The Rogers House – Downton Abbey Raised to a Higher Level (with an American touch)
Many have passed through the doors of “The Rogers House Bed & Breakfast Inn” these past 30 years. Now a series based on this house and the many stories it can tell, seeks to bring a whole nationwide audience through its doors on a weekly basis. Our TV series will reflect the stories of its inhabitants and guests, of its neighbors, and those in the city and the state in which it stands.
So we begin by quoting the opening lines of the initial treatment written many months ago, lines that still embody the fundamental basis of the Roger House Teaser, Pilot and Series:
A free-spirited but headstrong young woman, Nora finds herself transplanted from the beaches of California to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she must fight to find her identity and save her family home & The Rogers House Bed & Breakfast Inn. Her struggles are paralleled by 1900s flashbacks to the home’s first occupant, a reluctant young bride from New York, who must also find her way through the unexpected complications of the Midwest social and geographic landscape.
You are invited to come along with us as we turn this one time dream into a weekly event, for one season, for a second season, for many seasons to come. We have done a great deal of work already, but now we are at a critical juncture. For we need a calling card when we bring this project, to those in Hollywood who make the decisions on what appears on American network television. This calling card is what is commonly called a ‘teaser’. It is somewhat like a movie trailer, but it is not intended for the average audience member. It is intended for Executives who are besieged on an almost daily basis by those with ideas for programs, for series, for the contents that we see day in and day out on network television and cable television.
So our challenge was to develop a 5 minute ‘teaser’ that would preclude them from automatically saying ‘Next’, and sending us back to the drawing board. So with that in mind we created a beautifully written 5 minute teaser script, and a team to make that script into a stylistic visual masterpiece that will make those Network Executives not say ‘No’, not say ‘Next’, but say, ‘Let’s go with it’!
1011 News: http://www.1011now.com/home/headlines/TV-Series-234700861.html
The Omaha World Herald: http://www.omaha.com/article/20131204/GO/131209648#.UqNQMGRDsVc
KLKN TV: http://www.klkntv.com/story/24150333/hopeful-tv-series-to-take-place-in-lincoln
The Lincoln Journal Star: http://journalstar.com/entertainment/tv-radio/rogers-house-to-host-fundraiser-for-proposed-tv-show-about/article_56a881fc-5b84-5ec7-80f7-9108af6e6bd8.html
Let's take a look at the team that will help us create the teaser and series!
These are the people who will take the words from the teaser script pages, and transform them into the images and sounds that will sell the Rogers House TV series to the cable networks an idea that was hatched in Alan’s mind only 6 months ago!
The Rogers House Team:
The Rogers House TV series project is still in the early stages, but not nearly as early as six months ago, when it was simply an idea in the mind of its executive producer Lincoln native Alan Sands. Since that time he has brought together a team of talented individuals who share a common vision of the gigantic possibilities this series offers. All members are working very diligently to bring this series to the television screens across America.The inspiration for the series arose because of Alan’s fundamental understanding of the pride, honesty, and down to earth friendliness found in Lincoln and across Nebraska that he wants to be appreciated by the rest of the nation. For at the most fundamental level the Rogers House rests as the cornerstone of the neighborhood exemplifying the values and ideals of the Midwest and the state of Nebraska .
It was Alan who brought into creative play the other two writers who are working with him, as the other co-creators of the Rogers House series, Paul Pender and Michael Nisbett. Paul is an Academy Award screenwriter and producer who has collaborated with Alan on his screenplay “Stanley’s Gift”, while Michael has a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska and has been working at the Rogers House itself for the last thirteen years. Between the three of them the storyline of the pilot episode was generated and then turned into a first draft by Paul. Alan and Michael are now currently working on revisions before the intended return to Paul for the final editing and polishing.
In the meantime Alan and Michael collaborated on working up the script for the short teaser film which is the main funding concern of our Kickstarter project. At the same time Alan has continued to marshall the forces necessary to bring about the actual filming of the teaser. The actual filming is scheduled for late January of 2014.
For the teaser he has enlisted the services of Dana Altman, a grandson of legendary film director Robert Altman (MASH, McCabe & Mrs Miller, Nashville, The Player, Gosford Park, amongst others), who has studied and worked under his grandfather. We are excited that Dana will be directing our short film which is intended to grab the attention of the Cable Networks Executives and programmers to more fully explore the potential of the Rogers House project. Working with Dana as art director will be Sandy Veneziano. She is currently a professor in the School of Drama at the University of Nebraska, and who has had extensive work in Hollywood, being the art director for such films as Dead Poets Society, and Home Alone 2, along with the recent Alexander Payne film Nebraska, and such TV series as Gilmore Girls and Star Trek Next Generation. With these experienced individuals Alan has put together a solid nucleus to make the teaser a substantial part of the package presented to those who make the decisions in Hollywood.
