Frankly Speaking #8: Manifestation

Manifestation. It’s a word that many of us know but don’t always use.

Manifestation is something that we all can do, but we don’t because we are all so busy fighting the system, fighting the fight.

Letting it go… ah, how great would it be to just let it go? Many of us have let it go from time to time, many of us have had great experiences with thinking or being positive. But, many of us either forget how those days felt or simply just get caught up in the “hustle”, and don’t do it enough.

As I write this, the 8o’s song came on “Always Something There to Remind Me”,  by Naked Eyes. There you have it. We must remember the days we feel great or just simply forget about what we did (or didn’t do) to get what we wanted. Holding on tight of anything has for the most part never worked for me, or many I know.

We must manifest our needs, our wants and desires. It has proven time and time again the more I think positive, and don’t overthink at all, much of what I want or desire shows up. At least in one way or another, it really does.

I tell many of my friends today if I was to rename my company, I would rename it from Make it Happen Productions, to Let it Happen Entertainment GROUP. Simply put, you can’t force things and you have to know it takes a team. You have to just let go and let it happen. Of course we have to have a positive outlet, treat others kindly and bring good karma your way, that’s a given.

I am one that gets in my own way at times but as I grow and learn, I am trying to enjoy the good, recognizing and being thankful for the things we have, or things we strive for is what it’s all about. Less pressure and more joy! This is what I strive for daily and when I reflect back, it seems as if it has come back 10fold. Strange how that works!

I have noticed the more we do for others and the more we think about our surroundings and the less about ourselves, the more comes our way. And… the more I get out of my own head and feel more comfortable in my own skin, the more comes my way. Many times I have actually had to manifest this. Simply think positively and say what I want to myself or others. That’s where this powerful notion of Manifesting comes in.

We must stop the negative thinking, the poor attitudes and the deliberate actions that make others feel bad about themselves or anything else for that matter.

Although we are people who have to make a living, make ends meet, we also have to remember that positive thinking is a MUST!

I challenge those who read my blogs to manifest good things for yourself and others for the next couple of months. Powerful thoughts and actions. I believe you will achieve greatness in many ways.

Frankly Speaking #7: Chaos!

At this time in my career, one would think chaos would not be the word that comes up as often as it does. But… it does. Although the saying is, “It is the calm before the storm”, I am hoping that my current journey is “The storm before the calm”.

The entertainment industry seems to have many facets, many! The creative element is why I first got into it, but boy, does that have many meanings. Like politics, normal day to day business and hard work. No different from most fields, who would have known. It’s not what it’s all cracked up to be. But, don’t get me wrong, I love it just as much now as when I started in this field many years ago. It’s just a little different now. More serious and more like a job. But, with that said… more opportunities and more choices. You have to take the good with the bad. It’s the way of the world, it’s the way of the entertainment business for sure.

My first glance at the business were shows and films in which I combed the set and watched the directors and producers do their thing. I said “I can do that, this seems easy enough”. Well, at first it may have felt that way, but I had some news coming to me.

Chaotic days and chaotic projects are not what I had ever expected. Always know that there are many surprises in the field of entertainment, can’t get away from it. That is why I have always been known for working hard and playing just as hard. My type of play has been travel, leisure, food, family and friends. You have to let go during the crazy times, it’s a must! Trust that all the memories will be worth it. No matter good or tough.

When I think about all the things that I want out of this business and all things I have or have not gotten out of it thus far, I get tired. My formula is to continue to reinvent myself as I grow my company and my sights. I want bigger and better things (projects) such as projects that mean something to me and others. That seems to be the trick to stay out of the chaos and the trick for a more powerful tomorrow in an industry I want to continue to respect.

Always know that there are going to be challenges, but also know that there is often a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s important to keep your eye on your initial interest and stay in tune with what you believe in, and remember why you got into the “biz” in the first place. It’s a great business which is filled with opportunity. Always work hard, stay away from the politics and continue to believe in important content.

Note to self: Stay out of the chaos!

Clothing Matters: Interview with MIHP Wardrobe Specialist Antoinette Frank

When we tell our clients that we are a one-stop shop for production we mean it. Not only do we create compelling content, we also do whatever it takes to make sure that content is perfect from start to finish. Sometimes this means utilizing our wardrobe specialist Antoinette Frank for assistance in making sure the actors look the part.

