Scenario - "Pitch for the Position" at ARTS & Performance 2003 ç Compete for a Job with Carlton Productions LLC

You're an innovative "Project Developer" for an American TV production company - a company that specializes in documentaries. Over the course of your career you've developed fresh, energetic, imaginative production proposals. YouÌre able to regularly find the "twists and turns" that form the dramatic arch of a story. You understand story structure and have enjoyed success developing proposals for free-standing documentaries, limited series productions and pilots that have led to repeating series.

Among your colleagues are four researchers, an administrative assistant, your boss and a "Marketplace Liaison" - a staff member who monitors the ever changing production priorities of the American marketplace.

You and your colleagues participate in weekly "brainstorming" sessions - sessions designed to promote development of imaginative new production ideas. Ideas that showcase "out-of-the-box" thinking. Ideas that focus on both content and innovative program structures. Ideas that will distinguish your proposal from the scores of others sitting on a commissioner's desk.

During one of those sessions a researcher proposes the idea of developing a film about the lives of contemporary "child prodigies" - gifted children. Your colleagues are intrigued with the prospect, as are you, and you ask the "Marketplace Liaison" to call around and see if any American cable executives have any interest in considering a production proposal on this subject.

A few days later the "Marketplace Liaison" staff member reports that two cable commissioners expressed mild interest in receiving a proposal. But those commissioners haven't provided much information that will help you develop the proposal. It's your job to think "outside of the box" and develop and version two imaginative/innovative proposals - proposals that will excite each commissioner.

One of the cable companies caters to a younger audience that's generally interested in edgy, emotional "docu-soap" type programming. An equal number of "twenty-something" men and women watch this cable channel. Viewers would also be described as ethnically diverse, urban and middle class.

The second cable channel skews toward an older, female, suburban audience. That cablecaster's programming is weighted toward more serious issues. The commissioners from both channels are focused on developing "high impact" programming. They want to invest in highly promotable programming that will win awards, garner positive critical reviews and achieve rating success. The commissioners are not looking for low budget "filler" programming. They expect your proposal to reflect the type of "out-of-the-box" thinking that will capture an audience's imagination.

Your boss has given you four weeks to complete and submit both proposals. Since you already have four other proposals in your development portfolio you only have approximately 10 hours a week to work on this particular assignment. Two of the researchers on your team have 10 hours a week available to help you with this particular assignment. An administrative assistant can also contribute five hours a week and your boss is able to consult with you but he only has two hours a week available for private one-on-one conversations.

How do you approach this assignment? How do you maximize the resources available to you? How do you create an imaginative/innovative "out-of-the-box" proposal? Your response should not exceed three pages.

Please submit, along with your resume and cover letter to:
Pauline Martin
Banff Television Foundation
1350 Railway Avenue,
Canmore, Alberta,
Canada, T1W 3E3
Fax: 1-403-678-9269

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