No Nonsense Pitching

The latest version of Howard Thomas' definitive booklet on pitching. This is not just another book on how to pitch - it goes right to the beginning. The book covers the whole value chain, all the way from looking for a gap, through the audience analysis and targeting. This is the FREE web version. The complete is version is available as a handout on training courses.

Content Evaluation

How do you measure how good content could be when broadcast, is during broadcast? This is a practical guide to evaluating proposals, treatments and proposed content for TV broadcast. It covers various techniques that are not normally associated with content evaluation

Advertiser Funded Programming

It looks at first sight as a win-win, no brainer. But is it? In today's environment, where there are simply too many channels, and too many entertainment choices, wouldn't it be a good idea to produce programmes that are sponsored by the advertiser, and that embed the marketing messages into the content, and the marketer pays? Not so. It can work, and it can't work. It takes a lot of skill, and deep understanding of audiences in this environment.

The Art of Co-Production

This booklet, sponsored by the SABC, looks at Co-production. Any seasoned producer will tell you that co-production is very difficult. Yes, but it's made even more difficult if you don't have the "Big Picture" of what is involved. This booklet covers all the elements of co-production and relates them to each other. This booklet makes it easier to make the decision as to whether to go the difficult route of co-production.

Educational Television

Some broadcasters maintain that there is no room for educational television. "People want to be entertained", they say. However, there are others who say that South Africans are the most entertained and least informed people in the world. They also say that South Africans will pay anything for an education to get them out of the poverty trap. This book offers some insight into the psychology behind educational TV.

The Engine of Television (South Africa)

The media is complex enough, without having to try and position television within the media environment and to understand how it works. This booklet does exactly that, simply and briefly. It looks at where television sits in the media space, and how it works that is different from other media. This edition refers to the South African environment.

Subtitling

Television producers and directors simply assume that by adding subtitles they can significantly enhance the audience. Nothing could be more wrong. What if the audience cannot read the subtitles - because they are too small/ too fast/ too light/ too dark - or the audience just cannot read well enough. There are international norms, and very few are cultural. Most are based on the human physiology, which is the same all over the world. This booklet looks at these norms in the South African media landscape and audiences. Most subtitles are done wrongly, and it is so easy to do them right.

Broadcast Management

Most people see the glamour of TV, based on what they see on the screen, and in the celebrity magazines. But none of that is true. That's what the entertainment business makes - illusions. Behind the factory that makes the illusions is hard-nosed business. This simple booklet looks at all the different aspects of Broadcast Management and puts them into context with each other.

Your CV: simple and clear

A CV must be brief, simple and clear. One cynical HR type once said, "The nearest a person ever comes to total perfection, is in their CV." It's nearly right. Most employers decide from reading the CV if that person is worth seeing or not. They look for enthusiasm, humility, ambition and willingness to learn. They won't find it in the CV, but they look for signs of it. Here's a template for the simplest CV.

The Art of Sourcing Content

This book, written for the SABC, gives brief overview of the work of a commissioning editor or purchaser/license of content. It was written in 2010, but the principles have not changed. For a more modern approach, go to Research.