A few weeks back while prepping for our Subaru shoot for a commercial called The Ride of Her Life – Antoinette was assigned the task of putting together costumes for a range of “extreme” roles ranging from firemen to stunt car drivers.  We took the opportunity to interview her to learn a bit more about the ins and outs of the job.

Take me through the process of costuming. How do you get briefed on what is needed and where do you go to find your costumes? 

When MIHP informs me of our next project, I automatically ask for the “creative’. This means getting the most current script, notes from the director and storyboards. My next step is to call the actors for sizes. I then go out to “shop”. Depending on the project, I usually find costumes at the Wardrobe houses like Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Eastern Costume etc.. If it’s just regular wardrobe, I shop at boutiques, specialty stores, department stores and malls. On the shoot day, I dress the actors according to the script and director’s notes. On set, my job is to make sure there are no wrinkles, watch for lint, make sure ties are straight, manage continuity issues etc.. When we “wrap”, I return whatever doesn’t get used and return costumes back to the studios.

I would love to work directly with designers in the future. So if anyone wants to expand their promoting onto television, they can contact me directly.

What are some of your favorite shoots you’ve worked on and why?

My favorite shoot was for CTV. We were promoting the 2013 Juno Awards. We shot with Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger. I love working with big names, it doesn’t intimidate me. MIHP’s yearly Mondo shoots are also my favorites. A lot of celebrities on those!

What is a special part of the job for you?

I love creating with costumes. I usually get to do that on commercials.

 What does MIHP offer that is different from traditional production companies in this department?

MIHP is one big family. At least, that’s what we all feel like. I do not have to be afraid to ask the wrong person the wrong question or step on anyone’s toes. Everyone is so helpful and willing to help! No attitudes and that is hard to come by in Hollywood.

For more information on Antoinette, visit her website.

No grass stains – no glory, No bruises – no story.

Billy Frank remembers walking across the ball fields in his freshman year in high school, seeing several of his friends playing for the high school baseball team. Like many young kids from broken homes, Billy was on his way to his after school job. He didn’t have the opportunity to play for the school team. He had to “make ends meet”, his dad advised him. So, he was only able to play ball for parks and recreation teams.

Many years later, Billy started his own company in the entertainment business, Make it Happen Productions (MIHP), while playing ball in parks and recreation leagues. He did not miss a single season since he was 5 years old. Billy was, surprisingly, invited to play ball for the USA Macabiah fast pitch softball team. The Maccabiah Games, organized by the Maccabi World Union, was declared a “Regional Sport Event” by the International Olympic Committee in 1961. The Maccabiah Games is often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics”.

When putting some thought to it, Billy realized that playing highly competitive sports and running a business, had many similarities; it’s a long and rigorous road, it’s highly competitive and it’s all a game. “Sports changed my life as a young man and as an adult. It did the same for many people I know who have participated.”, Billy states in an online interview, prior to participating in the Maccabiah Games and being named starting Left Fielder and Team Captain. He feels blessed that he has been playing ball since the early 70’s and proudly owns MIHP since the mid 90’s.

Today, Billy has now competed in fast pitch softball, aka Windmill Softball, for several years. In 2011 he played in the Pan American Games in Brazil, has played at the ASA’s World Series, he has won Championships in multiple ASA highly competitive tournaments around the world and has been fortunate to play ball in the world renowned Maccabi Games, where he and his team received a Silver Medal in 2013 in Israel. He is a three-time “All World” recipient and still currently playing on the USA Maccabiah masters team. He is gearing up for the 2015, Pan America Games in Chile.

Make It Happen Productions is a multi-award winning creative service company and it is what it is today because of Billy’s ‘team playing’ and competitive desire to win. Billy has always cared very much about his teammates on and off the field, as well as, his teammates at the office. And he cares for his clients, all the same. “This is all I know, this is my cloth.”

Fun fact; Billy started MIHP at 29. He had a child at 39. And he won a silver medal at 49. What does the next 10 years look like? Stay tuned!

Frankly Speaking #6: Kanye, please step TO the plate, not ON the plate.

Kanye, Really? Stop with the criticizing of white artist already, it’s enough!

