September 23, 2015
I’m making a TV Show!
And today, on my lunch break at work, I decided to write a blog about the experience…
So welcome to the PILOT EPISODE!
Last Summer, I thought it’d be fun to join my girlfriend, who regularly performs stand-up comedy, at some open mikes. I’d done it before, so it wasn’t completely unanticipated. Anyway, about a week before we did it, I asked if I could test some material on her.
I used to be a school teacher. I taught in the South Bronx for 5 years, and, later, taught one year at a Charter School in Brooklyn. I leaned on that for my set, going over some crazy stories about being a teacher.
I’ve always thought it’s impossible for the average person to comprehend the insanity that happens on a daily basis in New York City Public Schools, or, for that matter, any inner-city school across the country.
Between teaching gigs, I’d served as National Program Director for an educational non-profit and had the opportunity to meet and chat with teachers all over the U.S.. One of the big surprises was how often I heard “that stuff happens here too.”
Anyway, my girlfriend was laughing a lot at what I told her and asked, “Is that really true?” “Yes..!” And then she said, “You should make that into a TV show.”
OKAY..! I know this is the kind of thing that almost everyone has heard at least once in their life – “You should turn that into a movie!” or “You should write a novel!” In most cases, the idea is moronic and so is the suggestion.
But I guess we all do moronic things and sometimes, like right now, for example, I’m certain that I have to make this into a TV show.
Clearly, I have no clue if this will turn into a series on an actual network – and almost certainly, anyone reading this is thinking ‘Of course it won’t. You are dumb’. But here’s why you MIGHT be wrong.
I’ve been a struggling writer in NYC for a decade and a half. After many years trying to succeed as a playwright, I decided to go viral… that is, make web videos. That was in 2007. Since then, I’ve probably made a few hundred video shorts – personally and professionally – none of which have gone viral.
As a side effect of making these videos, and having an insatiable desire to always improve, I’ve learned editing, motion graphics, sfx, design, lighting, directing, cinematography, greenscreen, and have turned a hobby into my professional career. Not as a writer or director, but as a motion graphics artist for a syndicated TV show.
Admittedly, working in TV doesn’t necessarily provide any ‘connections’ or, frankly, anyone who cares about my ideas or concepts. I do animation and design, which has nothing to do with CONTENT. So why would anyone invest in my work?
Luckily, I don’t need investors. At least, I’m not ASKING for money… Because I am going to finance this myself.
Well, I must really be an idiot. But I believe in this, and since it is still quite speculative… I’m going to speculate spending $10,000 on shooting a 1/2 hour pilot (not including cameras, lenses, lights, etc… since I own all that already)… Note: I’ll do a blog on HOW I got this number in the future
From there, I’ll ‘shop it around’… or something. And then, you know, have a power lunch or sign a contract with Netflix or… well, that’s what this blog is for.
To chronicle the process, as it happens… to see exactly what happens.. what I learn, do right, do horribly wrong, and everything in between.
But before I can do anything… I’ll need a script, so….
Coming soon to an internet near you…! Episode 2 – The Script
PS – In a desperate plea for some credibility, here’s a few videos I’ve done over the years:
1. The Bacon and the Sea – (2013)
– created for a Hormel Bacon Video Contest
– won 2nd place ($10,000)
2. Misery (The Swede) – (2014)
– created for Tongal “Swede a Movie” Contest
– won 2nd place ($2,000)
3. Hap-E – (2008)
– one of my first videos, still a personal favorite
– won nothing
And, of course, you can check out my website: JesseCervantes.com