Transcript for Episode 1
You can listen to the episode here:
Biagio: It’s episode one, so why are we making time to do a podcast? What’s in it for you and what’s in it for us?
Who the heck are we anyway? What have we done and how does that help you?
Joke breaks down what toilet paper has to do with your Hollywood pitches, seriously.
And I’ll give you an idea of all the dirt we have in store for you in future episodes, including how you can pitch to us.
When it Come to Reality TV and Documentary Series, Who Are We Anyway?
Biagio: Hey, thanks for tuning in to the very first episode of Producing Unscripted. Let me introduce ourselves, she’s Joke.
Joke: He’s Biagio.
Biagio: And we’re married. We make film and TV and we want to help you do the same, hopefully by working with us.
Joke: That’s right.
Biagio: Look, here’s the thing. I’m going to say this right up front and this will probably come as no surprise. We are not professional podcasters, are we Joke?
Joke: Nope, not even trying to be.
Biagio: No. We’re not teachers. We’re not authors hocking a breaking into Hollywood book. We’re film and TV producers and that’s our job.
Specifically right now we specialize in documentaries, doc TV series, reality TV and we get paid to make unscripted entertainment for a living. That’s our job.
So, it really only makes sense for us to take time away from our career to do this podcast if we make this a win-win situation. You have to get something out of it and we got to get something out of it.
What’s In It For You?
So, what’s in it for you? Well, we’re going to share real producing dirt, real advice that’s going to get your projects off the ground. This advice will probably help you out no matter what you are working at.
If you want to make an indie film, web series, whatever. But it will be specifically geared towards working in unscripted television.
Whether that’s documentary series like our show Caged on MTV, or big TV reality shows like Beauty and the Geek or our show Scream Queens on VH1. That’s what we’re good at, that’s what we can help you with.
Joke: And by the way, no faster way to break in to the entertainment industry and get paid to tell stories than working on unscripted television. That’s kind of what’s in it for you.
What’s In It For Us?
Joke: So what’s in it for us? We want you to bring your unscripted TV idea to us. We want to be the production company that you team up with. In fact we’d love to get you your first producing career in Hollywood. We’ve done this for lots of other people.
And not one of those meaningless vanity credits, we don’t quite believe on those, more on that later. But an actual real credit that you earn by working on an idea that you bring to us, and we partner up.
And that’s kind of why this podcast is different. We provide a way for you to pitch your TV idea to us and instead of getting inundated with ideas that are not right or not well formed, we’re hoping that by listening to this podcast, your pitches will just be getting better and better.
We Sell TV With People Like You
Joke: And there will be things that we can actually work on together. We sold three TV projects with people just like you.
Biagio: Three TV projects with people just like you, I just want to hit that home. People who did not have credits have teamed up with us and we sold TV shows together.
There’s not a lot of people trying what we are doing. And honestly our agents and lawyers think that we are a little nuts.
Joke: Well you know, it’s like we’re handing out some free advice and honestly to us when we were coming up, we wish someone was telling some of these things to us.
But we learned a lot of these lessons the hard way. And we’re more than happy to share them with you and we hope that in turn that we’re one of the places you stop at to pitch your ideas.
And if there’s something that we spark to you and that we can be passionate about, I think that we can prove to you that we’re great partners on these shows.
Biagio: And we’ll be talking about how you can pitch to us over the course, not only of this episode of this podcast but this whole series. We’re going to make it easy for you to team up with us. Producing unscripted entertainment whether that’s documentary or reality TV, the fact is that there’s a lot of opportunity out there if you know how to tap into it.
A Way for Filmmakers to Actually Make Money
Joke: Well the truth of the matter is that, if you’re trying to break into the business that is probably were most of the…
Biagio: Work is, the jobs are, where the money’s actually at.
Joke: There’s a lot of work and also because it moves much faster than the movie business, it’s a great place to get experience quickly.
Biagio: It really is. And when you think about it, how many television networks are there that are programming unscripted TV? How many hundreds of cable networks are out there doing programming?
How many movies get made every year? How many scripted TV shows get made? Listen, like we said we love movies, we love scripted TV, the fact to the matter is, every independent movie maker needs a day job…
Joke: Let us be your day job!
Biagio: Let us be your day job! You know what? I’ll tell you what, getting paid to make unscripted television and documentaries for a living, it is amazing. You know, we’re doing a lot of work right now with MTV.
