Please join me on 2/24 for my newest LIVE webinar…
It’s a challenge to get the right people in power to read your screenplays. The chasm between a query – or even a successful pitch – to a sale can feel insurmountable. Encapsulating everything that’s great about your project into a logline or even a one sheet can feel daunting.
Enter: pitch packages.
A pitch package is the very best of your verbal pitch captured on the page, often with conceptual visuals. Flawlessly executed, it can either secure you that elusive pitch meeting or serve as a brilliant follow-up tool that will carry your passion all the way up the ladder to close the deal. As meticulous, creative and tonally specific as loglines but encompassing the structure and themes of the entire project, pitch packages condense your conceptual material into marketing ad copy. [Read more…]
How to Work the Film & TV Markets takes independent filmmakers, television and digital content creators on a virtual tour of the entertainment industry’s trade shows – essentially the circulatory system of the entire global media landscape.
This book highlights the most significant annual events around the world, details a dossier of all the players they will meet there and examines all the elements that drive the market value and profitability of entertainment properties. State-of-the-art, in-the-trenches insights are contextualized into immediately implementable practical advice. Demystifying these markets, Heather makes them less intimidating, less confusing and less overwhelming and clearly lays out a plan to strategize and navigate these events, making them far more accessible, productive – and fun!
Make the most of your investments of finite funds, time and creative energy. Optimize your odds for success not only within the mainstream, business-to-business circuit but learn how to select, apply and scale its most prudent, proven principals and most promising disruptive strategies through your own Do-It-Yourself / Direct-to-the-Consuming-Crowd fundraising, distribution and promotional efforts.
This creative guide offers: [Read more…]
I’ve been helping them re-edit their sizzle reels, rewrite their one-sheets, practice their pitches and in some cases, even really re-evaluate and figure out what it is they’re actually trying to pitch (i.e.: existing footage to be re-purposed or translated for other territories, themselves as a host or segment guestpert, a replicatable format, or a show they want a financier or distributor to commit to develop or co-produce).
To that end, there are some past blogs that have been helpful to many, so I thought I’d share ‘em with you all (in some cases, again):
- Story Selling: The Art of Pitching
- The Do’s and Don’t’s of Reality Show Pitch Proposals
- Where Should I Pitch My TV Show?
And here’s a Brown Bag Lunch video interview I did with NATPE a couple of years ago (during the one month I thought I’d try being burnette! 😉 Wasn’t my best look – but the content is good!)
Okay, so I did my best – heartbreaking – but this is it:
|The Shawshank Redemption|
|Raiders of the Lost Ark|
|Romancing the Stone|
|The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind|
|A Beautiful Mind|
|The Sixth Sense|
|Shakespeare in Love|
|And #11 would be the annual classic:|
|It’s a Wonderful Life|
Million Dollar Cup of Tea is the true life story of the mother-daughter kitchen table start-up that grew into a $75 million dollar business by introducing chai tea to America. The Oregon Chai C0-Founder Tedde McMillen (the “Mom”) was so happy with our collaboration that she very generously thanked me, the ghostwriter for hire, with a “with” cover credit as a delightful publishing surprise!
Their story would make a terrific female driven entrepreneurial MOW or a really fun Dramedy TV Series!
Frank McAdams hired me to edit both of his books The American War Film: History and Hollywood and the true crime drama, Final Affair, which would also make a terrific Movie of the Week adaptation of a man slowly, meticulously murdering his wife (his third marital victim!)
For the late John Ridings Lee, Jr., CEO of the non-profit Center for Economic and Financial Performance, I ghostwrote The U.S. Economy: A User’s Manual based on his patented economic indicator, CEPPI. I set up his WordPress sites for his Economic Thoughts blogs (which my father ghostwrote) as well as for his contemporary fine art. I also developed several television scripts for his development and packaging entertainment industry production company affiliated with a hedge fund.
