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Old 07-15-2019, 09:34 AM   #1
TravisPickle
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Default TV minimums

hey all

I just sold a pitch to a cable channel- and what I mean is that they are paying me to write the pilot and the bible.

I don't have a track record in TV- it's my first sell. I do have a strong track record in features.

Should I expect WGA minimums or something a bit better? Just want to adjust my expectations/ avoid short-selling myself if the offer comes in low (and my reps don't feel like engaging in a negotiation)

TP
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:41 AM   #2
GucciGhostXXX
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Default Re: TV minimums

First off: DUDE, CONGRATS! RAD!

Secondly: WHAT??? Your reps don't want to negotiate??? That's their job to get you the highest price. I don't get it!
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: TV minimums

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisPickle View Post
hey all

I just sold a pitch to a cable channel- and what I mean is that they are paying me to write the pilot and the bible.

I don't have a track record in TV- it's my first sell. I do have a strong track record in features.

Should I expect WGA minimums or something a bit better? Just want to adjust my expectations/ avoid short-selling myself if the offer comes in low (and my reps don't feel like engaging in a negotiation)

TP
Like you, I'm primarily a feature writer, but I've done some TV dev, and my recollection is that TV pilot minimums are crazy low and that everyone (even first-timers) ends up getting way more than that. I thiiiink the range you're looking at is ~$90k-170k, but if your feature quote is way higher than that, that should put upward pressure on the price. Hopefully, someone with more TV experience can jump in and lay down some knowledge.

In any case, big congrats on the sale!!
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:13 PM   #4
TravisPickle
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Default Re: TV minimums

Thanks friends!!

To be clear: my reps have not refused to negotiate. They haven’t even received the offer yet. I worded it incorrectly.

What I meant is that sometimes reps find themselves in a tough spot and they accept the offer that is given to them. Rather than really pushing for a better deal. It doesn’t happen all the time, but in my experience if a rep doesn’t want to rock the boat with the buyer, he/she will be cautious and use the buyer’s argument as a reason for not being able to negotiate (“it’s your first tv sell”... “it’s a hard project to get off the ground” ... “you’ll make it up in the backend”)

My experiences so far have been that the numbers don’t move THAT much once the offer is made. A lot of to-and-fro on the backend (which let’s face it, is one big speculation). But very little on the upfront.

Regardless : very helpful information guys. Thank you.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:04 PM   #5
GucciGhostXXX
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Default Re: TV minimums

Ahhh gotcha... I'm always super stoked when a writer sells anything, this is a brutal world, so congrats again!

Having said that, I think this is where your agent needs to step in and do hardcore comps. "We know you just made a deal with XYZ for ___. Thus, this is too low." Or "So and so at ___ just made a similar deal with ____ for ____. Thus, this is too low."

This is where intel is key IMO. The bigs are fukking excellent at that. I would just ask my rep to make sure the comps are legit and strong. And also push for best back end. Who knows, maybe it'll get made...
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
TravisPickle
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Default Re: TV minimums

Right now I don’t have an agent due to the WGA situation
Hopefully my lawyer and manager can pick up the slack...

And yes, very poignant line about “maybe it’ll get made”... such a bummer to start a project knowing that the likelihood of it crossing the finish line is slim.

But we have to keep positive, right??

Ironically this is something I crapped out without much rumination ... maybe the key is to just stop worrying so much
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:19 PM   #7
GucciGhostXXX
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Default Re: TV minimums

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisPickle View Post
Right now I don’t have an agent due to the WGA situation
Hopefully my lawyer and manager can pick up the slack...

And yes, very poignant line about “maybe it’ll get made”... such a bummer to start a project knowing that the likelihood of it crossing the finish line is slim.

But we have to keep positive, right??

Ironically this is something I crapped out without much rumination ... maybe the key is to just stop worrying so much
Ooops... yeah, lawyer, right now (WGA-vs-ATA). Same intel I'll assume.

Likewise, my latest was crapped out in 48 hours. Previous one was 9 months. I'm curious to learn if it maters (time spent). We're too new with the new one to have any idea.

Good luck! Oh and... if it gets made, HIRE ME! HA!
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