I think I have now danced with seven television production companies.
Lots of people really wanna be on tv. So they will jump through hoops to meet their tv needs.
I want to infect brains with my permaculture stuff. So I have tried to get things to work out.
I think, in the end, I have a physical beauty that is perfect for radio. Setting that aside ...
They first have an hour long phone call. Then they do about five video skype sessions. You have no sign a document saying that you will play with only them (I now insist that this document be simple, fit on one page, and be limited to 90 days). Then they send out a camera crew (might be two people, might be three). They take lots of video for two days - so you gotta jump through their hoops for two days. Then you have three more phone calls. You get paid zero. Everybody on their end got paid really well.
If the show takes off, they might give you some tiny coin. But odds are you get nothing.
At the same time I have appeared in about nine documentaries. It was easy. Somebody asked if they could stop by on a very exact date about three months in the future. They arrive, I sit in a chair and answer questions while they video. They leave. No contracts. They did their research. Easy.
The television company says stuff like "we want to make a show about you" or "about what you do" or "about permaculture" or something. And I think I will infect brains and get something like $100,000 per year to put toward my projects. One company even put up an idea of how I might spend $2 million on projects.
I think it could be worth it. But I now feel like it takes a LOT of time away from my other stuff.
Another production company called me today ... I found myself directing them to the people at ant village. Maybe somebody there will be tv worthy.
In the end, it seems like to make it work I needed to make a show for them. I need to do the work to make a great show. They then show up with cameras, do their thing, feed it in to their tv engine, and then it is done.
I just don't seem to have it in me to carry such a show. Especially since it seems that "the deal" is that they get paid millions, but I get paid zero. I feel my current path is to come up with the money to keep projects moving forward.
Maybe when the ATI test is done, and is a success, then the tv people will want to do a show, but THEY will carry the show. I can just show up and it gets done.
I have a dear friend who was on a National Show, (American Pickers) and later he told me he wished he had never been on it. I won't go so far as to say it ruined his life, but he regrets the repercussions from it.
I also know someone on a discovery or nat geo show. Definitely ruined what they were doing. They sold off and moved. Department of make you sad bullseye on their backs.
Also know someone that did a highly successful show by cable standards. He made in a whole season what he did in one three day training class.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
I think show biz is as likely to ruin your life as not (I say this as someone who's been in show biz my entire working life). However, one of the complaints people have about permaculture is that it isn't sufficiently represented in mainstream entertainment. So maybe Paul or his associates can fix that a little.
Just make sure no hippies are anywhere near the camera. Apparently, hippies are toxic to the mainstream image of permaculture.
Decades ago I have a localnewspaper come out a do a feature article on my show dogs. Big, big, big, big mistake! Besides quoting me wrong in the article, I had several visits from various Departments to Make You Sad. I had years of repercussions because of that little news coverage. I regretted that article for years and years. But it taught me to keep my head below the radar and my hobbies invisible.
TV? Yikes. I'd have to be insane. Can you imagine how many government inspectors would go knocking on doors? No thank you.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Being from Alaska I used to watch all the Alaska reality TV shows for laughs. There was even one long-running one that tracked one of the long-time residents from my little town, and was filmed at his homestead that was directly across the Yukon River from the island where my father and I hunted moose every year for about a decade. In one episode I saw the dude using a riverboat that I'm pretty sure was the one my family owned for many years; it was distinctive in appearance and I know my dad sold it a couple years before he passed away, though I never knew who bought it.
Over the years I saw the trend with these shows go towards "obviously fake" -- a lot of times they'd have the people doing all sorts of bizarre things for stupid reasons. For instance that Kilcher family show out of Homer often has people going on hugely expensive hunting trips (float planes, very long boat voyages, twenty miles each way on three snowmobiles burning hundreds of dollars worth of gasoline) with breathless narration suggesting that this is vital activity "to put meat in the freezer without which everybody is gonna starve" when they are hunting for one tiny deer or a little yearling bear or six whitefish or a couple of snowshoe hares -- an amount of meat that is negligible versus the cost (obviously paid by show producers) of the travel to hunt or fish for it. It's true that Alaskans go on that kind of expensive hunting and fishing trips all the time -- it's why a lot of Alaskans live up there -- but they are honest about it being sport hunting/fishing as an excuse to get out into the wild bits of the country.
At about the time I stopped watching these shows because they multiplied to the point of inanity, my state of Alaska news feeds also started popping up with dozens of stories about people on those shows getting in trouble for hunting and fishing violations. It turns out that under the "encouragement" of producers eager for good video, people were doing stupid and illegal stuff, like baiting bears illegally, shooting big game from moving boats, scouting big game by air to get successful hunts in the can, and so forth. One doesn't feel too much sympathy for people who should know better, but nonetheless a lot of these people would have been fine if they hadn't been trying to satisfy the demand for good video, and they got their lives screwed up by their highly-visible participation in the shows.