride.
Aside from that little nugget, we’ve got five real tips that are actually practical and useful. These five tips will help you when making TV pilots of your own.
 
Keep in mind that, in general, making a TV pilot is one of the most demanding things you can undertake. There are hundreds (thousands?) of things that can go wrong, endless decisions to make, and deadlines that are both unrealistic and unchangeable.
Some of what we cover today:

* The Golden Rule (not what you think)
* TV networks, execs, and TV pilots – what you need to know
* The art of flexibility (and knowing when not to flex)
* Ensuring you staff properly, and why hiring can be counter-intuitive
* Where to draw inspiration — and find cautionary tales — for your TV pilot
* What socks and underwear have to do what any of this
* What turns Biagio into a curmudgeon

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above and rock the house when making TV pilots.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Should You Film Your Own TV Pilot? Pros and Cons. Think twice, three times, ten times — before you put a dime into your own TV pilot. When to do it, and when not to do it.
Further explanation as we discuss 3 Reasons You Should Not Film Your Own TV Pilot.
On the flip side, we talked about 3 Reasons You Should Film Your Own TV Pilot.
If you’re REALLY sure you want to set about making TV pilots on your own, here are 5 Rules For the Hands-On Producer Filming Their Own TV Pilot.
Don’t Miss What Goes in a Pitch Tape? Should You Make One? and Sizzle Reels: Budgets, Investors, and More.
Seven Weird Tips to Survive Production – don’t go out to shoot anything without this list!
Why we’re editing on Adobe Premiere.
Scary things about producing TV shows including working with TV Network Executives.
Looking to pitch an unscripted TV series or reality show? This clean 24:53
7 Must-Know Tips for Pitching Reality TV /pitching-reality-tv/ Tue, 23 Feb 2016 20:45:36 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1902 <p>It’s episode 70, and we’re sharing 7 Must-Know Tips for Pitching Reality TV. These are hand-picked to help you avoid the mistakes we see new producers make over and over again. Whether you’re pitching to us or anyone else, by using these 7 tips you’ll look like a pro and drastically increase your chances of […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitching-reality-tv/">7 Must-Know Tips for Pitching Reality TV</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s episode 70, and we’re sharing 7 Must-Know Tips for Pitching Reality TV. These are hand-picked to help you avoid the mistakes we see new producers make over and over again. Whether you’re pitching to us or anyone else,

 
Pitching Reality TV
 

This is a tough, and sometimes unforgiving business. For better or worse, most network execs and production companies will judge you based on the quality of your first pitch.
Yes, we try to take a kinder, gentler approach at
Joke Productions, and even have a user friendly reality TV submissions page to help aspiring producers get it right. Not everyone is so forgiving. Honestly, even we can end up judging someone who has clearly never tried to understand how to properly pitch their unscripted TV concept (especially since you have so much free info here at Producing Unscripted!)
Yet, we still see many of the same mistakes made all over the industry.
Well, that all ends today! After seeing and hearing thousands of pitches, and closely looking at the mistakes we’ve seen in the last year, we’re giving you this ultimate cheat sheet to pitching reality TV.
 

Some of what we cover today:

* The magic of “hooks”
* The truth about what “wins” at a TV network
* What a TV show is…and isn’t.
* The correct way to “float” your concept to us
* When you should NOT pitch a real person, place or thing
* The importance and proper channeling of your passion
* The number one rule for pitching reality TV!

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above and start pitching reality TV the RIGHT way.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Pitch Success Secret: Sell Film & TV by Crafting Your Second Hook
Reality TV Success Rule: Best Cast Wins
Pitch TV Series NOT Profile Pieces
Story Engines For Reality TV
How to Soft Pitch
Hollywood Insider Tip: Can You Pitch What You Don’t Have?
Passion Projects and Television
Watch TV!!!
Looking to pitch an unscripted TV series or reality show? This free e-book on how to pitch reality TV and unscripted television has everything you need to know!
Need the “cheat sheet” on pitching show to us? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
Ready to put These 7 Tips on Pitching Reality TV to Use?
Okay — you listened to today’s podcast, know “pressure is a privilege” and are ready to take on the TV industry. Have an unscripted TV concept and like to team up with us? Here’s how:
]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 27:00 Pressure is a Privilege. Here’s Why… /pressure-is-a-privilege/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 17:47:12 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1892 <p>“Remember, pressure is a privilege.” It was some of most mysterious — and meaningful — advice we’ve ever received. Today, we explain why this nugget of knowledge will keep you sane, drive you to new heights, and sleep better at night. Sometimes.   Pressure is a Privilege   Many businesses are chock full of pressure, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pressure-is-a-privilege/">Pressure is a Privilege. Here’s Why…</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> “Remember, pressure is a privilege.” It was some of most mysterious — and meaningful — advice we’ve ever received. Today, we explain why this nugget of knowledge will keep you sane, drive you to new heights, and sleep better at night. Sometimes.

 
Pressure is a Privilege
 

Many businesses are chock full of pressure, and the entertainment industry is no exception. When millions of dollars are at stake on your project, when hundreds of crew members are counting on your quick decisions, when networks and studios need you to “get it right” — well, it’s possible to break down under that pressure and start to cave.
When the pressure mounts, your heart races and your knees start to shake it’s crucial that you remind yourself of one very important, very true fact — all that pressure is a privilege.
 
Some of what we cover today:

* What feeling pressure really means
* How we handle high-pressure situations
* Why pressure is a good thing
* Why anyone in the entertainment industry feels pressure
* The reason you better feel pressure if you want success

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above and embrace that pressure.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
John Homa, who first told us, “Pressure is a privilege” has some advice for filmmakers as well. This is from our YouTube channel:


Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @jokeandbiagio
Looking to pitch an unscripted TV series or reality show? This free e-book on pitching reality TV and unscripted television has everything you need to know!
Need the “cheat sheet” on pitching show to us? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
Ready for the Pressure of Unscripted TV?
Okay — you listened to today’s podcast, know “pressure is a privilege” and are ready to take on the TV industry. Have an unscripted TV concept and like to team up with us? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 7:36
TV Versus YouTube – Where Does Your Show Belong? /tv-versus-youtube/ Tue, 26 Jan 2016 14:35:53 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1882 <p>TV versus YouTube – it’s something that comes up in discussions with aspiring producers on a daily basis. Why do some shows work better on YouTube than TV? Is TV always better than YouTube? What are the pros and cons of each? Today we’re going to tell you exactly why you may want one platform […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/tv-versus-youtube/">TV Versus YouTube – Where Does Your Show Belong?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> TV versus YouTube – it’s something that comes up in discussions with aspiring producers on a daily basis. Why do some shows work better on YouTube than TV? Is TV always better than YouTube? What are the pros and cons of each?

 
TV Versus YouTube – Everything You Need to Know
 

Every kind of entertainment has a medium it works best in. This goes for potential TV shows as well. Some concepts will work great on TV, others will fail miserably.
Yes, we love to get your reality TV submissions at our company, and we cherish those of you who’ve read our free ebook How to Pitch a Reality Show. But some shows just won’t work on major broadcast and cable networks.
That said, just because something is not right for TV doesn’t mean it can’t work great on YouTube. In fact, some entertainment can be wildly successful on YouTube even though it would never move the dial on a television network.
 

Today’s discussion will be crucial to your understanding of why some shows will work better on one platform than another. Some of what we cover today:

* TV Versus YouTube: Pros and Cons
* Potential Audience Size
* Ownership
* Economics (but not boring economics!)
* Good show concepts for TV versus YouTube
* Whether you can make real money on both
* And…Biagio goes over the top with weird voices and mouth-made sound effects.

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above and learn where your project will work best.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Don’t Pitch These Four Kinds of Shows — they don’t work for TV. But…you might have success on YouTube!
A good book about starting a YouTube channel. No, we don’t make a commission, we just like the book.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @jokeandbiagio
Looking to pitch a reality show? This free e-book on pitching reality TV and unscripted television has everything you need to know!
Want the cheat sheet on pitching show to us? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
Think Your Concept is Right For TV?
Okay — you listened to today’s podcast and realized your concept will be best served by playing on television. Want to pitch it to us and possibly team up? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 23:05
Art of Starting: Your Big Picture Guide to Making Film & TV /art-of-starting-making-film-tv/ Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:00:53 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1872 <p>Happy 2016! Today’s episode is all about new beginnings — in fact, it’s a big picture guide to making film and TV as seen from the point of view of new starts. We’ve made over 100 hours of TV and film. Every second of those final projects exists because we’ve embraced…the art of starting.   […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/art-of-starting-making-film-tv/">Art of Starting: Your Big Picture Guide to Making Film & TV</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Happy 2016! Today’s episode is all about new beginnings — in fact, it’s a big picture guide to making film and TV as seen from the point of view of new starts. We’ve made over 100 hours of TV and film. Every second of those final projects exists becaus...

 
A Series of Obstacles? Or an Art of Starting?
 

No one knows more than us (you know, those kids who started out of their one bedroom apartment, broke, with no connections to Hollywood?) how hard it can be to persevere through what seems like an insurmountable mountain of land mines when you want to start a new project.
It can seem like every project is fraught with more stop than go, and little hope of a smooth landing.
We get it. In fact, we’ve given ourselves a series of pep talks over the years, and we’ve learned to embrace the art of starting — seeing what others call obstacles as exciting new beginnings.
 
So it’s with glee in our hearts as a brand new year begins that we discuss:

* What it really means to start a new project
* The thrilling list of new beginnings you’ll face on every film or TV show you set out to make
* The reason even after more than 100 hours of film and TV we still need to give ourselves pep talks
* How we feel before every new film and TV series we launch
* Why pre-production happens nowhere near the beginning of a new project
* Why development is never over
* And why Biagio is so darn loopy this episode

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above and let’s celebrate the art of starting!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
May I Never Forget This Feeling – blog post we mentioned in the episode. Joke wrote it, Biagio love’s it, and feels it was a defining moment in our careers.
Adobe on how we use Adobe Premiere
The YOU List — how to take care of yourself when you’re getting ready for a big production.
3 Steps to Win the Hollywood Numbers Game — more advice on staying sane in Hollywood!
Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @jokeandbiagio
Looking to pitch a reality show? This free e-book on pitching reality TV and unscripted television has everything you need to know!
Want the cheat sheet on pitching show to us? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
Ready to START Making Some Reality TV or Unscripted Television?
Okay — you get the art of starting. You know you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So what are you waiting for? Ready to start pitching us shows? Here’s how:
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3 Cheerful Filmmaking Facts for 2016 /3-cheerful-filmmaking-facts-for-2016/ Tue, 08 Dec 2015 14:40:42 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1862 <p>As 2015 ends and 2016 dawns, we couldn't be more excited for aspiring filmmakers and producers everywhere. Here are three things we think deliver amazing news for all budding media artists in the new year.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/3-cheerful-filmmaking-facts-for-2016/">3 Cheerful Filmmaking Facts for 2016</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> As 2015 ends and 2016 dawns, we couldn't be more excited for aspiring filmmakers and producers everywhere. Here are three things we think deliver amazing news for all budding media artists in the new year.

 
It’s a Great Time for Aspiring Producers…
 

Forget the doom and gloom often preached to filmmakers, documentarians, and budding media artists of all ilk.
We feel like the future of filmmaking is headed in the right direction.
 
So it’s with holiday cheer and new year optimism that we discuss:

* Why storytellers have it really good right now.
* The exciting new direction reality TV is heading
* And why we’re so jazzed about…YOU!

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above and let’s share some holiday cheer together!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @jokeandbiagio
Looking to pitch a reality show? This free e-book on pitching reality TV and unscripted television has everything you need to know!
Want the cheat sheet on pitching show to us? Pitch Shows to Joke and Biagio.
Ready to Make Some Reality TV or Unscripted Television?
You’ve been out shooting, editing, and developing your own unscripted TV shows, reality pitches, or documentary series? Dying to pitch them to us? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 8:23
Casting Tapes: Show, Tell, or Both? /casting-tapes/ Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:45:58 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1853 <p>As you already know from reading our in-depth guide on creating and pitching reality shows, there is no better way to quickly break into the business than building your show around a great, real life character. But when you’re putting together very basic casting tapes to test whether or not someone might be great TV, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/casting-tapes/">Casting Tapes: Show, Tell, or Both?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> As you already know from reading our in-depth guide on creating and pitching reality shows, there is no better way to quickly break into the business than building your show around a great, real life character. in-depth guide on creating and pitching reality shows, there is no better way to quickly break into the business than building your show around a great, real life character. But when you’re putting together very basic casting tapes to test whether or not someone might be great TV, there’s a HUGE mistake you need to avoid.


 
Characters Sell Themselves Best…
 

…when they’re not talking about and commenting on themselves. But what does that mean exactly?
 
Casting Tapes for Reality TV
A bit of what we cover today:

* Casting tapes that have big, red flags
* Things that turn off producers and executives
* How to properly illustrate what your character is all about
* Tricks for casting tapes that aren’t shooting a lot of footage

And so much more!
NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above to learn everything you ever wanted to know about casting tapes that make your talent look their best.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links:
Making casting tapes? These past eps and links offer additional tips and techniques you need to know. Be sure to check them out:
What makes great reality TV and documentary series characters? Everything you need to know.
This post explains how to develop shows (including shooting casting tapes) without going broke.
Three case studies including the casting tapes that lead to our MTV True Life special.
When you’re shooting your casting tapes, use our guide to getting great interviews to get the gold you need to sell your characters.
Ready to Make Some Reality TV or Unscripted Television?
Already discovered a terrific person or people you believe would make great TV? Making sure you properly present them on you casting tapes? Thinking you’re ready to pitch to us? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 8:48
Casting Agreements for Reality TV: What-When-Why-How? /casting-agreements-for-reality-tv/ Tue, 10 Nov 2015 14:45:53 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1840 <p>Casting Agreements for reality TV and unscripted television — what are they, and do you need one? Do you need casting agreements for all reality TV projects, or just some? Will they cost you money? Should you get a lawyer? Could not getting those casting agreements come back to bite you? The answers are not […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/casting-agreements-for-reality-tv/">Casting Agreements for Reality TV: What-When-Why-How?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Casting Agreements for reality TV and unscripted television — what are they, and do you need one? Do you need casting agreements for all reality TV projects, or just some? Will they cost you money? Should you get a lawyer?

 
Casting Agreements – Everything You Need to Know
 
 
If you’re thinking about pitching a reality show, documentary series, or unscritped TV project, you’re in the right place. This blog and podcast are full of tips on what to do — and what not to do when pitching unscripted televison.
(Of course, you know when you do get around to pitching your concepts, we’re happy to consider your pitch.)
But if you’re taking the advice we’ve offered so many times on this site — to build your pitches around a real person, place, or thing — you’ll probably have some questions along the way.
Especially if you’re lucky enough to discover a real person who you believe could be a great TV show.
Do you need to do anything legally to bind those people to you before you pitch your show?
That’s where casting agreements come in. They can range in complexity from a handshake to a contract the size of a phone book written up by attorneys who cost more than a new house. (By the way, if you’re new to the business, DO NOT JUST HIRE ANY OLD LAWYER. Check out this post on choosing the right attorney for you.)
Finally, a casting agreement of some kind can help prove that you’re not making THIS GIANT MISTAKE.
Today we tackle casting agreements and help you think through what you need and what you don’t.
A bit of what we cover today:

* Some shows need casting agreements. Some don’t. How to know?
* What is written down in casting agreements?
* Aside from tying talent to you, the other important aspect of casting agreements.
* Is a lawyer necessary?
* What happens to your deal with talent when a show gets picked up?

And so much more!
NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above to learn everything you ever wanted to know about casting agreements.
Special thanks to Joan Tankersly for asking the questions that lead to this week’s podcast episode:

@JokeAndBiagio Podcast request. Casting agreements pre or post pitch. Thanks!
— Joan Tankersley (@joantankersley) November 1, 2015

Have a question YOU would like answered? Hit us up on Twitter @jokeandbiagio or send your question via this form.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Ready to Make Some Reality TV or Unscripted Television?
Already discovered a terrific person or people you’d love to build a show around? Thinking you might like to pitch to us? Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 18:59
2 Paths to Hollywood Success /2-paths-to-hollywood-success/ Tue, 27 Oct 2015 18:40:51 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1827 <p>If you want to work in unscripted television, reality TV — or the entertainment business in general — there are two well-worn paths that lead to success. Which one is right for you? Today we reveal pros and cons on each, and share which one worked for us.   Known Path versus Your Path   […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/2-paths-to-hollywood-success/">2 Paths to Hollywood Success</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> If you want to work in unscripted television, reality TV — or the entertainment business in general — there are two well-worn paths that lead to success. Which one is right for you? Today we reveal pros and cons on each,

 
Known Path versus Your Path
 
 

Like any business, one way to break into the entertainment industry is to start at the bottom.
Get an entry level job, and work your way up.
While this path might not sound glamorous, don’t underestimate it. Along the way you’re earning real credits, meeting people, and getting a sense of how the business really works.
The problem? Working in the entertainment industry is usually long hours. So long, in fact, that by the time the day is done, you’re sapped, and have no energy to put into your own creative endeavors.
On the other hand, there’s the more independent path.
Strike out on your own, produce your own projects, and prove you have the skills needed to work in the industry.
The problem? The industry, almost out of reflex, won’t take you seriously.
You’ll have to fight to prove that what you learned away from the more “standard” path about making film and TV translates, and that can be difficult.
Don’t believe us? Just listen to the RIDICULOUS way we finally broke into the industry.
That’s not to say we wouldn’t have made it eventually (we believe we would have ended up here either way) but it does to show just how much harder the independent path can be.
Which Path is Right for You
Over the years, we’ve come to believe one path isn’t better than the other — just different. The most important thing is that you understand your personality, and what’s going to make you happy in the long run.
Some of what we cover today:

* Financial security versus creative freedom
* Prioritizing your own projects (and what that really means.)
* Deciding how you want to spend your years of hard work
* Pros and Cons of both paths into the entertainment industry
* Which path we chose and why

NOW… press that giant red “PLAY” button above to help decide which Entertainment Industry path is right for you.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Ready to Make Some TV?
Among those who want to strike out and produce your own unscripted television, reality TV, or documentary series? We’re always open to considering your pitches. Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 19:56
Top 3 Pitch Mistakes You’re Making Today /top-3-pitch-mistakes/ Tue, 29 Sep 2015 14:00:11 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1799 <p>Pitching reality TV, documentary series, or unscripted television? After receiving hundreds of pitches, these are the top 3 mistakes people make. Not you!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/top-3-pitch-mistakes/">Top 3 Pitch Mistakes You’re Making Today</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Pitching reality TV, documentary series, or unscripted television? After receiving hundreds of pitches, these are the top 3 mistakes people make. Not you!

 
Avoid Amateur Mistakes
You probably know from visiting us here at Producing Unscripted that we love to encourage aspiring producers to chase their dreams. We’ve even made it easy for you to pitch your shows to us.

