Note - Even though the following information from the CBC is out-dated, the information is useful for anyone looking to pitch their play
The CBC is actively soliciting pitches for new comedy and drama programming. They're looking for new. They're looking for edgy. They're looking for funny.
Comedy/Drama Pitch Guide, What Are We Looking For - Drama, What Are We Looking For - Comedy.
Allan Boss, Entertainment & Drama Producer
CBC Radio Alberta
1724 Westmount Blvd. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2P2M7
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
Dramatic programs that bring something, or someone, new to CBC Radio. Shows that are innovative and fresh with a new perspective. Shows that push the boundaries of what drama on radio can be and what it can talk about. Shows that bring new voices and styles to the air. Shows that experiment with new forms for presenting content, and shows that people will talk about. While we are mainly looking for weekly shows we are open to ideas that could be aired daily.
- Reflect regions
- Contemporary sensibility
We are looking for 30 minute programs that can be:
Ongoing programs - concepts that are sustainable for a long run (i.e., soaps, sitcoms)
Limited run series - sitcoms, character based dramas, drama tied to current events
Stand alone 1/2 hrs that deal with current events in provocative and challenging ways
Specials - These could be tied to the calendar holidays, anniversary dates of important events, current affairs, special events, celebrate or challenge our way of life or pay homage to a great person or event. There is room here for longer form dramas of an hour.
Ideas will move forward from the Committee process to become part of the Program Director's options in the ongoing scheduling of Radio One and will be important factors in the evolution of the Radio One schedule.
We are looking for ideas that will do for radio what Boston Legal, House, Six Feet Under , The Sopranos, 24 and The Office have done for TV. Entertainment that can be funny, sad and infuriating all within a single episode. Stories built around characters that we come to care about and that our audience can identify with. We want to create entertainment that people will talk about...that becomes a destination.
We are especially looking for properties that identify and develop new talent for drama whether as writer, performer or producer.
Comedy Programming/Comedy Specials
Our audience is asking for more comedy programming; to that end we have set up a Comedy Development Process that will be very proactive in soliciting proposals and identifying new talent.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
Comedy programs that bring something, or someone, new to CBC Radio. Shows that are innovative and fresh with a new perspective. Shows that push the boundaries of what comedy can be and what it can talk about. Shows that bring new comedic voices and styles to the air. Shows that experiment with new forms for presenting comedy and shows that people will talk about. While we are mainly looking for weekly shows we are open to ideas that could be aired daily.
- Reflect regions
- High Impact
We are looking for 30 minute programs that can be:
Ongoing programs - i.e.: Vinyl Café, Madly Off in All Directions... concepts that are sustainable for a long run
Limited run series - sitcoms, character based comedy, comedy tied to current events, sketch, soap opera...
We are looking for 3 - 6 minute programs that are:
Limited Run Series - to be run through Syndication. Short, funny, accessible for a drive home audience.
We are looking for 30 - 120 minute programs that are:
Specials - These could be tied to the calendar holidays, anniversary dates of important events, current affairs, special events or virtually anything else that leads you to a great idea for a comedy special.
There are no specific timeslots for Comedy programming. Ideas will move forward from the Committee process to become part of the Program Director's options in the ongoing scheduling of Radio One and wil be important factors in the evolution of the Radio One schedule.
Process and Deadlines
October 3, 2006
As the next step in the ongoing redevelopment of Radio A&E, the department is now adding dramatic programming to the mandate of its Program Development Committee. The committee will now be responsible for soliciting, developing and jurying both dramatic and comedic program proposals.
The Committee will be made up of people from across the country and will be chaired by Tom Anniko.
This is an open call for proposals for dramatic programming.
This is an ongoing process and is open to anyone both inside and outside the CBC.
Proposals that move to the pilot stage will be assigned a Program Development Consultant. The Consultants' role is to act as a resource for the team making the pilot. They can help you solidify the idea for your show, help to create a budget for the pilot, identify and secure any training that may be needed for members of the team, offer ongoing production assistance and generally to help make sure that your team is in a space where you're as creative as possible.
