I’ve been wanting to make another TV show for the last year or so. It’s been six years since my last solicited major cable network pitch. My friend is a celebrity who travels the world. About seven months ago I pitched him an idea for a reality show based on his prolific luxury based travels. We did some research and found a few cable networks who are buying the type of content I’d proposed. He took off, traveled the globe, and filmed all of the footage for the sizzle reel to accompany the pitch. He got back into The States a few days ago and told me he’d captured an entire drive worth of film and is sending me the footage in a few days. I’m hoping to begin editing by the beginning of next week.
With this project, this will be the fourth cable network project I’ve worked on in my film career. One thing I can say is tat compared to my last go around, I am a significantly more seasoned and experienced filmmaker, with a much deeper understanding of the development process than I had six years ago. This time, rather than creating a random shot in the dark, we’re creating the show based on the development curve of networks that are looking for luxury travel based content. From the business meetings we had before he took off, we’ve got a pretty solid shot at nailing a show.
My expectations with this project are where they should be, though, because getting a show in LA is pretty difficult, what I would call a Hollywood scratch off lottery ticket. If the show gets picked up, I will be taking time off from SuperfundResearch.org and other projects, in order to commit full time to making sure the project has my full attention.
As far as the directorial path I am taking, it’s going to be all about georgeous outdoor cinematography, something that will be meticulsouly and beautifully shot, Nat Geo style. I can tell you flat out that if we get this show, I am really going to enjoy hopping around the globe making this happen. However, because of scheduling, if we obtain a chunk of development money, shooting isn’t going to begin until some time in late November, as far as I know.
At this point, I provided directorial advice and sent him on his way, but from what I have seen, we’ve got some amazing locations, and footage from all over the globe. I’m excited to see what I can make of it, and to once again be back in the reality TV director’s chair. And if it doesn’t pan out, we end up with one hell of a sizzle reel, which both of can use to help build our careers.
More info coming soon…
This is a short list of films I have directed and edited.
2017: The Josh Steffen Show (Matthew Berdyck Interviews Josh Steffen)
I traveled to Peshtigo, Wisconsin to interview famous YouTube drummer Josh Steffen. We talked about his origins, brushes with celebrity drummers, band offers from famous groups, and of course, Lars Ulrich from Metallica.
2013: Philadelphia Experiment – Ra (Live)
Music video I made while on tour with Jordan Rudess from two time Grammy Nominated Dream Theater and Rod Morgenstein from Winger and Berklee College of Music.
2013: Poison in the Grapes
Short film about the Superfund toxic waste site in my childhood neighborhood and the corruption in the media and local government that left an entire community exposed to toxic waste. The EPA officials I took on in this film were later forced to resign over the Flint Water Crisis.
2013: Blame Reagan
I lived on the street for eighteen months of my life to make the first ever first person documentary in film history about homelessness.
2011: Wayward Traveler 2 (Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim solicited TV pilot)
Travel based TV show which featured me dressed up like a Big Foot, hopping concert gates to get interviews with celebrities, starring Sergio Aragones (Mad Magazine)
December was about charitable giving, for me. First, I made a large donation to a local charity that was working to buy Christmas presents for cancer survivors in DC, which resulted in directly buying Christmas gifts for seventy-five people. On top of this, for people I am directly connected to, I gave them two-hundred dollars towards their Christmas shopping. I bought an exceptional amount of goods from friends that are local merchants, to give them a Christmas boost in sales. I bought steak dinners for local managers of various establishments, and left large tips for the local servers, amounting to several thousand dollars of giving.
I rarely talk about any of this stuff, as what I’ve printed is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg, when it comes to what I’ve actually done in this country, in the last year, which has amounted to tens of thousands of dollars in gifts to other people and organizations. Already a few sad examples of humanity accused me of “patting myself on the back,” even though 95% of my charitable giving is done in private, with no credit given. I don’t know why people have such an adverse reaction to a person helping others, but it happens, and all I can say to those critics is, maybe you need to focus on yourself, rather than me, and direct your criticism there, instead.
All in all, I am completely satisfied with what I’ve done. My actions over the last month have inspired me to do even more, to begin focusing everything I have on helping others. I’ve had my fun in this country, I’ve lived a life filled with the kinds of luxuries that only rock stars could sympathize with, I’ve collected as much junk as I need for one life time, and find that I feel the most rewarded when I am helping others, rather than focusing on myself.
As a result, the world can judge me all it wants, people can lob their criticism, and all I can do is keep my head down and keep doing good deeds. I’m no hero, either, nor am I a saint. I’ve had plenty of times in my life, just like everyone else, where I have not been the best person I can be, but those past negativities do not preclude me from trying to be a good person, every day, trying to just be an example for people, trying to pay it forward for everything that has been done for me.
Next Christmas is going to be even better, because I am going to raise the bar to 25k in charitable giving. We the people who are fighting to spread goodwill are going to give thousands of people Christmas presents. Last year I had no warning before the cause was presented to me, so I was limited in what I could give, but this coming year is going to be amazing. I can’t wait.
I’m still hammering away at my album, but the process has gone well beyond what my original schedule was supposed to be. Since I am playing drums on the entire thing, with a few guest appearances, the first major stumbling block I had was that I couldn’t play the drums. Two hours of practice a night and six months later and I’m finally at the drumming level I need to be at, in order to finish the album.
Another long journey was the struggle to find the right guitar and guitar sound, which led me through numerous amps, pre-amps, and dozens of guitars, searching the exact sound I was looking for, which resulted in me amassing a pretty decent guitar collection! I’ve settled on the Les Paul in the the middle for solo tracking, with Burstbuckers, plugged into DBX 676 channel strip, fed into a Mesa Boogie Triaxis, and then broadcast by an Orange cab, into an Audio Technica AT 40-50 condenser microphone.
For rhythm tracking I’m using the Explorer, that is split between a two sounds and two separate Marshall cabs, with one being a Plexi preset on Pod Pro X HD, and the other sound generated by various assortment of stomp boxes, but I have not found the perfect pedal, as of yet. The result is one cab is miked with the AT 4–50 and the other with two SM57’s, with each signal being split, conversely, between the right and left channels in the recording software, giving me a massive rhythm sound, recorded in a cherry wood room.
On the song writing side, I have roughly seven songs plus a few interesting covers, all ready to be recorded, which in of itself has been long process, because I did demos of everything first, and must have recorded a hundred takes of drums while I was working on getting the perfect drum sound. This means I am now at the point where I am pretty much ready to start recording, and who knows how long that is going to take!
It’s occurred to me that I am not on a timeline, and the longer I spend nit picking over the details, the better everything sounds, the more takes I record, the better the final recordings will be, which right now are already at LA quality, but for an example, I’ve already done over three hundred takes, nailing the drum track for the first song, which will be released soon along with a wicked accompanying music video.
As for the album, I’m going to keep chipping away until it’s perfect.