Monday, March 04, 2013

Building a billion-dollar enterprise, 15 - Notes in preparation for a really big week.

Tomorrow is going to be such a big day that by the end of it, I may want to sleep for a week.

No such luck.

Early Wednesday morning, I will drag myself out of bed to catch a 7 a.m. flight for Los Angeles. From Wednesday afternoon through Friday night, I will enjoy/endure a whirlwind of meetings put together by my friend Andrew W. Thornhill.

At least, mostly put together by him. The first one, Wednesday evening, will be the regular monthly meeting of the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West (BADWest). I expect good content from the presentation, but the real purpose is to be in the room with a group of documentary filmmakers. The relationships established Wednesday evening could prove transformative for me, especially if I wind up acquiring 1015 N. Homewood Ave., redeveloping it, and making a documentary about the process.

Anyway, after that comes the whirlwind.

I want to be on my toes for all of it, but the meeting which offers the greatest apparent opportunity will be an informal sitdown with Joseph Collins. Mr. Collins is President and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of IC Places, Inc., the corporate parent of Punch Television Network, aka Punch TV. Punch is one of the numerous TV networks that sprung up after the transition from analog to digital television left all of America's 1,700 full-service TV stations with four channels, where they had previously had one. According to the press release announcing its first annual stockholders meeting, Punch ended 2012 with 38 partner stations.

I will spend much of the next three days studying the company's annual reports, along with the information on its websites. As with Joe Ciotti in tomorrow's meeting, the word that seems to best describe what I want to do with Mr. Collins is "seduce." I want to make him want to work with me. Not to pitch a specific project. To have him know that Luminaria Productions can offer a variety of projects over the next 2-3 years.

Or as Dov Simens taught me to say in "From Reel To Deal," "I have multiple projects in various stages of development."

Such as? Well, besides the aforementioned documentary on the redevelopment of 1015 N. Homewood, which would also be about Homewood itself, there's:

1. "The Laundry" - a dramatic TV series about the professional and personal challenges faced by staff and residents of a rehab facility/program that boasts one of the highest success rates in the field ("Come in dirty, leave clean"). The idea was hatched by actor-writer Atticus Cain, known around Homewood as William Robinson, who is also our tenant and one of my closest friends.

3. Either a one-hour TV special or a feature length documentary on Naomi Sims, the Westinghouse alum who became America's first black supermodel. This would build on work already done and already being done: Kilolo Luckett and I partnered last year for a tribute to Naomi Sims, and are planning a 2nd Annual Tribute on March 30, which would have been Ms. Sims 65th birthday. That tribute can be a major piece of a TV program/documentary.

4. "The Nature of Love" - a feature film (drama); a married woman unwittingly falls in love with a man who plans to kill her family. Both this and "The Moses Effect," below, are scripts that I have worked on, and need to finish anyway.

5. "The Moses Effect" - a feature film (comedy); a small town is thrown into chaos when the world's most advanced surveillance system enforces every law on the books, including absurd ones.

Did you see what I did there? I skipped #2. That's because if Mr. Collins expresses any level of interest, and if I have any choice about what to produce for/with Punch, the 1015 N. Homewood doc would be my second choice. "The Laundry" would be my first.

Why?

Jobs.

The desire to create jobs is a very large part of my motivation for building Luminaria Productions. And while even a small indie film can create 50+ jobs, my thinking is that a TV series would create more jobs for a longer period of time than a one-time project.

...okay, there's a second reason.

Financing. Which deserves its own post.
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