Wednesday, February 24, 2016
"How Do You Open the Door?"
It's been more than twenty years that four former and current emergency first responders decided that it was time for a quality TV show about the brave men and women of the Fire-Rescue services. We started by working in the new television genre called, "reality." We went through three complete iterations and pilots. However, unless you lived in the Middle or Far East, you never saw it. Although it's said that "imitation is the best form of flattery," one cable network actually took our format to produce their own show. Sure, we used some legal wrangling to stop it, but it certainly didn't advance our cause.
Since then, we developed numerous treatments for many different types of shows that all involved the fire-rescue service. Then, several years ago, we decided that maybe reality television had evolved beyond a format conducive to this type of program. Instead, we developed a limited series drama, still about the fire-rescue service, but with key elements that have worked for many of the top television dramas of the past and present. We even secure the cooperation of the city and fire department where the show would be "shot." This show would not only entertain, but educate as well. There's no doubt that is would score a bulls-eye in the desperately sought demos of advertisers. Plus, with over one million firefighters, plus EMT's and paramedics, plus their coworkers, family and friends, a multi-layered audience is assured.
Thus the title of this post, "How do you open the door?" Sure, we understand that every Tom, Dick, Jane and Harry are scrambling to send in their pitches to every broadcast or streaming entity. However, sometimes you have separate the chaff from the real kernel and see that there are some excellent ideas that come through. We've gone so far as to write the entire pilot script and outlined a three-season, limited-series run for the show. Twelve episodes a season for three seasons.
Listen, no one knows better than we do that we are not big name producers with lots of credits on our resumes. Yet we've tested both the synopsis and script with dozens of folks both within the field and civilians. Every single reaction has been, "excellent - 5 stars."
What's the problem? The problem is that firefighters are only "popular" after a major incident. We see a great rescue or major fire on the news and everyone ooh's and ahh's. The next day, the firefighters are the root of all the budget problems facing the community.
Unlike most of you who might be reading this post, the men and women of fire-rescue, whether they are career, volunteer or paid-on-call, risk their lives every single time that they answer an alarm. If you have an emergency and dial 911, you want them there immediately no matter what they were doing when the bells rang.
Or maybe it's because too many people believe that firefighters have a real cushy job these days. True, the numbers of fires are lower than twenty years ago, however the ones that do occur have become much more serious due to the materials being used in them; let alone the several hundred-fold increase in EMS calls, where fire-rescue personnel are first to respond.
All we are asking for is a chance. A chance to present the concepts, synopsis and script for a compelling drama that blends some of the most successful TV themes with the fire service. If you'd like to read either of our documents, drop us a line as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on my LinkIn(R) page this afternoon.