I edited Dara Marks’ Inside Story and helped her unify her brand from book cover through website to planning, launching and implementing her book signing and speaking tour, including assisting her on her first few seminars.
I helped a client develop his Christian-themed, self-published book, Witness Insecurity, into the feature film, Absolute Killers.
Click here to automatically download or view a Powerpoint Presentation for the most current HHP Film Slate.
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Please feel free to contact me for complete scripts, synopses, top sheets or full budgets, schedules, day out of days, cast breakdowns, cast hit lists, or any other information you may require.
My cell phone is (323) 717-1419
Director of Photography: Jim Orr Ten-time regional Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Photography and Lighting Direction, Jim Orr is just wrapping Alicia Keys’ directorial debut film Lili, part of Lifetime’s Project 5, produced by Jennifer Anniston. His hundreds of commercials, documentaries, TV episodes and 15 independent feature films include Jessica Biel‘s directorial debut Sodales; Hole in the Paper Sky starring Jessica Biel, Jason Clarke and Gary Marshall; Seducing Charlie Barker, The FlyBoys, starring Tom Sizemore and Stephen Baldwin and Clipping Adam, starring Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher, Kevin Sorbo and Chris Eigeman.
Mr. Orr was cinematographer for the multi-Emmy Award winning PBS documentary Reclaiming Your American Dream as well as other award winning PBS documentaries including Searching for a Safe Place, Tolerance on Trial, La Mera Frontera (The Very Edge) and the acclaimed PBS specials Outpost Harry – Hold at All Costs, Bigger Boxes: Americas Love of Superstores, Liquid Stage: The Lure of Surfing. He filmed the French portions of The History Channel’s Shot From The Sky, The History Channel’s Inside Opus Dei and 18 episodes, including the pilot, for A&E’s top rated show Intervention and has filmed in Canada, Israel, Greece and Morocco.
Mr. Orr filmed season 1 & 2 of the hit Spike TV series Deadliest Warrior and is location scouting for the next Spike TV series, Most Lethal. The groundbreaking English/Spanish Hacienda Heights series is set for simultaneous national and international release. Mr. Orr speaks conversational Spanish thanks to his Argentinean wife and two children and has won a host of awards including San Diego State University’s Cinematographer of the Year award in 1990, four Best Cinematography Awards for The FlyBoys and The Vision Award for Best Photography in 1997.
Editor: Jochen Kunstler Born and raised in Germany, Jochen Kunstler got his start at ZDF German Television in production management. He moved to Los Angles in 1997 for the Film, Television, Video and New Media program at UCLA Extension. After finishing the program, Jochen produced and directed the documentary Deeds not Words (1998) about the Wildlife Way Station in the Angeles National Forest, which aired on Discovery UK. Since 2000, Jochen has edited a variety of programs for Percy Adlon (acclaimed Director of Bagdad Café) and other Directors. Percy Adlon’s feature film, Mahler on the Couch, made its World Premiere at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter prizes Jochen’s editorial talent: “Benedict Neuenfels’ cinematography is lush and romantic, and Jochen Kunstler’s editing neatly entwines past and present.” Jochen was also praised for his work in Adlon’s feature film Hawaiian Gardens (2001), hailed as “a brilliantly edited real life drama” by The Hollywood Reporter after its premiere at the Munich Film Festival. Koenig’s Sphere (a documentary about sculptor Fritz Koenig in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th) premiered at the Tribeca Film festival in 2003 and will be part of the collection at the 9/11 Memorial. Jochen continues to refine and expand his expertise in new formats through work on narrative short films including No Destination, with John Savage (Method Fest 2007, Staten Island Film Festival 2007), and Innocence Remains, which premiered at Frameline 33 in San Francisco. He edited the Sony Web series Angel of Death, directed by Paul Etheredge, which became the most watched program on Sony’s Crackle.com.
Casting Director: Valerie McCaffrey was a Vice President of Casting at New Line Cinema for 6 years and before that worked as Director of Casting at Universal Studios for 8 years. Some of her recent credits include: American History X, Babe, Area 51, Hard Candy, What the #$*! Do We Know!?,The Island of Dr. Moreau, Jaws: The Revenge and Witness Insecurity.
