This episode is not a case review, but is still very much in line with my mission to show you who the FBI is and what the FBI does, because my mission is also about helping writers create better FBI crime dramas. Remember, that’s why I wrote FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives where I provide movie and TV industry tips about writing more authentic FBI characters.
It’s every author’s dream to have their story made into a TV show or movie.
Streaming services are always looking for stories to develop. Books have traditionally been an excellent source of materials and now, podcasts are too. Because of my podcast and FBI Myths and Misconceptions, last year, I started working as a TV technical consultant. And because of my podcast and crime novels, this year, I’ve been working with a team to develop and produce a TV drama inspired by my career and family life. I have no idea if we will be successful in selling the project. But the fact that I have this opportunity to pitch a potential TV show to studios and networks is mind-blowing! I’ve heard that with all the TV development deals and movie options floating around out there, there’s only a one to five percent chance that your story will actually make it to the big screen. But it will certainly be a fun adventure trying to make it happen.
But here’s the deal. I know about publishing books and producing a podcast, but this TV stuff is a brand new entertainment medium for me.
So, I’ve been asking questions, seeking advice, and gathering TV industry tips to help me navigate along this exciting new path.
And in this episode, I’m sharing everything I’m learning with you. I want to thank Jim Clemente, Jim Fitzgerald, Bobby Chacon, and Scott Garriola, all previous guests on FBI Retired Case File Review, for letting me to pick their brains about working in the TV industry and for generously sharing their advice with me and you.
Retired agent Jim Clemente (Timestamp 3:33)
Jim and his brother Tim’s company XG Productions is responsible for the reboot of American’s Most Wanted and many other TV shows. He talks about how he started as a technical consultant and then became a writer on Criminal Minds and provides advice on protecting your intellectual property and participating in telling of your story. We also discuss the importance of authenticity in TV and movies. Jim is the host of two of the top true crime podcasts, Real Crime Profile and Best Case Worst Case.
Jim’s Website: https://jimclemente.com/
Listen to Jim’s previous interview on FBI Retired Case File Review – Episode 059: Jim Clemente – Preventing the Sexual Victimization of Children.
Retired agent Jim Fitzgerald (Timestamp 34:37)
Next up is Jim Fitzgerald, a forensic linguist and former FBI profiler, talks about what it was like to have a limited TV series produced based on a chapter from his memoir and the lessons he learned from that experience.
Jim’s Website: https://www.jamesrfitzgerald.com/
Listen to Jim’s previous interview on FBI Retired Case File Review – Episode 003: Jim Fitzgerald – Forensic Linguistics and the Unabomber.
Retired agent Bobby Chacon (Timestamp 1:04:38)
Bobby discusses his many roles in the TV industry, as a technical consultant, writer, and on screen talent. He provides candid advice about the entertainment business, salaries paid, and option agreements and contracts. I really appreciate the generous advice he’s given me over the last few years. Now you can also benefit from his knowledge and expertise.
Bobby’s Website: https://bobbychacon.com/
Listen to Bobby’s previous interview on FBI Retired Case File Review – Episode 008: Bobby Chacon – Jamaican Gangs and FBI Dive Teams.
Retired agent Scott Garriola (Timestamp 1:33:27)
Scott is a technical consultant on some of the most popular FBI crime shows on TV, FBI, FBI Most Wanted, Clarice and All Rise. During never-before-heard bonus audio from my previous conversation with Scott, he shares how he practically fell into the business and provides advice on how you can have a more planned entry into the technical consulting field. You can contact Scott via his LinkedIn profile.
Listen to Scott’s previous interview on FBI Retired Case File Review – Episode 232: Scott Garriola – Chippendales, Murder-For-Hire.
Here is the eye-opening the book by author Kristine Kathryn Rusch I mentioned during the episode. It’s a must read primer from novelists and podcasters hoping to turn their creative content into a TV show or movie. Her film and TV industry tips are invaluable.
After I released this episode, I discovered another book, Hollywood vs the Author, about the love-hate relationship authors have with Hollywood. It covers all sides of “Development Hell” and the many reasons the cliché “the book was better than the movie” holds true for more reasons than the average reader will ever know.