Brant Pinvidic (@brantpinvidic) is a producer, director, speaker, coach and the author of the bestselling book “The 3-Minute Rule: Say Less To Get More From Any Pitch Or Presentation”. He joins Chris Van Vliet at the Blue Wire Studios as the Wynn Las Vegas to talk about how he became a Hollywood television producer, creating shows like “The Biggest Loser”, “Bar Rescue” and “Intervention”, how to pitch anything so it will be remembered, his adventure club called “Reject Average”, living life to your fullest, leaning into the things you are best at and much more!
On the biggest hit shows Brant Pinvidic has been a part of:
“For me Bar Rescue is probably the biggest one. You know, Jon Taffer was a big, big hit, and he was great. And that was, you know, a lot of luck getting that through, and he’s huge talent. You can pitch that show and have it do well. So we did that with Extreme Makeover Weight Loss edition, which is a big show as well, accompanied with The Biggest Loser, like we’ve had some good, we’ve had some good runs.”
The origin of The Biggest Loser:
“The Biggest Loser was the very first weight loss show that ever went [viral], and it was like, you know, and that was an amalgamation of a couple of ideas that the network had, they never wanted to do it. And you know, getting Big Ben Silverman kind of convinced them and they had to find somebody to produce it, which was JD Roth and the company I was running. And then I came in there. And I remember saying to the guys, like, shouldn’t we be doing a tonne of weight loss shows now that this is a huge hit? And so that’s what we did Extreme Makeover Weight Loss. And then I did probably another 12 or 13, weight loss shows after that.”
On the new book 3 minutes:
“Well, we used to do that in the edit bay, right? Like every scene had to resolve within three minutes. I’ll use the example like when I do on stage with Shark Tank. Yeah. You know, somebody comes in to pitch an idea for every pitch for three minutes. That’s right. And that’s like, that’s, that’s a three hour session, right? Yeah. And they boil it down to almost exactly three minutes. Because it’s like, there’s a tonne of science behind it. But we as human beings, we process information and sort of these three key categories, right. We conceptualise, we contextualise, and then we actualize. So once we understand the concept, that’s the first thing to know, what is this? What’s going on? What are we doing? Then I understand the context, which is like, Okay, how does this relate to me? And then I actualize which is like, do I want to get involved? What’s my next move? That’s what we do. You know, you can decide what you’re gonna wear for dinner tonight, or whether we’re gonna go to war with some other country. It’s the same exact decision making process.”
Why is Brant Pindivic not pitching shows anymore?
“To be honest, it lost its lustre for me. TV was an outlet for me to be successful, and growing up in Canada, you know, all I wanted to do to be successful in Canada is like a thumb, or a grip on your throat trying to strangle you from being successful everyday. And it was just a difficult process, and all I wanted to do is be accepted, all I wanted to do is find my place and my people. And I couldn’t find that in Canada. And when I came to Los Angeles, that was my people. That’s what made sense.”
On what is stopping people:
“Reasonable probability of success. I teach this, I speak at schools and colleges for free across the country. Because I think it’s just an absolute shame that you know that the curriculum that we teach in our public and private schools is atrocious. And anybody in the industry should be embarrassed that this is what we still do. Like, we don’t teach entrepreneurship, we don’t teach financial literacy, none of those things, it’s just gross. So I teach entrepreneurial things to any school that wants me to come there. And the one thing I asked the kids every time is, do you believe that you can be anything you set your mind to? And they all raise their hand, Yes. It’s like, Who the hell is feeding you these terrible ideas? That is not true. Like, it is not true. Anything you set your mind to, you should do. But anything you can do, you should set your mind to, but doesn’t mean because you set your mind to it, you’re going to be able to do that, you know. And I show a clip from Lady Gaga, winning her Academy Award. And she’s in tears. And she’s saying, like, don’t let people tell you no, and don’t let people tell you, you can’t do it. And people told me that I was never gonna make it, I just kept pushing through and, and then I finally here I am. And I was like, What are you doing? Why are you telling people this? She’s one of the greatest performers of all time, and people told her no. So guess what, if you aren’t already one of the greatest performers like the odds of you making it to Lady Gaga success are zero. So don’t listen to her. That’s the worst advice you could possibly get. It’s like, that’s not real.”
