A Whole Lot of the Universal Lot

TVWriter™’s longstanding friend, Angelo Bell, has been having some meetings lately and wants us all to know what they’re like:

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Monday I returned home after a visit to the NBC-Universal Lot. Building 1230 to be exact.

That makes 2 visits to the building in 4 months, to be really exact. 

This time, I was at NBCUniversal Television (comedy) with Marcus Shawn Williams pitching a single-camera half-hour sitcom, INTERNS, an idea Marcus proposed to me and I helped him fine tune and clarify the premise. The pitch went well. We meet two engaging guys who responded favorably and asked lots of questions. They even asked for more examples of what a sample episode would look like.  I feel good…right now. Soon, however I will either feel much much better or it’ll be back to the drawing board. We should have an answer in a few days.

The thing that comes strongly to mind, however, isn’t the pitch  as much as the fact that this is my second time “in the room.” My suggestion to YOU reading this is, when someone starts touting their services ask them, “Can you get me into the room?” and then ask for examples. By teaming up with my peers I’ve gotten two different writers in to pitch to a major network. I hope this is proof that I know a little bit about this thing.

There’s a lot of talk about how to be “good in a room,” and this and that about the room. Mostly though, I find that people are very vague when they talk about how the hell do you get into the room in the first place. Take it from me, there are no set paths. Everything works and nothing works. You have to find your path and work it from every angle.  You can read my blog about  ”Being Good in a Room” for more details and my personal story.

The other thing I’ve learned about being good in a room is that there are no fricking steps once you’re in the room. There’s the introductions and the pitch. The pitch is broken down into a Q&A session and perhaps the closing, but it’s still the pitch because you are actively selling your idea the entire time. It must make others feel smart and useful to try to break a pitch meeting down to five, six or seven steps, and then quantify their steps by adding that “each step may or may not happen.”

Just be yourself. Practice. And above all, know your story.

Good luck, dood. We’re on your side. (Which we know is only moderately better than saying, “We got your back,” but, hey, what we mean is that we believe in you.)