Posts tagged ‘New York Television Festival’

What’s Cookin’? or Instant Filmmaking

We are shooting the web pilot series “What’s Cookin’?” today, The project came about after I attended a conference at Bafta given by the New York Television Festival and MSN on June 14th. The conference was about TV and web content and introduced a competition for producers  –  a “Short Form Storyteller’s Challenge”. The challenge was to produce two episodes of under 2 minutes each of an original short form series. The prize is $75,000 towards the cost of producing the series. The deadline for delivery is August 9th.

I decided to give it a go, and asked Tim Pickett, a young writer-director, to write a series about two teenage boys who decide they can make fame,fortune and women by creating some popular youtube videos. Unfortunately Tim couldn’t work on the idea immediately and delivered two scripts towards the end of July. I had arranged to meet a young director – Iris Helfer- for coffee on July 23rd and told her about my plans. She asked if she could read the scripts,  She liked them, but felt that with only 3 weeks to deliver the finished shows, they were too elaborate for the resources we had.

We met again two days later to talk over the idea, and Iris had done quite a lot of web research. She mentioned Jerry Seinfeld’s series in a car and another web favourite of a man in a box office. I mentioned that I had been thinking of a cookbook, one that was absolutely simple for non cooks, and started with the basics, like a potato and all the ways to cook it. This led us to think of cooking and kitchens, and we came up with the idea of a series set in the kitchen of a house-share, where all the interactions between the characters take place. This seemed ideal since food also brings up issues around money and sex. We bounced around some ideas, and then Iris wrote them up.

We decided to set a workshop with some young actors to improvise the scripts on the next Tuesday and then shoot them on the following weekend. Eight actors turned up for the rehearsal and from the eight we chose a cast of 5 : Elizabeth Guterbock as Laura, Laila Ali as Leah, Chipo Chung as Nora, Adam Weber as Daniel, and Emma Blackman as Mia. After the rehearsal we re-wrote and honed the scripts.

Iris and I started to hunt for a basic crew to work with us and friends introduced us to Jon Hurley as cameraman and Sean Cunningham on sound. Two assistants who worked for me on The Power – Marie Dyche and Will Key – came on as PAs. So we were set. Now it is 12:45 and we are shooting the episode called The Missing Ingredient. After that we shoot The Bad Cook and finish with Spice it Up. Once we edit the three we will decide which two to deliver to MSN. They expect 1000 entries, so the competition will be tough.

A great thanks to everyone who is taking part in this exciting new experiment.

August 3, 2013 at 11:42 am 1 comment

The Blog That Fell From The Sky

Reflections on an age of anxiety.