Wayward Guide Production Diary #12 - Due Diligence
We hope everyone out there has had a wonderful summer filled with adventures, relaxation, and inspiration to nail the rest of the year (or the start of a school year!)!! On our end, we're coming off of a successful inaugural run of our our newest live show, We Didn't Plan to Kill Our Guest (with all 4 shows available to rent on our website), our first massive collaboration with NBC and Giant Spoon to create the Brooklyn 99 Experience at San Diego Comic Con (check out the sizzle on our Youtube channel), production on our newest comedy short film Darn Tootin' (that will premiere at Buffer Festival this October in Toronto), as well as StarKid Homecoming, wedding travel, and a number of other individual projects! But rest assured, through all of this we have set and maintained a number of deadlines to bring Wayward Guide into it's eventual descent and landing!!
When we last checked in with you all in March, we shared with you the exciting developments of partnering with a producer to help us bring the show to bigger and better distributors. We had set a pitch meeting with a MAJOR studio (let's just call it "Shmetclix") for the end of June (right after Kill Our Guest ) and worked on finessing and rehearsing our pitch presentation in the midst of putting of the show.
Long story short, the studio eventually passed on Wayward Guide. We felt great about the pitch meeting and our confidence was not shaken after some encouraging words from our producer. But it was still a disappointing blow. You can't help but put a lot of emotional equity into a situation that would seemingly be SO incredibly perfect for the studio, the project, and, not to mention, be such a triumphant conclusion to a long process that we've put countless hours into. But alas, the stars did not align in this case. Onward!
Back on the Clock with Hollywood Time™!
We weren't pursuing pitches with other companies as we held out for an answer from this studio. But once they passed, it opened us up to exploring a LOT more options. Which brings us back to that 'ol stinker: Hollywood Time™. Our team started from scratch by strategizing who to reach out to and then cold-calling or sometimes reaching out through mutual contacts. Sometimes we'd discover people had moved companies or switched positions. In other cases, we set soft pitches with our producer (more like a casual chat than a formal presentation), and then passed along materials to gauge interest ALL BEFORE WE ACTUALLY COULD GET INTO A ROOM AND PITCH IT FOR REAL. And as expressed in the previous update, even with someone as experienced and respected as our producer behind Wayward Guide, no one is responding to our team at a reasonable rate. It's just the way Hollywood Time™ works. And, to add fuel to the fire, we also operate on an annual Hollywood Calendar™®!!! The Hollywood Calendar™® works similar to a school year calendar. As soon as June hits, it seems like everyone goes on vacation until mid-August. Now, with so many year-round streaming platforms and the traditional pilot season timeline breaking down in our new "CONSTANT CONTENT" industry renaissance, you'd THINK that wouldn't be the case! And you'd be wrong!
But as frustrating as this limbo period was, we had plenty of projects and work to occupy our time until the end of August. So we were happy to let our team handle the wheeling and dealing over the summer. But just last week, we got on a call our with our producer to discuss several exciting leads that could bear fruit in the coming weeks! The gears are already turning for the next round and when it rains, hopefully it will also pour!
So... Like... What About the Show...?
YES! Duh! The actual THING that is Wayward Guide!! Well, aside from a small section that requires us to sit down and adjust some VFX, we haven't had much to do on the actual series! The primary post work still resides in sound design/mixing (which we need to wrap up for 3 more episodes), score (for only one episode), opening credit sequence (dependent on distribution), and color grading. And like we've said before, completion of these elements is often based on our collaborators schedules. We work with some busy and talented folks! So we're incredibly lucky to get their time when we can for what we can afford!!
Happy you asked!! In addition to a lot of the distributers we've been pursuing to release the show, we've also got a list of studios that could produce the podcast as well (some studios may even do both!!). An interesting lesson we've learned when pitching the series is that some of these studios are reticent to distribute the show because of their lack of involvement in the production of it. They had no input along the way and that gives them pause in acquiring it. People want some semblance of control when they spend big money! I get it! Luckily, the podcast element of this show can still give them that creative input. Since we do not have a set location/date for the release of Wayward Guide, we thought it best to hold off on production of the podcast until we had a better idea. The intent being, if a company is hesitant about the project, they'll have the incentive to invest creative equity in developing at least HALF of the narrative (through the podcast)!
Cool Cool...But Those Rewards?
Yes, the rewards. We've mentioned this before but want to reiterate: many of the reward tiers we've created are tied to the narrative of the show. If we were to distribute any of them now, you'd have no context as to what they mean. And internally, it's important that you are as PUMPED as ever when this show is released! Despite this lengthy post-production timeline, we want you to be hit with as much Wayward Guide content and goodies as possible when you can finally enjoy the thing!!
All this being said, I want to assure you once more that it IS HAPPENING. Whether it be on a famous streaming service, a burgeoning new but smaller platform, or just on our own channel, we WILL be releasing the Wayward Guide series, podcast, and rewards in 2020. Unless, of course, some media titan swoops in and says, "WAIT! I love this and need this for my new service but don't have an opening until 2021! Here's a 10 Million Dollar holding deal!" That would be, like, our only caveat to that promise.
There isn't a day that goes by that we don't internalize or express the gratitude we feel towards all of you for helping make this project possible in the first place and being so patient with us as we try to give it the BEST possible life. So many people have boarded the Wayward Guide train and we owe them big time for their years of work. For 3 creators who don't have a celebrity producer from the get-go or initial funding from any company, getting this project to this place is no easy task. We've learned more than we imagined, had successes, and made mistakes. But the goal of Wayward Guide was to create something that could act as a stepping stone, to help us rise to the next level of this crazy business. A level where we can tell the bigger and better stories we're dying to tell, but don't have the resources to right now. We want to wrap up this project knowing we left no stone unturned and did our due diligence to try and turn nothing into something truly magnificent.
But through that all, we haven't forgotten what we owe YOU. And all three of us have been sensing that the time to deliver on that promise is approaching. Cross your fingers and wish for the best over the next couple months. And get ready because it IS coming soon. And, as always, thank you!
WITH ALL THE LOVE IN OUR LITTLE HEARTS,
PS GabeLos 4 Eva!