Once pilots are complete, they will be reviewed by the same group that reviewed the proposals. Its recommendations will go to the Program Director, Jennifer McGuire.
Proposal Submission Deadlines:
ONGOING - the committee will meet monthly starting in October 2006.
All proposals should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposals must be in electronic form, preferably as an attachment in Microsoft Word format
CBC Radio Program Development
Comedy/Drama Pitch Guide
2006 / 2007 Season
What is the comedy/drama development group after? We are looking for new approaches to funny and serious entertainment to put on radio. Series. Limited run shows. New shows. New People.
More importantly, we're looking for potential - not only in ideas, but in you. We are interested in developing your proposals and your skills toward possible opportunities at CBC Radio
Every program starts with an idea and the first step is getting your idea down on paper so that we can decide if it's something we want to develop. Your proposal doesn't have to be long and complicated, but it does have to be well thought out. Make sure you've taken the time to dream it, debate it, mull it and polish it before you send it our way.
To help you get your idea down on paper, here are some useful questions you should ask yourself as you are putting together your pitch.
- What's the Most Powerful/Exciting/Compelling Aspect of Your Idea?
- How Will Your Program "Treat" its Stories, Guests, Ideas and Content?
- What Can You Tell Us About the Host of This Program?
- What Will We Hear on a Typical Program or Segment?
- Why Does it Belong on CBC Radio?
- What Format do You See Your Idea Taking?
- What Are the Key Challenges You Think This Show Will Face?
When you tell others about it, what excites them the most?
This is often a good way to start your pitch.
In other words, how would you describe your show's attitude toward its content? For example will it be more light-hearted or more serious; more cheeky or more respectful; more entertaining or more informative; probing or reflective, etc. Is there anything new or different about how your show will sound?
Will there be one or more? Do you have someone in mind? What should they sound like? How do they relate to the content on the show?
What's their role on the show? Do they have a strong point of view?
Give us some specifics, help us imagine what we're going to hear coming out of the radio. More than just a list of segment ideas or guest possibilities, tell us how your show's tone and attitude will be reflected in how you approach the content on it. Not just what you're going to do, but how you're going to do it.
Is there anything that makes your show perfect for CBC rather than another broadcaster? Does it take CBC Radio somewhere new? Does it do something that CBC Radio isn't already doing? Does it fit our values as a public broadcaster: high quality, distinctive programming that's intelligent, insightful and entertaining? Why should it air now?
Is it a one-shot deal, a limited series, a feature within another show, summer replacement, full run show, half hour, hour, etc? Don't try to be everything to everyone, really think about what makes your show tick and what would be the best way to do that on the radio. And if your idea would make one solid hour, then pitch it as a one-hour special not as a twenty-part series.
Imagine making the show and think about all the things you'd come up against while in production. How would you address these challenges?
Once you've worked through the idea, here's a quick checklist of other things you should include in your proposal:
- Who You Are: Not just name, rank and serial number (though that helps). Tell us what it is about you (your background, your passions, your whims) that have led you to your idea. And, while you're at it, let us know why you're the person to do it.
- How to Get A Hold of You: Phone, e-mail, home phone, cell phone etc., etc.
- Capsule Description: A few lines that sum up the pitch.
- Whether You Want To Do This Yourself: Most people, of course, will want the chance to work on their own project. But if you have a great idea and don't particularly want to do it yourself, send it our way anyway. Or let us know if you think you're going to need some help pulling it off.
- Who is Who: If you've got people you want to work with, tell us who's on the team. Who's producing? Who's hosting? Assume we don’t know these people. Give us an idea why they're the people for those roles. Tell us what role you see yourself playing. Or if you've got a great idea but so far the team is just you, let us know. We can find people for you to work with.
- Support: What kind of support do you need? Mentoring? Coaching on your performance? Training on how to direct in the studio? Learning how to do complicated audio mixes? Don't be embarrassed, we're here to help and the more we know upfront the better.
