Readers – welcome to my first blog. As Dan’s partner my intent is to leave national security issues, political debacles and pathways to saving our floundering economy to his capable insight. I will focus on what I did on my summer vacation, well not exactly, but almost.
My past summer (albeit a pretty miserable one weather wise) was spent with a very capable crew of television and film professionals shooting a pilot show on Lake George in Upstate New York The program of which our working title is “On the Lake” was the brainchild of me and my recreational hangout pal, Mike Kelleher, who proved to be a very capable assistant producer.
We both enjoy spending a good portion of our free time cruising Lake George. Often we would kibitz about trying to figure out a project that would allow us to be on the lake and possibly get paid at the same time. We accomplished the first task, the second however may prove a bit trickier, but I thought a blog about putting together a television pilot may be interesting to readers. My goal is to offer an insider look at how a project is conceived, produced and eventually aired on television.
WNYT, News Channel 13 has already agreed to air a one-hour show based on our work. That however is not the main objective; the target is a pilot that can be sold to the Travel Channel, Discovery or some other cable network willing to invest in a 20 plus part series.
The inspiration for the show was spawned by the notion that if you offer people a “smarter option” than the current fare of reality based television that is barfed out daily across the airways (actually the cable lines) some viewers may actually be entertained by learning something rather than just investing in the mental instability of reality show participants. High hopes I know, but hope non-the-less.
So here’s the skinny about “On the Lake”. A host (on our show it is former Channel 9 news anchor Kristina Krawchuk) will take people on a tour of the world’s most magnificent freshwater playgrounds, which like Lake George, our pilot lake, are often awash with multi-million dollar summer homes and offer a historical doorway about the growth of their area and our nation. “On the Lake” explores the inside of some of the lake’s more spectacular residences and along the way exposes viewers to a way of life long since forgotten. Add a few ghost stories, a how to segment for taking a great picture on the lake from renowned photographer, Carl Heilman, a visit to several really interesting lake businesses, a look at how to protect the fragile aquatic environment, film it all in visually stunning high definition and a series is born.
Or at least the idea for a series. But first you have to film it, write it, edit it and pitch it. It costs up to $5,000 a day to put a camera crew on the lake and a more important question then how are you financing the project is are people going to actually let you into their homes and businesses to film. These are some of the issues we faced and in the next blog I’ll tell you how we dealt with them and where we are in the process of “On the Lake”. Oh, by the way, we also have pirates…more later…but now a movie review.
Over the holiday I took in several movies. I love the movies and both Dan and I have had novels optioned for films. My number one criteria for evaluating a movie…just like a book, is first and foremost was I entertained. If I’m investing several hours in a film or a book, I don’t want to waste my time, so I thought by writing a movie review, you wouldn’t have to waste yours either.
“Up in the Air” is George Clooney’s latest offering and if you don’t like George, don’t see this movie because it is George Clooney all the time and in this film that’s not so bad. George plays a nomadic character, Ryan Bingham, a corporate hatchet man for hire that last year spent 322 days on the road or more appropriately in airports and airplanes. His apartment is a sterile abode in Minnesota that is less homey than the hotels he frequents. He loves this life and longs to hit a lifetime mileage holy grail of flyers as he gives seminars about what to pack at various meeting locales. When his job and ambitions are threatened by a young internet conferencing guru he is forced evaluate his life and the choices he’s made. It is funny, sad and insightful. And all the while it is thoroughly entertaining. If you like a movie that makes you think, laugh and feel, go see “Up in the Air”. I rate this 3 ½ reels out of four.
Next time I’ll review the latest blockbuster “Avatar” which I’m planning to see in 3D at the Imax next week.