TV Insights, Observations and Obsessions from the NYTVF


Check out our Q&A series with Fest Founder Terence Gray (and others), designed to provide submitting artists and TV fans with insight to the current development landscape. If you're thinking about submitting to the NYTVF, this is for you.





chi The NYTVF stopped by Chicago's Stage 773 on May 6 to talk cross-platform comedy with friends of the Festival Paul Davidson (SVP Film and TV, The Orchard) and Daniel Kerstetter (Manager Content, NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises). The conversation offered guests an inside look at the current comedy landscape and gave creators guidance on developing their projects for a multi-platform marketplace.


Highlights included:


On Developing and Selling Your Show:
The Orchard's Paul Davidson concentrates only on content that has an angle or an established audience, or feels different from the norm. On why he gravitated towards acquiring the Jemaine Clement vampire comedy, What We Do In The Shadows: “I don't overthink it. It's good, it's original, it has an audience.”


NBC's Dan Kerstetter takes the indie film approach to development: “My approach to development is filmmaking migrating to TV. We want to maintain the artist's vision.”


On Pitching Your Idea:

  • Have a specific vision of where your series is going. And if you're pitching a comedy series, it's important to be funny in your pitch.
  • Shooting your own pilot is best. It leaves little room for misinterpretation.

Marketplace Trends and What Buyers Are Looking For:

  • Quirky, off center comedies that take a little bit of effort.
  • Having a built-in niche audience that is engaged is key.
  • Don't conform to what you think TV should look like. Stick to your voice, write what YOU want to write- and it'll find its place.

Advice on Getting Your Work Out There:

  • NYTVF is a great place to target.
  • Start small. A good trailer can be powerful. Try posting a test pilot online to find a niche community following. If you find that no one's into it, find a way to tweak it and improve. Continue to produce so you have a range of voice.
  • Build an audience and keep working on it to improve it.
  • Take advantage of current technology. These days you can shoot something on your iPhone and it'll look pretty great.
  • The most important thing is that the world, storyline, dialogue, and characters are all well developed.
  • Don't let a low budget slow you down.




Check out previous downloads here:

BIG LAUGHS AT JUST FOR LAUGHS - 5/5/15 | Alumni Q&A (Whatever Linda) - 3/27/15 | Insights from the intern bullpen - 8/27/14 | Insights from the intern bullpen - 8/19/14 | Insights from the intern bullpen - 8/6/14 | Insights from the intern bullpen - 7/30/14 | Insights from the intern bullpen - 7/24/14 | Rory Covey of My Damn Channel's Honchos - 4/10/14 | Drama advice from Siobhan Byrne O'Connor - 4/3/14 | NYTVF Alum Danny Abrahms - 3/21/14 | Drama Advice - 3/13/14 | Advice from Chicago - 3/10/14 | Unscripted LA Panel - 2/25/14 | Drama Development - 2/20/14 | MSN Development - 2/12/14 | Casting - 2/5/14 | The Network Development Process - 1/29/14 | History Development - 1/15/14 | Comedy Formats - 3/18/13 | A&E Pipeline - 4/3/13| Fox Script Contest - 4/10/13 | From Film to TV - 5/17/13 | Lifetime Unscripted - 9/4/13


The NYTVF is a pioneer of the independent television movement, connecting its community of artists with leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies, and brands.

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