The majority of communities are not after the black community, as a matter of fact, there is MUCH support from many industry leaders and music lovers alike for your community. When something doesn’t seem in line with Kanye’s thought process, he jumps on a stage and/or interrupts someone’s “moment”, while in their glory. Then says something so one-sided, so rude, that it takes away this persons spotlight. Although this is the intent, it’s not right, to say the least.

Someone in this man’s camp needs to explain that other people (white, Asian and Hispanic) also work hard and their music and feelings are just as important, than his own kind.

I am a person that employs all races, has a diverse family and works with inner city youth. I know families from Jewish Concentration Camps to the Watts Riots. All of us come from somewhere and it has been tough on us all, at least our ancestors. So… when we don’t respect others’ feelings and we say that we should step aside for the black community, or a particular artist, we are obviously only seeing things with our own eyes, not the eyes of the majority of our world and the people that are trying to make a difference. This continued behavior is nothing other than degrading, immature and biased. And continues to set us back.

How is this behavior EVER going to help our youth move froward? It’s clearly not!

We need to “come together”, we need to work as one, Stevie Wonder said it best at the Grammys “we all need to come together as one”. And many other mature African Americans often work toward a better, “us”. So, this of course is not directed at the majority.

Kenye should step up to the millennial podium!

I understand that there are still things that are racist from specific communities, this is still happening, I realize this. But, we also have those who are still committing crimes, shooting people and treating our cops with disrespect (black and white). This is unacceptable! We need to send this message to our children, we need to help our youth make better decisions, this is what people like Kanye should be preaching.

Come on, man! Don’t show up to these events if you are expecting only the ones you think should be awarded, to win. If you don’t like what you are seeing at biracial events, only attend the NAACP Awards, 365 Black Awards or the BET awards. That’s up to you. I go to those too and really enjoy them. Although, I don’t jump on the stage when my own race doesn’t win.

Let’s step it up, and open our minds.

Frankly Speaking #5: Content for a New Generation

Billy Frank, Director and Executive producer of Make It Happen Productions (MIHP) has new meaning for 2015 and beyond. His intent is to transform our upcoming generations with content to give them hope and dreams for their future. 

     We as producers need to continue to fight the fight to get advertisers, networks and corporations to support television and digital content, “with a cause”. We often see some big name companies onboard, they’re not by any means the issue. It is not all that unusual these days to see Google, FB,  and other large corporations, alike, get on-board with ancillary dedicated funds to support specific content with meaning. So, I praise those people and corporations that are a part of that. I think networks and many others should do it as well.

     It is our intent to continue down the road of creating content that makes a difference. We, of course, will continue to be a part of traditional content. 

     I want to let the young generations know that there are other options out there for them, other than train-wreck programing, there are positive paths they can travel . MIHP is diligently working to mount our newly acquired event, The City Games (formally known as the Watts Summer Games), in the summer of 2015. This sporting event was founded in 1968. It will be held for inner city youth ages 8-18 years young. It focuses on team sports, whose goals are to achieve maximum excellence and participation by having young athletes working together as a group. This is about athletes aspiring, striving for excellence, embrace commonalities, respond to leadership, accept diversity and overcome adversity in engagement in team sports.

     We are also working on a couple of other exciting programs that allow kids to live a more powerful life, through song . I believe these are the types of programs that are missing for our children today.

     I’ve been in the business for more than 25 years, I would love to see a change in television programming. A transformational change. It will not only benefit our next generation but it will open our eyes to a better world. We need help from the networks, studios and corporations who are not already involved in order to do this.

Make It Happen Productions: Fun with Interns

Make It Happens Productions’ owner Billy Frank still remembers the days when he was young and hungry. Early on in his career, he worked in music clearance for ASCAP followed by a job at Dick Clark Productions where he gained firsthand experience on many hit television shows. That was nearly three decades ago, but he will never forget how the roles he played then prepared him for the roles he plays now. Because of this, Billy has always felt it important to give back to the youth in his industry.

His commitment to give back has taken various forms over the years. From 2009-2011 he acted as Adjunct Professor for Carnegie Mellon University in the Heinz School’s Master of Entertainment Industry Management Program. Since opening the doors of MIHP in 1994 he has maintained an intern program for those youth looking for experience producing in the entertainment industry. Since then, many success stories have passed through his mentorship and five former interns are now working on professional levels within the company. One intern, Jennie Lake, is now a lead producer.

