Stephen, congratulations on the recognition and
deal you have at hand with your projects. You
must be excited.
Thanks Scott! I really am excited. This has been
a great experience for me. Writing and creating
is a real passion, and I am grateful everyday be
able to grow and learn as a writer. This is a
process that continues to evolve with time. I
have found that it’s ok to fall down from time
to time, as long as you pick yourself back up
again and keep going.
Absolutely. You've been a member of the TV
Writers Vault for about 6 months and suddenly
you're being contacted by Producers pursuing
your projects, and you have a contract on the
way for one. What do you think made the
difference for you to finally find some success?
Did you submit new projects? Were these new
companies that hadn't reviewed your work in the
The difference is consistency, just keep working
and putting your work out there. So many writers
idea, and it doesn’t get off the ground so they
get discouraged and quit. The key is DON’T QUIT!
You have to take the hit and keep going.
For me, I just kept writing along with my Wife,
Mara, who is a great researcher and creative
element to this process. If I feel
that a project has
merit, I place it with the TV Writers Vault and
let it roll. I know it’s in good hands!
New ideas should be in play at all times!
How many projects do you currently have archived
for review at TVWritersVault.com?
I believe I have 5 or 6 currently but I am ready
a few new ones soon!
What was the activity like on the projects? Did
you get reviews and requests on all of them?
It took some time to get the reviews started.
As soon as I gained some momentum, good things
started to happen. This goes back to what I was
talking about earlier, you have to have patience
and understand that this is a very competitive
industry, so you must not lose focus.
So you've got a contract on the way from one
Production company, and you're in discussions on
a few others. Did you ever think it was
That’s a great question Scott, I really didn’t
know for sure. I knew I loved the process and
was determined to keep writing
no matter what. There was a small voice in me
that kept whispering in my ear saying “This will
happen, this will happen” and to my surprise it
If I remember correctly, we did some
consulting/development work on one of the
projects. How was that experience for you?
That was a really awesome experience Scott. I
was honored to work with you on that project and
hey- that’s the project that just got the deal!
Whaddaya know man, you ARE good! But seriously,
you offer so much through your
consulting/development process that I
think everyone should take advantage of it, and
often. With your experience in this industry it
is a MUST, especially for new writers to work
with you. I know I have a new one that needs to
“Manvillized!” Call you next week?
Thank you. It is a fun process when its a good
project. On the marketing/pitching side, can you
share with us a few things you may have learned
going through this process- about the Industry,
or how to approach projects?
The one thing that really jumps out at me when
you ask me this question is “Don’t be afraid of
a little rejection”. Not everything you write is
a masterpiece. I know this
sound harsh but MAN! Some of my early attempts
were really bad!! And of course I thought I had
something that would have made Aaron Spelling
green with envy…ummm- not so much. My Wife Mara
is a great proof reader for me, she is a no
nonsense Italian girl from Chicago that does not
mix her words., it’s either good or terrible,
fix it. No middle ground. I found this to be
really helpful on many levels.
What I have found with the industry was
interesting. Some producers are jaded and hard
to pitch and others are very approachable. If
you have true passion for your project and it
comes through in your pitch, you stand a much
better chance of having that individual listen
to you longer and not shutting down on you. I
call this “Pitch for your Life”.
What do you think makes one project or concept
stand out among the many that don't go the
I think it starts with HOW you write. Is the
treatment written well? Is the structure
correct? Can you read it and quickly visualize
the idea in your head? I believe it to be like
writing copy for a product, if you don’t capture
their attention in the first 10 to 15 seconds
then they will pass on the remaining text and
move on to something else.
I also believe that you must do your homework
especially in reality TV writing. If you don’t
know what is current, what the trends are and
what’s hot and what’s not on TV, then how can
you create something timely that will sell?
Producers keep their finger on the pulse of
everything. Like Stephen King said; “If you
don’t read all the time, how are you going to be
a good writer?” In our case, if you don’t pay
attention to TV trends, how are you going to be
When conceiving ideas, how do you think and what
do you look for?
Well, here is a typical session in the Reichel
household; My Wife and I sit around tossing
ideas back and fourth writing everything down as
we go. After some high level negotiations (And a
few bribes) We usually have a handful of
possible ideas that we feel will work. We then
go to the computers to do research to see if
there were any similar ideas in the past or to
find relatable content that will help give us
perspective. After the research is finished, I
go to work putting it all together.
That is our “Systematic” way to create a
treatment, there is another way however that I
am fond of as well … I call it the “Jack
Kerouac”, and that is me and my computer or note
pad just writing whatever leaks into my brain.
Sometimes it is all nonsense and I can’t use any
of it and other times it’s ok and I can start to
filter from there.
I look for what is NOT being done on TV, or what
needs to be done BETTER.
If you could share any insight with Writers and
Concept creators who haven't used the TV Writers
Vault to pitch projects, what could you tell
I would tell them that as in life, to be
successful in this business you must have a plan
of action, a clear view of your goals and an
effective vehicle to make that happen for you.
TV Writers Vault IS that vehicle.
Unless you have well established contacts and
have had prior success…well, even then, people
don’t stay in place, you need exposure to as
many decision makers as possible and TV Writers
Vault is the place for that.
And what would you tell the naysayers... those
who don't believe its possible?
“Aww Yes, the naysayers” I am so glad you asked
me this, I have a strong position on this
subject, let me jump right in if I may….
Any time someone makes a bold statement either
by their words or their actions, it creates a
situation to where others can (and will)
criticize you. If you are in business and are
going for that promotion, others will try to
hold you back- at the very least talk about you
behind your back. The same is true in this
business as well. For me it was even more
pronounced because there is no one in my family
or circle of friends who have EVER attempted to
write for TV…ever! When I told people about my
first project and how it was picked up for a
the reaction I got was “Frosty”. People were
kind of dismissive and would change the subject
right away. Most of the people I know just don’t
get it- and that’s ok.
I will tell you this about me, the people who
gave me a hard time about this are no longer in
my circle of friends, I have learned a long time
ago to only surround yourself with people who
can help you, teach you and will love you for
YOU, all others need to hit the bricks as far as
I am concerned. Life is too short and I plan on
making this second half of my life as good as
What have you enjoyed most about what the TV
Writers Vault has to offer?
Scott, there are so many things my friend. For
starters, the site is really user friendly, I
found that the process was a piece of cake to
set up. The other thing that is to me the most
obvious is how professional it is and how well
it delivers results. The informational emails
you send out are awesome, especially the
interviews you have been doing with the TV
execs, really great stuff! These people are
giving writers a
blue print and saying; “Ok, now you know what we
want, go out and write something!”
You've been a member for quite a while, and have
experienced every facet of our service. Give us
an idea of how we can make it even better? How
would you like to see us expand or refine our
Well, it’s hard to improve on this Scott, it
works so well. I would say to just keep the
decision makers inspired to stay on the site and
to keep reviewing work. I like everything about
Well, it sounds like you're going to have an
exciting summer. Keep us up to speed and let us
know when the Network pushes the button! Thanks
again for your dedication to your projects, and
the TV Writers Vault.
Thanks very much Scott, I really am honored to
have done this interview with you, I am humbled
everyday by the level of talent there is out
here and to be able to position myself to win is
amazing to me. I am grateful for everything you
do. Thanks and keep up the great work!