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Old 07-30-2012, 02:32 AM   #1
VanceVanCleaf
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Default TV-movie

We have in my country a lot of movies made for TV (not pilots, you know, complete movies).
Is there something similar in the US and HOW could I get in touch with THOSE producers? Are there special companies for TV-movies?
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
wcmartell
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Default Re: TV-movie

*Very* few TV movies are made in the USA anymore. Almost everything is series.

The networks that still have TV movies are Lifetime, SyFy, and Hallmark. Spike tried a couple... but I don't think it worked for them.

The films are made by producers who have contracts with the networks, and these are often changing - so you have to do some legwork and find who produced recent films. Larry Levinson used to do a pile of movies for Lifetime every year and did some of the Spike movies - I've had numerous meetings with them on both... but they are making fewer Lifetime movies right now. I don't know the backstory, but I suspect it has to do with the DVD market.

The thing about US TV movies is that the budgets have plummeted and their story requirements often so narrow that almost nothing fits. Lifetime has a specific age, economic, housing, relationship status for it's female leads... and SyFy Channels list of rules are downright crazy (No tunnel scenes, no dogs, some small % of night scenes, no brothers and sisters, etc).

Since USA writers are all trying to get into German TV movies... why not just start with your home country?

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:57 AM   #3
VanceVanCleaf
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Default Re: TV-movie

oh thanks, almost gave up hoping for an answer!

Yes, I might try that. However, the scripts are all in English, one has a South-Africa-theme, and the other two specific US-themes. When I look German TV (what I seldom do *lol*) it's mostly Germany-related (WWII or contemporary problems with immigrants) stuff or mainstream international such as love stories.

Besides I heard from an insider that here really EVERYTHING works via connections and relations, so I know even less how to "break in" than into the US market.

Well, it was just an idea...
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
mikewrites
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Default Re: TV-movie

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanceVanCleaf View Post
oh thanks, almost gave up hoping for an answer!

Yes, I might try that. However, the scripts are all in English, one has a South-Africa-theme, and the other two specific US-themes. When I look German TV (what I seldom do *lol*) it's mostly Germany-related (WWII or contemporary problems with immigrants) stuff or mainstream international such as love stories.

Besides I heard from an insider that here really EVERYTHING works via connections and relations, so I know even less how to "break in" than into the US market.

Well, it was just an idea...
In that situation if you can afford it, try to get an unpaid internship in the industry to build connections. Assuming a paying job isn't available, of course. Can't hurt to get your feet wet in the business. The entry level low/no pay jobs seem to be the most common path, often cited when you hear "breaking in" stories in the US.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
BurOak
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Default Re: TV-movie

Quote:
Originally Posted by wcmartell View Post
*Very* few TV movies are made in the USA anymore. Almost everything is series.

The networks that still have TV movies are Lifetime, SyFy, and Hallmark. Spike tried a couple... but I don't think it worked for them.

The films are made by producers who have contracts with the networks, and these are often changing - so you have to do some legwork and find who produced recent films. Larry Levinson used to do a pile of movies for Lifetime every year and did some of the Spike movies - I've had numerous meetings with them on both... but they are making fewer Lifetime movies right now. I don't know the backstory, but I suspect it has to do with the DVD market.

The thing about US TV movies is that the budgets have plummeted and their story requirements often so narrow that almost nothing fits. Lifetime has a specific age, economic, housing, relationship status for it's female leads... and SyFy Channels list of rules are downright crazy (No tunnel scenes, no dogs, some small % of night scenes, no brothers and sisters, etc).

Since USA writers are all trying to get into German TV movies... why not just start with your home country?

- Bill
I wouldn't mind writing for German TV, so long as they pay a reasonable amount and do so within a reasonable timeframe.
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