What are we doing?
We're going to produce a complete 26 episode season of Steve Gadlin's Star Makers. We'll purchase airtime and air the show twice weekly here in Chicago on broadcast and cable TV through all of 2015, and work hard to expand our reach to other TV stations around the country by exhibiting at the NATPE conference in January.
What is Steve Gadlin's Star Makers?
Steve Gadlin's Star Makers is a television talent showcase inspired by the cable access talent shows of the 1970's and 1980's. It aspires to bring you tomorrow's stars of Hollywood and/or Broadway by tapping the talents of everyday people who have a passion for performance.
In our first season, which can be viewed online on SGStarmakers.com, we featured musicians, dancers, rhythmic clappers, comedians, magicians, and all sorts of strange and wonderful performers. Our guests may have variable skill level, but they all have a love and a spark for sharing their talent with others.
Our second season will be shot in stunning HD at the Tribeca Flashpoint Academy's Studio 505. We will produce a complete season of 26 new episodes so that we can shop the show to stations around the country at NATPE 2015, the industry's marketplace for television content. We will also be purchasing air time here in Chicago so that we can air the show TWICE weekly on broadcast and cable for all of 2015.
Let's get weird.
Of all my creative projects, Steve Gadlin's Star Makers is the most meaningful to me... and not just because my name is in the title. For those of us who grew up weird, finding stuff like this on TV was one of the only reminders that we weren't alone in the world. This project is the embodiment of my thanks to the weirdos who've come before me, and my outreach to the closet weirdos of tomorrow to let them know they've got a legion of pals.
Steve Gadlin's Star Makers is produced by the skilled collective that brought you Don't Spit the Water!, The Nairobi Project, Impress These Apes, and plenty of other head-scratching comedy Put a million monkeys at a million typewriters and you'll get Hamlet. Put a handful of weirdos in a storefront theater, and you get Blewt!
The money breakdown!
Producing a television show is pretty pricy - but we've got it down to under $1,000 per episode to produce a full season. Here's where that money will be going:
$5,200 - This buys us airtime twice a week for the full year of 2015. Sure, our time slots will be late at night. But the audience we're trying to reach is the audience that stumbles upon us in the wee hours. Of course all episodes will also be available online, 24/7.
$6,000 - We've worked out a great deal with the Tribeca Flashpoint Academy to use their awesome studio space, Studio 505. It's filled with state of the art equipment, and all the toys we need to make something awesome. This money buys us 6 full days of taping in their studio, which should be just enough time to put 26 episodes in the can.
$6,000 - If we're going to make this happen, we're going to go big! If the fundraiser is successful, we'll be heading to NATPE 2015 in late January. NATPE is the industry marketplace for television content. We'll be there trying to grow our distribution by convincing stations around the country to air our show. This money covers travel and a display table on the main floor. We'll be showcasing right beside the shows you watch on TV every day. Will we be in over our heads? Probably! But that's all part of the adventure of being the little fish. Our goal is to head to NATPE and make so much noise we can't be ignored.
$2,800 - This amount makes up the difference and gives us a nice round goal of $20,000. This extra money will be used for our modest set, and possibly purchasing more paid airtime in smaller markets around the country. Any money we make over our goal will also go toward compensating the 9-12 crew members that will be volunteering their time to make this show happen.
What if we fail?
If we can't raise the money through this Kickstarter, I'll continue to try and raise money through sponsorships. The lovely thing about Star Makers is it scales gracefully to match the resources at hand. We're itching to take advantage of this great deal with Tribeca Flashpoint, but will press on if it's not in the cards.
Risks and challenges
We've done a lot of legwork leading up to this Kickstarter. If it is successful, we have the pieces in place to begin taping our 2nd season this October. We also have airtime reserved so that we can start airing twice weekly in January, 2015.
Our biggest obstacle will be finding enough talent to fill 26 fresh new episodes. Fortunately through some Craigslist ads we've already found enough for most of the season. And once our episodes start airing twice weekly in January, we'll be exposed to more talented people looking for a spotlight.
The trip to NATPE 2015 will also be one grand experiment. How will we fare up against established syndicated shows? Will we be laughed out of Miami? Perhaps! Or maybe we'll be different enough that we'll catch a few eyes, and end up on the air in other cities around the country. This portion of our project is the biggest gamble, as we could very well come back empty handed (but a little wiser).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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