 
 

As a result, we get many, many pitches from a wide variety of people. That allows us to key in on what aspiring producers are getting right — and wrong.
When the same rules get broken over and over, it’s important for us to share that.
Remember, these are not arbitrary rules we’ve made at our company Joke Productions. These are the hollywood rules of the road we’ve learned making over one hundred hours of television and pitching a huge number of shows over the years.
Whether you’re pitching a reality TV show or documentary series to us — or someone else — it’s important to get these basics right.
Most Pitches We See Make One Of These Mistakes (Or All Of Them)
This is good news for those of you who truly want to break into the business of unscripted television. The bulk of your competition consists of people who haven’t taken the time to learn how to pitch. They are making three mistakes you won’t.
You will get these three things right.
You will stand out from that crowd.
You will succeed where they don’t.
Mistakes Be Gone!
So what are those mistakes? In a nutshell:

* Not pitching real people, places, and things
* Pitching real assets at the wrong time
* Failing to think about your buyers in the RIGHT way

In today’s episode we break these mistakes down for you and explain what they mean. If you really think about what we say here, your odds of pitch success will improve exponentially.
We also mention some of the free resources we’ve created to help you pitch unscripted TV like a pro (to us or anyone else.)
Here are some of those resources you should check out after listening to today’s podcast:

* How to Pitch a Reality Show
* What Makes Great Reality TV Characters?
* Traits of Amazing Unscripted TV Worlds
* What’s a Story Engine? Why Do You Need One?
* What Do TV Networks Buy?
* The Soft Pitch Blue Print
* Pitch TV Shows Not Profile Pieces
* Ideas Are Not Enough
* Can You Pitch What You Don’t Have?

Just spending time with those resources will give you an education in unscripted television ...]]>
Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 17:32
Get Great Audio For Your Unscripted Project On Any Budget /get-great-audio/ Tue, 15 Sep 2015 13:55:55 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1783 <p>Nothing can make your production seem more professional — or more amateurish — than the quality of your sound. Today, audio pro Brett Ulery shares tips and secrets to help you get pro sound on any budget (and we share the $32 audio secret that shaped our careers.)   Sound Is More Important Than Picture […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/get-great-audio/">Get Great Audio For Your Unscripted Project On Any Budget</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Nothing can make your production seem more professional — or more amateurish — than the quality of your sound. Today, audio pro Brett Ulery shares tips and secrets to help you get pro sound on any budget (and we share the $32 audio secret that shaped o...

 
Sound Is More Important Than Picture
It’s an axiom our production company Joke Productions has lived by for many years. And that’s why it drives us bonkers when pitch tapes, sizzle reels, and even feature-length docs have awful audio…for no good reason.
Great audio doesn’t have to be expensive.
 
Great Audio (Or Much Better Audio) Takes Only a Little Thought
As Brett Ulery points out today, many indie productions don’t even stop to ask themselves if their audio can be improved.
We cover that and more in today’s “great audio” podcast episode:

* Why more expensive audio gear may not be right for you.
* The $32 audio secret that shaped our careers.
* Two kinds of noise you better know about.
* Hands on tips for low budget productions.
* Why Brett never wanted to be a sound guy (at first, anyway.)
* What video games have to do with any of this
* What happens when you bribe construction crews in the Dominican Republic…

And so much more! Press that giant red “PLAY” button above and make sure you get great audio on whatever budget you’re working with.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

Sound Recording and Sound Mixing Resources for the Hands-On Producer
Dying to do Letterman is our award-winning documentary we mentioned in the top of the show. Thanks to Ken Jeong (star up ABC’s upcoming Dr. Ken) and Arsenio Hall for the following tweets about it last week:

please go see "Dying To Do Letterman" not only for comics, but for anyone with a dream. https://t.co/Zvmae6rPCC
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) September 7, 2015


Saw it, & luv'd it KJ – RT @kenjeong: please go see "Dying To Do Letterman" …
— Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) September 7, 2015

Congrats to our swag winners @WriteCoachKiki, @PASensation and @sobolamike. Listen to the podcast for how to claim your winnings! (It’s in the first two minutes.)
How we sold our new TV show to Oxygen, step by step.
If you’re reading this and wondering about breaking into unscripted television, you’re in the right place. One way to do that…pitch to us. Let’s make some TV together. Here’s how:
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Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Brett Ulery clean 23:52
Making TV With Adobe Premiere /making-tv-with-adobe-premiere/ Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:00:57 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1744 <p>People ask us all the time how we edit our TV shows. Until recently, it was a complicated, rambling answer filled with a mish-mosh of pseudo best practices. Not anymore. We’ve just taken our entire company in a brand new direction. We’re now making TV with Adobe Premiere and the Creative Cloud suite, and the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/making-tv-with-adobe-premiere/">Making TV With Adobe Premiere</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> People ask us all the time how we edit our TV shows. Until recently, it was a complicated, rambling answer filled with a mish-mosh of pseudo best practices. Not anymore. We’ve just taken our entire company in a brand new direction.

 
Can Adobe Compete in the Reality TV Industry?
Five years ago, like many, our production company Joke Productions would’ve shrugged off the idea of cutting our TV shows on Adobe Premiere. Our entire industry was run on Avid and Final Cut Pro (the pre X version) and no one thought about using anything else.
Then…Final Cut Pro was reborn as Final Cut X — and production companies everywhere freaked.
 
Many had chosen Final Cut Pro for its ability to composite in the timeline, have loads of audio tracks, and in certain situations, do more in less time. We were one of those companies.
While we still did occasional projects on Avid, so much of what we cut relied on heavy compositing, last minute changes, and numerous tracks of audio packed with sound design that it was less hassle to edit the shows in Final Cut Pro.
However, suddenly Final Cut Pro, as we knew it, was gone.
So What Do We Do Now?
One thing that makes our company a little different is that while we are the owners and executive producers, we’ve also both spent years personally working at edit bays.
Biagio is still lead (and often only) editor on all of our pilots and pitch tapes, and often edits on our series as well. Joke has spent many years stringing out story in edit bays.
Together we’d already both spent a great deal of time in Avid and Final Cut Pro over the years. Now we were getting up to speed in Final Cut X and Premiere so we could get our heads around the changing post landscape.
Basing our post decisions on hands-on experience has always been important to us. We don’t want to be executive producers waving our wands and saying “do it this way” without really understanding what we’re asking of our post team.
Since we knew what we really, really wanted out of an NLE (non-linear editor) we decided to try something crazy.
The Long Shot
We attempted to reach out directly to Apple, Avid, and Adobe, in hopes of telling them about our company, the wide variety of shows we make, and asking them to workshop with us to make their software work even better than what we were doing in FCP 7. (We didn’t actually know anyone at any of these companies.)
Both Avid and Premiere came to our offices to talk to us (hear the full story in the podcast ep above.)
Premiere had been doing some really interesting things for a while — integrating well with the outstanding Adobe After Effects and Photoshop (which we already used) and adding quirky new features that were unique to Premiere.
Adobe offered to work with us to tweak Premiere for the composite-heavy, resource-demanding brand of TV we were making.
But…no one had really battle-tested Premiere for the rigors of unscripted television.
Well, we’ve now battle tested it for a very, very long time.
Two Years Later
Everyone now knows Fincher cut Gone Girl on Adobe Premiere, but no one knew that during that time our (much smaller) company was investing countless hours into testing Premiere, or that Adobe was visiting our offices, listening to our concerns, and tweaking the software to work better for reality television.
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 35:51
Cinematic Storytelling with Reenactments /reenactments/ Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:45:58 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1716 <p>Reenactments in documentary, film, and TV projects give visual life to past events. They do so by re-creating those moments in a cinematic way. You’ve seen them in groundbreaking films like The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris, HBO’s recent The Jinx, every crime show on Discovery ID, and in our own upcoming series, Snapped: […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/reenactments/">Cinematic Storytelling with Reenactments</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Reenactments in documentary, film, and TV projects give visual life to past events. They do so by re-creating those moments in a cinematic way. You’ve seen them in groundbreaking films like The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris, HBO’s recent The Jinx, The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris, HBO’s recent The Jinx, every crime show on Discovery ID, and in our own upcoming series, Snapped: She Made Me Do It on Oxygen. But what goes into creating the visual style for your reenactments? What are your must-have shots? How do you keep things from getting generic? And why are reenactments a touchy and sometimes controversial subject?


 
Reenactments That Are Satisfying to Make…and to Watch.
We love reenactments (you might have guessed, since we’re making a show that features them.)
However, you can’t talk about any type of re-creation in the unscripted world without first acknowledging it’s a sometimes touchy subject.
 
In a great article at Flavorwire called The Case for Reenactment in Documentary Cinema some of the pros and cons of reenactments are explored. In the end, acclaimed documentarian Errol Morris is pretty clear that, like any filmmaking technique, reenactments can support or subvert the truth.
Not everyone agrees. Check out this interesting read Why Reenactments Never Work from The New Yorker.
We tend to side with Errol Morris, but understand the points made in the New Yorker article above (and we do agree that there’s enough ominous drone music out there!)
Reenactments — What Are They Based On?
As mentioned in our last podcast episode, on Snapped: She Made Me Do It we work hard to include families of victims, police officers who worked the crimes, and anyone else who can shed light on what really happened.
It’s then up to us to film reenactments that tell their stories in an engaging way.
Multiple Points of View?
Some of our reenactments are told from two points of view — that of the accused, and that of the accuser.
That means audiences will often see two versions of events, and we need to make sure they understand whose version they’re looking at.
It’s a tall order, one we take seriously, and one we discuss in great detail on today’s “nuts and bolts” reenactments podcast.
Just a few of the things we cover today:

* Filming cinematic reenactments
* Finding styles for reenactments based on themes in your story
* Specific themes we used to create reenactments in Snapped: She Made Me Do It
* Where reenactments can go wrong in film and TV
* Avoiding generic reenactments when you’re on a small budget and tight deadline

And so much more! Press that giant red “PLAY” button above and learn all about reenactments and the hands-on techniques that will help you make them shine.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

A past episode we did covering developing, pitching and selling shows featuring reenactments.
Our official announcement for Snapped: She Made Me Do It
E!]]>
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How We Sold Our New TV Show: Step by Step /how-we-sold-our-new-tv-show-step-by-step/ Tue, 04 Aug 2015 13:53:35 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1691 <p>Snapped: She Made Me Do It is our new TV series coming to Oxygen. Today, we tell you, step by step, how we went from idea to green-lit TV series.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/how-we-sold-our-new-tv-show-step-by-step/">How We Sold Our New TV Show: Step by Step</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Snapped: She Made Me Do It is our new TV series coming to Oxygen. Today, we tell you, step by step, how we went from idea to green-lit TV series. September 9th on Oxygen! It’s called Snapped: She Made Me Do It. We’re going to tell you how we did it (and why Oxygen is such a terrific network to work with.)


 
Idea to Greenlight — A Long Journey (But Worth It)
 
It all started when Joke was on her way to film our MTV True Life Special. She called at 5:30am and said, “I’ve got a great title for a new crime show.”
She was totally right…but it would take over two-and-a-half years to prove it!
She Made Me Do It
No, Joke didn’t make Biagio pitch this show (she didn’t have to! Exciting idea!)
“She Made Me Do It” was the original title Joke dreamt up for what was destined to become our first crime recreation series.
The new show, now called Snapped: She Made Me Do It premieres Wednesday, September 9, at 10pm on Oxygen.
(And listen to this episode to find out why we’re THRILLED Oxygen added “Snapped” to the front of that title.)
If you’ve listened to this podcast for awhile, you’ve heard us talk about various aspects of creating and pitching shows.
However, today’s episode is about the practical, hands-on application of those techniques. We take you through the five steps we faced in getting Snapped: She Made Me Do It on the air.
Oxygen: A Great Network to Work With
We’re so blown away by our experience with Oxygen, mainly because they’re encouraging us to try new things and be creative at every turn. Their open-mindedness has lead to one of the best looking shows we’ve ever produced.
Have a look at the Snapped: She Made Me Do It trailer below:

Crime with Heart
Despite the attention-grabbing title of the show, it was very important to both of us and to Oxygen that that heart of the show always lie in victim advocacy.
Snapped: She Made Me Do It works hard to include as many family members and friends of the victims as are willing to participate.
We personally think crime shows are at their best when they serve as morality tales, and remind viewers that victims are real people, not characters on a TV show.
A Process That Lasted Over Two Years
There is rarely a “straight line” from idea to TV series. There were a lot of stops and starts on this project. Thankfully, we had terrific execs at Oxygen who never stopped believing in the show.
Just a few of the things we cover today:

* The importance of your title — and when to change it!
* The materials we created to sell the show
* What the network asked us to deliver before they could pick the show up
* Why “no” isn’t “no” forever
* The greenlight process

And so much more! Press that giant red “PLAY” button above and learn all about the steps it takes to go from idea to TV series.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

Check out our Tips, Tricks and Controversies when making Reenactment Shows for hand...]]> Joke and Biagio clean 20:13 Choosing An Entertainment Attorney /choosing-an-entertainment-attorney/ Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1680 <p>Do you need an entertainment attorney? Are you sure? How much will an entertainment attorney charge you? And when choosing an entertainment attorney, how can you be sure you’re picking the right one?   Choosing An Entertainment Attorney Who’s Right For You…   Choosing an entertainment attorney can seem daunting. It can cost a ton […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/choosing-an-entertainment-attorney/">Choosing An Entertainment Attorney</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Do you need an entertainment attorney? Are you sure? How much will an entertainment attorney charge you? And when choosing an entertainment attorney, how can you be sure you’re picking the right one?   Choosing An Entertainment Attorney Who’s Right For...

 
Choosing An Entertainment Attorney Who’s Right For You…
 
Choosing an entertainment attorney can seem daunting. It can cost a ton of money, and in some cases be a total waste of money (if you choose the wrong one!)
We’ve been lucky in our career to have great legal council when we needed it.
We’ve also seen others derail their career and leave a trail of ashes. How?
By choosing an entertainment attorney who didn’t understand the area of entertainment in which their client was working.
Speaking from our own experience, nothing…and we mean nothing…is more disheartening than an aspiring producer who hires a general practice attorney to represent their reality TV idea or deal.
Like any industry, unscripted television has it’s own set of industry practices.
Many of these practices are driven by what TV networks will and won’t negotiate over.
When a lawyer (even an entertainment attorney) doesn’t understand the bigger picture that exists in unscripted television, things fall apart quickly.
The same would go for an entertainment lawyer who had never worked in feature films suddenly repping your movie concept. Or an attorney who had never talked to a record company trying to help you with your budding music career.
Just a few of the things we cover today:

* Finding an entertainment attorney.
* What to look for in an entertainment attorney.
* Choosing an entertainment attorney who is a good match for you.
* What you might expect to pay an entertainment attorney.
* What an entertainment attorney can help you with.
* Good traits of entertainment attorneys.

And so much more! Press that giant red “PLAY” button above and learn all about choosing an entertainment attorney who won’t ruin your career or drive you crazy!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links

While these laywers might not take your cold call, this Hollywood Reporter article will educate you in your quest for choosing an entertainment attorney.
Okay, long before you need an entertainment attorney you need to have someone interested in you or one of your projects. One way to do that…pitch to us, of course! Let’s make some TV together. Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 22:13
Should You Film Your Own TV Pilot? Pros & Cons /should-you-film-your-own-tv-pilot/ Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:40:10 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1670 <p>Should you shoot your own TV pilot? It’s not a simple yes or no question…but there are some simple guidelines to help you decide what your next move should be. Whether you’re just starting out, or negotiating your next reality TV series, we give you the scoop (plus, some candidly honest stories from our most […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/should-you-film-your-own-tv-pilot/">Should You Film Your Own TV Pilot? Pros & Cons</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Should you shoot your own TV pilot? It’s not a simple yes or no question…but there are some simple guidelines to help you decide what your next move should be. Whether you’re just starting out, or negotiating your next reality TV series,

 
To Pilot, or Not To Pilot…Is It Even A Question? Your Own TV Pilot…
 
Awhile back, we wrote an intro series to filming pilots, called Should I Produce My Own Reality TV Pilot?
The advice we give there still holds up, and you should give it a read, but we wanted to expand our advice a little bit.
You see, even when you’re an established production company like us, questions about pilots pop up.
Today we touch on a lot:

* Best reasons to shoot your own TV pilot.
* Best reasons NOT to shoot your own TV pilot.
* What you learn from filming a TV pilot
* What happens when a network wants to buy your series without a pilot?
* How to sell a pilot you already shot (HINT: Don’t show it to anyone!)
* Where the heck the two of us disappeared to two weeks ago

And so much more! Press that giant red “PLAY” button above and learn the ins and outs of filming TV pilots.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Here are 3 Reasons You Should Not Film Your Own TV Pilot.
And here are 3 Reasons You Should Film Your Own TV Pilot.
And here are 5 Rules For the Hands-On Producer Filming Their Own TV Pilot.
Don’t Miss What Goes in a Pitch Tape? Should You Make One? and Sizzle Reels: Budgets, Investors, and More.
Okay, you’ve decided whether or not you’re going to shoot your own TV pilot. Your next step? Pitch to us, of course! Let’s make some TV together. Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio clean 14:55
3 Secrets: Asking Questions In Hollywood (Without Sounding Stupid) /asking-questions/ Tue, 09 Jun 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1656 <p>Is there any such thing as a dumb question? YES. Use these three secrets to always know when, where, and how to ask questions without driving professionals up the wall. Asking questions in Hollywood is an art. Here’s how to do it without wasting time and looking clueless!   There Are Stupid Questions (And Stupid […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/asking-questions/">3 Secrets: Asking Questions In Hollywood (Without Sounding Stupid)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Is there any such thing as a dumb question? YES. Use these three secrets to always know when, where, and how to ask questions without driving professionals up the wall. Asking questions in Hollywood is an art.

 
There Are Stupid Questions (And Stupid Ways to Ask Them)
 
We ran across a great article in Filmmaker Magazine the other day, The Seven Arts of Working in Film.
It’s a great read, and you should be sure to have a look.
One our favorite parts of the article tackled the art of asking questions.
Asking questions can make you look like a total pro, or complete noobie — it all depends on how you do it.
Asking questions the wrong way makes pros say, “Ouch” at best, and makes them angry at worst. Regularly ask questions the wrong way and you’ll soon find yourself on the wrong side of those who can help your career.
Asking Questions The Right Way
Just some of what we cover today:

* Why some questions are dumb.
* What are the right filters to run through BEFORE asking questions?
* Should you be afraid of asking questions?
* Do you really want to ask your questions in front of an audience? If so, which audience?
* How do we feel about asking questions of others?
* What happens when you ask stupid questions?