We have a hard core documentary that we got to go out and shoot and edit that was funded by MTV. It was not a reality show, it is totally verite. By the time you’re hearing this, we will probably be able to say what the show is.
But it was basically a one hour feature documentary that we got to make. Had we try to do that independently, it would have taken us ten times as long to raise the funds that to actually make the documentary.
So there is a lot of great opportunity out there and part of what this podcast is going to be geared towards is letting you know where that opportunity is and how to take advantage of it.
Get Started Pitching To Us Now
Biagio: Now, if you can’t wait and you’re just dying to get started right now you can already go ahead to http://www.jokeandbiagio.com/newsletter.
So, http://www.jokeandbiagio.com/newsletter and sign up, that’s the first step to getting to pitch the show.
What Reality TV Shows, Documentary Series, and Films Have We Done?
Confused Woman: Wait a minute, who are you guys again?
Biagio: Now, for those of you who don’t know us. We’ve had a very unusual current path, right honey?
Joke: Yes, we’ve worked in lots of different areas in Hollywood.
Joke Worked for a Big Time Producer
Biagio: Joke started out in features world, working for big time producer Gale Ann Hurd. She’s best known for a lot of stuff.
Joke: Terminator, Armageddon, The Abyss and now she’s producing The Walking Dead on AMC. And some of you may not know that Biagio used to be an actor on Nickelodeon’s Kenan and Kel.
Biagio Acted on a TV Show
Biagio:Yes, there was a time when I was huge with the five year olds. For those the right to remember I played Kenan’s geeky next door neighbour which was clearly type casting. I did look pretty goofy on that show.
Joke: But you did it so well.
Biagio: Well, it comes natural. I don’t think that anyone would ever believe that that nerdy guy married a woman as beautiful as you. But I proudly claim that honour. So Joke was starting out in the movie business and I was acting but our personal sampling of Hollywood jobs did not stop there.
We Learned To Do It All
Joke: No, over the years the two of us have done just about any job you can on a film or TV set. Mostly because we didn’t have any money to hire anybody.
Biagio: Yes, that will get you good at a lot of different positions really quickly.
Joke: Yes, I’ve held my fair share of boom poles and bounce cards and cameras and all kinds of fun staff
Joke: Catering, lots of 99 Cent Store crafty runs. Highly recommend those for a low budget shows.
Biagio: Get to know your local 99 Cent Store; you can feed a crew efficiently and cheaply.
Joke: Yes, they may not enjoy it as much. We have move up to the Costco run now. So you could afford your Costco beverages.
Biagio: Well people, when you reached our Hollywood level of success, you can afford to shop at Costco.
Joke: Yes, many good deals, lots of food. Anyway, all of those little jobs prepared us for what we’re doing now. And today we have a full pledge third party approved production company.
Biagio: Joke Productions.
Projects You Might Have Seen
Joke: Thank you and these days we’re best known for our TV shows on networks like MTV, VH1, Biography, A&E, CW, NBC just to name a few. I would say just about every network out there.
Biagio: By and large if you have heard of a network, we have done a series or a TV pilot with them. And we also just recently got a feature length doc, Dying to do Letterman which you may have caught in a few theaters in New York and Los Angeles. It’s now being distributed by Oscilloscope.
Joke: Go check it out on iTunes.
Biagio: On iTunes it made new and note worthy on the same day as Dark Knight and Brave and that was really cool.
Joke: Right and if you are flying American Airlines in the month of June, you might get to see it there too. Although, I’m not sure if it’s just for first class passengers.
Biagio: Yes, we don’t know. We just know American Airlines is programming the movie.
Joke: Whatever that means.
Biagio: Just let us know if you’re flying American and if you catch the movie. We love to hear about it.
Joke: Yes, take a picture and tweet it to us.
This Week: Advice From Joke, or All About Hollywood, Toilet Paper, and You
Strange Man: My mom says TV melts your brain.
Joke: I will say if I could give one piece of advice…
Biagio: Okay people, here it comes. Joke’s piece of advice.
Joke: Of the podcast.
Biagio: Of the podcast.
Joke: Of the show.
Biagio: Of this week’s episode.
Joke: It is if you were selling a pitch– and I’m hoping it’s an unscripted pitch to us– but any kind of pitch.
Biagio: If you’re out there presenting a pitch…
Joke: I want you to understand that no matter how passionate you are about the story, character, whatever, the concept, that at the end of the day you’re selling a product to a customer.
Eventually if we team up, we’ll be selling it to a network and they’re the customer. They’re the ones purchasing a product.
