Not From Concentrate logo: Media Jobs, Media and New Talent Agency

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Here's a selection of answers to likely questions that you might have, which we hope will explain the nuts and bolts of Not From Concentrate in more detail.

This is a working document which we'll add to over time. If you do have any more questions or comments that you'd like to discuss with us, please head over to our Facebook group in the first instance.

1) Why are you doing this?
2) So if you're so confident, why are you charging the people with ideas?
3) Isn't this just exploitation?
4) So I buy the Starter Pack and then I can start sending you my ideas, right?
5) Can I send you as many ideas as I want?
6) What are the next steps if you do like my idea and it has good potential?
7) Who owns the copyright of any ideas?
8) How do I know you won't just steal my idea and pass it off as your own?
8a) If I send in an idea in response to one of your Elevator Pitch briefs, how does that work?
9) Why are you just about TV? No-one's watching TV anymore are they?
10) I don't care how the TV industry works, I just want to get my idea on the telly. Is this for me?
11) Do you give any guarantees that my ideas will get on to the telly?
12) Will Not From Concentrate make me famous?
13) How can I be sure that any payment details are kept secure?

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Why are you doing this?

Picture the scene: you're at an event, a party, a gathering with people you don't know.
"So, what do you do then?"
"I work for Channel 4 / the BBC / Sky / A.N.Other broadcaster / media agency*."
"Oh, cool! I / my mate / my sister* has got a great idea for a TV sitcom / drama series / documentary / quiz show*. Can I send it to you?"
[*=delete as appropriate]

Welcome to our world for the last decade or so. After years working with and supporting undiscovered new talent and 'off-the-radar' creative thinkers we're absolutely certain that there are some fantastic ideas for TV programmes and formats out there which should be given airtime on our screens. We know, from experience and as part of our ongoing research, that if you ask people from all walks of life - the general public - if they've ever had an idea for a TV show, that a very large number of them have.

From random conversations in the pub, on holiday or sitting on a train, to watching TV, driving home or doing the washing-up, stories and real-life experiences have uncovered little nuggets of potential TV gold. But the majority of these ideas never turn into anything bigger or are properly explored, primarily because - until now - there's been nowhere for Joe or Josephine Public to take their ideas.

As you'll see in our Starter Pack, the TV production companies and broadcasters adopt an almost completely 'closed-door' policy to members of the general public, so any ideas are simply shelved or forgotten about, whilst our TV schedules continue to be filled with the same types of shows, created by the same people.

We want this business to change all that, by helping to refine and shape your raw ideas for TV shows and formats and take them to the marketplace. Of course, it's not going to be easy but once we build momentum and the ideas begin to come in - as we know they will - the industry 'players' - who are crying out for fresh and exciting content - will embrace this new approach and realise that the Next Big Things are going to come from outside their executive boardrooms and brainstorming sessions.

"Power to the People", we say - Welcome to Not From Concentrate. TV By Me.™

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So if you're so confident, why are you charging the people with ideas?

Quite simply, because this is a business and we want it to be a sustainable business. In our previous experience in this industry we've had the 'luxury' of being fully funded by large-scale organisations who unfortunately, when the financial climate gets tough, pull the plug on areas of their business that are not profit-generating.

We also want to avoid the merry-go-round of applying for limited pots of public sector hand-outs with a finite shelf-life and build a solid, value-based business model that can be self-funding and can grow organically.

The bottom line is that we're an information and service provider. The information contained in the Starter Pack and ongoing across this website has been developed and aggregated over a number of years and our pool of TV industry experts can provide invaluable insights and expertise to take your ideas to the next level.

The analogy we've been using during our research phase is that of a golf pro or tennis coach. If you've got a desire or passion to learn more, refine your skills and perform better on the course or court, then you employ - pay for - a professional to help you achieve your goals. The same can be said for any professional service provider, an accountant or lawyer for example.

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Isn't this just exploitation?

Absolutely not. We're not forcing anyone to buy the Starter Pack. We're not saying you have to book a session with our TV production and development experts. But if you do have an idea and if you do want to explore its potential, then we're open for business and we're happy to help you on your journey.

For us - and for the industry - quality is what counts. We don't want to work with - er, how do we best phrase this? - crap ideas. We're not interested in spending our time - paid-for or otherwise - looking at ideas like, putting a load of students in a pig sty, throwing in some cameras and calling the show Pig Brother.

But we do want to work with you if you have ideas are well thought through, are properly structured, that fill a gap and meet the needs of this exciting, rich and diverse media marketplace. Ideas that have serious potential of finding a home.

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So I buy the Starter Pack and then I can start sending you my ideas, right?

Not quite. If you've come up with a great idea that ticks all the right boxes in the Ideas Development Checklist and you want to take it to the next level, you'll then need to book in a session with one of our TV production and development experts, who will give you their personalised, constructive feedback on your idea, assess the most suitable format, platform and commercial potential for the idea.

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Can I send you as many ideas as I want?

Of course. But as mentioned above, it's about the quality of the ideas rather than the quantity. We don't want you to waste your money or our experts' time on ideas that are not fresh, innovative, exciting or commercially attractive to the industry's producers or broadcasters.

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What are the next steps if you do like my idea and it has good potential?

This scenario is what we're all after! We'll then work with you [at no extra cost] to take your idea, produce a comprehensive and industry-friendly 'treatment' of the idea, which we'll then take and 'sell-in' to our network of producers and broadcasters, for possible further development and production.

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Who owns the copyright of any ideas?

