Freelance Beatdown and New Creative Options
So you have a great idea for a TV show. But you live in South Dakota. You like living in The SD. I do too. I love the plains, the climate and the people. When I have lived in others parts of the country I missed this area. But a creative type has limited options for making a living being creative while living where the cattle outnumber the people. At least that use to be true.
He also is writer. He wrote a pilot script for a comedy-action show called Freelance Beatdown.
“As a boy, the main character, Lee Baron attended a secret government boarding school that trains black ops-ready assassins, but he dropped out so he could concentrate on starting a band and smoking weed. We find Lee a 30-year-old burnout, doing just enough work to pay his rent and enjoying a care-free man child’s lifestyle. In order to raise enough money to keep his band going, he accepts an offer to do freelance secret agent work. “
Traditionally when a writer had a script he would try to sell that script to somebody. A studio, a network, some guy with a couple extra twenties to throw around. Someone to pay for the production and maybe, possibly, perhaps accidently put the show on T.V. And if the writer didn’t live in LA or New York, they had to go to LA or New York. The same for actors, musicians and other creative people. The money and the tools were there and you needed to be too.
But in the new reality of the entertainment business there is less money to go around. And the people with that money are looking for something finished or proven to invest it in. They don’t want just an idea. They would like an idea, script, marketing plans and if possible a produced product. They want to see the concept in action. Proof of the idea and proof that you the creator will work to make the best program, and the most money.
Morris decided to take his script and try to sell it in a unique way. He would put on a live reading of the show so Hollywood decision makers could get an idea of the show, see a crowd’s reaction and hear the jokes get laughs. To pay for the production Morris crowd sourced the cost. He uses the site IndieGoGo.com to ask fans for small donation to offset the cost of the animation and video crew. Then Jordan gathered talented performers, filmed the live reading and combined that with animation and put the video online. Now the buzz has begun.
The changes in the entertainment business that forced Morris down this route are a positive. Especially for us creative types that don’t live in the L.A. area. In a pre-internet, analog South Dakota access to the people that turned ideas in to money was nearly nonexistent. Even with the talent and drive, a creative needed expensive expertise and equipment to make a living. With modern tools we can make broadcast quality presentations and conduct business electronically for little, or in some cases no money. We can even take our creations and profit directly by using digital distribution. It is getting easier to live in the middle of nowhere and have access to the center of everything.