What is your superpower?
“I think communication is the big one. Being able to understand ideas, being able to convey those ideas to others in a way that they understand effectively has proven over and over again to be, I guess you would call my superpower. That is what I do better than most people.”
On unfortunate scheduling:
“It’s not like a natural thing, it was developed. It was specifically developed, and I can remember when it really started. After I first moved to Los Angeles, and I was in Hollywood, I was going to a big pitch meeting at CBS. And I, you know, was in the lobby of CBS chatting, waiting for my turn to go into the pitch room, and out walks Simon Cowell. And oh, there’s Simon, so he says hi, we’re chatting. And I’m thinking to myself oh man, I don’t really like to follow Simon Cowell into a pitch meeting, this sucks. And then I see him looking over my shoulder as we’re chatting. And I turn around, and Mark Burnett [creator of Shark Tank] walks in. And I realised like, Mark’s got the 3:30 slot, it means he’s going to be pitching after me. And I’m wedged between these two superstars, and I am less than I mean, I’m nothing today to them, you could imagine how little I was years ago.”
Growing the reputation:
“So I just got almost like a wave of panic. And the idea was like, Hey, I can’t be in this room yapping and yapping and trying to impress the president of the network. They don’t really care about me, I gotta get in and out here. And we went in there and my talking was a little chit chat, and I was in and out of that room. Pitch the show, here’s what the show is, here’s why we think it’s good for CBS, here’s how we’re gonna make it, here’s the budget, and that was it. And I got out of the room, I think it was like nine and a half minutes total. And my agent was like, that was like one of the best pitches I’ve ever heard. He’s like it was so clear, it was so crisp, it was so effective. You need to do that from now on. I was like, okay, so I started doing it a little bit. And we sold the show to CBS, by the way. And so we ended up, I end up doing that a little more often, where I would just get to the point, like literally just get to the point. And I started this reputation around Hollywood as one of the best pitch producers in the business. And I remember thinking like, you know, I’m not trying very hard. I’m not really doing a lot of stuff out of the box. And so when I honed that skill to be like, okay, strip all the other crap away, what is the simplest, clearest message here? Once you just start doing that, then I could add other flair, cool elements, things that sort of like were more dynamic. And that’s sort of how the reputation grew, and so on from there.”
On if it doesn’t work out:
“So many people are held back by that. And they’re waiting for the right moment. They’re waiting for the right moment to start a book, to start a podcast, they’re waiting for the right moment to get a side hustle. They’re waiting for the right moment to write a book. They’re like, they’re waiting for something to happen. And I went through that myself, right. Like, I wanted to write this book. But I was already having, like, you know, very large clients, like fortune 500 clients. And I was like, I, if I just do a little bit better than I’ll be, I’ll be good enough to write this book. Right? And what you realise in life is, it’s not who’s the most qualified, it’s not who’s ready, it’s who puts up their goddamn hand and says, that’s me. I’m doing it. There are 1000 TV producers, with better credits, better history, more success that could have written this book. And do you know how many of them did? None. So, like, I did it, and I’m the guy and now that’s, I’m the expert. And they now come to me for stuff. And it’s like, yeah, well, you could have done it too. Maybe they didn’t want to. I’m just saying like, that’s where people didn’t, and I had so many people from the television and film industry come to me after the book came out, and I left the industry and I started doing this all, you know, full time effectively. And basically asked me how they get out of the business. Because, you know, a lot of people don’t feel that they have marketable skills. Like if you’re a doctor, I get it. But like for most people, they don’t feel like their skills are transferable. And it’s because they just have a very myopic view of where their world fits.”
What is Brant Pinvidic is grateful for:
“That I started things early, the future and opportunities.”
Featured image: Wikipedia