I looked around the crowded restaurant for any sign of my friend, who caught my attention with a wave of his hand. As I got closer, I noticed two other gentlemen sitting at the table with him. He introduced us, then apologized, explaining that their meeting was running a little long, but that I was welcome to stay until they finished.
Who doesn’t like being a fly on the wall, right?
It took me a few minutes to lock-on to the conversation, but I finally understood that they were discussing the development of a new reality television show. You gotta love LA!
I sat there like a mute, listening intently. One volunteered to write the treatment. Another would scour his contacts to find the right people to pitch. As they wrapped up, one of the gentlemen looked to me and asked, “What do you think, Ron?”
Uh-oh. There’s nothing worse than being asked a question by a perfect stranger who has no idea who you are. Add the fact that you’re a guest at the table, and the complexity of the social situation compounds itself exponentially. I looked to my friend for guidance. If he had given me the waive-off signal, I would have bit my tongue. Instead, he smiled and gave me the green light.
“Why do you need them?” I asked.
“Whoever you’re pitching the show to. Why do you need them?”
He looked at me as if I had two heads.
I explained that if they truly believed in the project–if they wanted to maintain control of their own destiny, why not consider producing the show themselves and releasing it online? I offered a litany of benefits to consider, including creative control and the ability to find the right audience as opposed to the biggest one.
They listened politely, asked a few more questions, and then wrapped up their own conversation.
I don’t think that they’ll change their plans, but online publication should at least be a consideration. Our networked world has opened all sorts of possibilities for indie producers.
What story have you always wanted to tell? What’s stopping you?
Photo Credit: Library of Congress on Flickr