I really enjoy your blog, it’s entertaining and informative. I do have one question to which I could not find the answer after going through your past blogs. I’m pretty new to all this so; when cold calling from Production Notices, like this one:
“THE CAPE” Pilot / NBC 02-11-10
STATUS – Late March 2010 LOCATION – Los Angeles
PRODUCER: Lloyd Braun – Gail Berman – Gene Stein WRITER/PRODUCER: Tom Wheeler DIRECTOR: Simon West
UNIVERSAL MEDIA STUDIOS
Who should I be calling? Bermanbraun or Universal or both? I know I should be trying to get a hold of the Production Coordinator but finding that info before I call is proving troublesome. Any suggestions?
I was sure I wrote about this in the past, but I couldn’t find the post, so here it is (again?).
Studios aren’t really built like other companies. Management is structured more or less the same, with CEOs and CFOs and such (a CTO is something else altogether; ask Michael about that one). But when you get into production, we don’t have a factory floor. (We used to, back in the days of the Studio System, when even the stars were salaried employees.)
Nowadays, every show or movie is created as it’s own LLC, wholly owned by the studio or production company. The studio has dozens of these at any given time, and they come and go quite regularly. The studio switchboard operator isn’t likely to know the number for any pilot or new film. Hell, sometimes they don’t even know returning series’ contact.
They usually have only one point of contact at the Studio, and another at the production company (if they’re even different). You can find this out by reading the trades and seeing who’s “shepherding” or overseeing the project.
If the pilot is actually greenlit, another option is to call the head of production at the studio. His assistant will have the numbers for every pilot’s production office.
Calling Berman/Braun, or any production company for that matter, will likely be trickier. They’re smaller, and may only have a few, or even just one, show at a time. This tends to make them overprotective. They’ll start interrogating you like they’re the FBI and you’re checking out Mein Kampf and books on nuclear fusion.
But there’s no harm in trying. If you get a friendly person, you might be able to get the name of the coordinator. They’ve got a lot going on, and even if they don’t give you anything useful, it’s not like they’ll call the PO and say, “Keep a look out for a PA named Scott. He sounded shifty.”
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On an unrelated note, I always wonder if people find my hypertext humor funny. Thomas Miko apparently does not.