Not only do MIHP interns find real life experience in the business, they get to have a little fun too. One of the first projects they are thrown upon is the making of MIHP’s Fun With Interns videos—small weekly spoofs on their day-to-day existence as part of the team.

Here’s a short Q&A with the most recent intern-turned-permanent-staff-member Marquese Robinson:

What led you to be interested in the intern program at MIHP in the first place?

Initially I was just trying to gain real world experience. I stayed because of the amazing staff and hands on productions.

What do interns at MIHP actually do?

Usually interns help research projects and industry trends. They also collaborate with one another to put together the intern videos.

Describe a typical day.

A typical day is anything but typical. One day you’re doing web design and screening calls and the next you’re on the hunt for production equipment.

What did you learn most from interning at MIHP?

I learned how to move on from mistakes and make the best of each situation even when circumstances aren’t ideal.

What did you learn most about Billy Frank?

Not only is he committed to building the MIHP brand and developing great content, he is committed to being a great person.

What are three words to describe the overall experience?

Awesome. Hectic. Educational.

What has that internship evolved into for you?

Eventually the internship evolved into a full-time job.

Make It Happen Productions: On The Ground Production with Dick Clark's Inside Rising Star

Make It Happen Productions owner Billy Frank has a soft spot for on-the-ground producing which through his role of owner and executive producer with the company doesn’t get scratched much. Although grateful that he’s worked his way to the top of his game, and is in the position to call the shots, he’s still very much a man who likes to get his hands dirty in the details that made him fall in love with the business in the first place. This is why he jumps at the chance to on-the-ground produce for clients when the need is prevalent like he did recently for client Music Choice and their show Inside Rising Star.

Rising Star is the popular television show that debuted this past year on ABC on Sunday nights, completely reinventing the traditional televised singing competition by giving the audience power to sway the vote in real time. The show hosted byJosh Groban with a panel of “experts” that included stars Brad Paisley, Kesha andLudacris, asked viewers to vote via online App during the performances to determine if a performer would move up and on.

Inside Rising Star became a companion show to Rising Star, which aired weekly on Thursday nights on Music Choice Play, the music video, lifestyle and entertainment network for millennials. It showcased an insider’s glimpse at Rising Star including behind the scenes tidbits and extras not seen on the show and was hosted byRalphie Aversa.

Being on-the-ground producer for Inside Rising Star meant that for ten weeks Billy and his crew were on the set of Rising Star every Sunday night shooting audience, contestants and the show’s experts plus filming red carpet interviews and strategizing the best footage to take back to MIHP’s studio for the next few days to produce Inside Rising Star for Thursday night’s show. Because of the slim timelines, it was important that Billy be on the scene while the filming was happening and also to be in tight communication with his client while in the editing bay.

“My grandfather taught me if you want to get something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself,” says Frank. “I don’t often get a chance to be on the ground in the thick of things anymore so when a client requests it, I am there with gusto. What’s even better today with all of our great technology is that we can be on the ground one-minute gathering content and then send it instantly anywhere for direct viewing by our clients. The creative process is enhanced and constantly moving. It’s really exciting and Music Choice was such a great partner to do this with.”

Although the entire job seemed to go by with whirlwind speed, Billy and his team have now properly recuperated and are looking forward to the next adrenaline rush.

We’ve put together a fun video that sums up the entire experience as on-the-ground producer for Inside Rising Star here. Enjoy!

Frankly Speaking #4: Non Scripted Series (or the Evolution of "Reality")


I was inspired at a conference recently by a story told by Thom Beers, producer of the insanely popular Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch. He spoke about his experience going out on the boat with the men he wanted to document in order to get a first hand glimpse of what they faced day in and out. He became a part of their reality and felt the palpable danger they were constantly amidst as well as the real life emotions of feeling disconnected from their families and all the other idiosyncrasies and hazards of the job. He realized at that point that he wanted to tell their stories in a pure way, not in an exploitative way.