Okay, know your market place, know what a customer is.
Because here’s the thing, if you were to come up with this brand new kind of toilet paper and you want to bring it to the customers and you want to sell it in stores, what are the things you would do?
You would buy every kind of toilet paper and you will try them out…
Biagio: All of them, quilted, northern, double, triple layer…
Joke: All of them…
Biagio: Extra soft on the tush…
Joke: With aloe, without aloe, the whole thing. You would try them and then you would realize why your toilet paper was different. And in your pitch you would say, “This is why our toilet paper will be successful. And this is why it is unique and special and why you should buy our product.”
So when you come and pitch a TV show…you should have watched some television.
That’s all I’m saying people.
Joke: I’m giving you permission, I am saying that for your homework, watch some television. Try to watch one episode of every show in the genre that you’re pitching.
So, if you’re coming in with a docu-series, please have watched an episode of Duck Dynasty. If you think you have a discovery show, please have watched at least one episode of every show on Discovery.
You know, really do know the customer that you’re trying to sell to and really do understand your products and where it will fit in the market place.
Biagio: Yes and look, we’re going to talk about this a lot more in upcoming episodes.
But the fact to the matter is if you come to us and you say, “I have this great show for MTV. It’s a kids’ show where we travel the world and we learn about things,” we’re going to say, “You clearly have never watched MTV, at least not in the last twenty years.”
Know Your Customer
Joke: In television it really is every network, it has a target audience that they are trying to hit. And you’ll see based on those shows who they’re going after.
You’re not going to see a wedding show on the Discovery Channel, it’s not going to happen. It’s not their audience. So just watch TV, I give you permission. Next time you know, you’re husband or wife, mother, father, someone gives you crap about watching television, just tell them you’re doing homework.
Biagio: In our upcoming episodes we’re going to be talking about a lot of specifics. we’re going to talk about ways to make yourself valuable to a pitch.
We’re going to be talking about what the networks are actually buying and how you can figure it out. You don’t have to have an extremely powerful Hollywood agent to know what kind of shows the network is looking for.
Joke: We’re also going to teach you about five little words that will make it very easy for you to look at a television show and know exactly the kind of categories these shows fall into.
So that when you come up with an idea, you know immediately, “Okay, this is the kind of show therefore I could sell it to these kinds of places.”
Biagio: Five magic words that once you know, you will sound like you know what you’re talking about. And if you actually understand how to use the five words, you will know what you’re talking about.
Joke: Then, we’ll also talk about what makes a good show, how do you know maybe you have something? Is this an interesting character in an interesting world? What are the things to look for? You know, is this an idea worth my time? Is this a character worth investing time in?
Biagio: What’s in it for you? If you actually team up with us and we sell a show together, what are you realistically going to get out of it? I can tell you now, not a million dollars. But there is a lot of…
Joke: You just lost half our audience.
Biagio: We just lost half the audience, they just took off like, “I can’t make a million dollar with my one idea? Forget it I’m out of here.”
But the point is that we will tell you realistically here’s what you can get out of this partnership and it’s a lot. It’s a lot, there’s a lot that working on a television show can do for you including opening up avenues to feature film, TV commercials, scripted television.
Because guess what? We all know each other, we all work together. You establish yourself in one area of the business, it’s a lot easier to establish yourself in others.
That and lots more coming up in future episodes, I just want to say thank you so much for tuning in.
If you did enjoy the episode, please go ahead and subscribe to us at iTunes and leave us a good comment, it would mean the world to us.
Joke: You have no idea how much it would mean to Biagio.
Biagio: Especially to me. And be sure to visit us over at our blog, http://www.jokeandbiagio.com.
Joke: Thank you all have a good night.
Announcer: Producing Unscripted with Joke and Biagio.
- Our Shows: http://www.jokeproductions.com/projects/
- Pitch us a Show: We Want to Make a Show With You
- Our doc Dying to do Letterman Makes New and Noteworthy with Brave, Dark Knight Rises, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Ted
- Behind the scenes posts on our show Scream Queens
- If you want to pitch television, you need to do this.
Remember, to find out how to pitch to us, or to get great, real-world tips on pitching and selling unscripted television and how to make reality TV, you just have to do one thing:
Sign up for our newsletter and you'll learn how to submit your unscripted concepts to us. You'll also learn how to develop, pitch, and sell reality TV shows and documentary series, and improve your filmmaking skills. From time to time we'll even tell you exactly what kind of shows we're looking for: