Now Hiring Creative Cinematographers for TV Series

Do you consider yourself a story teller first and a cinematographer second? Then we’d love to hear from you.

Unique D.P./Director Position

Our production company Joke Productions is hiring for an upcoming television series. Show will include cinematic recreations and stylistically lit interviews.

We’re looking for cinematographers who like to experiment, are willing to create a fresh look on a tight schedule, and aren’t afraid to work with a small crew.

This job requires an indie, “get it done” attitude.

Additionally, we’d like to meet with D.P.’s who are comfortable directing actors in non-dialogue driven scenes.

You’ll also be working with our in-house VFX artist to ensure some shots can be enhanced with CG elements.

The variety of material you’ll shoot should provide you with a diverse range of new shots for your reel.

If you want to work side by side with the two of us on a brand new show airing later this year on a major cable network, let’s talk…
[Read more…]

Pitching Reality Shows: Ultimate Guide

Our new resource on pitching reality TV is a free guide and ebook I coerced Joke into writing with me :-)

How to Pitch a Reality Show

We set out to make it the ultimate free resource about pitching reality TV anywhere on the web.

Our TV Shows and YOU

As many of you know, we work extensively in Unscripted Television, and have made over 100 hours of TV at our reality TV production company Joke Productions.

And we’re big defenders of new talent.

Awhile back we started accepting pitches for documentary series, reality TV shows, and factual programming from those of you who read our blog.

We’ve Put Three Projects On TV With You

So far, Ghost Inside My Child, MTV’s True Life Presents: Secrets, Lies, and Sex, and MTV’s Caged have come from this outreach.

Along the way, we started Producing Unscripted.

It’s our blog and podcast aimed at helping those pitching us learn the right way to create, pitch, sell, and make reality TV shows and documentary series.

We even started a free members-only portal to make pitching to us easier.

So yes, we really do want to work with you!

How to Pitch a Reality Show

One of the problems we kept running up against is that there is some bad web advice out there. There are sites that will tell you how to pitch reality shows…but many of them get it wrong. Without bad-mouthing them, we’ll just say that we believe these posts mean well, but were put out by people who haven’t sold or made a lot of TV shows.

Because of these sites, we’ve received a slew of shows through our portal that are pitched wrong. We can tell, because they’re all pitched wrong in the same way.

Our solution: write a 10,000 word, free guide that dispelled myths and helped people focus their pitching resources.

So if you’re interested in making reality TV in any way, shape, or form, or have ever wondered what it takes to pitch reality shows, please check out “How to Pitch a Reality Show”.

Rene: Featured Kickstarter Project

Rene is the kind of movie Kickstarter was born for.

It’s outside the box. A passion project by a talented filmmaker. And no one in Hollywood will make it.

Rene by Mattson Tomlin

He’s found himself in the middle of the woods, filming Rene, a project he wants to finish and get out to the world.

Many filmmakers launch on Kickstarter and ask for the moon and stars, but have nothing to prove they have the ability to get their film done.

Mattson, however, has already shot some great looking footage for Rene.

His campaign feels like it’s coming from an accomplished filmmaker asking people to meet him halfway, rather than a wide-eyed dreamer begging for change.

We were turned on to the project by the fabulous Jeanne V. Bowerman, who you need to follow on Twitter immediately. As usual, Jeanne’s taste is top-notch.

Have a look at the Kickstarter campaign for Rene:

No Strangers to Kickstarter

As many know, thanks to a lot of you reading this, we ran a successful Kickstarter campaign a few years ago for our film Dying to do Letterman.

We always felt that part of our success was in showing people we were willing to put our money where our mouth was. Mattson is doing the same with Rene.

In fact, he checks off a lot of the items we discussed in this recent podcast on the Film Festival Secrets website.

We were happy to back this project. You can do the same at the Rene Kickstarter Project Page.

You might also enjoy this list of tips we put together from running our own Kickstarter campaign: Kickstarter Success.

Sister Witches: Oxygen Announces Our New TV Project In Development

logo-618x400

Believe in Magic?

Oxygen has announced SISTER WITCHES, a new show we have in development with the network. While we can’t say more than what’s in the press release, we CAN tell you we’re super excited about the show.

ALSO, the show came from two of YOU. Intrigued? Learn how to pitch us your shows at Producing Unscripted. [Read more…]

Did My Idea Get Stolen? Focus on This Instead…

There’s a great guest post on John August’s blog called When You Think Someone Stole Your Idea.

Written by aspiring screenwriter Randall Girdner, it explores those sickening thoughts most of us have had at some point:

  • Did someone steal my idea?
  • Will someone steal my idea?

The post is an honest exploration of Randall’s situation, and includes a reply from John that is dead on in it’s accuracy and wisdom.

Ideas are Just That — Ideas

As most of you know, our main business is producing documentary and unscripted television.

We even set up a way for people to pitch reality TV, unscripted, and documentary concepts to us, and have 23 episodes and counting of a podcast dedicated to helping people do just that.

And a recurring theme in our podcast is … ideas are not enough.

One big idea is not enough.

A great idea is not enough.

Especially in unscripted television, where there is no script (at least, in the kind we make) — ideas are almost meaningless.

A Better Way to Protect Yourself

But there is a much better way to protect yourself than registering an idea or signing up for some online blah-blah whatever someone’s trying to sell you to protect your work today (in our humble, and certainly not legal, opinion.)

In fact, one way that trumps everything else.

It’s hard, and it takes a while, but it works.

Make yourself valuable.

What are we talking about? We discuss it all here, in episode 2 of our podcast:

Why Ideas Aren’t Enough.

Finally, in our 10,000 word guide about pitching factual entertainment, we get into all of this in great detail.

Check it out when you get a sec, and start figuring our how to make yourself more valuable than any single idea.

Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E: Announcing Our New TV Series

Don't-Trust-Andrew-Mayne-Biagio-Messina-Joke-Fincioen-Andrew-Mayne-Mary-Jaras-day-1

Joke and Biagio with fellow executive producers Mary Jaras and Andrew Mayne on day 1 of our 9 week shoot. In case the title didn’t tip you off, Andrew also stars in our new A&E series Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne.

At Last – We Can Say Something

For months we’ve been hinting at our giant new series that we haven’t been able to talk about (though we constantly talk about not being able to talk about it on our podcast.)

Well, we can finally say what it is and where you can see it…though much will remain shrouded in mystery until our network executives turn us loose!

[Read more…]