And so much more!
Don’t make the same mistakes as the countless newbies who go about asking questions all wrong. Hit the giant “PLAY” button above to take your “asking questions” skills to a whole new level.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Network Notes — Dealing with Them the Right Way.
Okay, you want to make some great TV, have some concepts you’d like to pitch to us, and want to know what to do next? That’s NOT a stupid question. Here’s the answer:
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Pro Tip: Awesome Beginnings /pro-tip-awesome-beginnings/ Tue, 26 May 2015 14:30:42 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1653 <p>There’s one thing we do on every piece of tape we ever edit — whether it’s a full-blown television episode, or a brand new pitch tape. And it’s never let us down… Get Your Beginning Right   Just some of what we cover today: How much time we spend on beginnings versus the rest of […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pro-tip-awesome-beginnings/">Pro Tip: Awesome Beginnings</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> There’s one thing we do on every piece of tape we ever edit — whether it’s a full-blown television episode, or a brand new pitch tape. And it’s never let us down… Get Your Beginning Right   Just some of what we cover today: How much time we spend on be... Get Your Beginning Right
 
Just some of what we cover today:

* How much time we spend on beginnings versus the rest of the tape
* The amount of time we give a new tape we watch before tuning out (Joke is different than Biagio)
* What should an awesome beginning accomplish?
* Why does Joke sound like she swallowed a frog?

And so much more!
Transcript Coming Soon!
Okay, you know the importance of a great beginning. Here’s how to get to a great ending:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 6:42
Pitch TV Series NOT Profile Pieces /pitch-tv-series/ Tue, 12 May 2015 14:00:32 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1641 <p>Here’s a HUGE mistake aspiring producers make when pitching what they think are viable TV series: they pitch profile pieces instead. It’s something we’ve seen a rash of in the past few months, and we want to help you avoid this mistake immediately. Not kidding — we just passed on at least 40 or 50 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-tv-series/">Pitch TV Series NOT Profile Pieces</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Here’s a HUGE mistake aspiring producers make when pitching what they think are viable TV series: they pitch profile pieces instead. It’s something we’ve seen a rash of in the past few months, and we want to help you avoid this mistake immediately.

 
Want to Pitch TV Series? Get This One Thing Right:
 
Don’t pitch a story that could show up on 20/20, 60 minutes, Entertainment Tonight, or the local news.
Short, self-contained, entertaining stories are essentially profile pieces. Some simple examples:

* A homeless man who turned his life around
* An athlete who overcame a disability to win a gold medal
* An interesting annual competition that’s just around the corner…

You could see any one of those stories on a magazine-style news show.
None of them, in and of themselves, are pitchable as TV series.
It’s not that a profile piece can NEVER become a TV show, it’s that a profile piece alone will NEVER be enough if you want to pitch TV series.
For example, one of our current TV series, Ghost Inside My Child, began as a profile piece on the local news in Cleveland, Ohio. However, using some of the techniques mentioned in today’s episode, we turned it into a TV series that’s now going into its third season.
How To Develop a Profile Piece to Pitch a TV Series
Just some of what we cover today:

* How to spot a profile piece early on and the right way to course correct
* Truly grasping the difference between a glorified profile piece and TV series pitch
* Two things you must do to elevate a profile piece if you want to pitch it as a TV show
* Finding larger phenomenons in smaller profile pieces
* The 22 and 44 minute dilemma
* What the movie Armageddon has to do with any of this
* Props to all your Moms out there!

And so much more!
Don’t make the same mistake we’ve JUST seen made by so many aspiring producers. Hit the giant “PLAY” button above and never pitch a simple “profile piece” again.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
What’s a Story Engine and Why do you Need One? – A giant step to pitch TV series instead of profile pieces.
Sell Film and TV by Crafting Your Second Hook – If you want to pitch TV series, yoru second hook is crucial.
How to Pitch a Reality Show – the totally free, most in-depth web guide on pitching a reality show you’ll ever read. If you want to pitch to us, this guide tells you everything you need to know.
Okay, since you now know how to pitch TV series and not profile pieces, you’re way ahead of the game. Here’s what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 14:54
3 Steps: Pitch Cinematic Re-Creation TV Shows /pitch-re-creation/ Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:00:54 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1629 <p>You’ve seen The Jinx on HBO. Enjoyed great crime recreation shows on Discovery ID. Laughed out loud at Drunk History on Comedy Central. Maybe even gasped at TLC’s Sex Sent Me to the ER. These are great, cinematic recreation shows. Today, we’re going to tell you how to create and pitch re-creation shows of your […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-re-creation/">3 Steps: Pitch Cinematic Re-Creation TV Shows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You’ve seen The Jinx on HBO. Enjoyed great crime recreation shows on Discovery ID. Laughed out loud at Drunk History on Comedy Central. Maybe even gasped at TLC’s Sex Sent Me to the ER. These are great, cinematic recreation shows. Today,

 
Unscripted TV + Mini-Movies = A Lot of Fun
 
Making re-creation style shows is a lot of fun (we’re working on three right now.) You get the thrill and authenticity of doc-style shows, which is great. But you ALSO get to shoot really cinematic re-creation scenes to bring your shows to life.
Who doesn’t want to get paid to use dollies, jibs, cinema lights, and shoot “mini movies” every week?
From crime shows to comedic retellings of every day events, re-creation shows are making a comeback (and we’re having a blast pitching, selling, and producing them.)
Pitch Re-Creation TV Series with These Three Tips
Just some of what we cover today:

* Warnings to heed when you pitch re-creation shows.
* Why your title needs to be MORE than just a title.
* How your style guide becomes crucial in the pitch re-creation TV process.
* The one thing you MUST include when you pitch re-creation shows to ensure they’re not just “ideas” (you know we hate those.)
* Why Joke raises a finger to interupt this podcast episode.
* What chicken curry has to do with any of this.

And so much more!
Don’t make the same mistakes just about EVERYONE else does. Hit the giant “PLAY” button above and learn to pitch re-creation style TV series and be taken seriously.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Your hands on guide to crafting and filming cinematic reenactments.
Style Guides for Reality TV – never more important than when you’re pitching a re-creation show.
How to Make Re-Creation Reality: A Case Study – some of our own experiences making re-cre shows, and take-aways you can put to use today.
Ghost Inside My Child – a short post with a few links about our own re-creation TV series (we have another BIG crime show coming out later this year. Stay tuned!)
Okay, you probably already have a great show you want to pitch us, so we can all make some terrific style guides together. If that’s the case, here’s what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 15:25
Style Guides for Reality TV: A How To /style-guides-for-reality-tv-a-how-to/ Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:00:16 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1619 <p>When you start talking to a network, studio, or even a production company, one piece of creative material becomes crucial… your style guide. But what is a style guide? What goes in it? And why do politics and psychology play a huge role in how you put it together? Today, we’ll answer all those questions, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/style-guides-for-reality-tv-a-how-to/">Style Guides for Reality TV: A How To</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> When you start talking to a network, studio, or even a production company, one piece of creative material becomes crucial… your style guide. But what is a style guide? What goes in it? And why do politics and psychology play a huge role in how you put ...

 
Style Guides Will Save Your Career
 
Style guides are crucial because they allow you to communicate your vision for a reality television show to those who are paying you to make it.
Once you’ve learned how to successfully pitch a reality show, and you have a network excited aboutyour concept, the real work begins.
Nothing is more frustrating than shooting and editing an entire project only to learn that the network or studio had something completely different in mind.
Style guides solve that problem.
What Goes in Style Guides?
You’re putting together a style guide? Why? What’s the point of making one?
Essentially, a style guide is a semi-fancy document with big pictures, large fonts, and few words, that presents tangible examples of how your TV show is going to look.
Here are your goals with a style guide:

* Present a clear vision of the show you want to make, so that your clients (the network, studio, or whoever) get it. This prevents surprises later.
* Write the style guide in a way that specifically works for the psychology of the exec who’s reading it (we go over this in today’s podcast.)
* How your show will look, feel, and sound

Sounds simple enough, but as we’ve learned over the years, creating style guides is like playing chess. Strategies, contents, and goals for style guides change with every project we take on.
Just some of the points about style guides we cover today:

* Why different projects -and networks – require different kinds of style guides.
* When to use flowery language, and when not to.
* How the themes and challenges of a show can shape it’s look and feel.
* The process we went through making style guides for three different TV series.
* An update on how to find out what shows we’re looking for right now.
* What “emotional velocity” has to do with any of this.

And so much more!
Hit the giant “PLAY” button above and learn to make perfect style guides that will save you time, money, and possibly, save your career.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Dealing With Network Notes – another thing you must do if you want success in Hollywood. And believe us…you’ll get notes on your style guide!
Steal This Editing Secret to Edit Film and Video Like a Pro – What we say in this post about editing tapes and creating graphics goes for style guides, too. It’s not that you need to find specific style guides for reality TV shows, but you should look at documents that are professionally laid out, and steal what you like.
Okay, you probably already have a great show you want to pitch us, so we can all make some terrific style guides together. If that’s the case, here’s what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 18:04
Selling Reality TV: Your Questions Answered. /selling-reality-tv-your-questions-answered/ Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:00:24 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1610 <p>It’s episode 50! 50 episodes? We can hardly believe it ourselves. Thanks to all of you who’ve tuned in, written to us, sent in submissions, and encouraged us to get this far. Today, to celebrate, we turned the content over to you. We’re answering questions directly from listeners. We bet at least one of these […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/selling-reality-tv-your-questions-answered/">Selling Reality TV: Your Questions Answered.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s episode 50! 50 episodes? We can hardly believe it ourselves. Thanks to all of you who’ve tuned in, written to us, sent in submissions, and encouraged us to get this far. Today, to celebrate, we turned the content over to you.
 
Straight From You
 
Just some of the questions we tackle today:

* Can you work on the shows you pitch? Or will you be sidelined?
* Who owns a reality TV show or documentary series?
* What if you live overseas?
* Can you run the shows you pitch?
* What if you don’t know all the showbiz “lingo” people are using?

And so much more!
Hit the giant “PLAY” button above and prepare you mind for Hollywood success.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
How to Pitch a Reality Show — our ultimate, free guide. Read it, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.
5 Ways You Can Break into Unscripted Television — whether you want to work on a show, be on a show, or just make some pocket change, we cover it all here.
Step By Step: TV Idea to TV Show — interivew with two hands on producers we teamed up with to sell a pilot to a major cable network.
Reality TV Worlds — can you set a TV show in a bland office? Does the world really matter? Have a listen.
Okay, some of you have listened to all fifty episodes and know the drill. If you’re new, here’s what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 28:26
The Bueller Podcast /the-bueller-podcast/ Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:00:15 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1603 <p>Bueller…Bueller…? This episode is more of a “love you and we’re thinking about you” message than a full podcast, although there is at least one piece of exciting news revealed… We’re Freaking Sick Not like “oh, they’re so cool they’re sick” — just sick. Turns out when your kids catch colds at school, they bring […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/the-bueller-podcast/">The Bueller Podcast</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Bueller…Bueller…? This episode is more of a “love you and we’re thinking about you” message than a full podcast, although there is at least one piece of exciting news revealed… We’re Freaking Sick Not like “oh, We’re Freaking Sick
Not like “oh, they’re so cool they’re sick” — just sick. Turns out when your kids catch colds at school, they bring them home with them.
Who knew?
Still Here For You
Either way, we were thinking of you, and wanted to let you know you’re important enough that the podcast won’t call off sick.
However, one of us was just too ill to do the podcast at all. Can you guess who? Looks like you’ll have to listen to find out.
You’ll also learn about some exciting and helpful info we’ll be releasing for you shortly, and the horrific thing the Tribecca Film Festival said about one of our TV shows.
For the sickest 3 minutes you’ll ever hear, hit the giant PLAY button above.
Helpful and related links:
Shows We’re Looking for Right Now — how to find out what they are.
The Joke And Biagio Blog — the one that started it all. Lots of our most helpful posts are listed right on the front page.
The Tribeca Film Festival calls our show Scream Queens the greatest horror-themed reality show ever made.
Send us “get well soon” wishes on Twitter 🙂
Finally, to get access to the free members-only portal and see shows we’re looking for right now…here’s what you need to do:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 3:53
3 Steps to Win the Hollywood Numbers Game /hollywood-numbers-game/ Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:00:29 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1580 <p>Hollywood is a numbers game. And it will drive you crazy. Today’s episode is about far more than simply selling a lot of projects. It’s about keeping your sanity and your happiness while pursuing a dream. Whether you’re pitching a reality TV show, writing screenplays, selling yourself as a director, or trying to work in […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/hollywood-numbers-game/">3 Steps to Win the Hollywood Numbers Game</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Hollywood is a numbers game. And it will drive you crazy. Today’s episode is about far more than simply selling a lot of projects. It’s about keeping your sanity and your happiness while pursuing a dream. Whether you’re pitching a reality TV show,
 
Deciding to Play the Game
 
Working in the entertainment industry is hard. Selling your own projects is infinitely harder. But it’s possible.
We’re proof.
You remember our shocking true story, right?
We came from nothing, knew nobody, and were crazy enough to bet our lives on our success.
Now we have a 7,000 square foot facility near Universal Studios, and over 100 hours of TV under our belts. (And if unscripted TV is your thing, our free guide How to Pitch a Reality Show will set you on the right path to pitching shows that sell.)
If we were able to do it, it’s not impossible. But it IS hard.
And today we’re completely, unabashedly honest about it.
 
 
More Than Just Following Steps
The steps we’re going to share may or may not sound earth shattering to you, but our reasons behind them come from over a decade of playing the Hollywood numbers game.
And we’ve won more than once.
Your turn.
Hit the giant “PLAY” button above and prepare you mind for Hollywood success.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Art of the Soft Pitch — don’t play the numbers game by simply pitching tons of ideas. You’ll lose.
Survive Production: 7 Weird Tips Guaranteed to Save Your Sanity and Help Avoid Burnout. Since we’re talking about happiness, these tips will help you get through any production with your personal life intact.
412 Days Later – the story of selling a show and waiting over a year to start shooting it. What???
Okay, ready to play the Hollywood Numbers Game? Why not play it with us? Here’s how to get free access to submit your unscripted television pitches to us:
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Joke and Biagio clean 14:46
Soft Pitch Blueprint: Beyond Ideas for Reality TV Pitch Success /soft-pitch/ Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:00:31 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1303 <p>In past we’ve encouraged you to “soft pitch” ideas. Unfortunately, we’ve never actually told you how to do that. The result is that many of you are sending in submissions that are not soft pitches at all. Instead, they are broad ideas that hurt your chances of success. That ends today. You’re about to learn […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/soft-pitch/">Soft Pitch Blueprint: Beyond Ideas for Reality TV Pitch Success</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> In past we’ve encouraged you to “soft pitch” ideas. Unfortunately, we’ve never actually told you how to do that. The result is that many of you are sending in submissions that are not soft pitches at all. Instead, What’s A Soft Pitch and Why Should You Care?
A soft pitch is a discussion about a potential reality TV concept or doc series. You have this discussion when you’re wondering if you should spend more time developing the project. (Something we went into in our guide on how to pitch a reality show.)
If you decide to soft pitch, it should take place:

* AFTER you’ve you’ve found a real person, place, business, or other interesting thing to build your show around.
* BEFORE you film anythnig.

Why Give a Soft Pitch?
When you’re just starting out, you’re developing in a vacuum. You don’t know what networks are buying, or what kinds of shows are total no-gos.
Today, at Joke Productions, our reality TV production company, we talk to agents and network execs every day.
Chances are you don’t yet have that luxury.
That means there could be issues with our project you have no way of identifying on your own.
Potential Issues With Your Pitch
Your concept might be a MOP (Most Often Pitched.)
As an example of a MOP, don’t spend a bunch of time on a ghost-hunting pitch right now. (There are so many straight-forward ghost-hunting pitches out there it would be a long shot. If you’re compelled to shoot it anyways, at least you know it probably won’t get to air.)
Or you might have discovered great characters very similar to a project recently purchased by a few different networks. If you’re not talking to agents and network execs every day, you wouldn’t know this.
By soft pitching to the right people (not an agent, manager, or someone you pay to listen to you) you can get a feel for whether a project is worth pursuing.
Soft Pitch the Right Way
Here’s what a soft pitch is NOT.
It’s not just an idea. These are not soft pitches:

* “How about a reality show at an amusement park?”
* “It’s a hyper-real show about divorce.”
* “We find cute girls who are all BFFs and follow their path to adulthood.”
* “It’s a fitness show about looking your best.”
* “A documentary series set at Donald Trump’s mansion. I don’t know the man, but I’m sure with a network on board he’d bite.”

Soft pitching the right way means building your soft pitch around something real you’ve already discovered.
Today’s podcast episode gives you a blueprint on how to soft pitch. It’ll help you avoid the mistakes so many make when employing this technique.
For examples of soft pitches, a “soft pitch clinic” featuring before and afters, and sage advice from Joke on who you should and should not soft pitch, click the giant PLAY button above.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Don’t Pitch These Four Kinds Of Shows — they are all really hard sells.
clean 16:47
Hollywood Pitch Meetings: Pro Tip For Success /hollywood-pitch-meetings/ Tue, 03 Feb 2015 15:00:53 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1237 <p>Hollywood Pitch Meetings can go horribly wrong -- usually at the exact same spot. Here's a pro tip to ensure you rock your Hollywood pitch meetings.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/hollywood-pitch-meetings/">Hollywood Pitch Meetings: Pro Tip For Success</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Hollywood Pitch Meetings can go horribly wrong -- usually at the exact same spot. Here's a pro tip to ensure you rock your Hollywood pitch meetings. Pivot Your Pitch

You can instantly tell someone who’s been taking Hollywood pitch meetings for awhile from someone who hasn’t — and it’s the way they pivot their pitch to excite the buyer they’re sitting across from.
How? Today we cover:

* What it means to pivot your pitch
* The right–and wrong–ways to answer questions in Hollywood pitch meetings
* A true story of producers who did this all wrong
* Whether or not it’s okay to brainstorm while in Hollywood pitch meetings
* How our filmmaking friend just made one million dollars by being “hands on” and proving himself

Hollywood Pitch Meetings: Make Them Count
You’re going to learn the hard way that when taking Hollywood pitch meetings, (whether or not in “Hollywood”) you really only do get one shot at a first impression. (Even more reason to make sure you understand how to pitch a reality show.)
Learn to pivot your pitch, engage your exec, and answer questions the right way, and you’ll be one of the pitch meetings execs (and production companies like ours) smile about.
Hit the giant PLAY button above to learn how to pivot your pitch, and have great hollywood pitch meetings.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Don’t Make this Pitch Mistake — it will keep you from pivoting your pitch in hollywood pitch meetings.
Stop ruining your pitches — brilliant advice from a former Hollywood Exec who’s seen it all.
Cheat sheet to pitch us reality TV shows and documentary series..
Check out our 8 episodes with a clickable table of contents on the Joke and Biagio Youtube channel.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Make Reality TV Shows & Documentary Series With Us!
]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 17:32 Pitch Secret: Shift Your POV for Pitch Success /pitch-secret-shift-pov-pitch-success/ Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:00:20 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1210 <p>Your reality TV pitch can be derailed early on by one giant POV mistake...here's how to shift your POV and skyrocket your odds of pitch success.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-secret-shift-pov-pitch-success/">Pitch Secret: Shift Your POV for Pitch Success</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Your reality TV pitch can be derailed early on by one giant POV mistake...here's how to shift your POV and skyrocket your odds of pitch success. Shift Your POV and Mega-Improve Your Pitches
TV has changed pretty drastically in the last 20 years. If you listen to Joke’s advice from episode 1 of this podcast Make Reality TV Shows & Documentary Series with Joke & Biagio, you know your big homework when starting out is to watch TV.
Yet so many, many, many aspiring producers continue to pitch us shows that wouldn’t be on TV today (something we hit hard in our ultimate guide to pitching reality TV.)
One of the main culprits of this phenomenon is people pitching shows from the wrong POV — and it’s one of the top reasons we instantly discard pitches as not worth considering.
However, this will never happen to you — whether you’re pitching to us or any other reality TV production company in Hollywood.
Here’s what we cover today:

* “Looking At” versus “Living With”
* Hosts versus Characters
* Shifting your POV to create pitches that get noticed
* Understanding how unscripted television works today
* What extreme basket weaving has to do with any of this!

