So what exactly is Picture It Productions?
Picture It is a television development company, specializing in bringing unique voices and stories from the Southeast to Hollywood. We are a full service production company as well, so we can produce the shows we develop.
What is the development process at Picture It?
It really depends on the project. If it’s a writer-driven concept, we help develop the pilot script as both a proof of concept and as a writing sample. We start with the outline and work our way through a final draft of the script. It’s a long process, complete with table reads, re-writes, and more re-writes. You have to remember that most ATL writers don’t have the level of television experience that LA writers have, so we have to make sure they earn their spot on the writing staff with a killer sample script. If necessary, we will also produce a short video pitch or sizzle. With all of this, the goal is to attract A-level talent (writer/director/producer) to the project to ultimately make it easy for the buyer to say yes!
What should I bring to my pitch meeting at Picture It?
Just bring yourself and be ready to talk about your idea. If you have materials or visual aids that will help you convey your concept, great, but it’s not a necessity. We are a very casual, welcoming bunch, so just come as you are and be yourself.
Do I have to be a writer to pitch a show to Picture It?
You don’t have to be a writer to pitch to us. You don’t have to be involved in the industry at all. If you are a person who thinks that your life, a family member’s, a co-worker’s, or a neighbor down the street’s life could be the basis for a show, we’d love to hear from you.
What if I have my own pilot ready to go?
We regularly get finished pilot scripts. These can be helpful in giving us an idea of the writer’s skill level and a better sense of their vision for the show. Sometimes people will even have multiple episodes written, or even a full length pilot that they funded on their own. The truth is, we usually start over from scratch with most of our projects. It can be hard pill to swallow, especially with the investment of time and money involved in these endeavors. You have to understand that television is a very collaborative process. We won't be the only people giving you notes. The producers, the studio, and the network are all going to weigh in. By the time your show makes it on the air, the final script will be completely different from the original spec script. If you want total creative freedom, make an indie film. TV just doesn’t work that way.
How long does the process take; from my first Picture It meeting to pitching to a network?
It can take anywhere from two months to two years (or longer) to go from “I have a cool idea” to pitching to a buyer. If you are a non-writer with an interesting life story that you want to option, it will take less time than if you are a writer that needs to craft an entire script. The packaging process (partnering the show with a bankable LA producer, show runner and/or director) is totally unpredictable as well. If we decide to partner with a studio before going to a buyer, that process takes time as well. Also, we could have a great show ready to go, but the networks aren’t buying that type of show that particular season. Timing is everything, so it may be determined that it is better to wait for the right time than to waste a great pitch. At the end of the day, you will have to be patient.
What makes your approach so unique?
What makes Picture It so unique to Hollywood is that we are bringing ideas from somewhere other than LA and New York — We are curating stories with fresh points of view that are unique, authentic, and reflect the America that most people live in. The fact that I’m a writer myself is also somewhat unique. I speak to writers as peers, and completely empathize with how challenging this process can be.
What type of shows are you looking for?
Well, networks are always interested in family shows —comedies and dramas. Procedurals seem to never go out of favor — you know, cop shows, medical, law. Genre pitches are always in demand. But at the end of the day, people are just looking for riveting stories that are unique and relatable. If the show is based on something real, it always helps. Aspiring writers can really help themselves by looking inward for inspiration. You are more interesting than you think! Find a story that is based on some aspect of your life — a really interesting childhood, a crazy job you had, a really funny roommate situation that you endured, an amazing relationship you had, a demon that lived in your closet that taught you how to be a chef… you know, real life stuff like that.
How hands-on is Picture It Productions on a project?
We are ridiculously hands-on! Once we find something that we love, we don't let it out of our doors until we think it's bulletproof. It doesn't have to be a perfect script, there is no such thing, but the talent has to be undeniable and the idea has to be crystal clear. You only have one shot, so make it count.
What can a person gain from working with Picture It Productions?
Weight. We have a ton of snacks in the office. Seriously though, if all you do is pitch an idea to us, you are already learning something because we will tell you what we liked and what wasn’t working for us, and that gives you a little bit more knowledge for the next time you come in with an idea. That is something a lot of people don't realize. If you pitch us an idea and we pass on it, that doesn't mean we are passing on you, just that idea. You can come back to us anytime. And if we do start to develop something with you, you're going to learn a lot about writing, table reads, how to pitch, how the industry actually works.