I realized that I was also attempting to do this with many of the projects we had in development at Make It Happens Productions that were true depictions of life. I had been leery of calling them “reality” series due to the stigma reality shows have garnered over the past decade. Most of what our contemporary audience deems “reality” entertainment has to do with a cross section of culture or a genre of humanity being put under a microscope in ways that bring out the worst in human nature. Reality shows are sold to us in the vein of truth being stranger than fiction, highlighting extreme cases of our most unflattering traits such as greed, lust, narcissism etc. Reality is a term that has been basically bastardized by the celluloid masses.

What we at MIHP are really striving to do, like Beers, is to present “non-scripted” narratives of true life scenarios that verge on documentary and docu-series. This evolution of the reality genre offers real human stories wrapped in the thoughtfulness of work that has been conceptualized to begin and end with a particular message not become a chaotic wasp’s nest of out of control content.

This is why I prefer to use the word non-scripted when describing the kinds of true-life projects we work on at MIHP; or non-fiction with purpose. For example, a few years ago we sold a show to Viacom for LOGO called The Crew, which was based on a group of gay friends in Los Angeles deeply involved in the fashion and music world who wanted to be parents.

Some of our recent forays into this zone include a few things we are working on for women and their major television networks. This includes our recent entrance into the psychic medium world in which we are currently developing content about those who are able to “tap into” the other, invisible side of life. We are also working on a project in the fashion realm.

Why does non-scripted television, movies and series continue to captivate our collective minds, eyes and ears? Non-scripted series present the slow unfolding of stories, the slow revealing of characters that we feel like we can come to know and love (or hate). People like to watch other people raw and uncut. Human foible resonates with us all and makes us feel a little more normal at our cores.

We are enthusiastic about the evolution of reality into non-scripted programs with messages that matter and are looking forward to unveiling our work to you soon.

Make It Happen Productions: Educational Videos and Series

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Make It Happens Productions’ day-to-day business is not all about entertainment, advertising and promotional content. Every once in a while we get hired to produce something educational that is purposed to affect large groups of people with compelling messages and/or valuable instruction. Our work with First Move is a fine example of this.

 

First Move is an organization that engages young minds and teaches critical and creative thinking skills through the game of chess. While chess can be used at any age, First Move is not a “one size fits all” program. First Move is targeted to the academic standards of 2nd and 3rd grade students. Taught one hour per week by The Chess Lady (via video), classroom teachers facilitate the exercises; no chess experience is necessary.

The program teaches vital skills as students learn to analyze, plan and execute. It also engages students in fun hands-on instruction while helping to instill intellectual self-esteem and positive social behavior.

 

Our job at MIHP is to direct and produce the visual curriculum that is output to all the schools. We’ve been working on this project for two years now and really love working with Wendi, the Chess Lady, as she is very personable to work with and smart which in turn educates us during the process.

We’ve been in the business for over 20 years. As we have gotten older, birthed our own children, and grown more attracted to projects with transformational content that have the ability to affect lives for the better; it’s an added pleasure when work such as this crosses our path.

 

According to our founder Billy Frank, “Every time I’m involved with something that helps a child, helps another human, or sends a positive message, it touches me personally because it’s what I have always sought after.”

Make It Happen Productions: Let Us Produce Your Transformational Content

One of our favorite types of projects at MIHP is creating messaging for companies and organizations that are trying to make a difference in the world. We love being a part of transformational content. Recently, we took part in the launch of a social media campaign geared towards getting tablet technology provided in the schools to all kids with autism. The campaign, a collaboration between ATT Speak Hope and the HollyRod Foundation, asks people to “Like” the ATT Speak Hope Facebook page.Each “like” translates into one real dollar donated to the HollyRod Foundation for the purpose of purchasing tablets. Everyone who participates also receives an instant entry for a chance to win a ticket to HollyRod founder Holly Robinson-Peete’s annual gala. We were in charge of producing the spots that rolled out this important endeavor.

The campaigns runs through June 30th so you can be a part of something meaningful now too. Head over and take action now.

Frankly Speaking #3: Transformational Content- Delivering Messages with Meaning

For many of us, there is a line drawn between the personal and the professional. We go to the office to make a living and then go home to our families and our hobbies on the weekends. If we’re lucky, some of us find a way to incorporate our passions into our careers so that there is no defining boundary between work and play. The best of all worlds align when we are able to do what we love for a living while also incorporating those causes and issues that are most important to us towards making the world a better place. This year at Make It Happen Productions, that has become my goal –to use my role as a content provider to start developing more transformational content. It’s important to be able to express yourself regardless of your profession and I feel I have a unique opportunity to get messaging that’s important out to the masses.