Hit the giant PLAY button above to learn how to shift your POV when creating and pitching shows, and massively improve your chances for success.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Develop Shows without Going Broke — no one needs to end up bankrupt just because they want to make TV.
Don’t Pitch These Four Kinds of Shows — never, ever, ever, ever, okay?
What TV Networks are Looking For — good to know, right?
Cheat sheet to pitch us reality TV shows and documentary series..
Check out our 8 episodes with a clickable table of contents on the Joke and Biagio Youtube channel.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Make Reality TV Shows & Documentary Series With Us!
We’ve even put together clean 11:17
5 Traits of Successful Film & TV Producers (And the Letter “L”) /5-traits-of-successful-film-and-tv-producers-and-the-letter-l/ Tue, 06 Jan 2015 15:00:51 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1198 <p>Happy 2015! To kick off a great year, we wanted to start out with five traits you can actively develop to become a better film or TV producer. And it’s all brought to you today by the letter “L.” Today…The Letter “L” We’ve made a lot of TV, some film, and worked with many, many […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/5-traits-of-successful-film-and-tv-producers-and-the-letter-l/">5 Traits of Successful Film & TV Producers (And the Letter “L”)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> 5 traits you can actively develop to become a better film or TV producer. And it all starts with the letter “L.” Today…The Letter “L”
We’ve made
a lot of TV, some film, and worked with many, many successful people over the years.
Trying to quantify success in a list of five things isn’t easy, and will never be exhaustive.
But when we sat down to think about the traits we’ve picked up from those we respect, and practices that have made us both successful and happy, this list, brought to you today by the letter “L” is how we chalk it up.
Always be:

* Learning
* Living
* Leaning
* Leading
* Laughing

The 5 L’s — What do they mean?
Well, that’s what the podcast is for!
Hit the giant PLAY button above to learn how these five L-words have shaped our careers, lives, and happiness.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Learn how to pitch us documentary series and reality TV shows.
Check out our 8 episodes with a clickable table of contents on the Joke and Biagio Youtube channel.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Put those 5 “L’s” to use! Here’s what’s next:
]]> Biagio Messina and Joke Fincioen, Joke Productions, Inc. clean How To Reverse Engineer Your Reality TV Pitch /reverse-engineer-reality-tv-pitch/ Tue, 09 Dec 2014 15:00:08 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1184 <p>We had a meeting last week. Like many meetings we take, someone had a great idea for a reality TV show or documentary series. It was set in an interesting world, but this person wasn’t sure if the idea would work best as a Follow-Doc, Format, or Hybrid (and you already know what those industry […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/reverse-engineer-reality-tv-pitch/">How To Reverse Engineer Your Reality TV Pitch</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> We had a meeting last week. Like many meetings we take, someone had a great idea for a reality TV show or documentary series. It was set in an interesting world, but this person wasn’t sure if the idea would work best as a Follow-Doc, Format, already know what those industry terms mean, right?.) Luckily, there’s a simple way to answer this question every time…
Reverse Engineer Your Ideas And Create Better TV Show Pitches
In today’s episode, you get our secret sauce for deciding how to pitch a TV show. This is the same method we use to develop every idea we go out to pitch, and it all hinges on one key technique. You’ll learn all about it in today’s ep:

* The right and wrong way to approach your unscripted TV show idea.
* How to let what’s real guide the format and style of your show.
* Starting with a world versus starting with a character or business.
* How you can swing by and say “hi” to the two of us — but you might freeze to death.

Hit the giant PLAY button above to learn the reverse-engineering trick we use on every idea we come up with.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Discovered some great characters? You’ll need to put them on tape. Here’s a guide to getting great interviews for documentaries and reality TV.
The easy step-by-step guide to pitching us shows.
Our all important first 8 episodes with a clickable table of contents on the Joke and Biagio Youtube channel.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Okay, you’re ready to reverse-engineer those pitches. Then…pitch them to us!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 11:14
Make Reality TV: 5 Steps to Great Cast Relationships /cast-relationships-make-reality-tv/ Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:45:47 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1169 <p>Cast relationships — how you communicate with and prepare your cast — is key to making a great reality TV show or documentary series. Making sure those cast relationships stay strong both during and long after a show is done is not only crucial to your success in this industry, but it’s the right thing […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/cast-relationships-make-reality-tv/">Make Reality TV: 5 Steps to Great Cast Relationships</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Cast relationships — how you communicate with and prepare your cast — is key to making a great reality TV show or documentary series. Making sure those cast relationships stay strong both during and long after a show is done is not only crucial to your... Cast Relationships: The Key to Great Reality TV Shows and Happy Experiences
After making TV for quite a few years, we believe there’s nothing more important than earning and keeping the trust of your cast, and ensuring those cast relationships stay strong all during production and well after. A few things we cover today to help you do just that:

* The right way to prepare your cast for pitching — or making– a reality TV show or documentary series.
* How to get great story without putting words in your casts’ mouths.
* Which TV business facts you must teach your cast before you shoot.
* And why it’s crucial know…when the toilet paper runs out.

Our Cast is Our Family

Wesley Branch, one of the stand-out characters on our MTV show CAGED, was seriously injured in an accident, and is currently paralyzed from the stomach down.
His friends and family have started a GoFundMe page to support his recovery. Wes is an incredible guy, and loving father to his four-year-old son.
We’re proud supporters of his recovery fund, and hope that you’ll consider helping him out, even if all you give is $1.
The GoFundMe page is here.
Cast Relationships Go Beyond Any TV Show
Hit the giant PLAY button above to learn more about working with your cast, from the first time you consider pitching them for a show, all the way through you final episodes and beyond.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
The page where you can support Wes and his recovery: Wesley Branch GoFundMe page.
Joke mentions dealing with network notes and managing their expectation, something we talk about in Make TV Networks and Studios Happy – Dealing With Network Notes
Found great characters? You’ll need to put them on tape. Here’s a guide to getting great interviews for documentaries and reality TV.
The easy step-by-step guide to pitching us shows.
Our all important first 8 episodes with a clickable table of contents on the Joke and Biagio Youtube channel.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, clean 28:43
Sizzle Reel: Budgets, Investors, and More… /sizzle-reel-budgets-investors/ Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:00:21 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1147 <p>Should You Get Investors For Your Sizzle Reel? We’ve finally received this question enough times that we realize you want the answer. Forgive us for being slow! Today we spell out our thoughts and give you a bunch of tips to help you decide how much time and money to budget for your sizzle reel […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/sizzle-reel-budgets-investors/">Sizzle Reel: Budgets, Investors, and More…</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Should You Get Investors For Your Sizzle Reel? We’ve finally received this question enough times that we realize you want the answer. Forgive us for being slow! Today we spell out our thoughts and give you a bunch of tips to help you decide how much ti... Your Sizzle Reel — How Much to Invest?
Priceless info we share today:

* should you get investors for your sizzle reel?
* how much money should you spend on a sizzle reel?
* how much time should you spend on a sizzle reel?
* how much cash did we spend on our first sizzle reel?
* to what level should you polish a sizzle reel before sending it to us?
* do we respond more favorably to a highly polished sizzle reel?
* why do the two of us have mushy brains right now?

Hit the giant PLAY button above and learn the right way to budget your time and money when making a sizzle reel to sell your TV show concept.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Contemplating making a sizzle reel?
What Goes in a Pitch Tape? Should You Make One?
Here’s how you make sizzle tapes and develop shows without going broke.
Making a pitch tape? Don’t forget your awesome paper pitch — 5 steps to making them great!
Every sizzle reel will likely have interviews. Here’s a guide to getting great interviews for documentaries and reality TV.
The easy step-by-step guide to pitching us shows.
Our all important first 8 episodes with a clickable table of contents on the Joke and Biagio Youtube channel.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Now that you know the ins and outs of sizzle reels, let’s make some TV together!
We’ve even given you 7 simple steps to pitch to us, boiling it all down into one post.
So you know what’s next:
]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 12:32 5 Scary Things About Producing TV Shows /5-scary-things-producing-tv-shows/ Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:00:24 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1137 <p>With Halloween just around the corner, and lots of “scare” in the air, we thought we’d share five little known, horrifying things about producing TV shows. If you’re an aspiring producer, you’ve probably never even considered these terrifying treats that come along with every new show you sell… MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Just a few nightmares we terrify […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/5-scary-things-producing-tv-shows/">5 Scary Things About Producing TV Shows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> With Halloween just around the corner, and lots of “scare” in the air, we thought we’d share five little known, horrifying things about producing TV shows. If you’re an aspiring producer, you’ve probably never even considered these terrifying treats th... MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Just a few nightmares we terrify you with today:

* why the show you sell isn’t always the show you make
* walking the line between creatives and lawyers
* dealing with network set visits
* preparing for the “I just got kicked in the butt” call
* how the vision of a show can morph over time
* what you can really do to affect your ratings
* does Joke really speak a crazy devil language?

Hit the giant PLAY button above to scare yourself silly. Happy Halloween!
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Joke’s post about sending your TV show off into the wild.
The easy step-by-step guide to pitching us shows.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
If you’re not too scared after listening to this podcast!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 11:59
Make TV Networks and Studios Happy – Dealing With Network Notes /network-notes/ Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:18:38 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1124 <p>Whether you’re doing a TV show for a network, writing a screenplay for a studio, or creating a web series with friends, there is no getting around the notes process. Everyone has an opinion on where your project should go next. Believe it or not, the notes phase is a make it or break it […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/network-notes/">Make TV Networks and Studios Happy – Dealing With Network Notes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Whether you’re doing a TV show for a network, writing a screenplay for a studio, or creating a web series with friends, there is no getting around the notes process. Everyone has an opinion on where your project should go next. Believe it or not,
Don’t Let the Notes Process Kill Your Passion — Or Your Career
Just a few things we cover today:

* why handling notes can make or break your career
* keeping your creative compass
* the most dastardly notes situation and how to get out of it
* whose side to take when facing conflicting notes
* when and how to communicate about notes
* the “note behind the note” and why it’s crucial
* what this all has to do with surfing
* why it’s never lupus

Hit the giant PLAY button above and turn the notes process into a career boost instead of a passion killer.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
The easy step-by-step guide to pitching us shows.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
This podcast ep really helped you get your head in the network game. You’re primed and ready to make some TV.
We’ve even given you 7 simple steps to pitch to us, boiling it all down into one post.
So you know what’s next:
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Pitching Reality TV? Know This Rule for Success… /pitching-reality-tv-success-rule/ Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:00:45 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1113 <p>You’re one of the smart ones. Instead of wasting time on larger-than life formats (which are all long shots) or magazine-style travel shows (which no one wants) you understand that the fastest way to break into unscripted television is to find great, real life characters and build a show around them. After all, you’ve read […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitching-reality-tv-success-rule/">Pitching Reality TV? Know This Rule for Success…</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You’re one of the smart ones. Instead of wasting time on larger-than life formats (which are all long shots) or magazine-style travel shows (which no one wants) you understand that the fastest way to break into unscripted television is to find great, in-depth guide to pitching reality shows. But there’s one rule you need to be aware of if you want to be seen as a pro, and perhaps more importantly, keep your sanity. What’s the rule?
Best Cast Wins.
When we first heard this phrase from an exec years ago, we were surprised. What did it mean? Why was it part of the business?
Just a few things we cover today:

* Why ideas aren’t enough.
* Could your terrific cast be all wrong?
* What happens when execs and production companies have to choose between competing projects?
* How can you give yourself the best chance at presenting a “winning” cast?
* Where can you look to learn exactly what casts work for which networks?
* Why understanding this rule can mentally prepare you for long-term success.

Hit the giant PLAY button above to instantly increase your odds of getting a job in Hollywood.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Why Ideas Aren’t Enough.
Your Characters: 6 Must-Have Traits of Reality TV Characters and Documentary Subjects.
Top Secret: What TV Networks Buy (And Why)
7 Steps to Pitch Us Show.
We’re speaking at Getting Real, and here is more info on the event.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Okay, you’ve found the best cast! You win! Here’s what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean
Landing Jobs in Hollywood – Insider Tips /landing-jobs-hollywood/ Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:00:09 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1084 <p>One way to break into Hollywood? Get a job on a real production. While not the simplest route, you’d be amazed to learn how many people shoot themselves in the foot by making easy-to-avoid mistakes. Seriously! Fresh off a recent hiring spree, we tell you exactly why we automatically considered some applicants, and instantly rejected […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/landing-jobs-hollywood/">Landing Jobs in Hollywood – Insider Tips</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> One way to break into Hollywood? Get a job on a real production. While not the simplest route, you’d be amazed to learn how many people shoot themselves in the foot by making easy-to-avoid mistakes. Seriously! Fresh off a recent hiring spree, Uncommon Sense
You’d think some things are just plain old “common sense.” Awhile ago, Joke started using the phrase “uncommon sense” and it’s really stuck around here. Why? Because so much of what we in the industry take to be “common sense” apparently isn’t.
We don’t know why that is, but after filling a handful of positions on several shows and at the office in the past few months at our production company Joke Productions, we were amazed (even a little devastated) to find so many (hundreds!) of applicants who blew serious consideration for the jobs right off the bat.
Just a few things we cover today in hopes of sharing some “uncommon sense” 🙂

* Fixing your cover letters/emails in two minutes or less.
* Properly researching and understanding the position.
* One simple trick to make your cover letter instantly stand out.
* Video cover letters — yes or no?
* Handling an interview correctly.
* And…did Joke ever actually give birth to our baby boy?

Hit the giant PLAY button above to instantly increase your odds of getting a job in Hollywood.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
How Not To Suck: Hollywood Advice We Love. Don’t be that person!
3 Tips to Break Into Hollywood and Stay There. More helpful advice.
How to make the Move to Hollywood – a helpful post that lead to us hiring ther very person who asked us the question!
We’re speaking at Getting Real, and here is more info on the event.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
You know you want to!
We’ve even given you 7 simple steps to pitch to us, boiling it all down into one post.
So you know what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 27:18
3 Steps: Turn a Character into a TV Show /character-tv-show/ Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:00:27 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1073 <p>You’ve discovered an amazing, real life person that you are sure could be a reality TV show…now what? Today, we give you 3 concrete steps to greatly increase your odds of selling a character-centered show. One Awesome Character = Not Enough… But worry not, oh faithful listeners! We’re going to give you the tools to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/character-tv-show/">3 Steps: Turn a Character into a TV Show</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You’ve discovered an amazing, real life person that you are sure could be a reality TV show…now what? Today, we give you 3 concrete steps to greatly increase your odds of selling a character-centered show. One Awesome Character = Not Enough… But worry ... One Awesome Character = Not Enough…
But worry not, oh faithful listeners! We’re going to give you the tools to take your one character and build from there, creating a concept that can turn into a successful reality TV show or documentary series.
Just a few things we cover today:

* Why one great character is not enough to sell a show.
* Discovering archetypes in your character’s life and using them.
* Working to communicate how characters fit together in your show.
* Defining the hook of your cast.
* Knowing which networks your characters are right for.
* Will Joke ever actually give birth to this baby?

Hit the giant PLAY button above to learn how to sell a show with your great character!
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Great Characters for Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series — the must listen episode to know if your characters can really carry a TV show.
Great Reality TV Worlds — is the world your characters inhabit really interesting enough for a network to get excited about? An ep worth reviewing.
Start Here: 7 Steps to Pitch Reality TV to Joke and Biagio — everything you need to know about pitching to us, wrapped up neatly in one, easy-to-listen episode.
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
So you found a great character, and now you’ll take these 3 steps to put together a rock-solid TV show concept. Then what?
Pitch it to us! Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 16:48
How To Make Re-Creation Reality: A Case Study /make-re-creation-reality-case-study/ Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:00:25 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1052 <p>You’ve seen them: spooky ghost shows, high-steaks crime-retellings, beautifully-shot historical docs — all using a cinematically photographed re-creation style to bring these “reality shows” or unscripted television series to life. Yes, they are incredibly fun and fulfilling to make. Today, we’ll give you the blueprint to how we make one such show, step-by-step. Big Looks […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/make-re-creation-reality-case-study/">How To Make Re-Creation Reality: A Case Study</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You’ve seen them: spooky ghost shows, high-steaks crime-retellings, beautifully-shot historical docs — all using a cinematically photographed re-creation style to bring these “reality shows” or unscripted television series to life. Yes, Big Looks on a TV Budget – The Art of Re-Creation
Season 2 of our show Ghost Inside My Child comes to LMN on Saturday, August 16, at 9pm, and is driven by interviews and re-creation.
This show came from one of you, Suzanne Stratford, from Cleveland, Ohio, who discovered an amazing phenomenon — hundreds of parents who were dealing with children who remembered living — and dying — in a past life. Suzanne did a great job pitching the show to us and making herself valuable (we explain in the podcast.)

Working with Joke and Biagio changed my life. They believed in my idea, my dream, and me: bolstering my vision, creating a riveting program in less than a year, while staying true to the concept. They might be a Hollywood powerful couple, but they treat you as an equal and always listen to your thoughts and feedback. And now the show has been picked up for a second season on LMN! For that, and so much more, I’m eternally grateful and look forward to making many more programs together.




Suzanne Stratford


Producer, Ghost Inside My Child – BIO, LMN


Have a quick look at the trailer below. You’ll see planes exploding, cowboys in the rain, concerned parents, numerous locations, and lots of angles. Tons of re-creation.

An entire one-hour TV episode covering two different families, numerous re-creation shoots, many interviews, green screen, and more, is shot in just four to five days.
How do we get it all done?
Just a few things we cover today:

* Discovering and casting stories for episodes.
* What cameras we shoot on.
* How one of you brought this show to us.
* Capturing re-creation scenes both quickly and inexpensively.
* Avoiding re-creation shooting that is too literal.
* The right way to pitch us re-creation shows.
* What software we use to build visual effects quickly and within a tiny budget.
* How long it takes to edit an episode.
* Dealing with network notes.

