Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Love Katamari

So I know I haven't blogged in a while. To be honest, I just didn't want to. I didn't have much to report. Technically that isn't true but I don't feel like I've made much progress - at least not on paper.

In case I hadn't mentioned it before, I'm starting an entertainment company. A production company. A development outsourcing company. A content development company. A multi-platform content providing company. A bedazzled hello kitty club house in the sky company. As you can see it's been a bit difficult to explain exactly what I want to do, at least in a way that neatly ends with the word "company". Who knew world domination would be so challenging?

Over the past few weeks I've met with people to discuss what I want to do and they've told me how they would do it. Some of them were helpful, some of them confused me and one person made perfect sense.
Here's what I learned: 

1. Everyone does it differently.
2. It's almost impossible to project the amount of income you'll make.
3. The entertainment industry is like one big game of I Love Katamari.

First, there doesn't seem to be one underlying, connective...anything that determines how one becomes a successful producer. Some people do it one way and succeed, and others follow the exact same path and fail miserably. One positive note is that in Hollywood you seem to be able to fail upwards - so if you fail, with the right people, your career still moves forward. I don't get it but maybe one day I'll be thankful for it.

Second, it's nearly impossible to do income projections - which is a shame because they are a pretty integral part of a business plan. IF you own the rights to a project, and IF it gets approved for a TV script, and IF it gets greenlit for a pilot, and IF that pilot goes to air and IF it does will get paid "something, something" amount for being the producer. I don't have to remind you what happens when "something, something" gets involved. For theatre, I get it. It's pretty simple. You may not be able to project if the show will be a huge success but at least you can use real numbers to map out how much it will cost and how much you'll need to make. Film is just as confusing unless I want to fund raise directly in order to produce my own movies...but I'm so not there yet and I don't exactly have a low-budget, artsy aesthetic.

The last, and most salient discovering I've made is that the tactics for succeeding in the entertainment industry are quite similar to those of the video game I Love Katamari. For those of you not familiar with this game let me lay it out for you in laymen's terms. (Gotta love laymen, he so good at explaining things). You basically start the game out as a sticky/velcro-ee ball and you try to roll over items on the screen. You start small - maybe a book, or a chair. You end BIG - hopefully having rolled over and affixed to yourself an entire town's worth of stuff. Now I know what you're thinking - how is Hollywood like a rolling, sticky ball of garbage? Here's how. Think of the ball as your script idea. First, you attach a writer, then a director, perhaps an actor or two, and eventually your project has grown into such a large mass of potentially successful people that the studios can't resist it....because by then, resistance has become futile!

Unfortunately, too many projects in this industry don't start with a good idea or a good script so they just become a massive, powerful, irresistible ball of crap. My goal is to not produce crap, and according to what I've learned here's how I'm going to avoid it:

1. I'm going to do it 'my way.' I have yet to define what 'my way' is but I guarantee it'll be different than your way.
2. I'm going to raise 'something, something' amount for development costs and get paid 'something, something' and 'some point'.
3. I'm going to take a great idea, hire a writer who loves the idea, let the story tell us what platform (film, TV, theatre) suites it best, partner with a skilled and passionate director and production team, make sure they hire the appropriate cast...and then support this team of talented, creative people and allow them to do what they do best.....

Progress? meh, but better than nothing.


  1. "We expect a beautiful Katamari from you, dimwit Prince." King of All Cosmos

  2. The link my cousin posted in her comment is amazing. Please take a look at will explain everything....