 

Ed Begley, Jr. at our “Get the F Out Shoot”

What does this look like? Well, it all started last year when our production of On Begley Street  compelled me to think about the world I live in and my carbon footprint. Then I realized that MIHP had been involved in many meaningful projects over the course of my career including a PSA for the Trevor Project , which encouraged gay youth to Live Proud; the development and sale of a series centered around changing the lives of inner city and troubled youth through song; and a non-scripted show featuring young African American and Hispanic gay males looking to be fathers. I realized that something special was happening while involved in these jobs; not only was I creating something I was proud of and that I hoped would engage viewers in the same way, but I started to feel truly good knowing that I was participating in actual transformation and change. I wanted more of it.

I will always value my steady bread and butter clients with their work that is equally important to me and keeps the company afloat. In fact, they are the reason I am able to build this platform of transformational content today. But it is also my goal to be a part of socially conscious messaging for the remainder of my career—a niche for MIHP and a clear direction for the future.

First Move Shoot

Just in the last 30 days, MIHP has had the pleasure of producing several projects that fit the bill of “content with a cause”. First up was “Get the F Out,” a PSA featuring Ed Begley, Jr. encouraging people to take action and get fluoride out of our drinking water. Within the same week, we shot another PSA featuring Holly Robinson Peete for AT&T and the HollyRod Foundation in the hopes of raising awareness for autism. If that weren’t enough, I’m literally writing this blog from the set of our shoot for America’s Foundation for Chess and their curriculum for First Move. Additionally, we have some transformational and inspirational non-scripted documentary projects in development, but we can’t quite spill the beans on those yet.

I feel we are in a time in history that is different than ever before when it comes to disseminating information. There are so many ways, vehicles and avenues to spread content in our contemporary technology and social media streams. It seems only natural to communicate from the heart when the audience is this large and this accessible. It’s a day and age when transparency and integrity are key. Why not make your every word matter?

Make It Happen Productions Wins Addy Award for Trevor Project PSA

Make It Happens Productions is proud to have won a 2014 Addy Award for Digital Advertising – Branded Content for the company’s production of the “AT&T Live Proud” PSA featuring Adam Lambert on behalf of The Trevor Project.

MIHP owner Billy Frank says, “Winning an Addy is great. I don’t ever mind putting another shiny object on the shelf because it reminds me of how hard we all work and why.”

But Frank stresses that the award is more important for what it stands for – the kind of transformational content he’s most interested in producing.

“I said yes to this particular PSA because it was for a purpose,” he explains. “Gay teens need a place to go when nobody else is listening. The Trevor Project is so worthy and so timely and AT&T stepped up to the plate to send this message to the masses. I always want to be on a train riding on the right tracks, and I always will.”

Look for MIHP’s forthcoming Holly Robinson-Peete AT&T Autism Speaks PSA as well as an Ed Begley Jr. fluoride water PSA in the coming month.

MIHP is walking the walk and Frank is fully committed to helping spread the word on a variety of subjects that he believes help others.

INDUSTRY VETERAN DON JANKLOW JOINS MAKE IT HAPPEN PRODUCTIONS AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND SALES

Make It Happen Productions’ (MIHP) CEO and Executive Producer Billy Frank recently announced addition of seasoned marketing and sales executive Don Janklow to the company’s roster of talent.

“Over the past few years we’ve watched our industry explode with new demands in content production across ever-changing media platforms and constantly evolving technologies,” explains Frank. “Not only have we continued to offer traditional advertising, marketing campaigns and live action television production to our long term clients but we’ve been instrumental in also handling production within these new digital realms. Last year we jumped headstrong into development as well with our first television series On Begley Street which marks our foray into transformational messaging, a big direction for us as creators. As Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Don will help us embrace all of this new growth as we head into the future.”