You. As the creator or originator of an idea, you own that idea. Incidentally, you can't actually copyright an idea. You can copyright the format that is developed from an original idea but not an idea as such.

So, if you come to our experts with your idea for, say, a TV sitcom, which is fully structured, the characters are fully developed and the concept has instant market appeal, then we can simply represent you [at no extra cost to you] - like an agent would represent an actor or writer - and take a fee if your idea is 'picked up' by people who might want to produce and broadcast the show.

If, however, after coming to our experts with your initial idea - let's call it 'Version 1.0' - it's agreed that the idea needs work to strip out and develop elements that will make it more commercially attractive and increase the chances of it being 'picked up' by the industry, then we'll do whatever work's needed, invest our time and expertise [again, at no extra cost to you] to create 'Version 1.1' which is then taken to the marketplace.

In this instance we would expect to share the copyright of the final version with you, the originator.

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How do I know you won't just steal my idea and pass it off as your own?

Because that's not what we do. And to be fair - despite strong suspicion to the contrary - that's not how the TV industry works. It might have been more open to abuse in the past but these days with trackable email conversations and the risk of costly lawsuits, the practice of ripping off people's ideas is thankfully very small.

If you're still not convinced, then - as a matter of course and for your added peace of mind - we ask all of our TV production and development experts to sign NDAs - Non-Disclosure Agreements - before entering into any communication with you.

What we're in to - and swear by - is collaboration. Whether you've got an idea for a TV drama series or an innovative automatic back-scratcher, you'll have a much better chance of getting your product to market if you take a leap of faith and collaborate with others who have the experience and the networks of contacts to turn an idea into a reality.

Quick reality check here: What can, and does happen though is that an idea that seems fresh and innovative and never seen before, is actually a very similar idea to one that has been thought about before - or is already being developed - by another individual or production company. That's simply what happens and, frustratingly, we've even seen it ourselves over the last few months.

Using the Ideas Development Checklist in our Starter Pack and talking to our experts to get to a killer 'Version 1.1' will, we believe, minimise this scenario.

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If I send in an idea in response to one of your Elevator Pitch briefs, how does that work?

Anything you send us - and we mean anything - will be treated and handled in the strictest confidence. If one of our clients sets a brief looking for ideas to help solve or fill a gap in their media must-have list, we simply pick the best of the bunch and hand the ideas over to them for further debate and discussion, hopefully leading to development of the idea ahead of a properly commissioned piece of work.

The clients sign Confidentiality Agreements, which forbids them to share the submissions with anyone outside their organisation, except with the express permission of Not From Concentrate and you, the originator of the idea.

If an idea IS selected for further development and / or commission, you will be paid a one-off 'buy-out' fee [amount will be negotiated] for your idea. In addition, where possible and if you are interested in doing so, we will try to accomodate you in the development and final production of the idea / media format with relevant remuneration.

Furthermore, if the idea you send us in response to a brief is not quite what the client is looking for, we will retain the submission on our databases, in the hope that it might fit the bill for another client or fill a gap in the marketplace in the future. We will, of course, keep you fully informed should this be the case.

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Why are you just about TV? No-one's watching TV anymore are they?

Three words: WE LOVE TV. And we're not the only ones. Things have obviously changed rapidly over the last decade - and longer - but TV is still THE most popular media platform in the world. For example Sky has nearly 10m subscribers. Early in 2009, new customers were joining at its fastest rate in five years and in the UK viewers have set a new record for watching commercial TV this year, viewing an average of 16.7 hours each week for the first six months of the year.

But we fully understand that where and how people 'consume' their entertainment is more diverse than ever before which is why during the development of your ideas we proactively look for the best and most suitable platforms for any ideas. As well as the 'traditional' TV industry, we also tapped into growing networks of radio, internet, print, advertising and gaming producers, broadcasters and publishers, maximising the opportunities available to see ideas come to life.

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I don't care how the TV industry works, I just want to get my idea on the telly. Is this for me?

Yep,absolutely. Whether you've got an interest in how the media business works - either in general or because you've got plans to make a career in this exciting world - or you simply want to let professionals explore the potential of your idea, then we're here for you. The choice is yours and we'd love to welcome you on board.

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Do you give any guarantees that my ideas will get on to the telly?

Nope, absolutely not. But we do guarantee to explore every avenue open to us to find a home for your ideas. As mentioned above, that might be on TV, on radio, online, or even as part of an advertising campaign - many advertisers are looking for new engaging ways to sell their products. 'Branded content' has become very big business.

A big part of our service to you is to manage your expectations. The time might not be right or the market might not have demand for your idea and the competition is fierce. But if that's the case, we'll tell you. We're in this together and we'll keep the ideas banked at Not From Concentrate HQ and try to find a home for the idea in the future.

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Will Not From Concentrate make me famous?

If you dream of being 'papped' leaving a nightclub in the early hours of the morning and are gagging to see your face all over the pages of Heat magazine, then no - you'd be better off trying to apply for the next dull-as-dishwater reality TV series, or stand in line with the other thousands of X Factor wannabes at an open audition.

But if 'fame' is being featured in national or regional newspapers as the person who came up with the idea for the biggest quiz show since Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, or someone whose creativity is celebrated by their family and friends, then we'll do all we can to make that happen.

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How can I be sure that any payment details are kept secure?

Any payments made to Not From Concentrate over the internet are made via PayPal, the safer easier way to pay online. We never see your credit or debit card details and all your sensitive financial information is securely stored on PayPal servers. We can also accept payment by more traditional - Old Skool - methods if this is more convenient for you. Details can be found on the Starter Pack page.


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