To help these Hollywood network executives to make the decision Alan will be relying on Paul Pender, who has experience in the production of both film and TV. Beginning with BBC Scotland in the early 1990s and with its most pronounced success with the film Evelyn, which was directed by Oscar-winning director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) and starred Pierce Brosnan and Julianna Margulies. Involved on the team along with Paul will be Michael George and David Forbes, partners in Balance Pictures. David a born and bred Nebraskan, is a well-connected Hollywood producer with years of experience as executive vice-president in charge of marketing & distribution at MGM, Orion and Columbia, and who was executive producer on The Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions. It is these three that will be making the contacts to studio runners who will then pitch The Rogers House TV series to the various cable Networks to produce the series for presentation on national television.
What these runners will be presenting is the series bible consisting of the teaser, which is akin to a movie trailer Additionally there is the pilot script (and perhaps a director for the script, since the possibility of directing the Pilot has been raised with both Bruce Beresford, with whom Paul worked on Evelyn and with whom he has remained in close friendship with. Another potential director is Brian Kelly, one of the directors of Downton Abbey, which is the inspiration for the Rogers House series. Their friendship goes back to the days when they were both in law school in Glasgow. This is obviously way before Paul & Brian were both smitten by the show business bug. The last piece of the bible is a lengthy reference work detailing the various story lines in the series and giving full background stories for the characters, both major and minor.The series bible acts as the reference source for the series writers so that they can keep details consistent and avoid embarrassing bloopers that can make a series seem carelessly produced.
It is these extremely talented individuals who comprise the core team that is working hard to make the Rogers House become more than simply an idea in the mind of Alan Sands.The entire team is working very diligently to make The Rogers House TV series a reality to be seen weekly on television screens across America. Not simply for one season but for many seasons to come. Despite its small population, there is no lack of exciting and gripping human stories to be found at the Rogers House, around Lincoln and across rural Nebraska as well. The stories reflected will reflect in many different ways the importance of community, neighborhood and family.
Risks and challenges
The task of preparing to bring a new series to television is not an easy one, particularly if the series envisioned is one that is intended to be groundbreaking and ultimately iconic. One has to be prepared to battle past norms following the easy tried and true path.This model is the recipe for mediocrity and ultimate failure. True success requires daring and creative originality, and that is what The Roger House series will embody. Our strategy is to take the path much less traveled which is to go the extra mile in preproduction & days of rehearsals with the actors to produce the best possible teaser film. This teaser must be so good that those who make the Network programming decisions will be forced to take a closer look at what The Rogers House unique filming style & storyline which will embody to make it an award winning, and long running TV series.
Our challenge is to you! Are you willing to join those who are dedicated to make Alan’s vision a reality? You have seen our team, who are committed to the Rogers House project. Our challenge is to involve as many people across Nebraska, and America, to support The Rogers House project. We invite you to take the personal journey with us as we move through the preparations necessary for, and then the filming of the teaser. We are on the fast track to move our teaser to our producer team in Hollywood, with the ultimate goal to have the TV series produced and aired. You can help to create an American legendary TV series, and our first and greatest challenge is to enlist enough of you to make this happen.
There are always the productions challenges of making the teaser, but the team we have in place definitely has the professional background and expertise to get the job done. We are all eager to put all of our talents into high gear once we are funded.
As with all the projects currently on Kickstarter there are no guarantees. All great enterprises entail risks. You cannot create greatness without courting failure. The team in place not only has the talent and experience but the character, passion and resolve to create a TV series for the ages. We have put together our creative & production team in Nebraska to make the teaser. In Hollywood we already have producers in place who, with teaser in hand, can make certain that the right people will see it and under the best circumstances. Yes, there is always the possibility of failure but that word doesn’t exist in the vocabulary of Alan Sands, Executive Producer & Creator. The highly seasoned professionals on our team already mentioned would not be involved if they did not feel the chances of success were much greater then the chance of failure.The creative team of Dana Altman, Sandy Veneziano, Michael George and David Forbes, along with Paul Pender, whose experience in TV involves not only writing but producing. All of these highly experienced individuals are more then willing to dedicate apart of their professional lives and creative energies to this project because they feel not only that it CAN succeed, but that it WILL succeed. Your financial support is now necessary to help us move our efforts forward. When The Rogers House is aired, you will have a wide smile on your face on the evening when you will be sitting in front of your television to watch the Pilot, and then the first episode of the Rogers House! All members of the production team of the teaser will be giving each and everyone of you a standing ovation realizing that you were there in the beginning, when it counted. Our heart felt thanks will radiate on your television screens in The Rogers House TV series and that is a promise!
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