Hit the giant PLAY button above to learn our secrets!
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Getting great interviews with PESO
Start Here: 7 Steps to Pitch Reality TV to Joke and Biagio
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Whether you want to make a re-creation show, doc series, or any other kind of unscripted television, we’re open to hearing your pitches.
Here’s what you do:
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10 Mistakes That Wreck Your Pitches /10-mistakes-wreck-pitches/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:00:49 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1036 <p>One of the best ways to succeed in our business? Learn from the mistakes of others. Today, we’ll give you the top ten mistakes we see again and again in pitches for reality TV and documentary series. Avoid these — whether pitching to us or anyone else — and you’ll be WAY ahead of the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/10-mistakes-wreck-pitches/">10 Mistakes That Wreck Your Pitches</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> One of the best ways to succeed in our business? Learn from the mistakes of others. Today, we’ll give you the top ten mistakes we see again and again in pitches for reality TV and documentary series. Avoid these — whether pitching to us or anyone else ...
Some Mistakes Don’t Have to be Made
If you’ve been listening to the podcast for awhile, you might think you have a good handle on the kinds of mistakes to avoid in your pitches. We’re SURE you’ve checked out our definitive guide to pitching reality TV.
But even WE were surprised when we sat down with our summer development intern, the fabulous Quincie Li of Vanderbilt (introduced to us courtesy Chad Gervich and Vandy In Hollywood.)
Quincie helped us investigate the kinds of mistakes that are popping up again and again in the many, many pitches we receive. In fact, her careful eye unearthed some trends we wouldn’t have even guessed existed. (By the way, you can get inside the creative mind of Quincie at her blog, Started From The Premiere.)
Just a few things we cover today:

* 10 Mistakes we see OVER AND OVER and what you should do instead.
* The RIGHT way to position your “soft pitch.”.
* Red flags that tag you as a “newbie.”
* Questions you SHOULD NOT ASK.
* Do we (Joke and Biagio) personally review every pitch?
* Do you really need to send us video?
* What do Oprah and Madonna have to do with all of this?
* Why Biagio wants to punch someone in the nose.

Hit the giant PLAY button above and start to get great interviews today!
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Stop Ruining Your Pitches: Top Tips from Stephanie Palmer
Start Here: 7 Steps to Pitch Reality TV to Joke and Biagio
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Okay, you’re not going to wreck your pitches anymore. That’s great!
We’ve even given you 7 simple steps to pitch to us, boiling it all down into one post.
So you know what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 30:45
How to Get Great Interviews for Documentaries and Reality TV Shows /get-great-interviews/ Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:00:20 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1029 <p>Get great interviews? Many of you have asked — now we deliver! Here it is – your checklist for how to get great interviews for documentary series, reality TV, and doc specials. Get Great Interviews that are Money! Did we say money? As in the monetary unit of several former Spanish colonies? Why, yes we […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/get-great-interviews/">How to Get Great Interviews for Documentaries and Reality TV Shows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Get great interviews? Many of you have asked — now we deliver! Here it is – your checklist for how to get great interviews for documentary series, reality TV, and doc specials. Get Great Interviews that are Money! Did we say money? Get Great Interviews that are Money!
Did we say money? As in the monetary unit of several former Spanish colonies? Why, yes we did.
Today you’ll learn tips and tricks that will improve your interview skills beyond those shown by many people already working in unscripted film and TV professionally, and pointers to ensure you get great interviews:

* The Acronym PESO and why Joke came up with it to get great interviews.
* The proper way to plan for your interviews.
* The interview responses that make all the difference — and HOW YOU can, and must, get them.
* The delicate balance between conversations and sound bites.
* How to avoid making your characters sound like robots and get great interviews instead.
* When it’s okay to break the connection with your subject.
* Keeping your subject in the zone.

Hit the giant PLAY button above and start to get great interviews today!
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
No doubt you’re now capable of getting some great interviews. So put together some tape and let’s make a TV show together!
You know what’s next:
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Hollywood Insider Tip: Can You Pitch What You Don’t Have? /hollywood-insider-tip-can-pitch-dont/ Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:01:28 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1025 <p>You have an awesome idea for a TV show — but is it enough? What do you really need to sell reality TV? Can you vision alone carry you to a sale? Great Pitch — Is it Enough? Many, many, MANY of you have been pitching us shows, and we’re so grateful. We’ve even teamed […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/hollywood-insider-tip-can-pitch-dont/">Hollywood Insider Tip: Can You Pitch What You Don’t Have?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You have an awesome idea for a TV show — but is it enough? What do you really need to sell reality TV? Can you vision alone carry you to a sale? Great Pitch — Is it Enough? Many, many, MANY of you have been pitching us shows, and we’re so grateful. Great Pitch — Is it Enough?
Many, many, MANY of you have been pitching us shows, and we’re so grateful. We’ve even teamed up with some of you recently, and put other shows on TV together with you in the past.
Unfortunately, a lot of you are making some mistakes — mistakes we correct today.
Hit the giant PLAY button above to make sure we take you seriously! Then head on over to How to Pitch a Reality Show for an in-depth guide that will make sure all your pitches are rock-solid.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. A minor miracle.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Thank goodness you’ll never try to pitch what you don’t have EVER again 🙂
So pitch us what you DO have. Let’s make some TV together!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 8:39
What is a Story Engine? Why Do You Need One? /story-engine/ Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:00:43 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=1016 <p>Developing a Follow-Doc or Hybrid with some great characters or attachments? (And of course, you know what those words mean because you’ve checked out the great 8, right?) Better figure out your Story Engine — ASAP! What Is a Story Engine? Today’s episode shows you how to identify and use a story engine, using practical […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/story-engine/">What is a Story Engine? Why Do You Need One?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Developing a Follow-Doc or Hybrid with some great characters or attachments? (And of course, you know what those words mean because you’ve checked out the great 8, right?) Better figure out your Story Engine — ASAP! What Is a Story Engine? the great 8, right?) Better figure out your Story Engine — ASAP!
What Is a Story Engine?
Today’s episode shows you how to identify and use a story engine, using practical examples from real shows — both ours and others. Working hard on your story engine will help ensure:

* You have enough real, authentic stories to last you an entire series
* We’re excited about your pitches and consider teaming up with you
* Network execs are excited about putting your show on the air
* Your audience stays glued to the screen during your episodes

All thanks to your Story Engine.
Your Story Engine – Create it Now
Press that giant “play” button above to learn about, create, and impress us with the excellent story engine present in every concept you pitch.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Subscribe to Joke and Biagio on Youtube.
Seriously, subscribe. Biagio has talked Joke into going on camera. It took a lot of cajoling.
Come on, you know you want to click this sexy subscribe button:


Come Make a Show With Us!
Okay, you understand how important your story engine is to your reality TV pitch. You’re ready to fix your pitches and make some TV…
So you know what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 14:36
Start Here: 7 Steps to Pitch Reality TV to Joke and Biagio /pitch-reality-tv-joke-biagio/ Tue, 27 May 2014 14:00:08 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=995 <p>It’s episode 30, and we’re giving you the ultimate cheat sheet. Not sure how to start the process of pitching? Want to impress us with your professionalism? Have your pitch stand out above the piles of submissions we get? Here’s how. 7 Steps to Make Us Notice Your Pitch Whether you’re brand new to the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-reality-tv-joke-biagio/">Start Here: 7 Steps to Pitch Reality TV to Joke and Biagio</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s episode 30, and we’re giving you the ultimate cheat sheet. Not sure how to start the process of pitching? Want to impress us with your professionalism? Have your pitch stand out above the piles of submissions we get? Here’s how. It’s episode 30, and we’re giving you the ultimate cheat sheet. Not sure how to start the process of pitching? Want to impress us with your professionalism? Have your pitch stand out above the piles of submissions we get? Here’s how.
7 Steps to Make Us Notice Your Pitch
Whether you’re brand new to the podcast, or have been listening since episode one, we know getting your head around what it takes to sell a show is not easy. We’ve been at it for years and still learn every day.
The good news? Over the course of the last 29 episodes we’ve given you all the tools you need to impress.
But…
They’re spread out over 29 episodes!
So we’re working hard to make things easier for you.
With this single episode, we’re giving you a road map — a cheat sheet, if you will — to make sure when you pitch to us, you’re giving yourself and your reality TV or documentary series pitch the absolute best possible chance at success.
So be like Joey and Natalie, pay attention, and let’s sell some TV together!
Step 1 — The Great 8
Know our first 8 episodes.
In 110 minutes (55 if you play it at twice the speed on your podcast player) you will learn what makes a great pitch, avoid pitching the wrong kinds of shows, understand the code words of our business, and you won’t look like a total newbie to us or anyone else you meet in the business.
You might even call these eps the “keys to the kingdom.” Seriously.
But wait…there’s more. We’ve converted the first 8 episodes to YouTube slideshows with clickable table of contents.
Here they are, all 110 minutes, 9 videos total (a little intro kicks it off):

To see the clickable table of contents, watch them on YouTube.
UPDATE

Just keep in mind the submission steps have been made easier since those first 8 episodes. Everything else is the same. But follow the steps in this post for actually submitting concepts.
Step 2 — Access the Portal
Sign up for the newsletter and access the members only portal.
Follow the directions carefully.
YES — this is a test. Hundreds of you have passed. A few have failed. You can do it. We believe in you.
Step 3 — Good Shows to Pitch
Log in to the members only portal you accessed in Step 2 and check out the list of shows we’re looking for right now.
Sure, you can pitch us other shows — we love that!
This list is meant to get your wheels turning if you’re not sure where to start, or alert you to the fact that a fantastic reality tv show or documentary series might be hanging out in your own back yard.
Step 4 — Gather Your Best Materials…
…without spending tons of money.
Photos and inexpensive interviews of your talent. Items put together to convince us you have a great show on your hands.
Yes, we’d love to see a pitch tape. No, you should NOT spend a lot of money on it.
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Step By Step: TV Idea to TV Show /sister-witches-development-deal/ Tue, 13 May 2014 14:00:41 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=950 <p>We just teamed up with two more of YOU to get a show in development at a major cable network. Today, we’ll share how you can achieve that kind of success all while saving time and money. You’ll also learn what happens AFTER we say, “yes, we love your show.” Make the Most of Your […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/sister-witches-development-deal/">Step By Step: TV Idea to TV Show</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> We just teamed up with two more of YOU to get a show in development at a major cable network. Today, we’ll share how you can achieve that kind of success all while saving time and money. You’ll also learn what happens AFTER we say, “yes, Make the Most of Your Resources and Reach Success Faster

Today you’ll meet Joey Gemelli and Natalie Terrell, two aspiring producers who are — well, no longer aspiring.
Now, they’re doing the real thing.
Just like many of you, Joey and Natalie knew about our outreach to those who want to work in unscripted programming.
Unlike most people who approach us, they pitched us a project, and did EVERYTHING right.
Making Tapes That Sell Shows
We teamed up with Joey and Natalie, further developed the show with them, and funded a pitch reel we then shot and edited together.
That show concept, working title SISTER WITCHES, is now officially in development at a major cable network, and Joey and Natalie are working hard to take their career to the next level.
This Is Your Blueprint For Success
While this duo may have a bit more experience than some of you, today you’ll learn how you can take the EXACT same steps they did to pitch us a show we were interested in, and how their attitude and work ethic made it possible to take the show from concept to development deal.
By learning from their example, you’ll skyrocket your odds of career success.
Assuming, of course, you’re willing to work as hard as Joey and Natalie were!
Some things we touch on today:

* Using Skype to inexpensively develop your show idea
* How to tell if someone is great reality TV talent
* How many hours of footage it takes to make a five minute pitch tape
* How spotting trends can help you brainstorm a TV show
* Choosing the production company you want to team up with
* Three things we look for in potential partners
* How making a pitch tape is like writing a spec screenplay
* What kind of days to expect when you shoot a pitch tape
* Boot camp producing — what it is and why it’s important
* How long it really takes from conceiving an idea to getting a deal

Press the giant PLAY button above to for priceless advice and examples to help you break into the business. You won’t find this info anywhere else.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Download the free video conference app Skype
Learn about Skype Call Recorder, a program used by Joey and Natalie to record your screen while skyping.
Natalie Terrell on Twitter and Instagram
Joey Gemelli on Twitter, Instagram, and his main site.
Find us (Joke and Biagio) on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
The Hollywood Reporter covers Sister Witches
clean 31:48
Stop Ruining Your Pitches: Top Tips from Stephanie Palmer /stephanie-palmer/ Tue, 29 Apr 2014 14:00:34 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=884 <p>Want to break into Hollywood? Whether you’re pitching reality TV, scripted television, or feature length screenplays, at some point you will have to meet — face to face — with real people and convince them to invest in you and your project. It’s at this meeting that most newbies implode, and blow a crucial opportunity […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/stephanie-palmer/">Stop Ruining Your Pitches: Top Tips from Stephanie Palmer</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Want to break into Hollywood? Whether you’re pitching reality TV, scripted television, or feature length screenplays, at some point you will have to meet — face to face — with real people and convince them to invest in you and your project. Get Good In A Room with Stephanie Palmer

From our point of view, there’s nothing more frustrating than meeting with someone who has sent us some great tape or a really unique concept…who then proceeds to completely blow the meeting.
This happens so often that it’s almost like there’s a playbook for rookies: “Here’s exactly how to make sure no one wants to work with you.”
Stephanie Palmer Can Fix Your Pitch Meetings
Luckily, for all of you, Stephanie Palmer, who recently put out the
Pro Writer Course (Stephanie has given readers of this site a coupon for $50 off the price — just use this Pro Writer Course coupon code: JOKE50 ) and runs the great blog Good In A Room is here today to give you the winner’s playbook.
Listen to today’s podcast episode, take this advice from Stephanie Palmer and the two of us, and whether you’re pitching here, a major hollywood studio, or to a top director…or trying to sell a reality show, feature film, or scripted television series…you will come off smelling like a pro.
Today’s podcast ep with Stephanie Palmer is jam-packed and here are just a few of the things we touch on:

* Why you must conquer your nerves in every pitch meeting you take.
* Will a great idea sell itself?
* Is pitching a skill anyone can learn?
* What do Oscar winners AND you have in common?
* Why you need to sell more than your idea in a Hollywood pitch meeting.
* Why a “no” to your project might turn into a “yes” for your career.
* The most common pitch meeting mistake you don’t know you’re making.
* Are you insulting the person you’re pitching to?
* The 9th commandment of pitching in Hollywood.
* How to turn a horrible suggestion into a big career boost.
* Another reason why one idea is never enough.
* The apology you should NEVER make.
* Getting rich in Hollywood.
* How much money you really make for selling a screenplay.
* The new Stephanie Palmer Pro Writer Course that will help you project confidence, be seen as a pro, get hired, and sell your material.

Stephanie’s amazing, and that’s why we even included her in our in-depth guide to pitching reality show ideas.
Press the giant PLAY button above to take advantage of the wisdom and generosity of Stephanie Palmer and her amazing advice.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Our in-depth review of the Pro Writer Course from Stephanie Palmer.

How to get the Pro Writer Course and free video preview (scroll down th...]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 37:04 Pitch Success Secret: Sell Film & TV by Crafting Your Second Hook /second-hooks/ Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:45:33 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=868 <p>Here’s one of the best tips we have to help you pitch and sell projects to Hollywood. This secret will help you sell screenplays, scripted television, documentaries, novels, unscripted television and reality TV. What is the magical piece of advice? One Hook Is Not Enough. You Need Two. We never, ever go out with a […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/second-hooks/">Pitch Success Secret: Sell Film & TV by Crafting Your Second Hook</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Here’s one of the best tips we have to help you pitch and sell projects to Hollywood. This secret will help you sell screenplays, scripted television, documentaries, novels, unscripted television and reality TV. What is the magical piece of advice? One Hook Is Not Enough. You Need Two.

We never, ever go out with a pitch unless we can answer the question, “What is our second hook?”
After you’ve read our free 10,000 word guide on pitching reality television, this tip will take your pitches to a new level.
Today’s podcast ep breaks down what this advice means and how to use it.
What we’ve got for you this episode:

* Understanding second hooks
* How the movie Armageddon, TV Shows Elementary and 24 and our own shows Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne and Caged all make use of second hooks
* How recognizing a real-life second hook helped us sell a documentary
* Joke’s first person account of seeing a major Hollywood film producer resurrect a project by adding a second hook
* Why you should not pitch us a travel show unless you really grasp the second hook concept

Press the giant PLAY button above to start using second hooks to sell your pitches today.
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
Craft that sweet second hook and bring us some shows!
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Avoid This Pitch Mistake! /avoid-this-pitch-mistake/ Tue, 01 Apr 2014 14:00:27 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=849 <p>As you know from our last episode, we’ve made it easier than ever to pitch reality tv shows and documentary series to us. We’ve even added a free, 50 page ebook on pitching reality TV to this site for added guidance. Thanks to every one of you who’ve taken the time to submit. Your time […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/avoid-this-pitch-mistake/">Avoid This Pitch Mistake!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> As you know from our last episode, we’ve made it easier than ever to pitch reality tv shows and documentary series to us. We’ve even added a free, 50 page ebook on pitching reality TV to this site for added guidance. last episode, we’ve made it easier than ever to pitch reality tv shows and documentary series to us. We’ve even added a free, 50 page ebook on pitching reality TV to this site for added guidance. Thanks to every one of you who’ve taken the time to submit. Your time is valuable. That’s why it’s so important to tell you that many of you are making a big mistake.
This Episode – Avoid This Giant Pitch Mistake
Today’s podcast ep is plain and simple.
We want you to stop confusing passion projects for TV projects you should be passionate about pitching.
What we’ve got for you:

* Understanding the passion project
* Confusing passion projects for TV shows
* How to re-develop a passion project so it can sell as a TV show
* Pitches about homeless people and why we don’t want them
* What we started 17 years ago

Press the giant PLAY button above avoid the number one mistake we’re seeing in pitches today.
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
Now that you won’t be making THAT mistake again, come pitch us some shows!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 11:52
Reality TV Shows We’re Looking For RIGHT NOW – Plus: Pitching Formats /shows-we-want/ Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:00:04 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=838 <p>Sure, you know we want to team up with you to make great reality TV or documentary series. You’ve read our massive guide on how to pitch a reality show. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew what shows we were actually looking for? Here you go: This Episode – Shows We’re Looking For Right […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/shows-we-want/">Reality TV Shows We’re Looking For RIGHT NOW – Plus: Pitching Formats</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Sure, you know we want to team up with you to make great reality TV or documentary series. You’ve read our massive guide on how to pitch a reality show. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew what shows we were actually looking for? we want to team up with you to make great reality TV or documentary series. You’ve read our massive guide on how to pitch a reality show. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew what shows we were actually looking for? Here you go:
This Episode – Shows We’re Looking For Right Now – Plus: Pitching Formats
We’ve been getting more and more pitches for reality TV shows and documentary series from all of you, and they are getting infinitely better.
We’ve now teamed up with a handful of you on reality TV and documentary series pitches, and recently sold a reality television pilot with two of you to a major cable network (more on that in a future podcast.)
Celebrating our 25th with a New Tool For You
For our 25th episode, we wanted to put together something special for you, and that’s the “geeky project” we’ve been working on in our spare time for the last six weeks.
Today:

* Our “Geeky Project” revealed
* How to learn what shows we’re looking for right now
* How to pitch formats
* Why some of your pitches are falling flat and how to fix them
* What seeing a dentist has to do with any of the above

Press the giant PLAY button above to learn to make your paper pitches sing, and to wow us with your high level of skill and professionalism!
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
YOU NOW KNOW what you need to do to find out what shows we’re looking for RIGHT NOW.
That means you know what’s next:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 15:46
5 Ways You Can Break Into Unscripted Television /break-into-unscripted-television-5-ways/ Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:15:48 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=767 <p>You already know we want to team up with you to make some great TV. But what does that mean for you? How you can increase your odds for success not just with us, but in the industry? Here you go: This Episode – 5 Ways You Can Break Into Unscripted Television Not everyone’s the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/break-into-unscripted-television-5-ways/">5 Ways You Can Break Into Unscripted Television</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You already know we want to team up with you to make some great TV. But what does that mean for you? How you can increase your odds for success not just with us, but in the industry? Here you go: This Episode – 5 Ways You Can Break Into Unscripted Tele... we want to team up with you to make some great TV. But what does that mean for you? How you can increase your odds for success not just with us, but in the industry? Here you go:
This Episode – 5 Ways You Can Break Into Unscripted Television
Not everyone’s the same. We get that. But whether you realize it or not, when it comes to working in reality TV, documentary series, or unscripted television in general, you probably fit into one of these five categories:

* You want your own show starring you
* You already work in the industry but feel like you have no one to pitch to
* You’re not in the business, but you are a hands-on proudcer, Youtuber, videographer, or other visual storyteller
* You’re a journalist of some kind
* You want to be a “part-time player.”

