Category Archive: Opinion

Bad idea, Sony

Sony’s choice to cancel the release of The Interview is scary. It’s much scarier than the threats.

This has opened Pandora’s Box of threats from anyone who doesn’t like a movie.

If you don’t like a movie…don’t see it. Pretty damn simple.

Any political or religious nutbag now feels they can shut down someone’s expression with an email threat. That’s scary.

Everyone in the entertainment industry stands to lose. Freedom of expression stands to lose. Publishers stand to lose.

This is worth fighting for. Not this particular movie, but any movie, TV show or visual display. We can’t be shut down because someone doesn’t like it. That’s their problem.

I will be first in line if a theater runs it. I will be the first to buy the DVD, or the VOD.

All it takes is a crack in the armor to take something down. We can’t let this be a crack. If Sony doesn’t have the balls to release the movie, someone else should. We need to show every terrorist that they can’t control what we see or read.

If you don’t think this is a big deal, you’re delusional. It’s a huge deal and it affects all of us. It affects us right NOW.

Let Sony and the distributors know  you disagree with them. Send your letters, make those calls, create emails. Stand up now…or kneel forever.

It is this important.


True Blood

Mark here. True Blood was one of my favorite series on HBO. I recently picked up the novels that inspired the series.

I’m reading the second book of the series now and (spoiler alert) one of the most interesting characters through the run of the series, Lafayette, dies in the beginning of the book.

This is a great example of how an actor can affect a role and change the direction of a series. Lafayette was so fun to watch, and got so much fan attention, that they saved him and kept him around for the whole series.

The same thing is happening now with Darryl in Walking Dead. He died in the comics but is going strong in the series. I’m glad. I like the character.

TV, movies and books are different mediums and each needs to grow in it’s own way. As long as the original concept is honored, it doesn’t need to be followed exactly. In fact, just duplicating the same thing can result in a boring piece.

Not honoring the original, can be a disaster. For instance, the original series of The Hulk. While it’s fondly remembered, the producers changed Bruce Banner’s name. The name of the lead character. They changed it to David because the thought Bruce sounded to ‘gay-ish’. That’s nuts.

#trueblood #hulk #pitchtv

Development of a hit series

Mark here. I just found this great 15 minute video about the making of my favorite animated series from when I was a kid, Jonny Quest.

It was the first true adventure animation for kids. Real threats. People died. The animation looked like a moving comic book. It was cool.

Check it out.


Standard Deal Points Selling Your Television Projects

We would like to share with you some great information from an article we came across by When a company                                                                                                         commits to bring your TV Project to market, they will propose an option agreement that give them the exclusive right to sell your show                                                                                                     to a network for a limited period of time.

TV with money bagOption deals for scripted projects are essentially the same as for reality-based concepts, yet fees and purchase prices are considerably larger in scripted.  Financial and developmental participation in production are negotiable to a point, depending on your industry experience  and what you bring to the table in terms of the marketing of your show.

As in any industry, there are a variety of forces and factors that give shape to the legal structure and content of any deal made.  A television Writer or Producer  with an established track record is likely to receive a more lucrative deal than someone with little or no experience, and are often given more involvement in the actual production of the show. However, there are many industry standards regardless of who you are.

More to follow:

#creatorsvault  #tvproject  #optiondeals  #industrystandards  #marksimon

#jeannesimon #sellyourtvconceptnow #electroniccopyright #writers  #creators

#proofofcreation  #scripted  #unscripted   #entertainmentindustry #tvindustry

Won’t talk on the phone? No chance of selling!

This was a first. I (Mark here) just got an email from someone who was referred to us.

He has an idea for an animated series and wanted to know what his next step was. Great.

I offered him a 15 minute Gift Session, a free call with me, to see where he was with his idea and see what he needs to do next. I told him to simply call Denyse and schedule a call.

He said he prefers email, if that was alright.

No, it’s not alright. It has to be a call. Emails take too much of my time and there is no communication like a conversation. I need to speak with someone to help them.

He replied that he really didn’t like talking on the phone and pushed for emails again.

I declined.

His reply, “Guess I’ll just have to figure out how to do it on my own.”

There is ZERO chance he will ever sell his show. I offered some of my time for free, and he couldn’t even get on the phone.

If you are not willing to talk on the phone and then travel to pitch in person, you have no chance of ever selling your concept. It’s that simple.

What a waste. What a shame.

#pitchtv #marksimon

Every Three Seconds

Mark and I are financial supporters of this inspiring film produced and directed by Dan Karslake. We recently saw a screening Every 3 Seconds at the Global Peace Festival and it gave us hope there are solutions out there for some tough problems.

Every Three Seconds will be released on October 16th, World Food Day — an international day for the end of hunger sponsored by the United Nations.

Because the right to food is a basic human right, because hunger is solvable in our lifetime, and because the cost of neglect is too high, we wanted to share our film with the world on this important day and be part of the voice calling for change. Since Every Three Seconds is about engaging in a real and sustainable way in the end of hunger and extreme poverty, it feels like the perfect partnership!

Here is the link to their website:

Here is the link to their video:

Scheduled Screenings:

October 17, 2014 New Orleans Film Festival New Orleans, LA
October 29, 2014 Awakened World International Film Festival  Santa Barbara,CA






Funny Fridays



What Networks Want – truTV


Chris Linn, President of  truTV, is a  good friend and former colleague of mine (Jeanne) from our Nickelodeon days.  At the Realscreen West 2014 Summit earlier this year,  Chris gave me some great notes that  truTV  Network is looking for hybrid shows, reinventions, mash ups, comedy and new sketch comedy shows.  “Impractical Jokers” and “The Carbonaro Effect” are both rating winners and they’re looking for shows with the same fun attitude.   Their demographics is 55% males in the age bracket of 35 to 40 years old.  truTV would also like authentic excursions and do not like fake reality.



#pitchtv,#pitchreality,#pitchtruTV,#selltv, #sellyourtvconcept,#howtopitch,#pitchtraining


America’s Got Talent is better than it’s been in years. The talent is amazing. The judges are fun. We’ve really enjoyed it.

Wow, what a finale. Matt the Magician does things I’ve never seen (and he’s the first magician to make it to the finals).

Emily West is a star. Whether she wins or not, she’ll be a star. No doubt. She has that X-Factor. She’s a diva.

Miguel Dakota also has a star quality. Emily is better, but girls vote. His charisma will make him a star.

Sons of Serendip need to change their name. The name sucks their talent doesn’t.

We’re not really thrilled with Quintavious, but he is amazing for being only 12 years old.

But Acro Army was the star tonight. They did stunts we’ve never seen before. On TV it’s amazing, I can only imagine what it’s like to see them live. They deserve to win.

We actually care who will win this year. The roll-ins for each talent have been great. We care about them. It’s been interesting and we’ve been entertained.

#agt #emilywest #acroarmy

Last Comic Standing

Last night we watched the final episode of “Last Comic Standing” and were shocked by who the judges chose as the winner. My whole family thought Nikki Carr was by far the most consistently funny throughout the season.  I was also happy to see that a colleague of mine from the “Clarissa Explains It All” days directed the show, Liz Plonka.





#lastcomicstanding,#jeannesimon,#marksimon, #NikkiCarr,