LATVFest - Reality Wins the Day

Do you want to write for television? Do you have an idea for a show?  Then you should have been at NATPE ‘s LATVFEST held this July 12 -15th at the Hyatt Regency Century City.  


The elite crowd started with sessions on Getting the Job and Making an Impact with Rob Perth, RHP Media Consulting and Dave Logan, USC Marshall School of Business, .  It was followed by Digital Programming  101 how to get your show off the ground., led by Tamara Krinsky, New Media Management of the Writers Guild West, Brett Wilson from Tube Mogul and David Bloom of Words and Deeds. Meanwhile others stretched their pitching muscles during the added Pitch Critique where, led by Laurie Scheer, pitch coach at Tribeca Flashpoint, and Brian Seth Hurst of The Opportunity Management Company, they could perfect their work for the Wednesday morning Pitch Pit.  

Tuesday started early with the keynote from actor comedian, Howie Mandel and Tony Potts, Co-anchor of Access Hollywood.  

Because so much of television is reality and alternate media shows – many of the sessions were devoted to those areas of writing as well as mobile phone and webisodes.  This gave attendees choices in their tracks.  The next sessions were Behind the Closed Doors of a Reality Pitch with the folks from LMNO Productions ( Eric Schotz, Jen Mayer Kulp, and Michaela Starr) and a Pitch Clinic for those doing scripted series.  No Passport Needed, Licensing Your Web Content Worldwide was moderated by Max Benator of Hudsun Media and paneled by Yuri Baranovsky from Happy Little Guillotine Films, Larry Tanz, Vuguru LLC, Jim Louderback from Revision3, Chris Williams of The Walt Disney Company and finally Mara Sternthal of the Global Media Exchange.  

Many took advantage of the pitch critique with Laurie Scheer, Philippa Burgess of Creative Convergence and Carole Kirschner from Hollywood Game Plan.  

LATVFEST: Laurie Scheer Pitch Coach, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy

Sponsored by Reveille, the next sessions included Licensing with Wayne Friedman of Media Post Communication, Chad Bennett from Reveille, Rob Maresca, Rocket Branding and Strategic Services, David Norton out of Ladder Up Meida, Robin Shallow, Rodale Inc, and Kajsa Vikman of Lionsgate.  The second session was Adventures in Augmented Reality with Brian Seth Hurst, Rebecca Allen from Nokia, Chetan Damani of Acrosswair, Greg Davis from Total Immersion and Matthew Szymczyk of Zugura.  The third track, again nonfiction, presented by Ed Horowitz of LMNO Productions talked about Budgeting Your Nonfiction Show.  

Distribution Strategies ( Christopher Albrecht of GigaOM, Marc DeBovoise from Starz Media, Erik Flannigan from MTV, Jason Goldberg of Katalyst, Stuart McLean out of Content and Company and Jeremy Reed for Demand Media) and How To Find the Next Reality Superstar ( Bruce David Klein of Atlas Media), Nick Emmerson, Shed Media, Cori Abraham from Oxygen Media and Blythe Cappello from E Entertainment) followed next.

Our luncheon speakers were Robert and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife (CBS) and Kevin Pollak.  

LATVFEST: Robert and Michelle King - The Good Wife - CBS

It became clearer that you really need to have your material branded and they were showing us just how to do it.  

The afternoon gave us Anatomy of a Cable Deal, Anatomy of a Hit Web Series, the Unscripted, Getting in Bed with a Brand, Device Download – Plugging into the Future, the Business and Art of Format, The Next New Network, How to Make a Win-Win Deal in Online Video, Pitching for Digital Breathing Life into Your Business, and the Politics of Net Neutrality.  Many industry novices are not familiar with the later and it serviced as a basic education on protecting our rights as creators.  

LATVFEST: Mark Horowitz, Exec Producer, NCIS

Afternoon speakers included Gary Lico of Cableready, Robert Ecker of SPEED, Barrett Garese from Skytap Industries, Alex Albrecht of Revision3, Mart Gantt of The Bannen Way, Jesse Warren – Sony, Randy Sklar – El Chopper Quatro, Jason Skar, Daisy Whiteny- BEET TV, Steven Armato – Omelet LLC, Rob Barnett – My Damn Channel , Eric Day – Microsoft, Jared Tobman- Reveille, Jon Vlassopulous- Bell Rock,Brady Brim DeForest of Tubefilter, Mitch Berman-Zillion TV, Greg Goldman-Philo, Andrew Kippen –Boxee, David Kruis-Metranome, Drake Pruitt – Ascent Media, Michael Rodrique –The format People Group, Julie Bristow –Canadian Broadcasting Company, Paul Gilbert – CBS, David Lyle – Fox Look.  Others included Tania Yuki of Cross Media and Video Highlighs, Lance Podell – Next New Networks, Tim Street of Mobile Video, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Pam Kulik – Web TV Alliance, Justine Bateman, Mark Friedlander-SAG, Jim Louderback – Revision3, and Sharon Waxman of TheWrap.  

The evening ended with the Innovator Award Cocktail Reception presented by Extreme Home Makeover.  Hosted by Chris Harrison of The Bachelor, awards were given to Caroline Baumgard of Endermol North America,  Vicki Drummer from ABC Entertainment and Rob Smith of Endermol.  

Wednesday was the day that every one waited for as they anxiously lined up by the tent for pitching to the varied and many executives who had come to hear and judge. A number of people walked away with the excited news that their material was wanted for another review.  As those who attend pitch fests know, decisions cannot be made then and there and often must go through higher channels, but the number who received encouraging words was heartening.  

JD Roth of 3 Ball Productions spoke at the luncheon talking about what his company was looking for.  