People in everyone one of those categories are people we’d be excited to team up with.
The important part is that you decide which category works best for YOU, so that you spend your time and resources wisely.
Today we’ll answer these questions for you:

* How should you spend your time once you know which category is right for you?
* What surprising skills do have that you might not realize are valuable?
* How do you work with us without up-rooting your whole life?
* Do you really need filmmaking skills to pitch to us?
* What does it mean when we pass on one of your ideas?
* Are we still selling shows with people like you?
* Is Biagio STILL really working on a new top-secret geeky project for listeners of this podcast who also subscribe to the newsletter?

Press the giant PLAY button above to learn to make your paper pitches sing, and to wow us with your high level of skill and professionalism!
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
Okay, you’ve got 5 new ways to break into reality TV with us.
Plus, you’re dying to know what this geeky project Biagio is working on is all about.
So what’s next?
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 16:38
Paper Pitches: 5 Steps to Awesome /paper-pitches/ Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:15:14 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=733 <p>When you pitch reality TV shows or documentary series, you include paper pitches – often called “one sheets.” Many of you have sent us paper pitches. Some are a lot better than others. In fact, some are awful. That stops today. This Episode – Perfect Paper Pitches in Just 5 Steps It’s clear that many […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/paper-pitches/">Paper Pitches: 5 Steps to Awesome</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> When you pitch reality TV shows or documentary series, you include paper pitches – often called “one sheets.” Many of you have sent us paper pitches. Some are a lot better than others. In fact, some are awful. That stops today. This Episode – Perfect Paper Pitches in Just 5 Steps
It’s clear that many aspiring creatives (not just in our industry, but across the showbiz spectrum) have no idea where to start with their paper pitches.
While we can’t speak for everyone, many of you are pitching us shows, and for you, the mysterious shroud is about to be lifted. You might’ve also come here from our epic guide to pitching reality TV, where we flat up tell you to read this post 🙂
BTW, these tips will probably help you no matter what you’re pitching or where you’re sending your paper pitches to for consideration.
Just use a little common sense and adapt these tips for your paper pitches and your project needs.
For those of you pitching to us — you WILL score some major brownie points by writing up your paper pitches as described in this podcast.
Today we’ll answer these questions for you:

* What are the five sections we look for in all paper pitches that come our way?
* How long should paper pitches be?
* What’s the first thing we notice when we look at your paper pitches?
* What do paper pitches tell us about the people pitching them?
* Where do you use the five magic words for pitching reality TV?
* What are “samples” and why do they change depending on the type of show you’re pitching?
* Is Biagio really working on a new top-secret geeky project for listeners of this podcast who also subscribe to the newsletter?

Press the giant PLAY button above to learn to make your paper pitches sing, and to wow us with your high level of skill and professionalism!
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
Ready to write some great paper pitches for your concepts? Wondering how to pitch them to us?
Here’s how:
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 14:49
Pitch Fests: Should You Pay to Pitch? 4 Rock Solid Rules for Pitch Fests. /pitch-fests/ Tue, 04 Feb 2014 15:30:35 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=713 <p>You already know you can pitch to us for free. But what about attending pitch fests or pitch pits — places that charge you a small (or large) fee for access to industry professionals who will consider your pitch? Are they worth it? Can you use them to your advantage? This Episode – Pitch Fests […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-fests/">Pitch Fests: Should You Pay to Pitch? 4 Rock Solid Rules for Pitch Fests.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You already know you can pitch to us for free. But what about attending pitch fests or pitch pits — places that charge you a small (or large) fee for access to industry professionals who will consider your pitch? Are they worth it? pitch to us for free. But what about attending pitch fests or pitch pits — places that charge you a small (or large) fee for access to industry professionals who will consider your pitch? Are they worth it? Can you use them to your advantage?
This Episode – Pitch Fests – Are They Worth It? How to Rock Them.
There are plenty of places that offer pitch fests or pitch pits. They all vary in quality and their ability to offer you any success — and that quality even changes from year to year.
We’ve sat on both sides of the table at pitch fests — pitching (early in our career) and receiving pitches (in recent years.)
In fact, our experience receiving pitches at pitch fests helped inspire this Producing Unscripted podcast, and our epic guide, how to pitch a reality show.
We saw so many of the same mistakes at these pitch fests it made our heads hurt (and, honestly, hurt us a little on the inside.)
So today, everything you ever wanted to know about pitch fests, including:

* Are pitch fests worth it?
* The worst mistakes you can make at pitch fests.
* Why 99.999% of attendees at pitch fests do a horrible job.
* Your chances of selling projects at pitch fests.
* How you should really define success at pitch fests.
* 4 rock solid rules to ensure pitch fests aren’t money pits.
* Why you’ll never have to pay to pitch to us.

Press the giant PLAY button above to get the inside scoop on pitch fests, and ensure that you never waste money by attending one the wrong way.
Helpful and Related Links for Pitch Fests
Storm Blog: Rating the Pitch Fests
Script Mag: Screenwriting Pitchfests – Ripoff or Opportunity? – Great post by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman.
Script Mag: Best of the

Rest Pitch Fests
(good article but from a few years ago.)
Popular Pitch Fests
Unscripted:

* West Doc Pitch Fest ($7500 cash prize)
* Real Screen (for unscripted television, also a great conference, but expensive.)

Scripted:

* Hollywood Pitch Festival
* Great American Screenwriting Conference and Pitch Fests
* Ink Tip Pitch and Networking Summit

Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
Remember, unlike pitch fests, you know you can pitch to us, free.
How?
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 18:29
How to Get a Hollywood Agent /how-to-get-a-hollywood-agent/ Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:00:37 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=700 <p>In this super sized episode, our guest Chad Gervich (author, executive producer, TV writer and reality producer) tells you how to get a Hollywood agent — and so much more. This Episode – How to Get a Hollywood Agent Admit it, you want to know how to get a Hollywood agent. So did we. Today […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/how-to-get-a-hollywood-agent/">How to Get a Hollywood Agent</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> In this super sized episode, our guest Chad Gervich (author, executive producer, TV writer and reality producer) tells you how to get a Hollywood agent — and so much more. This Episode – How to Get a Hollywood Agent Admit it, This Episode – How to Get a Hollywood Agent
Admit it, you want to know how to get a Hollywood agent. So did we. Today Chad Gervich, author of How to Manage Your Agent: A Writer’s Guide to Hollywood Representation tackles some tough questions, and gives you actionable advice (even if some of it is plain old tough-love advice.)
Don’t let the title fool you — this advice works if you’re a filmmaker, actor, writer, producer — anyone who might ever want to know how to get a Hollywood agent.
Just some of the stuff Chad covers about how to get a Hollywood agent:

* How to get, keep, and manage a Hollywood agent.
* Do you have to be at one of the big four agencies to have a career?
* Who controls 80% of the business in Hollywood?
* Are all big agents good agents?
* Who represents you, an agency, or an agent?
* When are you really ready for an agent?
* The best way to get an agent.
* Two things you need to get an agent.
* A career versus a hobby.
* Why you should never cold call an agent.
* Is it an agent’s job to get you work?
* The agent you REALLY want.
* 2 things your potential agent must have.
* How to communicate with your new agent.
* The importance of understanding your brand.
* Having a vision for your career.
* Discovering the best style of communication to use with your new agent.
* Your #1 Job AFTER you sign with a new agent.
* The best Star Wars trilogy (according to Chad.)

Press the giant PLAY button above to learn how to get a Hollywood agent — and have a great time during this super-sized episode.
About the Amazing Chad Gervich
Chad Gervich, award winning playwright, TV writer, book author, executive producer, and very funny man convinced his boss, Warren Littlefield, to take a chance on us many years ago.
An Inspiration for Aspiring Talent Everywhere
Chad has been a champion of new talent, and a guide to aspiring dreamers, for years.
One of the few teachers in the world who actually has a career in the field he teaches in, Chad Gervich is the rare kind of guy anyone would be lucky to know.
His new book How to Manage Your Agent is available now, and is probably the most practical approach to getting, keeping, and working with a Hollywood agent ever written.
He also wrote the indispensable Small Screen, Big Picture (our post about it) that covers everything about working in television, both scripted and unscripted.
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
Hint: we get people we work with their first agents quite often. So why not pitch some shows to us? Maybe we can help you get your show on TV and get an agent in the process.
So what’s next?
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 40:55
Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne – Make TV for A&E /dont-trust-andrew-mayne-make-tv-on-a-and-e/ Tue, 07 Jan 2014 15:00:44 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=676 <p>Want to go from idea to TV series? You’ll learn a lot in today’s podcast. In less than a week our new show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne premieres on A&E. Today, we share our secrets about how we sold the show, made the show, and almost burned Biagio’s face off in the process. This Episode […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/dont-trust-andrew-mayne-make-tv-on-a-and-e/">Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne – Make TV for A&E</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Want to go from idea to TV series? You’ll learn a lot in today’s podcast. In less than a week our new show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne premieres on A&E. Today, we share our secrets about how we sold the show, made the show, This Episode
Killer tips on making TV you won’t get anywhere else, as we give away inside secrets and laugh it up with our fellow executive producers Mary Jaras and Andrew Mayne (yes, THAT Andrew Mayne, who also stars in the show).
Just a few of the insider secrets we’ll share:

* The impromptu breakfast pitch that lead to selling the show.
* Why, even in a magic show, story still trumps everything.
* How Stu Maschwitz and his book The DV Rebel’s Guide inspired how we made this show.
* What happens when your budget is gone and you still need to make creative changes to a TV pilot?
* Shaping your show on the fly, while filming, to get better content.
* What it’s like to know you’ll be a TV Star in less than a week.
* How Andrew almost burned Biagio’s face off. Twice.

Press the giant red “Play” button above for to listen now.
See What We’re Talking About in Six Days
Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne premieres on Monday, January 13th, at 10pm on A&E. There will be two episodes back-to-back, one at 10pm and one at 10:30pm.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter as we’ll be live-tweeting during the episodes.
Here’s a few great video promos:

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Post by Don't Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E.


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Post by Don't Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E.



Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne
Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne has been in the works for a long, long time, and you’ve heard about it in many past podcast eps. If you managed to miss all the hoopla, here’s more about Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne.
Press the giant red “Play” button above for a candid discussion about making clean
Turn a Book Into a TV Show Part 2 – And Then Some /turn-a-book-into-a-tv-show-part-2-and-then-some/ Tue, 24 Dec 2013 14:30:18 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=673 <p>Chad Gervich (author, executive producer, TV writer and reality producer) is back for part 2 of how to turn a book into a TV show. Plus — for the first time EVER in public, we share how we accidentally fooled a former NBC president into giving us a career. This Episode Our very first guest, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/turn-a-book-into-a-tv-show-part-2-and-then-some/">Turn a Book Into a TV Show Part 2 – And Then Some</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Chad Gervich (author, executive producer, TV writer and reality producer) is back for part 2 of how to turn a book into a TV show. Plus — for the first time EVER in public, we share how we accidentally fooled a former NBC president into giving us a car... This Episode
Our very first guest,
Chad Gervich, is back bringing more crazy good stuff.

* Making a project work for a network — even when it’s wrong for them.
* Why we were okay getting screwed over in our first network deal.
* A great trick to get studio execs to approve edgy jokes.
* An excellent reason to produce and shoot your own TV pilot — and it’s got nothing to do with selling it to a TV network.
* How, with Chad’s help, we accidentally bamboozled a former NBC president into launching our career.

Yes, the Insane Confession is in this Episode
Never, ever, ever before have we publicly admitted how we inadvertantly tricked Warren Littlefield into launching the career we have today.
Cat’s finally out of the bag. Enjoy!
About the Amazing Chad Gervich
Chad Gervich, award winning playwright, TV writer, book author, executive producer, and very funny man convinced his boss, Warren Littlefield, to take a chance on us many years ago.
One of the few teachers in the world who actually has a career in the field he teaches in, Chad Gervich is the rare kind of guy anyone would be lucky to know.
His new book How to Manage Your Agent is available now, and is probably the most practical approach to getting, keeping, and working with a Hollywood agent ever written. (Full podcast episode on getting and keeping a Hollywood agent featuring Chad’s advice coming in mid-January.)
He also wrote the indispensable Small Screen, Big Picture (our post about it) that covers everything about working in television, both scripted and unscripted.
Yes, we’re a little biased because he’s our friend, and we’re interviewed in both books, but trust us…this is good stuff.
Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne Update
As mentioned in the podcast, Variety broke the news that our new show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne will premiere Monday, January 13, at 10pm on A&E. Here’s the official story.
Our next podcast episode will feature Andrew Mayne and his producing partner Mary Jaras as we discuss building a series around an existing talent, something you MUST do to break into this business.
Press the giant red “Play” button above for lots of usable advice — and our public confession!
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
You know how to confidently approach an author or business owner who might be right for a TV show.
So what’s next?
]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 27:06 How to Turn a Book – Or Any Property – Into a TV Show with Chad Gervich /how-to-turn-a-book-into-a-tv-show/ Tue, 10 Dec 2013 15:30:27 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=657 <p>In what may be our most fun and useful episode yet, our guest Chad Gervich (author, executive producer, TV writer and reality producer) shares invaluable tips, explaining how to turn a book into a TV show. This advice will work for any attaching any property, from business to podcast. Most importantly, you don’t have to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/how-to-turn-a-book-into-a-tv-show/">How to Turn a Book – Or Any Property – Into a TV Show with Chad Gervich</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> In what may be our most fun and useful episode yet, our guest Chad Gervich (author, executive producer, TV writer and reality producer) shares invaluable tips, explaining how to turn a book into a TV show. This advice will work for any attaching any pr... This Episode
Our very first guest, Chad Gervich, brings the good stuff.

* How to reach out to an author or business owner if you think their product could be a TV show
* How much money you really need to spend to do it (hint – you can afford it. Really.)
* Three actionable steps to carry you through the process of taking a book or property from idea to pitch.

About the Amazing Chad Gervich
Chad Gervich, award winning playwright, TV writer, book author, executive producer, and very funny man convinced his boss, Warren Littlefield, to take a chance on us many years ago.
This was especially amazing for us, since Warren was the former president of NBC, and personally put Seinfeld, Will and Grace, ER, and about a million other huge shows on the air.
He created, in name and content, Must-See TV.
An Inspiration for Aspiring Talent Everywhere
Chad has been a champion of new talent, and a guide to aspiring dreamers, for years.
One of the few teachers in the world who actually has a career in the field he teaches in, Chad Gervich is the rare kind of guy anyone would be lucky to know.
His new book How to Manage Your Agent is available now, and is probably the most practical approach to getting, keeping, and working with a Hollywood agent ever written. (Full podcast episode on getting and keeping a Hollywood agent featuring Chad’s advice coming in January.)
He also wrote the indispensable Small Screen, Big Picture (our post about it) that covers everything about working in television, both scripted and unscripted.
Yes, we’re a little biased because he’s our friend, and we’re interviewed in both books, but trust us…this is good stuff.
Our First Show Running Gig
Our first show-running gig was on a show called Foody Call. It began life as a little-known book, Cook Your Way Into Her Pants, which Chad plucked from obscurity, developed into a TV show, and sold to the Style Network.
This episode we relate the very useful and step-by-step approach Chad used to make it all happen, full of tips you can actually use yourself.
Stay Tuned for An Insane Confession
Next episode, we’ll admit how we accidentally tricked Warren Littlefield into going to bat for us in the most outrageous way, and how that lead directly to the career we have today.
Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne Update
As mentioned in the podcast, Variety broke the news that our new show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne will premiere Monday, January 13, at 10pm on A&E. Here’s the official story.
Press the giant red “Play” button above to learn Chad’s secrets…and even hear a little juicy gossip about how Joke was way cooler than Chad and Biagio when they all attended UCLA together. (Don’t tell Chad we said that!)
Transcript coming soon!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 22:35
5 Tips to Make Small Productions Feel Big /5-tips-to-make-small-productions-feel-big/ Tue, 26 Nov 2013 18:32:38 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=646 <p>What happens when you only have a tiny bit of money, but need to make a project look big? We’ve got 5 tips guaranteed to add production value, make you stand out from the crowd, and stretch those dollars to the max. This Episode A lot of good info for you this week. We answer […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/5-tips-to-make-small-productions-feel-big/">5 Tips to Make Small Productions Feel Big</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> What happens when you only have a tiny bit of money, but need to make a project look big? We’ve got 5 tips guaranteed to add production value, make you stand out from the crowd, and stretch those dollars to the max. This Episode
A lot of good info for you this week.

* We answer a question from Brian Brushwood about how to promote your TV shows without ticking off the network.
* Our show Ghost Inside My Child is moving to a new network, we’ll tell you how to find it.
* You’ll learn the 5 step philosophy we use to make small shows feel bigger. Steal many of these ideas whether you’re doing a documentary, short film, web series, or even an epic home movie.

Press the giant red “Play” button above to learn our secrets…and even hear a little juicy gossip about how Joke and Biagio first met.
Helpful and Related Links
Greatest free resource ever created on shooting with DSLR’s: The DSLR Cinematography Guide
One of the commercials we produced and directed guerrilla style to promote the iPhone app mentioned in the podcast:


Full post and commercials for the iPhone app we designed and programmed to help promote our VH1 show Scream Queens.
Example of camera mapping a photo to 3d geometry:

Longer post with some other examples of Camera Mapping.
Brian Brushwood’s Scam School and NSFWshow which also stars Justin Robert Young.

