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Old September 24th, 2006, 02:10 AM   #1
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Pilot episode of a TV show I'm pitching

I just pitched a TV show earlier this week to a local TV station. It doesn't have a title yet but it's very similar to a show I produce on the internet called Under The Bridge, which focuses on the local music scene with news, interviews and live footage. The internet one was half an hour - this one's 10 minutes because the station is looking for weekly 10-minute segments.

I shot everything throughout the week and put it together in two days. It was kind of rushed and I was a bit out of practise but I'm fairly happy with what I came up.

Okay, the link: http://www.mumps.ca/video/pitch.wmv
(you'll need Windows Media Player)

I won't hear back from the station until next week so I've been kind of anxious for constructive feedback. What do you like/dislike and what would you recommend changing?

I look forward to your comments.

Thanks!

-Mark

(ps- yes, there is supposed to be a 15-second graphic at the beginning and no, the flickering on the right should not be there. I'll fix that soon)
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Old September 25th, 2006, 01:13 AM   #2
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Hey Mark,

I watched the show and enjoyed it... It's a cool idea and should work well.

I know it's a pilot and you've got some stuff to work out, but since you asked for input... Remember, most advice is worth what it costs.

I think you need to define your style better. A couple of times it seemed you were kind of looking for a funky camera angle or move, and then you'd shoot straight up for a bit. I think what you are trying to do is inform and entertain, but it's mostly entertain, so keep it loose (leave the mic boom in a shot, then have someone on cam knock it out, something like that, or do some bloopers as the credits are rolling...).

The standard 'turn to camera 1 - speak, then turn to camera 2, in the opening 'news' bit really wasn't working for me. That whole thing could really be an appealing aesthetic if you found a cooler location (as opposed to a suburban street), maybe against a brickwall in a back-alley, or at a different really cool place each week (city rooftop, junkyard, the washroom at city hall LOL ). People would tune in to see where you're shooting from this week.

I think Anne Marie needs to smile or project some attitude at least, develop an on-cam presence or personality. She can do it, she just needs to prep (so she doesn't look at the script on cam), and not be afraid to make a mistake.

I like the radio station bit.

Your basement interviewer needs to uncross his arms when speaking. He's an interesting character who asked some decent questions but appears somewhat nervous.

Anyway, I think the concept is great... I don't mean to sound critical, I'm just saying, don't be afraid to be edgy, don't be afraid to make a mistake. Hell, it's rock n'roll. I think the target audience for a show like that is definitely NOT conservative.

Good Luck, and don't give up on it.

Ken.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #3
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I completely agree with what Ken had to say. He's got some very good ideas about how to make it better, the main ones for me being the host and the location, i think a happy smiley host would go down much better....i'm NOT saying get rid of her just tell her and let her work on it. If the studio likes the concept they will see through these things and tell you what you need to work out and fix.

Andy
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Old September 25th, 2006, 01:10 PM   #4
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I love homegrown, locally produced music shows. Tried and failed at it myself. But it's great to see the bands live, to give that aspect that the local print and radio media can't offer (if they even interview these acts in the first place.) I think you are off to a good start with this.

I agree that the standard two-camera-with-insert-over-the-shoulder news presentation is really awkward. I'd lose the inserts all together, and simply cut to full-frame live footage, photos, or a music video of the band. If I'm interested in the band that Anne Marie is talking about, I'd rather see more of them, instead of just a small square over her shoulder.

And the turn-to-camera-two cuts during the news are definitely awkward, especially since this isn't a studio situation. It seems the point of doing fun, outside locations is the opportunity to look less staged -- which is not what you're getting here. If you want a second camera angle, I might recommend the more modern style of "the second, lower-quality camera that the talent doesn't acknowledge." It's definitely been used quite a bit, but does allow for a more varied look. You have similar shots during the interview segment. That said, if you simply just cut to band footage instead of using the inserts, then that will help keep the look varied, and you may not need a second camera at all.

And yes, the interviewers need to be more relaxed. But that will come with time. Keep at it and they'll get better.

I really like the quality of your footage, especially during the artist interview. The colors seemed to pop and the camera angles were interesting. On the technical side, it seems like you've done very well -- as Ken said, it's just a matter of geting less conservative on the creative side.

Even as it is, I would definitely watch this show if I was flipping through and found it on my local cable channel. It sounds like you know there's room for improvement, and for only having 2 days to edit, I think you did a good job with that as well. Keep at it and good luck!

And in the interest of "put up or shut up," here's a couple of music interviews from my own failed attempt at a local cable music show. By no means a benchmark of any kind, but you might get a kick out of them:

http://karatemedia.com/secretmachines/

http://www.karatemedia.com/southernbitch/roughbitch.wmv (very rough and unfinished cut, but the first two minutes are OK, and show my own take on the "host standing outside in a neighborhood" intro)

And hey -- at least you had a boom mic operator! :)

*ADDENDUM: I just watched the "Under the Bridge" episode on your website. I can see that you definitely have the ability to carry off this type of show; it perhaps comes off even better in this long episode. The host seemed a little better suited for the task, and the outdoor shots were composed better -- although there were still one or two awkward, "turn to the camera" moments. But it is obvious that you are passionate about the music and scene you are covering, you are dedicated to covering it, and you are adept at using the tools at your disposal. With these three aspects covered, everything else should eventually fall into place.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #5
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I love local music stuff too so I hope you get this going. First off, the host needs to be a lot happier and energetic, dont be afraid to cut away from her altogether. This will also help you tighten the edit up, it seems a little loose right now. This is indie music, make the camera more dynamic, the slow zoom/pan thing, while well planned out, did not work for me. Watch the lip flap, generally you want to avoid shots of people with their lips moving when you dont hear that audio at all. About at the 8 min mark, I finally felt like I was seeing a show, nice pictures and FINALLY some music.

To have a locally successful show you need to affirm fans of certain local bands and cross-polinate their fanbases. You HAVE to show more music to do this, even if you are only showing a hook from a chorus.



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Old September 26th, 2006, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Britt
And in the interest of "put up or shut up," here's a couple of music interviews from my own failed attempt at a local cable music show. By no means a benchmark of any kind, but you might get a kick out of them:

http://karatemedia.com/secretmachines/
I liked your work a lot, John. I see very few local shows about independent music so it's always nice to see someone else working toward the same thing I am. Your show definitely has potential - it seemed very fresh and quick-paced (until partway through the interview when it began to slow down). Keep working at it and I'm sure it'll find a home!
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Old September 26th, 2006, 04:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for your advice, everyone! There were a lot of great tips and I will definitely act on them.

I got the call this afternoon that the show is being picked up and will start to air in early October. Instead of being a10 minute standalone, it will be 4-6-minute segment of the news program. In many ways this helps me because everything is more condensed and that will probably help me get it tighter than the pitch, though I would certainly use the extra time if I had it. I'm just glad it's going on TV.

So again, thanks for your feedback and I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old September 26th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #8
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congrats


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Old September 27th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #9
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Glad to hear they're picking it up Mark.

Keep us posted.
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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:36 PM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words Mark. More importantly, congratulations on getting picked up. Good luck and keep posting segments!
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:39 AM   #11
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thats pretty cool, good luck on everything
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