Protect Your Video Series Idea

So you want to be the next award-winning video producer? Well, before you pick up a camera, get down to the basics. #novicelevel

If you have an excellent idea for a video series and you produce a great show – there’s still a chance someone might register a copyright for it. If the Register of Copyright approves, the successful registrant will own the intellectual property and the right to license the work to film studios, distributors, and merchandisers. Don’t let this happen to you. You created the work; now protect it!

  1. Put together your production team of trusted professionals. (Producer, writers, etc.) 
  2. Write the show’s treatment* and register it. The website provides insight into the importance of registering your show’s treatment.  **
  3. Prepare and produce a pilot episode -about 18 minutes. Without a product, you only have an idea. You can’t copyright an idea -and because of possible litigation, no reputable agent or investor will give you a meeting.
  4. Before releasing the pilot episode to the public, register with the library of congress.***  Once the copyright office receives the complete registration; you can begin to release the episode publicly. Note: “the Copyright Office must approve or refuse your application before you can file a lawsuit for copyright infringement, except in cases involving non-U.S. work.”  ****
  5. Prepare and launch your marketing and fundraising campaign. Promote, provide access to the pilot episode/series (decide on your platform), and continue producing the series as funds allow. 
  6. Grow your audience. The more eyes on your project, the better your bargaining power. – Audiences come for the content.  Investors/advertisers/film studios come for your audience. (Customer base) 
  7. Continue fundraising and pitching to stakeholders (agents, production companies, grantmakers, investors, etc. 

Note: Remember why you started this project. The Journey may be long, challenging, and frustrating so remember what you want to accomplish. It will help you hurdle the obstacles and keep you focused on achieving your goal. 

*Writing Treatments that Sell” helped me create a draft treatment in 2005 for a show I called “Sweeps” *

**There’s also a list of WGA-approved agents and signatories on the WGAW (Writers Guild of America West) registry page.

Once you’ve completed your product and decide to look for an agent, check out agents with a lot of experience with your genre and prospective audience.

*** Register Motion Pictures /Audiovisual Works

**** Copyright Basics Circular 1

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Selling to Followers


JUL 2021

“Social Closer”

“Get the Toy in the Kid’s Hands.”

As entrepreneurs, we do a lot of marketing. But sometimes we forget to sell. And as I’ve learned and written about in “MARKETING ≠ SALES.” Selling requires meeting with someone who wants to buy what you’re selling—getting that thing in their hands, agreeing on the price, and delivering it.

Becoming Santa

In the 2015 film “Becoming Santa,” hearing the lead character, a toymaker, say he knows he could sell a wooden dog pull-toy if he could get the toy in the kids’ hands was an ah-ha moment.

It’s rare to see a creative entrepreneur so passionate about selling.

Yet, the toymaker met with children who wouldn’t put down their tablet PCs long enough to pick up anything else.

These focus group children had the final say on whether the manufacturer would greenlight this very low-tech toy.

The toymaker was undeterred even though the thing in his way was a “yes.

Followers ≠ Customers

“Like the toymaker’s old toy, marketing was an afterthought. In the past, salespeople knocked on doors. Advertisers paid to broadcast their products to the masses. Today, we send an email and cold call for leads. With all the social media marketing tools available in the digital age, creative entrepreneurs behave as if social media followers are customers. 

They could be, but followers are leads. They may enjoy your content but may not see the value in your offering. If they do, they will inquire about your product. Then leads become prospects, i.e., potential customers.

Three Steps to convert a Follower to a customer.

  1. Determine if the prospect can make the purchase. There’s a difference between wanting and buying.
  2. Do they want to buy now or later? If later, share with them the value of buying now.
  3. To close the deal, remind them of the product’s benefits that are uniquely suited to them.

Note: Marketing allows entrepreneurs to know their prospects’ wants and needs.

The toymaker knew his prospects so well; he knew if he’d get the toy in their hands, imagination could turn the pull toy into anything they could think it could be. 

 He was right and made the sale. 

 Spoiler Alert: He became the next Santa Claus too.

NoticeI may get a commission from links in this post. Visit for affiliate notice.


July 2021

Marketing the Arts

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In Brand News Quarterly ’21, we discuss how authors can write for audiences without sacrificing the plot they love. Plus, a nearly 25-year-old online bookselling website reveals how Community Marketing is the key to online success. Get Brand News, Get insight into marketing your book to sell. Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Thank you for subscribing to Brand News Quarterly. I look forward to providing you insight into your book marketing journey. ~Mel Hopkins