We met Brian and Justin through our friend and now star of our new A&E show, Andrew Mayne.
Transcript coming soon!
Come Make a Show With Us!
Let’s make some small productions feel big together!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 16:29
One Huge Reason Your Concept Is Not a TV Show /one-huge-reason-your-concept-is-not-a-tv-show/ Tue, 12 Nov 2013 14:25:15 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=639 <p>Many of you are pitching us shows. We’ve teamed up with a few of you. Most of you, however, are making a huge mistake. Today, we’ll correct that… Change Your POV Too many of you are pitching us shows that have no value…because they are presented from the totally wrong point of view. You may […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/one-huge-reason-your-concept-is-not-a-tv-show/">One Huge Reason Your Concept Is Not a TV Show</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Many of you are pitching us shows. We’ve teamed up with a few of you. Most of you, however, are making a huge mistake. Today, we’ll correct that… Change Your POV Too many of you are pitching us shows that have no value…because they are presented from t... Change Your POV
Too many of you are pitching us shows that have no value…because they are presented from the totally wrong point of view.
You may be reading this thinking we’re writing about you specifically, but fret not…you are not alone.
It seems everyone trying to break into unscripted television makes similar mistakes, and worse — ASSUMPTIONS — about what unscripted television is.
In today’s podcast:

* The one mistake that instantly kills your pitch
* The question you must ask yourself when you find a world you want to build a show around
* How to “flip the script” on your pitch to instantly make it more marketable
* Joke does an inaccurate reading from The Hunger Games

Press the giant red “Play” button above to skyrocket your chances of pitching an unscripted show that can actually make it to air.
Transcript coming soon!
Now that you know how to turn your concept into an actual TV show pitch, bring it our way!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean
Create Competition Reality Shows: 3 Keys to Success /create-competition-reality-shows/ Tue, 29 Oct 2013 13:30:20 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=627 <p>A lot’s going on this week! Our new show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E was announced, our old show Scream Queens is available free on HULU, and we’re telling you how to create competition reality shows. Create Competition Reality Shows Many, many of you have asked questions about how to create competition reality shows […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/create-competition-reality-shows/">Create Competition Reality Shows: 3 Keys to Success</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> A lot’s going on this week! Our new show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E was announced, our old show Scream Queens is available free on HULU, and we’re telling you how to create competition reality shows. Create Competition Reality Shows Many, Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E was announced, our old show Scream Queens is available free on HULU, and we’re telling you how to create competition reality shows.
Create Competition Reality Shows
Many, many of you have asked questions about how to create competition reality shows (although they can be much harder to sell than docu-style shows.)
Since HULU is playing our competition reality show Scream Queens for free (check it out!) we thought this would be a good time to give you a big picture over view of making competition reality shows.
BTW, as promised in the podcast, here’s the EPK from Scream Queens, which was our first real-world test to prove we knew how to create competition reality shows.

Scream Queens Season 2 EPK from Joke and Biagio.
3 Keys to Success
Have a listen to today’s podcast to find out a few secrets it took us years to pick up. They’ll surely help you create competition reality shows that we’d be interested in hearing about.
Press the giant red “Play” button above for the answers.
Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne – Our Secret Show Revealed
For those who missed the announcement, the top secret show we’ve been teasing for months has finally been announced. Read all about it here in our official Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne announcement.
Scream Queens posts on our blog.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
Official A&E Facebook Page for Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne
Whether you’re pitching competition reality (even if it is a long shot) or documentary series and hybrid formats (easier sells for new producers) we’d love to receive your pitches.
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 16:43
How Not To Suck: Hollywood Advice We Love /how-not-to-suck-hollywood-advice-we-love/ Tue, 15 Oct 2013 13:30:44 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=615 <p>You don’t want to suck. Neither do we. That’s why when we discovered this amazing, hilarious, and most importantly, accurate blog post on making it in the entertainment industry, we had to dedicate a whole podcast episode to it. Suck It Up So says Joe DeVito in his great Tumblr post which extolls the benefits […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/how-not-to-suck-hollywood-advice-we-love/">How Not To Suck: Hollywood Advice We Love</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> You don’t want to suck. Neither do we. That’s why when we discovered this amazing, hilarious, and most importantly, accurate blog post on making it in the entertainment industry, we had to dedicate a whole podcast episode to it. Suck It Up
So says Joe DeVito in his great Tumblr post which extolls the benefits of paying your dues in the entertainment industry.
What Joe says is so important you will do yourself a big favor by reading his post and listening to our commentary.
Both of us wish we’d read his post, then listened to this podcast episode, fifteen years ago.
So save yourself 15 years and press the giant PLAY button above. Better yet, subscribe in iTunes.
Have a listen to today’s podcast to find out

* Why paying your dues is a GREAT thing
* The one thing you should be sure to do at the APPROPRIATE time on set
* What you better know before calling yourself a producer or director
* How to drink with your superiors and keep your job.
* a lot more!

Press the giant red “Play” button above for the answers.
Transcript coming soon!
Helpful and Related Links
How Not to Suck by Joe DeVito

Become a Hollywood Producer with Hands-On Producing
We know you don’t suck. That’s exactly why we want to hear your show concept pitches!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 18:28
What Goes in a Pitch Tape? Should You Make One? /pitch-tape-questions/ Tue, 01 Oct 2013 13:33:05 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=594 <p>We’ve talked a lot in the past about making great tape — and how NOT to go broke producing it — but what goes in a pitch tape? How long should it be? What are the must have ingredients? More importantly, should you even make one? Your Questions Finally Answered Many, many of you have […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-tape-questions/">What Goes in a Pitch Tape? Should You Make One?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> We’ve talked a lot in the past about making great tape — and how NOT to go broke producing it — but what goes in a pitch tape? How long should it be? What are the must have ingredients? More importantly, should you even make one? making great tape — and how NOT to go broke producing it — but what goes in a pitch tape? How long should it be? What are the must have ingredients? More importantly, should you even make one?
Your Questions Finally Answered
Many, many of you have written and asked about making pitch tapes. Today’s episode will give you the answers you need (and remind you that a pitch tape is not the only way to make yourself valuable.)
Have a listen to today’s podcast to find out

* what other ingredients should go in a pitch tape
* how a format tape is different than a docu tape
* why you probably don’t want to make a format tape in the first place
* why you might not want to make a pitch tape at all.
* a lot more!

Press the giant red “Play” button above for the answers.
How About a Sample?
As we mention in this week’s episode, you’re best off trying to break in with a docu-soap or hybrid pitch tape based on real characters.
(Don’t know what these words mean? See Pitch Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series with These 5 Magic Words.)
There’s probably no better example than this series trailer for the original season of Pawn Stars. We’d start here, then get the tape to the 3 to 6 minute range by adding extended interviews from the characters:

Now have a listen to the podcast ep and fill in all the blanks. It will be 17 minutes well spent. Press the giant red “play” button above — and make the right decisions about your pitch tape.
Transcript coming soon!
Now you know what goes in a pitch tape. When you decide to make one, you’re gonna pitch it to us, right? Let’s make some TV togehter!
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 17:19
3 Tips to Break Into Hollywood…and Stay There /3-tips-to-break-into-hollywood-and-stay-there/ Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:30:54 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=588 <p>Anyone can break down the doors of Hollywood…but doing so will likely get you arrested, and certainly not invited to stay. Here’s three tips to get you through the door and keep you there. Think You Can Smash Down Hollywood’s Closed Doors? Well, what would you do if someone kicked in your front door and […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/3-tips-to-break-into-hollywood-and-stay-there/">3 Tips to Break Into Hollywood…and Stay There</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Anyone can break down the doors of Hollywood…but doing so will likely get you arrested, and certainly not invited to stay. Here’s three tips to get you through the door and keep you there. Think You Can Smash Down Hollywood’s Closed Doors? Well, Think You Can Smash Down Hollywood’s Closed Doors?
Well, what would you do if someone kicked in your front door and screamed “I’m here!”
Probably call the cops.
Yet people desperate to work in showbiz seem to think this shock-and-awe in-your-face tactic is the best way to go.
Wrong.
Have a listen to today’s podcast which includes three tips to make you look like someone that should be considered by anyone working in Hollywood (and even includes some secrets on how we broke in ourselves.)
Press the giant “play” button above — and don’t smash down any more doors screaming “Here I am!”
Transcript coming soon!
Okay, you’re ready to break into Hollywood and stay here! So why not break in with us?
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 11:53
Survive Production: 7 Weird Tips Guaranteed to Save Your Sanity and Help Avoid Burnout /weird-production-tips/ Tue, 03 Sep 2013 14:00:41 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=577 <p>It’s your first big project — or just a really huge step forward in your career. You are the lead creative. Don’t die. Useful Tips You Can Use. We’re still shooting our top secret new show for a major cable network (and still can’t tell you what it is…) But we CAN tell you one […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/weird-production-tips/">Survive Production: 7 Weird Tips Guaranteed to Save Your Sanity and Help Avoid Burnout</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> It’s your first big project — or just a really huge step forward in your career. You are the lead creative. Don’t die. Useful Tips You Can Use. We’re still shooting our top secret new show for a major cable network (and still can’t tell you what it is…... Useful Tips You Can Use.
We’re still shooting our top secret new show for a major cable network (and still can’t tell you what it is…)
But we CAN tell you one thing — when you’re working on a big project, there are 7 steps you’ll want to take before you step into the black hole that is production.
We try to live by these. In fact, the list we talk about today is one we came up with back in 2009.
It’s funny to look back at that post now. Even though we’re four years more successful and have a lot more shows under our belts these tips apply just as much today as they did back then.
So spend 11 minutes and 55 seconds with us as we break down some truly useful production tips you won’t hear anywhere else.
And have a laugh at how punch drunk and delirious we are, now about six weeks into our nine week schedule, for the most ambitious show we’ve made so far.
Press the giant “play” button above — and don’t undertake your next production until you do.
Transcript coming soon!
Okay, you’ve got some great unscripted concepts, a little bit of tape, and think you know which networks your show is right for? Especially now that you know what TV networks buy?
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 11:55
Top Secret: What TV Networks Buy (And Why) /what-tv-networks-buy/ Tue, 20 Aug 2013 13:00:06 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=564 <p>How do you know what TV networks buy and which outlet might buy your show? Well… Remember Lesson #1! If you listened to our very first podcast episode, Joke gave some specific homework. That’s an excellent start. If you haven’t listened to that episode (or for that matter all the episodes…there aren’t that many) be […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/what-tv-networks-buy/">Top Secret: What TV Networks Buy (And Why)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> How do you know what TV networks buy and which outlet might buy your show? Well… Remember Lesson #1! If you listened to our very first podcast episode, Joke gave some specific homework. That’s an excellent start. Remember Lesson #1!
If you listened to our very first podcast episode, Joke gave some specific homework.
That’s an excellent start.
If you haven’t listened to that episode (or for that matter all the episodes…there aren’t that many) be sure you do — especially if you’d like to pitch us a show.
That said, this week we give away some secrets that even a lot of working producers don’t seem to know…some key ways to determine what shows are right for which networks.
Press the giant “play” button above, and you will understand what TV networks buy — and why.
What TV Networks Buy? How is Each Network Different?
The most disheartening email we get (over and over) is one that goes something like this:
Hi — I’ve got a great idea that I think could play equally well at Bravo, Spike, TLC, Nickelodeon, MTV, Lifetime, and Tru TV.
Please…don’t be that person. Why?
In today’s episode we answer that question and cover:

* Which networks are more “male”, which are more “female” and why that matters.
* Who really controls the remote control and how that affects what you pitch.
* Whether you can have male stars on a female network and vice versa.
* How what TV networks buy should influence your pitch.

Transcript coming soon!
Okay, you’ve got some great unscripted concepts, a little bit of tape, and think you know which networks your show is right for? Especially now that you know what TV networks buy?
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 11:29
From Concept to TV Airwaves: 3 Examples From People Just Like You – Plus Takeaways /from-concept-to-tv-airwaves/ Tue, 06 Aug 2013 14:00:06 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=554 <p>Want to get that concept out of your head and on TV? This episode we’ve got three real-world examples from people just like you, plus take-aways you can use to help get your ideas on television.We cover a lot of ground in this week’s episode. From Idea to TV Airwaves This episode we break down […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/from-concept-to-tv-airwaves/">From Concept to TV Airwaves: 3 Examples From People Just Like You – Plus Takeaways</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Want to get that concept out of your head and on TV? This episode we’ve got three real-world examples from people just like you, plus take-aways you can use to help get your ideas on television.We cover a lot of ground in this week’s episode. From Idea to TV Airwaves
This episode we break down three real-world examples of people we teamed up with. Where did their pitches begin? How did we shape them together? What was the process to getting them on television? And what are some take-aways that will help you find Unscripted TV success faster? Hit the big “PLAY” button above to get the goodies.
Like last episode, we’re once again broadcasting from a secret location on our top secret new show — which means it’s another iPhone episode. Good information, slightly crappy microphone, but we’re committed to getting you a show every two weeks…whatever it takes!
We touch on a few other things in this week’s podcast as well.
We Are A Production Company
Our company, Joke Productions, is a full-fledged production company. We have about 7000 square feet of office space next to Universal Studios, about 20 edit bays, 25 cameras, an online suite, lights, etc etc. However, while all that gear is necessary, it’s not what really makes us a production company.
In our business, only one thing truly makes you production company.
TV Networks trust you to make TV shows.
They hand you over a big fat check, and expect you to deliver a TV show on time and on budget.
It takes many years and a lots of experience to become an approved production company. Look for more in an upcoming podcast.
In today’s episode, however, we share the fastest way to become a production company.
If you haven’t already hit the giant “Play” button at the top of this post, go for it (or better yet, listen and subscribe on iTunes.)
Tweet of the Week
A possible new segment here on Producing Unscripted, inspired by this tweet from Kelly Anelons:

Played @jokeandbiagio podcast at full blast for everyone at the gas station b/c obviously I don't understand how Bluetooth thingys work.
— Kelly Anelons (@kellyanelons) August 3, 2013

Want to be seen here? Tweet us your interesting/entertaining/insightful tweets. We’re @jokeandbiagio on Twitter.
Helpful and Related Links
Post about the guys who pitched us CAGED
Trailer for MTV’s True Life Presents: Secrets, Lies, and Sex
More about the show Suzanne pitched us, BIO’s Ghost Inside My Child
Transcript coming soon!

UPDATE: Transcript Now Available.
Okay, you know that three people like you have brought us ideas that have made it to TV…why not you next?
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Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 25:30
Don’t Pitch These 4 Kind of Shows /dont-pitch-these-4-kind-of-shows/ Tue, 23 Jul 2013 16:00:33 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=549 <p>Just trying to break in to unscripted television? Don’t pitch these kinds of shows — a four point checklist. Many of YOU have been pitching us! We’re so happy that many, many of you have been listening to this podcast, and then signing up for our newsletter so that you can pitch your ideas to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/dont-pitch-these-4-kind-of-shows/">Don’t Pitch These 4 Kind of Shows</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Just trying to break in to unscripted television? Don’t pitch these kinds of shows — a four point checklist. Many of YOU have been pitching us! We’re so happy that many, many of you have been listening to this podcast, Many of YOU have been pitching us!
We’re so happy that many, many of you have been listening to this podcast, and then signing up for our newsletter so that you can pitch your ideas to us.
In episode 6, we told you how to spot great characters for your reality tv shows and in episode 7, we talked about great worlds for unscripted film and TV.
That said, there are four kinds of show pitches we get again and again, and honestly, they just don’t work these days. We briefly touched on some of these in How to Pitch a Reality Show, but today, we really dig in and give you some detail.
Maybe it’s because people have an idea of what they think “Unscripted TV” means, but for some reason almost all newbies to our world start with pitching something from these four buckets.
Do yourself a favor and avoid these…unless of course you have a REALLY, REALLY good reason to ignore this advice.
4 Kinds of Shows to Avoid Pitching
If you haven’t already hit the giant “Play” button at the top of this post, consider doing so now, before reading the spoiler below.
We’re able to go into much greater detail in the podcast on many points related to reality TV worlds and documentary settings.
Later, what’s inside the spoiler can serve as a handy reminder of this episode’s big points, and add a few handy clarifications:
[spoiler]
The 4 types are:

* Kids’ Shows
* Travel Shows
* Dump & Stir Cooking Shows
* Infotainment or Issue Shows that “Shed Light” on Something

Kids’ Shows
Not enough networks buy them. Spending tons of time developing kids shows makes the already difficult task of selling a show nearly impossible.
That great idea you have for a kids’ science show/math show/adventure show/discovery show/travel show/competition show…develop it if you MUST, but realize your chances of success are pretty close to zero (we’d never say zero, since there are some kids’ shows on TV.)
More thoughts on this in the podcast.
Travel Shows
The old school “Hundred Greatest Beaches” style shows are now the domain of the web. Road shows where fun people travel around and do fun things are nearly impossible to sell. Shows that “reveal the culture” of another city/state/country/universe each week are generally no-gos.
For a travel show to work it would have to have a BIG NAME talent attached (like if Will Ferrell wanted to do a road show where we went around doing fun things.)
Dump & Stir Cooking Shows
You know these. The old school cooking shows where people stand behind a stove and have a blast cooking and teaching you how to do it. Even Food Network doesn’t want shows like this anymore, which pretty much leaves The Cooking Channel.
If you have the most amazing/funny/charming/incredibly appealing chef the world has ever known, maybe…but even then you’d probably be better off trying to put together a different kind of format or docu-style show.
Infotainment or Issue Shows that “Shed Light” on Something
“Infortainment” or “Edutainment” ...]]>
Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 14:27
Great Reality TV Worlds Have These 4 Qualities /reality-tv-worlds/ Tue, 09 Jul 2013 07:05:01 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=515 <p>Reality TV worlds and documentary locations need to be populated with amazing characters. However, sometimes, those characters are not enough to sell a show. That’s when the show’s world or setting becomes hugely important. Why? Sometimes, Reality TV Worlds or Documentary Settings are Bigger Than Their Characters In episode 6, we told you how to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/reality-tv-worlds/">Great Reality TV Worlds Have These 4 Qualities</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Reality TV worlds and documentary locations need to be populated with amazing characters. However, sometimes, those characters are not enough to sell a show. That’s when the show’s world or setting becomes hugely important. Why? Sometimes, Sometimes, Reality TV Worlds or Documentary Settings are Bigger Than Their Characters
In episode 6, we told you how to spot great characters for your reality tv shows.
But sometimes, great reality TV worlds make all the difference. The world you discover can be a project’s real star.
Again, you can’t have a great show without loud, fun, interesting documentary or reality tv characters.
But sometimes those characters, no matter how colorful, are just not enough to justify a whole television show.
When Are Reality TV Worlds or Documentary Settings Enough to Make a Great Show?
This week’s episode goes into great detail on why hits like “Hillbilly Handfishin'” “Deadliest Catch” and even the slew of current dress shopping shows ala “Say Yes to the Dress” rely on the world they are set in to carry the show.
How do you if you’ve found such a world?
4 Qualities of Great Reality TV Worlds
If you haven’t already hit the giant “Play” button at the top of this post, consider doing so now, before reading the spoiler below.
We’re able to go into much greater detail in the podcast on many points related to reality TV worlds and documentary settings.
Later, what’s inside the spoiler can serve as a handy reminder of this episode’s big points, and add a few handy clarifications:
[spoiler]
The 4 qualities are:

