THE DEADLY DOZEN:
How to get a Green Light (Part 3)
Question #9: Will the audience want to see it again?
What’s the long term value of the project? Is the project seasonal (i.e. Christmas, Hallowe’en) and really has only one window per year, max? Can it be scheduled in different day parts targeting a different audience? Is it so current that in three months it will look dated? Is it repeatable?
Everyone is looking for `a project that has a long shelf life with a strong repeat factor. Again, value for money.
Question # 10: Can they make it?
Producing a program is like building a house. The CE will have a long look at you and your team. Staying with the construction metaphor: have you built a house this big before? Do you have the skilled trades on your team to pull it off? It’s a stretch if all you’ve built is a bungalow and you’re now proposing a skyscraper.
Don’t take it personally. It’s a risk assessment. If the project is deemed too big for you and your production company it might be deemed too risky for the investment required. Nobody wants an expensive failure on their hands.
Make sure that you have the best team you can assemble and a track record that proves you can pull this one off.
Question #11: Can I get the rights that I need?
Every service is different, but there are some non-negotiable rights that the CE must get from the production. For example, they will likely insist on total exclusivity, with no spill-over from other territories or media (at least for part of the license period). They may require National or World First telecast rights. They may require a certain number of plays to make the math work. Multi-platform rights may be required to play and promote the program across different media.
Question #12: Who are the other partners in the production?
The CE will look at the financing structure and ask who are the other partners, confirmed and proposed, for the project. If the project is an international coproduction, who are the other broadcasters? Do they have the same vision for the project? Same target demographic? Are they comfortable with the same level of “edginess”?
If they see the project differently, conflicts will arise in production and the producer will be caught in the middle. And that is not good for the project.
So, that’s it. These are the twelve key questions that every Commissioning Executive will consider before moving forward with your project. There are many other considerations, but you can count on confronting these Deadly Dozen every time. Good luck.
21 January 2014