DGA UPM/Line Producer: Eve Honthaner‘s work on the monumental and iconic Titanic caused FOX to ask her to write the operations manual for their new Baja Studios, which turned into an Executive Production position at Dreamworks that lasted ’til they split from Paramount. Eve also worked on Tropic Thunder and Just Married to name a few other high profile projects. Eve literally “wrote the book” on Line Producing as the author of The Complete Film Production Handbook (its 4th edition just came out last year) which is required reading at many film schools and production offices. She also wrote Hollywood Drive: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry, which Heather Hale is quoted in several times. Mrs. Honthaner also founded the non-profit Film Industry Network.
1st AD: Jerram Swartz has worked on many of the most iconic and successful entertainment productions in Hollywood history including E.T. The Extraterrestrial and The Blues Brothers as well as award-winning movies for television Kent State 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story and Amish Grace. As a continuously working member of the Directors Guild of America for the past thirty years, he has collaborated with A-list stars, directors and producers as a senior member of the production team. He has worked on productions worldwide and throughout the United States.
Production Designer: Gary Randall has designed the look of more than 30 feature films and recently completed work on Girls, Girls, Girls directed by award-winning actress Beth Grant. Gary began his career in the set lighting department at Warner Bros. and spent 14 years as a gaffer/electrician with Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner as a notable credit. A chance meeting with producer Roger Corman led Gary to move from lighting to set design as head of the Concorde/New Horizon design department for over two years. He has gone on to work on projects for Showtime, HBO, Fox, MPCA and Playboy. He designed a celebrity poker show for The Simpsons creator Sam Simon, was hired by Ray Manzarek of The Doors to create the visuals for the music video L.A. Woman and assisted Renny Harlin by designing new scenes for Harlin’s The Covenant. Mr. Randall has been the production designer for over a hundred commercials. Supervising a crew of 50, he turned the Hollywood Cinerama Dome into a gigantic hamburger for a McDonald’s spot. In 2005, he designed the set for the 75th anniversary of the Broadway play You Can’t Take It With You directed by co-author Moss Hart’s son at The Geffen Playhouse. Gary and his wife Rochelle live on a ranch in Shadow Hills California.
Emmy-award winning composer Stephen Marston has composed music for over 50 television series and a dozen movies and indie features including Witness Insecurity, many episodes of A&E’s Ancient Mysteries and Biography, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Entertainment Tonight, ABC Sports Specials, General Hospital and Houdini. He has written songs for projects as diverse as Angel Wings to the cult classic 976-EVIL and has contributed arrangements to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The American Comedy Awards, The Amazing Race and The History Channel Special: The True Story of Hannibal. He has composed for several Emmy award winning television series which include the wonderful PBS animated series and 2006 Daytime Emmy Winner Jakers: The Adventures of Piggley Winks. Stephen received his musical training at the Merklee College of Music in Boston where he earned a degree in composition from musical genius Lyle “Spud” Murphy. He began his musical career as a clarinetist, guitarist, vocalist and bassist, going on to perform at such venues as Madison Square Garden and Dodge Stadium.
