Today’s interview is with Heather Hale, author of How to Work the Film & TV Markets.
Please see the interview below.
Currently Tucson, Arizona
(Native Californian, 20+ years in LA, lived in Kobe, Japan; might be moving to Savannah, GA in the next month or so).
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Story Selling: How to Develop, Market, and Pitch Your Film & TV Projects
Among the great challenges for modern media-makers is getting someone to ready your script, watch your film, or glance at your TV format. But how do you get them to close a deal? Veteran and aspiring creators will find answers in Story Selling.
Whatever you’re pitching, the principles are universal. It’s the strategies and assets employed that vary widely. Story Selling details them all, their construction and applications, in ways that will improve your visibility and success.
How to Work the Film and TV Markets: A Guide for Content Creators is a guidebook that provides a “Big Picture” orientation and overview of the converging industries of film, television and Internet video. Part compendium, it offers concise but detailed information on the most important media markets and key ancillary events. Part dossier, it surveys all the usual players found on all these market floors. Part “How To” Manual, it explains not only the traditional rules of the game but includes clever “Do It Yourself” strategies if you opt to avoid these scenes altogether (or better synchronize all your marketing and distribution efforts).
How to Work the Markets:
In 2013, I was coordinating all the speakers for the American Film Market as the Independent Film and Television Alliance’s Industry Liaison. The Acquisitions Editor for Focal Press/Routledge asked me to help her source prospective subject matter experts from our many panelists and presenters who I thought might make great authors on their respective topics. After helping ensure the publisher’s inventory would be as current, relevant and cutting-edge as possible from the resources we had to offer, Emily asked if I saw any remaining holes in their market-focused line-up. I answered without hesitation: “There’s never been a book on How to Work the Markets — and this book was born.
As screenwriters, we’re often advised to “write the movie you want to see.” As an independent filmmaker and content creator, this was the book I needed to read. Last year. A decade ago. When I started my career. Now. Since it so perfectly aligned with the publisher’s mission “to make a significant difference in the careers of independent producers by educating and informing them about the business behind the film industry”: it was a “no brainer” win-win.
I put on my journalist’s research cap and interviewed hundreds of entertainment industry professionals across the vast spectrum of our media business from all around the world. I relished the opportunity to ask the tough questions I really wanted to hear the truth on, from veterans who could put those answers into context. More importantly, I dared to ask the naïve questions most of us are too embarrassed to ask because they reveal the holes in our Swiss-cheese knowledge of this business that we all inevitably acquire haphazardly, in rushed bits and bytes, on the fly or on-set—often through the mistakes of others.
Story Selling was basically everything I couldn’t cram into the first book! While the first book taught you how to work the actual selling circuit (the lay of the land, who the players are, clever approach strategies, etc. – the 10,000’ bird’s eye view), Story Selling honed in a project-specific deliverables – all the marketing materials you should have to sell – anywhere.
How to Work the Film & TV Markets took about a year to write – maybe two – then another year through the publishing process.
The second book took about six months to write – and about six months through the publishing process.
The first book was more about interviewing experts and synthesizing their insights, integrated with my own first-hand experiences while the second book was far more about applying what I – and hundreds of my friends – struggle with in terms of developing, pitching and marketing Film & TV projects – and books.
I’m a great editor! 😉
I love Dog & Pony Creative for book covers and key art: https://www.dogandponycreative.com/portfolio/how-to-work-the-film-tv-markets
They won the 22nd Annual Communicator Awards – Print & Design – Award of Distinction – with my/our book cover!
I read everything! I love non-fiction (Michael Lewis, Malcolm Gladwell), biographies, autobiographies, memoirs – especially comedic (a la David Sedaris). I love novels, especially thrillers (Trevanian), Magical Realism, children’s storybooks, satires, books on watercolor painting, sketching, and, of course, screenwriting, filmmaking, storytelling, the creative process, etc.
I read professionally for a living – as a consultant: https://heatherhale.com/consultant
Oh wow… probably Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I love her Russian expat zest for original American ideals, her strong powerful role models – and the themes of all her books.
I also loved: The Fountainhead, Shibumi, The Sparrow, The Honey Badger – I could go on and on!
Yes! I have 2.5 cats 😉 The cats were all wild, feral rescues and one isn’t officially ours yet, though he seems to have adopted us. That’s Oliver (“Please Sir, May I Have S’more?). We have The Other One (nicknamed TOO) and The little One (nicknamed Tri – pronounced “Tree”)
I also have ten koi fish in a 2,500 gallon watergarden pond. I’m one of only about 200 certified koi keepers in the US! 😉
Well, my MacBook Pro and Air and iPhone are all electronic reading devices! 😉