ƒ Curious Travelers Television: How we got started - "The Best of Buenos Aires"

Saturday, August 13, 2005

How we got started - "The Best of Buenos Aires"

Let start at the beginning, our first travel program "The Best of Buenos Aires". How we got started.

I think I can say that the travel production of CNI Cinema started in February 2002. Prior to that we were only producing feature films. We produced thee of them "The Kirlian Witness", distributed by Paramount Pictures, "Ramona", distributed by Curb Communications and "Best Beverly Hills, distributed by Trident Releasing.

I was attending the excellent Real Screen Conference in Washington, D. C.. At events such as this producers network with television network executives, mainly programmers. One session that is very well attended is called "30 minutes with". It's a great concept. Small groups of cable television producers and wannabe producers get to meet with execs at different networks. At the meetings the executives present their upcoming programing guidelines - What programs they are looking for, what is currently in development, what has already gone to pilot. The sessions cover most the the major cable networks, including Discovery, National Geographic, Bravo, A & E, HBO, Fine Living Network, Outdoor Network.

I attended several sessions. I have a great love for travel, so naturally I attended the Discovery Travel Channel seminar, where a very energetic programmer Doug DePreist, spoke to the producers about what the Travel Channel was were looking for. At that time the Travel Channel hadn't discovered Poker or Las Vegas, and most of the programs were rather typical travel programs referred to as anthologies, such “Worlds Best Such and Such", Secrets of Such and Such" and so forth.

These type of programs are referred to as list or countdown programs, where a destination is selected - a city, a country or region , and the program goes about picking the top ten in the destination. They are basically tourism promotional videos, Relatively cheap and easy programs to produce, the list programs feature a narrator, usually a bland voice over actor, generic typical tourism videos - beautiful beaches, aerial shots of a resort, and edited with interviews with locals involved in the tourism industry and tourists themselves.

The skill set involved are not out reach of the average wedding videographer. Relatively inexpensive to produce they can involve no more than a film crew of two people. The format is such, that they can be edited almost on an assembly line, with individual editors working on different sequences and the main editor arranging them in order and cutting in the lead in to the next sequence that precedes and follows the commercials that generally take up fifteen minutes of an hour of programming.

To be continued