Writer-Member Timothy Centner Sells TV Pitch
It’s happened before, and it’s happened again! A small town writer with big ideas lands a deal with Hollywood TV Executives at the TV Writers Vault.
We’re proud to have been instrumental with Timothy Centner selling his reality TV concept to MDR Entertainment. Tim obliged us with an interview to bring us up to speed, and to give other writers a look inside our process at the TV Writers Vault.
Scott Manville: Congratulations on getting your project picked up by an Executive Producer. Tell us a bit about the company optioning your project.
Tim Centner: Thank you so much! You know, it’s still sinking in to me just what this could potentially mean for my writing career. The company that picked up my option is MDR Entertainment, Mark Rodriguez, Executive Producer. The moment I got the nod, I started doing my homework and I really have to give The TV Writers Vault the kudos for only selecting the best people to be members on the “executive” side. When I found out that someone was interested in my treatment I was so jazzed! Then I began to research the company that was to be calling me, and I have to tell you that it just blew me away when I realized the caliber of television executives that the Vault has in the fold.
Scott Manville: When you finally received word that a leading production company wanted to talk to you about your show, how did you feel?
Tim Centner: Well, it was one of those daily ritual things; I work for myself so first thing in the morning I get up, put the coffee on and check my e-mail. I got the email-notice from TV Writers Vault saying that I had “Executive Activity” on my project, so I logged into my project status page and subsequently almost spit coffee on my computer. I was very excited to see the coveted yellow “Requesting Contact with Writer” status listed. It was really a great moment for me.
Scott Manville: Tell us how it was conversing with the Producer, and how his reaction was to your project.
Tim Centner: I had no idea what to expect. As it turns out, he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met. Seriously interested in the process and very open. Not at all the stereotype that we’ve been led to believe haunts the halls of Hollywood. Quite the contrary. He gave me a lot of pointers as to how to tweak my other projects to make them appealing and has been genuinely helpful throughout. I’m really impressed.
Scott Manville: What stage are you at with the project, and what do you see for it’s future?
Tim Centner: We’re packaging the show and getting it ready to shop around to networks at this point. It’s still in the preliminary stage of course, but I’m cautiously optimistic that it’ll go all the way. But any way it turns out, it’s still proof to me that I’m doing the right thing each and every time I put up a new script or treatment at the TV Writers Vault.
Scott Manville: How long have you been a member of the TV Writers Vault?
Tim Centner I’ve been a member of the TV Writers Vault since 2004. I was an aspiring writer looking for any kind of doorway into the morass that is the Hollywood writers pool. I was convinced that if I could find a way to get my stuff under the noses of the right people, then I would get the chance I wanted, sooner or later. The problem was all the hype, not to mention the overwhelmingly negative atmosphere at many of the places I looked. It really seemed to me that the only way to get to be a writer, was to already BE one with representation and everything. How in the world would I, Timmy the boy from small town Alabama, ever get there? The answer was, of course, The TV Writer’s Vault. What an amazing concept!
Scott Manville: Have you made progress with any other projects?
Tim Centner: Actually, I have made some advances over the past couple of years. I’ve been honing my writing and treatment “building” skills and continuing to post to the Vault. Last year I had 2 projects put “Under Consideration” by FOX but they’ve not moved since. I suppose that might put a damper on some, but it really only poured gas on my fire. The great thing about the TV Writers Vault is the instant feedback. You actually get an idea for what people are looking for and what they’re looking AT, which is one of the most valuable aspects of the service.
Nowhere else that I’ve ever found do you actually get any feedback. Seriously, when was the last time anyone responded to a script that you sent out unsolicited? HA! Only here… because it’s a service that the industry executives subscribe to. And they subscribe to it because it’s an efficient way for them to interface with new writers, and to make requests for concepts and scripts they find have potential.
Scott Manville: How was it working with me at the TV Writers Vault? And how was the mediation of the executive contacting you handled?
Tim Centner: You’re an absolute professional and an unbelievable resource for me. You’re the driving force behind the TV Writers Vault and are always just an e-mail away if I need help or just advice as to how to put something together. I feel very lucky to have found the Vault and especially you, Scott.
It’s amazing to me what you’ve created here, and to be honest I can’t wait to see how big this thing is going to get as more and more writers and execs begin to realize just how many great opportunities are waiting here for them. When my project was selected, you immediately e-mailed me and were instrumental in connecting the executive and myself in a timely and professional way. Kudos to you and everyone that helps behind the scenes for making this place what it is.
Scott Manville: Wow, I’m humbled. Thank you. Beyond what you already so kindly expressed, in what specific way do you feel the TV Writers Vault serves new writers entering the industry?
Tim Centner: Wow, um, how much time do you have? I cannot stress enough that the Vault is truly a place of dynamic growth for anyone who wants to germinate a writing career from outside (or for that matter inside) Hollywood. There’s literally no other place that teaches you what you need to know as well as provide the tools to help you. The instant feedback that you get when an executive reviews your work is over the top. You can immediately see whether you’ve struck a nerve or not, and it inspires you to keep on going, unlike the old method of sending things out unsolicited and waiting, and waiting, and waiting…..you get the idea. Plus the added benefit of knowing that your projects are ONLY being seen by qualified executives who are in a decision making position and not some assistant in the mail room who’s only task is to throw away the giant stacks of treatments they get every day. And it’s all completely protected by the confidentiality agreements that are in place on both sides of the equation, so you can feel comfortable posting to your hearts content without the fear of your ideas being swiped.
Scott Manville: Would you recommend the TV Writers Vault service to other professional and aspiring writers.
Tim Centner: Absolutely. With no uncertain terms. I don’t think that there’s a better method to get new projects and ideas in front of the right people at this or any other value to be honest. If you truly have the idea bug, or even just have a brilliant idea that comes out of nowhere that you’re sure will take flight, I would recommend the TV Writer’s Vault to anyone who wants to get through the layers down into the heart of the industry. I surely wouldn’t be here talking with you now if not for the existence of the Vault.
Scott Manville: Thanks Tim. We’re really proud to have you as a member, and wish you the best with this and future projects. Keep up the great work!