* Reality TV World or Documentary Setting is Visual
* Reality TV World or Doc Setting Feels Like a Discovery
* Reality TV World or Location Itself Can Cause Drama
* Reality TV World or Documentary Setting Fits Somewhere on the TV Landscape

Visual
Film and television are visual mediums.
Yet, often times we’re pitched shows that take place in run of the mill office settings or plain-jane suburban homes.
Those worlds won’t sell.
You want reality TV worlds and documentary settings that leap off the screen no matter which way you point the camera. Tight, cramped quarters, run of the mill office buildings, or anything that feels too “normal” should be red flags.
Feels Like a Discovery
Before “Swamp People” hit, most people had no idea what gator hunting season was, or that such a thing even occurred in the United States.
Until “Pregnant in Heels” started airing on Bravo, I had no idea some people pay to have their kid’s name test marketed.
These are worlds which feel like discoveries. They have a great “who knew” factor to them.
Keep you eyes open for reality TV worlds and documentary settings right in your back yard that may feel like a discovery to most people. Those worlds could be the star of your next hit show.
Can Cause Drama
Can the world itself create drama?
Most obvious example: Nature.
The Bering Sea on “Deadliest Catch” or the weather on “Storm Chasers.”
At any moment mother nature can rear her ferocious head and cause instant drama.
On the other hand, dress shopping shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” cause a different kind of drama.
The dress shop becomes a “pressure cooker” that brings wedding dr...]]>
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Your Characters: 6 Must-Have Traits of Reality TV Characters and Documentary Subjects /reality-tv-characters/ Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:00:28 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=406 <p>Reality TV characters, documentary series subjects — any real life person you want to put on television? Don’t waste your time, money, or other resources unless they have these 6 Must-Have Traits. The 6 Must-Have Traits of Every Cast Member You Pitch… …are wrapped in the spoiler below. We hope you’ll consider pressing that giant […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/reality-tv-characters/">Your Characters: 6 Must-Have Traits of Reality TV Characters and Documentary Subjects</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Reality TV characters, documentary series subjects — any real life person you want to put on television? Don’t waste your time, money, or other resources unless they have these 6 Must-Have Traits. The 6 Must-Have Traits of Every Cast Member You Pitch… ... The 6 Must-Have Traits of Every Cast Member You Pitch…
…are wrapped in the spoiler below.
We hope you’ll consider pressing that giant “PLAY” button at the top of the post before opening this up.
We’re able to go into much greater detail in the podcast on many points related to reality TV characters and documentary subjects, a big part of how to pitch a reality show.
Later, what’s inside the spoiler can serve as a handy reminder of this episode’s big points, and add a few handy clarifications:

[spoiler]
Find Great Reality TV Characters and Documentary Subjects – 6 Traits:

* Unique
* Bring an Extraordinary Perspective to the Ordinary
* Someone You Can Build Trust With
* Don’t Self-Censor
* Not in it for the Money
* Fit Somewhere on the TV Landscape

Unique
You might think this one’s a no brainer. Nope. We get pitched characters all the time who are not unique at all.
Going to pitch us a bounty hunter? They better be NOTHING like Dog, and even more watchable. (Tough to do…so maybe you don’t want to waste your time in the bounty hunting world.)
Unique characters are out there. Be sensitive to the new people you’re exposed to every day.
That one person who commands attention at a party? The local business owner who’s famous for doing things her way?
They might be your next show.
Bring an Extraordinary Perspective to the Ordinary
Because of their unique personality, great unscripted characters naturally turn everyday activities into a whirlwind adventure.

* A trip to the grocery store is peppered with a conspiracy theory about organic vegetables.
* A visit to a local cemetery turns into a comedy routine about life, death, and great sex.
* A glance at the Yellow Pages and they charge to a specific section and rant about it.

Joke gives two great examples to help clarify this in today’s podcast episode. BTW, you can subscribe in iTunes here.
Someone You Can Build Trust With
People who agree to let themselves be filmed for a reality tv show, documentary series, or feature-length doc are making themselves extremely vulnerable.
After all, they’re opening up their lives to scrutiny by the entire TV-watching world.
It’s up to you to make sure you take good care of them.
Complete honesty at every stage of the journey is paramount. What kind of project are you making? A verite doc like our MTV True Life Presents special, or a more “planned-out” project like “Duck Dynasty?”
Your potential characters have to be okay with the fact that they’ll have NO SAY in how the project is edited, how it will be promoted, or what title the network approves for the show.
This means they have to trust you.
You.
At every step of the process, they will turn to you for answers, and they need to have faith that you’re doing your level best to keep them up-to-date as best you can.
Just one reason this trust is so important is that great potential cast members…
Don’t Self-Censor
Joke does a great job of explaining this in the podcast this week.]]>
Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 14:29
Pitch Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series With These 5 Magic Words /pitch-reality-tv-shows/ Sun, 09 Jun 2013 08:07:23 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=296 <p>We’re guessing you want to pitch reality tv shows and documentary series. After all, you’re here, reading and listening, which already puts you miles ahead of most of the people who pitch reality tv shows to us. Now, we’re going to give you five magic words that will make all the difference.Yes, in the past […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/pitch-reality-tv-shows/">Pitch Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series With These 5 Magic Words</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> We’re guessing you want to pitch reality tv shows and documentary series. After all, you’re here, reading and listening, which already puts you miles ahead of most of the people who pitch reality tv shows to us. Now, spoiler tags to encourage you to get the revealing answer from the podcast itself.
But if you haven’t already hit the big play button floating above this post, too bad.
The 5 Magic Words to Pitch Reality TV Shows and Documentary Series Are…

* Self-Contained
* Arced
* Format
* Docu
* Hybrid

There you go!
Oh, wait a minute, would you like to know what those words mean and how to use them when you pitch reality tv shows and documentary series?
Of course you would.
That’s why today, on episode 005 of Producing Unscripted, we break down:

* The 5 magic words and how to use them when you pitch reality tv shows, doc series, or unscripted television specials
* The very first question Joke will ask you when you pitch reality tv shows to her (better know how to answer it!)
* The difference between Self-Contained and Arced shows, with specific examples, and how you can figure it out yourself.
* Format, Docu, Hybrid — how these words mix with Self-Contained and Arced to properly present a show concept, and why you need to know.
* Why success pitching reality tv shows and doc series is giving Biagio separation anxiety.

The Words Pros Use to Pitch Reality TV Shows and Doc Series
Are these words really magic? Top secret? The amazing tool we’re making them out to be?
Yes.
Like every profession, there’s certain ways insiders talk to each other in the unscripted entertainment business.
The right words are like a secret hand-shake: they let the person sitting across from you know that you belong.
When we pitch reality TV shows, doc series, specials, whatever–we start off our pitches using some combination of the words above.
Sound Like a Pro
If someone walks in to our offices and says, “This is a self-contained format” or “I see this as an arced hybrid” (or something close to that) we know they’ve been around the business long enough to know what they’re talking about.
If, on the other hand, they being with, “I’ve got a great idea…” well, forget about it.
When you use these words correctly it gives us a level of comfort. You’ve shown us you’ve either worked in the business or taken the time to educate yourself.
After listening to today’s podcast, when you set out to pitch reality TV shows or doc series, you’re going to sound like a pro.
Helpful and Related Links
How to Pitch a Reality Show — our epic guide that will set you on the right path to pitching shows.
Our show Caged – a docu-leaning hybrid
Our show Scream Queens – an arced format
Our show clean 15:37
5 Steps to Develop Shows Without Going Broke /develop-shows/ Sun, 09 Jun 2013 05:32:55 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=259 <p>Want to develop shows for unscripted television, whether documentary series, reality TV, or documentary specials? There’s one thing you just can’t get around.You need great tape. Unless your plan to develop shows for our industry involves shooting and editing a terrific piece of video along the way, you risk being thought of as an idea […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/develop-shows/">5 Steps to Develop Shows Without Going Broke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Want to develop shows for unscripted television, whether documentary series, reality TV, or documentary specials? There’s one thing you just can’t get around.You need great tape. Unless your plan to develop shows for our industry involves shooting and ...
Unless your plan to develop shows for our industry involves shooting and editing a terrific piece of video along the way, you risk being thought of as an idea person, someone who doesn’t know how to make yourself valuable.
UPDATE:

Since this post we’ve built a submission portal, so you can submit your submission agreement and initial materials together. Learn more in this cheat sheet on pitching to us.
However, the advice in today’s podcast ep still stands and is CRUCIAL…so be sure to listen.
Because, as we know first hand…
It Costs Money, Time, and Resources to Develop Shows With Great Tape
That’s why here in episode 004 of Producing Unscripted we discuss:

* 5 bullet proof steps to develop shows without going broke when pitching to us
* Step-by-step process of connecting with us to take your concept from idea to finished video pitch
* How we used the same process to get our new documentary on the air at MTV

We Constantly Develop Shows…
…but it’s not always easy.
With every idea we come up with on our own, and every pitch we receive, we have to ask ourselves:

* Are there any networks that would make this show right now?
* Do we want to make this show?
* Would it be a good show?
* How hard would it be to make a great tape to sell this show?
* Who’s life will be changed for the better if we got this show on TV?
* Is this show possible to produce, or a pie in the sky idea (i.e. reality show at the White House.)
* Do we want to team up with the people pitching us this show?
* Will we still want to develop shows when this is all over? 🙂

That’s why…
To Develop Shows is to Play a Numbers Game
Simply put, the more shows you develop, the more shows you’ll sell.
However, as we talk about in this week’s Producing Unscripted podcast episode, there has to be a “weed out” process at some point in the development pipeline.
Just because an idea pops into your head doesn’t mean you should rush out and make a tape to try to sell it.
You have to make educated guesses about where to put your money, time, and resources when you develop shows.
How Do We Know When to Further Develop Shows?
After more than a decade in the business, we can tell you the old Hollywood axiom is true: Nobody knows nothin’.
An idea we pass on today might be a smash hit tomorrow. The show we take a chance on that goes against everything our agents tell us should work might end up lighting the world on fire.
That said, we’ve been in unscripted TV for a while. We’re no longer the new kids on the block, begging networks to meet with us.
]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 13:56 Unscripted TV Success: Instantly Up Your Odds with this Secret /unscripted-tv-success/ Sun, 09 Jun 2013 03:02:05 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=217 <p>Last episode ended with a cliffhanger: the one thing you could do to instantly increase your odds of unscripted TV success. For that matter, success in any area of Hollywood (and life.) What is the action you can take today that makes all the difference?Here on episode 003 of Producing Unscripted: Top secret tip to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/unscripted-tv-success/">Unscripted TV Success: Instantly Up Your Odds with this Secret</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Last episode ended with a cliffhanger: the one thing you could do to instantly increase your odds of unscripted TV success. For that matter, success in any area of Hollywood (and life.) What is the action you can take today that makes all the differenc... What is the action you can take today that makes all the difference?Here on episode 003 of Producing Unscripted:

* Top secret tip to instantly protect your creative process, stack the odds of unscripted TV success in your favor, make us want to work with you, and give yourself a career (yes, it’s that important–and this applies to more than unscripted TV, it applies to just about anything you do in life.)
* Four insider secrets to increase your odds of teaming up with us.
* What I’ll be doing for the next 38.4 years

Unscripted TV: The One Thing You Must do to Succeed
The problem with most unscripted TV pitches (or any pitch for that matter) is that people walk in with their “big idea” and think it’s enough.

* “My unscripted TV show follows homeless people.”
* “It’s a reality show where x number of guys/friends/family members travel around and do a/b/c/d…
* “It’s a documentary series about life in the white house.”
* “It’s a competition game show that’s like Survivor but it’s set in the Arctic.”

These are the kinds of things we hear over and over from newbies. Every single one of those one-liners is useless.
What Can You Do Instead?
Okay, if you haven’t already pressed the giant “Play” button at the top of this post, and want to know the one thing that will make all the difference, not only in unscripted TV, read through the spoiler below.
While we humbly suggest reading it after listening, be sure to read it at some point. This spoiler adds some valuable things not mentioned in the podcast:
SPOILER
The one thing you can do to radically change your career path in not only unscripted TV and film but any endeavor is to:
Make Yourself Valuable
You need to bring more to a pitch than just an idea.
Much more.
There is no such thing as I’ll just submit ideas to Hollywood.
When Travis and Steve, the guys who pitched us what became Caged on MTV wanted to break into unscripted TV, they pitched us “a small town in Louisiana where mixed martial arts was replacing football as the sport the whole town came out for.” Was that enough?
No. Not even close.
In fact, that was one of about five “ideas” the guys pitched us that day. And there was nothing we could do with any of their one-line wonders, including that one.
However, when those same guys came back with great footage they had shot, proving they understood what it took to make great unscripted TV, they became valuable, as did their “idea.”
We immediately teamed up, helped them finish the tape, and rushed it to MTV.
More than a year later, Caged was praised by Sports Illustrated as the unscripted TV version of “Friday Night Lights” and Travis and Steve had their first show on the air.
]]>
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Why Ideas Aren’t Enough in Hollywood, and How to Submit to Concepts to Us /submit-ideas-to-hollywood/ Sun, 09 Jun 2013 00:54:44 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=163 <p>Submit Ideas to Hollywood? “I want to submit ideas to Hollywood.” We hear that a lot. Whether someone wants to break into the movies, make reality tv shows, or create the next Emmy Award® winning primetime drama, everyone seems to have big “ideas.” But there is something about “ideas” that no one has ever told […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/submit-ideas-to-hollywood/">Why Ideas Aren’t Enough in Hollywood, and How to Submit to Concepts to Us</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Submit Ideas to Hollywood? “I want to submit ideas to Hollywood.” We hear that a lot. Whether someone wants to break into the movies, make reality tv shows, or create the next Emmy Award® winning primetime drama, everyone seems to have big “ideas. “I want to submit ideas to Hollywood.”
We hear that a lot. Whether someone wants to break into the movies, make reality tv shows, or create the next Emmy Award® winning primetime drama, everyone seems to have big “ideas.” But there is something about “ideas” that no one has ever told you.A secret that can blow away all the crazy value you attach to your ideas.
A change in thinking that can turbo-charge your showbiz success. Something we harp on in How to Pitch a Reality Show.
What is it?
Here on Producing Unscripted episode 002, that’s the topic of today’s podcast. Digest what we have to say, because if you understand the main principle behind today’s episode, and start to look at “ideas” in a different light, you’ll change your career forever.
You’ll no longer ask, “How do I submit ideas to Hollywood?”
In fact, this one concept can put you on the fast-track to Hollywood success. Pay attention to today’s advice, and professionals will pay attention to you.
I’ll tell you this much — people who understand what we talk about on this episode are the kind of people we leap to be in business with.
Don’t Submit Ideas to Hollywood (Or Us)
It’s time to think about your creative concepts differently. Forget the myth that great one-line ideas can earn big bucks.
Whether you want to work with us or anyone else in Hollywood, it’s crucial to realize what part of the entertainment industry pyramid a single, solitaire idea fits into (hint: it’s not the top.)
Stop thinking, “if I could only submit my ideas to Hollywood” and start thinking bigger.
On today’s episode:

* We have a new series going to air after teaming up with someone from Cleveland. You could be next.
* The important step you must take before submitting an “idea” to us. A “must do” before we’ll consider teaming up with you.
* Can your ideas really be stolen by Hollywood?
* What does an idea actually represent?
* What does it mean that both “Trading Spouses” and “Wife Swap” could be on the air at the same time on different networks?
* How to step beyond ideas and into success.
* Geting from “idea” to “package.”

NOTE: We’re film and TV producers, not lawyers. We’re not offering legal advice here. If you decide to submit ideas to Hollywood in any form, things can go wrong. But we believe we’re sharing the realities of the industry we work in, and that by shifting your thinking about the worth of an idea you can achieve success much faster. It worked for us.
Related links:
The Truth About Your Big Idea in Hollywood Our seminal post on Hollywood, ideas, and you.
Our New TV Special: The Ghost Inside My Child Includes video trailer of the original special, now ordered to series on Biography Channel.
clean 11:55
Make Reality TV Shows & Documentary Series with Joke & Biagio /make-reality-tv-and-documentary-series/ Sat, 08 Jun 2013 22:15:41 +0000 http://producingunscripted.com/?p=19 <p>Want to make reality TV, documentary series or unscripted specials? So did we. But when you’re just starting out, how in the heck do sell documentary series or make reality tv? Seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were living in our one bedroom apartment, creating show ideas, editing pitch reels — and wondering […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="/make-reality-tv-and-documentary-series/">Make Reality TV Shows & Documentary Series with Joke & Biagio</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://producingunscripted.com">Producing Unscripted</a>.</p> Want to make reality TV, documentary series or unscripted specials? So did we. But when you’re just starting out, how in the heck do sell documentary series or make reality tv? Seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were living in our one bedroom apartm... So did we. But when you’re just starting out, how in the heck do sell documentary series or make reality tv?
Seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were living in our one bedroom apartment, creating show ideas, editing pitch reels — and wondering what to do next. We didn’t know a single person in Hollywood. It was impossible to get networks or production companies to take our calls. And agents…well, they wanted nothing to do with us.
Breaking in seemed impossible.
The two of us decided then and there that if we were ever successful, we’d find a way to reach out to aspiring producers and filmmakers.
Fast forward to today. We own a successful
TV and Film Production Company, we’re currently working on three TV series and a handful of television pilots. We produce documentaries, make reality tv shows, and love every minute of it.
And we’re launching this podcast, Producing Unscripted.
In episode 1 we break down:

* Why we’re doing this podcast, and what’s in it for you.
* Who the heck we are, and why that can help you.
* How to get started pitching your shows to us
* Joke’s advice on the one thing you should do before even thinking about pitching Unscripted Television.
* What we have in store for you over the course of this series.

Related Links

* Our Shows: http://www.jokeproductions.com/projects/
* Pitch us a Show: We Want to Make a Show With You
* Our doc Dying to do Letterman Makes New and Noteworthy with Brave, Dark Knight Rises, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Ted
* Behind the scenes posts on our show Scream Queens
* If you want to pitch television, you need to do this.

Transcript coming soon!

UPDATE: Transcript now available here.
Remember, to find out how to pitch to us, or to get great, real-world tips on pitching and selling unscripted television and how to make reality TV, you just have to do one thing:
]]> Joke and Biagio | Reality TV Producers, Award Winning Filmmakers, Documentarians clean 13:48