Category Archive: Opinion

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,


Menahem Golan – Dead

The famed producer, Menahem Golan, died over the weekend. Back in my early days in the mid-80′s in Hollywood, I (Mark) was offered to art direct that horrible Captain America movie he produced in 1989.

I REALLY wanted to work on it. As most of you know, I’m a huge comic geek. The problem was, I had just signed on to art direct another movie. While my new movie hadn’t started yet, I felt I couldn’t bale on the production so I had to hang my head low and turn down working on Captain America.

So, did I make the right choice? Hard to say. The movie I worked on was Party Line, starring Richard Hatch and Leif Garrett. Hardly a blockbuster. Ever heard of it?

Just the idea of working on a Cap movie was cool. Damn.

Advice from a show runner

Chris Lloyd (Modern Family): Write from the heart. You can always make a real story funny; you can’t always make a funny story real.


#modernfamily #showrunner

Spider-Man 2, good or bad?

If you don’t think marketing is important…conjure this.

One of  our identical twin boys saw Spider-Man 2 first. He didn’t like it. The trailers made it seem like it would be wall-to-wall action. It wasn’t. He felt let down. All he could talk about was how little action there was.

Of course our other twin, Reece, heard all this. He went to see the movie yesterday with lowered expectations. He heard how little action there was and expected little action.

He really liked the movie. He thought there was more action than he expected.

Expectations do make a difference on whether or not you like a movie.

Remember Jim Carrey’s Cable Man? That dark comedy? It was advertised as a light-hearted Jim Carrey romp. It wasn’t. I hated it when it was in the theaters. Years later I saw it on DVD, with new expectations that it was actually a dark comedy. I really liked it. Same person. Same movie. Different expectations and different results.


#spiderman #spider-man

Best Tweet for Game of Thrones

The internet went nuts last night, but one tweet stood out above all others. And it was from George R. R. Martin, the creator.

It said, “You’re Welcome.”

If you saw it, you understand. If you didn’t see it, what the hell are you waiting on?


#got, #gameofthrones, #joffrey #purplewedding #HBO