As the newest member of our team, Don enhances MIHP through his expertise in entertainment management, corporate marketing, sponsorships and licensing. For years he has created multi-million dollar marketing and sponsorship platforms for events such as the Los Angeles Marathon and the Indy 500. Ahead of his time, Don innovated by merchandising sports legend Joe Namath, discovering and elevating the career of comedian Andy Kaufman and was the first to successfully create licensed opportunities for global brands Vera Wang and Lee Jeans and brand extensions for Kathy Ireland, Joseph Abboud and Carmen Marc Valvo. As MIHP’s scope expands, Don will work with our clients to develop corporate integrated marketing, brand licensing, experiential events and activation programs.

“We are proud to welcome such an excellent consensus-builder who is consistently positive, confident, fearless and persuasive to insure our clients’ marketing objectives are met. Fearless and visionary, we consider Don a reckoning force to motivate decision makers, drive sales and elevate project potentials,” Frank concludes.

CEO and Executive Producer Billy Frank founded Make It Happen Productions in 1994 and has, throughout his career, remained at the forefront of emerging technologies, production trends and creative thinking. MIHP is a multi-faceted production company specializing in creative solutions for advertising, marketing and live-action productions of every scale. Headquartered in Sherman Oaks, the entertainment capital of the world, and with flagship offices in New York, MIHP operates regionally, nationally and abroad. With an award winning, in-house staff, the team at MIHP is driven by a sense of purpose and unique vision to produce entertainment of the highest caliber.

Frankly Speaking #2: Creating Content in the Wild Wild West of Online Lifestyle Networks

Lifestyle networks have become the latest frontier in the Wild Wild West of online, algorithm-based, direct-to-audience content. It used to be that if you were the producer of a new television series or an advertiser of a certain product, you would strategize where to best put your show or commercial based upon traditional demographic farming. You chose whose eyeballs would most likely see your content based on the collected data of companies like Nielsen that keep broadcast companies armed with this knowledge. Although this is still the go-to for regular scheduled network television, the game has completely changed with a broader selection of other outlets.

Take Evox Television for instance, which is available via various providers like Rouku and Samsung as well as online, and touts itself as “Your World Evolved.” Catering to a progressive demographic, Evox offers one space for entertainment, exercise, shopping, community, current news and non-profit causes. In the old days one may have gone to a movie theater or their television screen, a gym, a non-profit organization’s website and the mall – five different places at five different times – to do the same thing.

These lifestyle networks are creating a new outlet for content as well. Evox boasts a range of short form television shows, and promotional videos of which a Make It Happen Productions’ show On Begley Street is currently included. Viewers can watch a home be deconstructed by Ed Begley Jr. and his wife Rachelle in ongoing efforts to build a dream, LEED-certified home. They can watch snippets from the non-profit Green Wish showcasing people all over the world stating ways to make the world greener. They can watch the series Mary Anne Goes to the Market about making discerning choices in the grocery aisle or Dr. Brian Alman’s tips of de-stressing life. They can learn to unleash their creativity through DIY upcycled projects with Jenna’s Studio. They can also watch food shows that feature information on sustainable eating and more.

In this new Wild Wild West arena smart networks, producers and advertising and marketing companies are starting to get in on the ground floor knowing that it’s only the beginning and in the beginning the spaces are plenty. Although it’s typically the same price to produce online content what’s different is the actual length you need to grab attention spans and get your message across. Short form television shows are normally around 5-10 minutes with commercials being anywhere from 10-20 seconds. You are also getting that cost efficient message across to a spectrum of niche audiences.

At MIHP we are excited about these changes. We’ve seen them coming for the past decade, have full knowledge of what is required to make this new space zing, and are actively engaged with clients in this realm. Today, the possibilities are truly endless in regards to what you can create to represent yourself and where you can go to find the people who want to see, hear, and hopefully continue to buy and support you.

Frankly Speaking is a monthly column written by Make It Happen Productions Owner Billy Frank

Make It Happen Productions: The Sizzle Reel

At Make it Happen Productions, we produce a wide variety of content for a diverse selection of clients. When it comes to development for non-scripted television, a strong sizzle reel is a necessity. Below is a little Q&A with our company’s Executive Producer Billy Frank about what it means and why it’s important to sizzle!

 What is a Sizzle Reel?

Years ago, in order to pitch a show to a network executive, you would get a meeting and sit down in front of them and pitch your idea. Nowadays, with our attention spans being broken down into tweetable blips and catch-me-while-you-can impact visuals, the sizzle reel has become the ideal way to pitch an idea. It is a shorter format, character driven visual synopsis of your idea produced in a way that makes it “sizzle” or in other words, leave a burning, unforgettable impression on that potential buyer, investor or green-lighter.