Costume Designer: Zohra Shahalimi‘s most recent credits include Stan Helsing directed by Bo Zenga and starring Leslie Nielson and Kenan Thompson from SNL; Kickin’ It Old Skool, Blonde and Blonder, Ogre and Pascal Franchot’s Triple Dog. A costume designer for film and television, Zohra has an international background as a fashion designer, buyer, stylist, artist and entrepreneur. She graduated with honors from the acclaimed fashion school, LaSalle College in Montreal where after she won a coveted spot in the McCord Museum of Montreal’s fashion show. Zohra coordinated Signature 96, the largest fashion show in Montreal showcasing over 170 fashion designers in a runway show. She also served as a buyer for North America for a large retail chain which gave her an incredible expertise in fabric, trends and commercial viability. Zohra has designed two lines of handbags herself: Zoozy, manufactured in Italy and Amuze, manufactured in Asia. On just her company’s first anniversary, she was nominated for Inspiration’s “2002 Entrepreneur of the Year.” Born into an affluent family in Kabul, Afghanistan, Zohra grew up in the rarified world of politics and art. After the controversial death of her patriot father, she and her remaining family escaped the occupation of the Russian Communist regimes by trekking in disguise across back country roads and across mountains to the relative safety of Pakistan. Zohra speaks English, French, Dari and Urdu. An avid sky diver and martial arts practitioner, Zohra took second place in a professional east coast regional competition. Zohra is also quite the photographer and hopes to share her 20-year retrospective photos of the ruins left by the Taliban. She divides her time between LA and Canada.
Key Hair Stylist: Rita Parillo: Credit Highlights: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Leatherheads, The Happening, The Last of the Mohicans, Ladder 49, Glory Road, Iron Jawed Angels, The Dale Earnhardt Story, Witness Insecurity.
Make-Up Department Head: Keith Sayer: The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Made of Honor, Evan Almighty, Fun with Dick and Jane, Universal Soldier: The Return, TV: The District, Witness Insecurity.
Script Supervisor: Pamela Denise Williams has worked on over 20 films in the last 6 years. She just finished a made-for-TV-movie, The Shunning, directed by Michael Landon Jr. . for the Hallmark Channel that starred Sherri Stringfield (ER). She script supervised five films in 2010 including: Witness Insecurity that starred Ed Asner, Meat Loaf and Edward Furlong; Miracle of Spanish Harlem, starring Kate Del Castillo (Under the Moon, Weeds) and Tony Plana (Ugly Betty). In 2009, she served as the 1st A.D. and Script Supervisor on Butterfly Rising for first-time Director, Tanya Wright, who plays Deputy Kenya Jones on HBO’s True Blood and Script Supervised Occupancy, which starred soap opera stars Van Hansis (As The World Turns) and Thorsten Kaye (One Life to Live).
Music Supervisor: Sean Fernald has fifteen years of major record label experience with MCA Records, Virgin Records, Capitol Records and Sony Music specializing in visual marketing, music video (production and promotion) and music licensing for film. This has led to an ongoing association with the synergy of music and film, most recently working as a music supervisor on How To Rob A Bank produced by Arthur Sarkissian (Rush Hour), Bar Starz produced by Steve Perry (True Romance) and The Lather Effect produced by Eric Stoltz (Pulp Fiction) and directed by Sarah Kelly (Full Tilt Boogie) among many others. Sean recently produced Red Velvet (2009), a horror-fantasy film and is preparing Blood Oranges (2011), a dark horror comedy and Bloody Mary (2011), based on the famous urban legend. Sean is a voting member of NARAS, the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences and serves as a consultant specializing in music, entertainment and conflict resolution – a good skill to have in the film industry!
First you should read: Who is Reading My Film Proposal – and Why?
What goes into a Film Proposal?
Based on your hit list targets and call to action goals, your package may or may not include all of the following material (you may not even have or have a clue to some of it – but it’s a living, breathing, evolving document – part of the process is doing this research and homework so you’ve earned the answers – and own them).
You may highlight certain elements, reposition the order and deliver it in a variety of formats. Maybe you give a one-on-one pitch over coffee with a sizzle reel on your iPhone. Maybe you snail mail a full blown business plan with a PPM to your cousin on Wall Street. Maybe you put it all up on a password-protected website for friends and family to invest and/or support. Maybe you create a Powerpoint or KeyNote presentation for a group presentation is a small rented ballroom or private home dinner. Maybe you Skype a web-based conference call. It all depends on goals, access, timing, expense – relationships, value of the outcome, etc.
For an Indie (or possible Studio Co-Production),
here are the guts of what you ought to have lined up and polished to shine: