Out of the seven TV series I had the pleasure to develop, “ΟΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΑΔΕΣ” or "MEET THE ROYALS" is my most popular project, topping the weekly ratings in Greece for its full run of 99 family comedy episodes, averaging a 50% share rating for all audiences under 44 years old. [More About Developing "Meet the Royals" below]. TV & Film development means that you spend most of your time working with the writer, mostly on the storytelling. After developing many shows, it builds experience on knowing which stories work and which don't as a second nature. You also know if a storytelling structure works and how to build up an emotional anticipation that actually pays off when the climax is reached "at last". Many worthy interconnected emotional scenes create a worthy script.
In a far reaching linking, the emotional built-ups in a TV series or a Film compare to a lover who builds up erotically to attract the object of his desire, and then acts his best to fulfill at least the expectations he has built. Or if you're looking for a big-hit, overcome expectations and transport us to a brand new and provoking game. It's better to keep the above always in your mind always, since as a viewer we get really disappointed when the climax is too expected or, even worst, boring [Damn Lost’s final episode].
As a Development Executive you’re responsible for all creative aspects of the show you’re working on. From being part of the team that handpicks the shows and its principle creators, to also being responsible for the acting, directing, aesthetics, and for the show’s publicity in trailers, social media, press and generally speaking "the image & result" of the show. Network Executives, like Producers, do have a reputation for driving artists crazy, but surely there’re plenty of great collaborations, since so many shows have met with so much success, and if you check many of them work together again and again. I had great times working close with artists through my 8 years at Mega TV, and many are still my friends and many times I miss working with them. [Mega TV while I worked there from 2006 to 2014, was topping all the ratings on almost all categories among Greek television stations.]
We all know though that behind the show-biz’s limelight, all shows also involve hard work; you really have to be an artist to save your full energy and emotions for the actual filming, against the tiring filming conditions.
Concerning the project’s production timeline, it's always IDEAL to develop the project from start. Before any hiring takes place. The most important factor of all shows and films is the script. It's the "contract" between the multiple creative sides of the 50+ crew members. In Greek cinema the average film crew is 20-60 crew members. Funny observation is that there are no nerds in film crews, not that I have anything against nerds. The major rule among crews is to "play nice" to all, because we're certainly going to meet again on another filmings in the future; since by profession we share many common acquaintances. For me, the fun I had during the actual filming was my primary reason for turning my life upside-down, my until then managerial position in marketing, and decided at the age of 29 to start anew, go back to school and study filmmaking. Optimistic I, hit the jackpot when the American Film Institute [A.F.I.], the top film school on our planet [according to Variety and Hollywood Reporter] accepted me for a master in Film Producing at in Los Angeles; I’m the only Greek to have graduated as a Producer from AFI [until 2018].
At Hollywood-favored A.F.I., with 37 alumni having received Oscar nominations in the past decade alone. An additional 118 have participated in award-winning projects ranging from “Boyhood” to “Mad Men” and “Mr. Robot.” At AFI I was tutored by the principle creators of historical films like "Alien," "Star Trek," "Back to the Future," "Jurassic Park," "Blade Runner," "Titanic" and many-many more movie-legends that appeared legends in my small-country Greek eyes. During our weekly master classes, with special guests like George Lucas, Joel Silver -the smartest men I heard in my life, Michael Cunningham for a preview of "The Hours" before it hit the screens, and one-of-a kind actors like Dustin Hoffman, or witty Rosanne Bar who came to share their experiences, mentality and "secrets of success". A common element to all is their speed & length of thinking and talking.
After graduating from the AFI I was a Producer's Assistant for a couple of features, and read feature scripts for Ithaka Productions- first look producing deal with Lionsgate Studio. After a total of four years in L.A. I returned to Athens to be hired by my favorite network Mega TV a short time later. As conclusion here is a reminder for all who have the ULTIMATE luck in this life to make a living off fairy tales, and to always be appreciative of their unique luck. Personally I had the luck to work mostly on comedies. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever fantasize that I would work on creating jokes and romance and surprises during all my working hours, talking about stories all day. Already more than I dreamt! We in arts & spectacles get to live in our own world for a living! Nice ;)MEET THE ROYALS PROMO TRAILER