Simon Says ..a blog from Real Screen West

Last week was my very first visit to LA in California for the second of the twice yearly Realscreen Festivals – the less busy but more popular venue of Santa Monica contrasting with its chillier sibling in Washington DC in January. For Indies, it’s the televisual equivalent of a Moroccan bazaar – with each of us hawking our precious wares to the US cable networks. The aim is simple – encourage networks to buy – failing that, encourage them fall in love with an idea or talent. It’s a chance to have networks all in one place at the same time and to cover a lot more pitching ground than possible in the usual cycle of meetings back home in New York. It was also a chance to network (gossip) and share contacts (get merry) with our colleagues and competitors. For Leopard USA, it was a great opportunity to build on a brilliant beginning to the week – VP Rich Cook having secured a massive funded development from a major network closely followed by a significant order of one of our returning series.

So it was doubly satisfying to secure network interest for new VP Jillian Brand for some exciting new talent, a larger than life home builder and a man who could be the next Donald Trump – God forbid there’s 2 of them!

So I’m counting my first visit to LA as a success. With any luck, the seeds we planted here will yield as strong growth as the crazy looking tree in the venue’s courtyard which was a sapling given by a 19th century Aussie visitor to the hotel in payment of his bar bill. That’s a heck of a lot of dry Martinis.

Simon McKeown
CCO Leopard USA