Where’s your tape?

You will hear this a lot if you have an idea you want to pitch. Tape is an old school term for what is really the sizzle reel.

What should the sizzle reel portray?

Yes, the execs want to understand the full idea of what you’re pitching. But for your sizzle reel, what matters the most is that you deliver character. Buyers respond to character more than anything else. This is why a sizzle reel doesn’t even need to be an over the top production these days. It needs to get the point across and make you feel something for the idea with character driving the piece. We’ve recently been working on an idea with a young African American man named Abraham McDonald who won the $250,000 music challenge and a Def Jam contract on Oprah. This six foot eight crooner comes from the streets and is now intent on going into the schools and rehabilitating children through song. We’ve known all along that his story will easily attract the masses but for our sizzle reel, all we really needed to do was show him in action and allow his passion to translate. Because of this, a sizzle reel may also act as a casting reel.

Any favorite sizzle reels you’ve got that you can show us?

One was a show called The Crew, which we ended up selling to Viacom based on the sizzle reel. They intended to air it on LOGO. You’ll have to actually watch the reel to see what it’s about and why it sizzles!

 

For more information on sizzle reels, show pitches, or to talk about us putting together one for you, give us a call at 818.981.2327 or email Billy Frank atbfrank@mihp.tv. For more information on MIHP or to get to know us better, check out our website.

Frankly Speaking #1: Binging on Television

Recently, award-winning House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey gave a compelling keynote speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, in which he touted appointment television as the brave new world in entertainment delivery that cannot and should not be ignored by today’s T.V. executives.  By appointment television, we mean the ability of a person to go to a certain place and watch what they want to watch at the time they wish to watch it. In his speech, Spacey made arguments for new online networks such as Netflix that allow the viewer to control their viewing experience as equal competitors in the entertainment field. He also expressed that episodic series, movies, short films, and all sorts of work could be successfully rolled out on this new platform and be taken as seriously as when appearing on the big screens.

“You have this incredible confluence of a medium coming into its own just as the technology for that medium is drastically shifting,” Spacey said. “Studios and networks who ignore either shift – whether the increasing sophistication of storytelling, or the constantly shifting sands of technological advancement – will be left behind.”

 

The Begleys

Recently at Make It Happen Productions (MIHP), we have encountered this new medium as we have spent the last year developing and producing On Begley Street,starring Ed Begley, Jr., which is a nine-episode television show that launched onEvox Television Networks last month. Evox is a new online digital network that provides an integrated entertainment experience that inspires positive changes in the way people live and work. Their premise revolves around celebrating the good things about people, family, community, and the world. The network delivers a unique blend of evocative HD video programming, online community interaction, and related product shopping, to help people live a better life, grow as individuals, and in so doing, contribute to a better world.

Why did we take this leap of faith to create television on an entirely new and untraditional platform? I was given the opportunity to partake in a show with Ed Begley, Jr. his wife and daughter as they would build a platinum LEED-certified home. I first said, hmm, I like Ed, see his face all over the place but need to learn more about what he really stands for. Once I learned more, and that he is a seriously eco-conscious man passionate about spreading his cause into the world, I was in. He walks the talk and I was given a chance to create a show that would express this directly to the audience, which wanted it.

For On Begley Street, the entire nine episode series was produced in the course of twelve months. It was challenging because there was a house being taken down almost literally one board at a time. The Begley’s chose to donate the majority of the deconstructed home to Habitat for Humanity. Ultimately, only 4% of the house went to the landfill. The highlight of producing the show was working with the Begley family and learning what they stand for, especially Ed. Ed is a self-starter, innovator and, in my opinion, a game changer. Although I have learned some things about living in a sustainable fashion, I have yet to scratch the surface of what I can do.

I am proud to announce that the show launched last month with one new episode rolling out weekly. Once the new episode rolls out it is available, along with all prior episodes, to be watched at the viewer’s convenience.

It’s exciting to be a part of a brand new way of distributing entertainment in this highly fast paced technological age and we at MIHP look forward to more work in this direction.

Frankly Speaking is a monthly column written by Make It Happen Productions Owner Billy Frank