A Year of Pitching Dangerously

royal-courtby Angelo J. Bell

This year’s Great American Pitchfest (#GAPF) marks the 1-year anniversary of the beginning of the Royal Court of World Domination (#RCWD). It was one year ago that I drove up to Burbank to meet with Justin W Hedges. At the time I was submitting pitches to NBCUniversal through my prod co.  Kiss Hug Five and a membership in IFTA.

Justin and I had met a year earlier when he came to LA for a visit and scheduled time with me. He even drove down to my neck of the woods to meet up. I was appreciative of that.

This time I had reached out to Justin because I’d read one of his scripts and I knew he embraced the concept of creatingcommercially viable projects. Yes, we understood the nature of developing passion projects, but we also understood that a project that won’t sell does very little for your career, if indeed you expect to make money in this business.

Justin told me he had several ideas, but one in particular would  knock my socks off.

I met Justin at the Burbank Marriott and he began telling me his stories. I was looking for projects to pitch to Syfy, but Justin’s project THE PRINCE, was bigger than Syfy. Right then and there we decided to work together and Operation Word Domination (#OWD), which would later become THE ROYAL COURT OF WORLD DOMINATION, was born.

We worked selflessly on fine-tuning the concept for THE PRINCE, particular those aspects important for an in-person pitch. Justin had already accumulated truckloads of information and research so we had a lot to work with.

The key was in the logline. The logline needed to have the potential to sell the project on its own. We essentially created two pitches, the elevator pitch and the in-person pitch — rolled into one. The logline was the elevator pitch that we could utter within thirty seconds and entice damn near anyone. I kid you not, that logline is STILL so good that it is the benchmark that I measure all subsequent loglines.

We bounced around ideas for weeks. Back and forth it went. When we finally finalized the logline I honestly got chills. I suggested to Justin that it was ready to go. He agreed. I submitted a pitch request to NBC Drama. We decided to skip Syfy and go right to the network. Less than 10 days later I got the call that NBC Drama wanted us to come in and pitch the idea.

That was the beginning. We found our approach, so to speak. The next year would involve expanding the Royal Court to include writers and filmmakers,  specialists in sitcoms, sci-fi, and reality shows. We all have a common thread. We’re pretty laid back, easy to work with folk who can put our egos aside for the sake of the project. More importantly, we all want to WORK in the business. This is how the year went:

A year in review

  • August 2012 – THE PRINCE – NBC  Drama – Justin and Angelo
  • November 2012 – INTERNS – NBC Comedy – Marcus and Angelo
  • February 2013 – WOODEN NICKELS – USA – Marcus and Angelo
  • February 2013 – BLOODY BONES – Syfy – Paul (treatment ordered)
  • February 2013 – LAB RATS – Syfy – Justin (treatment ordered)
  • March 2013 – STAR MOM and BACKSTAB – E! – Angelo *awaiting response
  • April 2013 – TSF – Bravo (unscripted) – Ramona and Angelo
  • May 2013 – MY OWN ADVICE – USA – Marcus and Angelo *awaiting response
  • June 2013 – GLAM – Style – Ramona and Angelo

Awaiting Responses

  • SNOWBALLS – NBC Comedy – Aaron Arlotti
  • FAMILY OF THE YEAR – Syfy/Chiller – Angelo
  • BAD GNOME – Syfy – Justin

Requested but unscheduled Pitch Meetings

  • Syfy – HOUSE OF ADAM – Justin
  • NBC Comedy –
    • ALL AMERICAN (Angelo)
    • CHANNEL 888 (Paul)
    • THE INSTITUTION (Justin)

And we’re just getting started…