LATVFEST: Jeff Gordon, The Writer's Boot Camp

Many people crowded into the afternoon session – So You’ve Pitched, Now What?  Moderator Mike Duffy, and panelists Austyn Biggers from BET Networks, Alan Braun – CAA Agency, John Ferriter of Octagon Entertainment, Philip Gurin of The Gurin Company and Scott Sternberg from Scott Sternberg Productions gave advice about when and where to and how to get the answer you hoped for .

Other afternoon sessions included Producing Content for the Smart Phone, Get onto Mobile and Get Paid, Moving Beyond the Entry Level, Pepsi Co and Branding, Mastering Mobile Commerce, Social Media and TV, Using Media Muscle to get America Working, implications for Cable networks, developing ideas for the TV, and a Primer for Mobile DTV.  

Afternoon speakers included Debra Kaufman – Mobilized TV, Collen Brown – Fisher Communications, John Lawson- Convergence Services, Anne Schelle-Open Mobil Video Coalitioin, Peter Murieta – Showrunner for FM78TV, Natalka Znak – RDF USA, Kevin Beggs – TV Group – Lionsgate, Michael Branton – GRB Entertainment, Stephen Davis – Hasbro Studios, Mark Garner – A&E Television, Jason Klarman – Oxygen Media, David Verklin – Canoe Ventures, Lori Shapiro –TMT Strategic Advisors, Jim Giggans, Betsy Aoki- Microsoft, Bill Deutch – Linear Media, Will Givens – Fox 5 San Diego, Lori Swartz-Emerging Media Lab, Alex Barkaloff- Digital Media Lionsgate, Cristian Cussen – Ning, KC Estenson-, Jared Lake-Impact Mobile, Jeremy Aisenberg _Octagon, Andy Kleitsch –Billing Revolution, Andrew Koven – Ecommerce, Claudia Cahill – Levity Entertainment Group, Chad Stubbs – Pepsi North America, Cary Broussard – Alliance for Women in Media, David Hudson Alternative Programing TNT & TBS, Ali LeRoi- 5914 Productions, Lori Lynem – Disney, Debra Langford NBC Universal, Frank Chindamo –Fun Little Movies, Amber Lawson – Babelgum, Ashkan Karbasfrooshan –WatchMojo, Steven Masur – Masur Law, Dinesh Moojani – Interactive Corp, Daniel Tibbets – Go TV Networks, Levi Shapiro –TMT Strategic Advisors, Bryan Biniak-Nokia, Neeraj Choubey- Dell, Natalie Farsi- Warner Brothers Mobile, Andres Jordan- Deutsche Telekom North American and Adrian Van Meerbeeck – NTT Docomo.  

The evening was a joyous celebration for those winning the Next TV Awards.  Branded:  "The WC" by Kostas Metaxas; *Comedy: " NEXT!" by Heather Laird; Drama: " the_source" by Marc D'Agostino , *Reality/Unscripted: " Red Carpet Run" by Daryl Goldberg & submitted by Michael Todd Cohen.

LATVFEST: Gary Glasberg NCIS - Exec Producer

The final day started with NCSI’s Mark Horowitz and Gary Glasberg talking about the writing of and the work in the writer’s room of the hit TV show.  Jeff Gordon of the Writer’s Boot Camp then spoke about writing your pilot and showing your voice.  The rest of the day was occupied by the Mentor Round Robins where we talked to Unscripted development execs as J ames Bolosh of MTV, Sally Ann Salsano -495 Productions, Dan Partland – GRB, Eli Frankel – Magical Elves, Todd Nelson – 3 Ball Productions , Ben Horowitz- JUMA Entertainment and Denise Cramsey from DCTV.  Brands that expressed interest in being attached to productions were Ikea (Magnus Gustafsson), Jeffrrey Hayzlett (Kodak), Porter Gale (Virgin American Airlines), Rob Meresca  (Subway), Chad Stubbs (Pepsi.) Agents and Lawyers who sat for that round robin were Blake Fronstin – William Morris Endeavor; Jason Nadler – UTA, Kirk Schenck – DHX Media, Brad Schenck – Paradigm, Pierre Brogan – CAA and Steven Masur, attorney.  

LATVFEST: Agents Round Robin - Blake Fronstin, TV Agent, Wm Morris Endeavor

Sponsors included Cable U, Cable Ready, CBS, E, Lionsgate, Debmar Mercury, Deluxe Media Management, Hasbro Studios, UTA, Paradigm, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, AFTRA, Stickam, tubefilter, MGEITF Media guardian, Interactive Television Alliance, MEG, USC Marshall School of Business, Reality Useful Information, Inc, TV Sell Your Concept Now, TMT Strategic Advisors, Cross Meida, BANFF, Chicago, To Cross Media, San Francisco Writers Conference, Impact Mobile Abrams, The Caucus, Dialogue, Reveille, Creative Handbook, Fun Little Movies, Producers Guild of America, Vimation, Entertainment Master Class, Atlas Media Corp, Ogilvy Entertainment, ARTS, Los Angeles Film Festival, Tribeca Flashpoint, NYTVE, LMNO, Writer’s Boot Camp, Cynopsis, WGA, Hollywood Networking Breakfast, ITA, BEET TV, Info List, Creative Screenwriting, Linear Media, Walter Kaitz Foundation and HRTS.

It was an exhausting few days but well worth the time and the money spent in the effort to learn and network.  

Join us for NATPE in Miami at the Fountainbleau Resort next January (1-24-TO 1-26 2011) and keep up with the market. There will be over 5000 media execs from 65 countries, content buyers and acquisition execs not to mention excellent networking. Summer rates are available through the 10th of September.   For more information go to or call 310 453 4440

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