As I wrote yesterday, I had a meeting with someone at a television production company. They’re a major company and check out as Lisa-approved (and if you know me, you know that’s a big endorsement).
I met with Jen around 5:30 after I got off work. I had my Skype set up, photo finishing powder and my lip gloss popping. So clearly, camera ready. I’ll be honest, I was tempted to go pants-less and hair-in-ponytail because that’s how I roll every day after work but I stepped up my game and wore yoga pants. (Shhh! She couldn’t see them!)
So Jen and I just chatted for a few minutes and then we started the interview. It was the same basic questions most journalists or producers ask me, so it felt like second nature. In fact, I wasn’t even nervous this time around (lots of practice makes perfect I guess?). We talked for about an hour and then Jen said that she’d share a few clips to her development team later in the week and we’ll be in touch. Which in TV language means we’ll be in touch or we won’t be if something else comes along.
Ultimately the hard part is that we’re essentially talking about creating a television show based on my life, my work and my personality. It’s a little hard to look at yourself from a higher-level and see what your work now could become, I’ll be honest. That’s why I always say bloggers are entrepreneurs and innovators because this is where television and literary people are finding their talent: blogs. Our wheels are always spinning, even when we’re sitting behind our work computer hashing out data (oh, that’s me).
In reality, a year ago I thought I knew what I wanted and when the CW was interested, I laid it all out there–what I was doing at the time, what I wanted to do and why it would make a fantastic show. But then I realized it was dangerous as hell and putting myself in a precarious spot wasn’t worth the risk…even if I was crazy enough to do it. I was already intensely paranoid because let’s face it, there are a lot of weird people in my audience, and this actual show was going to put me in physical and psychological danger. Which would make amazing TV and would send me straight to the psych ward.
So, with that experience behind me, I’m able to see things clearer. I want to work on a television show that will feel fun to do for a few years, not something that will give me burn out after one year. And yes, I want it to sell and be popular and I think my personality is just perfect for that, but I also want to live through it.
I also have some fantastic ideas for a scripted show but I’m not revealing anything to anyone, not even a writing group and literally 3 writer friends, until the manuscript is completely written and has an agent. It’s that hot and it’s unique. Ideas get stolen from me all the time (not that it matters–when you’re the creator they’re all just the generic version and it won’t come to life with the same vibrancy.) I’m used to it by now, but this one is my baby. I’m not rushing myself to write it, either, even if someone wants to see the script, because great writing takes time and also because you get more money selling the book. Duh.
The most interesting part of the interview was when Jen asked where I see myself in five years from now. I think that was something DiGa Vision asked, too, and that’s sort of the “How can we brand you?” golden question; because, let’s face it you don’t just invest money into making a TV show out of someone’s story or personality unless they can generate multiple projects and revenue sources. Television production is expensive and it’s risky because you could work so hard on something and it won’t get bought or it won’t make it past season one. So, as for branding, think Kardashians. They are the queens of branding and have done it well. They’ve secured their spot on the voyeurism lot and organically endorsed products, were the first to get paid to Tweet and have spin-off shows that have high ratings. And no, it’s not just because of the sex tape. Here’s how it works: Kim and all (maybe mostly Kris) are experts at marketing analysis and studying what worked with society’s obsession with celebrities and transferring it into their own marketing plan. So many people dismiss them, because those people are thinking too “in the box.” They are powerful women we could all learn from. I certainly do.
Anyway, back to the five-year plan. I’ll be working on it and looking around for inspiration. If you have any you’d like to send my way, email me or put it in the comments below.