The PGA Producers Showcase is teaming up with Ryan Seacrest Productions to provide the winning producer(s) a development deal in Reality Television. Heather Schuster, the Senior VP, Development and Current, Unscripted Programming for Ryan Seacrest Productions answered some questions about the new relationship.
This is the first year
the ProShow is partnering with specific Development Partners to offer a deal to
each category winner - what was your main inspiration for joining up?
Heather Schuster: There are so many producers with strong ideas out there, and they may not always have access to the right people or company. This is a terrific opportunity for rsp to find new content that otherwise might not make its way to us. It's also a way to meet and work with talented producers.
Are there specific types
of projects you're looking for, or any sort of guidance you can give
entrants? How does Ryan see his company expanding in the future?
HS: The exciting thing about RSP is that we are an independent company, so we can develop and sell to any buyer. That enables us to pursue all kinds of projects from large network formats, like game and arced competition, to water cooler docu-series. We are really open to a wide range of ideas, particularly those that touch on facets of pop culture and have a wide appeal. New approaches are crucial, as well. I look forward to finding the next fascinating subculture we can immerse ourselves in through follow doc, as well as the next innovative network format that leaves everyone saying "why didn't i think of that?"
When you meet the
finalists at the Produced By Conference, are you looking for them to pitch
verbally, or with materials, or do you have no preference?
HS: I think the best pitches are those that are organic to the project and play to its strengths. it's nice to be surprised in a pitch, as well. a great verbal pitch is an art―it is storytelling. I always suggest losing the notes and trying not to read the deck in the room. Strong materials are also key. You never want weak leave-behinds to undermine the strength of an idea.
Are you bullish on
developing new stories?
HS: Absolutely. That is our business! We constantly have to find new stories and new ways of telling them. Hopefully, this will be just the beginning of some fruitful new relationships to develop new hit shows.