Wednesday, August 08, 2012

CI Consultant Sells A Pitch to Disney

Meet CI story analyst Alex Cramer, better known to some of you as AC. Alex has been on a roll lately, and has just set up one of his projects at Disney Channel -- "Pants on Fire." That makes two CI consultants (joining Kevin O'Hare, who sold two pilots to Universal) to sell TV projects in the last year. We had a quick chat with Alex about the project and how he pulled it off.  

Jim Cirile (JC): Tell us a little about you, Alex.  

You can't tell here, but Cramer's pants are indeed on fire.
Alex Cramer (AC): I’m from Los Angeles. I started writing my senior year of high school because I was bored in class. I went to film school at LMU (Loyola Marymount University) and got my Masters in screenwriting. I’ve been writing for about 10 or 12 years now.  

JC: So while the rest of us were doodling in high school, you were already writing scripts?  

AC: Yeah, on a legal pad!

 JC: What genres do you like to write?  

AC: I do a lot of comedy, but I’m interested in everything. I have a drama script that’s done pretty well for me, and I enjoy action as well. I would say in general I enjoy genre filmmaking. Something that’s big and exciting, whether that’s comedy or action or whatever.

 JC: When you say the drama script did well for you, what does that mean? Did you get representation off it?  

AC: The drama script got me my first job, which was a small thing rewriting a religious film. It got me meetings and people enjoyed it. In fact, it’s in the quarterfinals of the Page contest right now. It’s gotten me some decent exposure.  

JC: Tell us about your project at Disney Channel.

AC: It was a pitch. I was working with an executive over there for about six months on different ideas, and we kind of developed this together. It was originally my concept, but he took a liking to it and he helped me shape it for what Disney Channel would like.  

JC: That's the best way to do it -- have a champion on the inside. How did you hook up with this person?  

AC: There an executive at Disney. I won’t mention their name. I’m represented by (management company) Circle of Confusion. I had a high school comedy script that they sent over. Disney Channel is trying to do more movies now, so they’ve been looking for a lot of writers, not just one. So (my managers) sent over that comedy script and Disney really liked it. They brought me in for a meeting. I (pitched them) a bunch of ideas, but none of them were that good. I was sort of out of sync with what they wanted. But the good thing was that the executive who was in charge of the project was willing to talk to me and work with me. So I was able to come back to him and think of some concepts and customize them more to specifically what they were looking for.  

JC: What's the name of the project?  

AC: Pants on Fire. I can’t give out the logline yet, but it's a high-concept kid’s comedy. 

 JC: Excellent. I assume you are developing the script with your exec?  

AC:Yeah, I’m working on it right now. We just settled up the contracts. I’m doing an outline first. So I imagine I’ll be going in there for a meeting to develop the outline a little bit and then we start in on the script.  

JC: Very exciting! Thanks so much for telling us a little bit about this, and please keep us updated!  

AC: Will do, thanks! 


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