- Timing: Is your proposal somehow time-sensitive? Are there times when you can work on this, times when you cannot?
- The proposal: Do the tone and style of the writing in your proposal reflect the tone of show that you're proposing?
To Get Your Pitch To Us
All proposals should be submitted by e-mail in electronic form. We prefer to receive proposals as attachments in Microsoft Word format, but will accept proposals as plain text in the body of an e-mail as well. Please avoid submitting proposals in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.
Please send your pitches to email@example.com.
If you have any questions about your proposal once you've submitted it, please contact Chris Boyce by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204-788-3057. Submissions are confidential; only program development group members and senior radio management will have access to what you send. Our group meets once a month. A real person will get back to you within six to eight weeks of your submission.
If you've got any questions or need some help getting your idea from your head onto paper, get in touch with anyone who's part of the Comedy Development Group.
Tom Anniko, Chair
204 788 3603
Gregory J. Sinclair
416 205 3775
902 420 4425
604 662 6127
780 468 7410
416 205 5989
204 788 3715
416 205 6001
Where do I Send My Proposal?
You can send it to email@example.com. We only accept electronic submissions. If possible, please send it as an attachment in Microsoft Word format. Please do not send attachments in Adobe Acrobat format.
When Will I Hear Back?
You should hear from someone in 6-8 weeks.
Who Decides if My Show Gets on the Radio?
Your pitch will be reviewed by the comedy/drama development group. We're a collection of programmers from across the country that meets once a month to go through all the proposals that have come in. We decide which ideas get developed and what the next step of development is. We're looking for the potential in the idea you pitch. Part of the development process may be evolving the idea or even taking it in a new direction. Once we've developed a show it’s up to Jennifer McGuire (she’s the program director) to decide if and where on the schedule it might go.
But Where is This Stuff Going to Air?
First off, not everything will. That's part of developing new programming, some of it works, some of it doesn't. But Jennifer has made a commitment to finding room on the schedule for new programs. Instead of defining a specific slot for new programs, she'll clear room on the day and time that makes sense for each program.
What Do You Mean by "Development Process"?
We want the development of programs to be more than just giving people money to make pilots. Sometimes someone sends in an interesting idea but it needs more work, maybe you've got a great idea but need some help pulling it off, or maybe you've come up with a wild concept but it makes more sense to test the premise or elements of the show before making a pilot. If your idea is moving ahead, we'll figure out what the next steps are.
What Kinds of Programs are You Looking For?
Pretty much everything… comedy, current affairs, music, drama, or ideas that combine all of those. We're looking for shows that can run on Radio One, Radio Two, or Radio 3 (on Radio Two). We're open to different lengths of programs and all different styles of presentation.
My Idea is for a Series That Would Just Run for a Limited Number of Weeks, Can I Still Submit it?
You bet. In fact, most of the programs we try out on-air will have a limited run. If your idea only sustains ten episodes, then make it a ten part series. We're very interested in program ideas that would work in a limited run.
When Do I Have To Get My Proposal in by?
We're looking for proposals year round. The program development group meets monthly to looks at what's come in, so you can submit any time.
I've Got an Idea, But I Don't Think I Can Pull it Off Alone, Should I Still Submit it?
We're looking for ideas with potential. If you've got a great idea but can't do it by yourself, we'll help team you up people who can. Learning is a huge part of what we're all about. But be upfront about what kind of help you think you need.
I Have No Idea How Much My Show Will Cost, Do I Have to Submit a Budget?
No. Coming up with a budget and figuring out the resources needed to make a show can be tricky business. If we like your idea we can help you figure this stuff out as part of the development process. But while you don't need to submit a budget, you should have a realistic sense of what you need to make your show as well as what resources are likely to be available. If your concept is only workable with a team of ten full-time employees making a weekly show, then it's likely not going to get made as you're imagining. If you need some help figuring out whether your resource expectations are realistic, just get in touch with someone in the Comedy/Drama Development Group.
Here are some examples of pitches to give you some idea of how you might write yours.
This isn't meant to be a template for your pitct... it simply illustrates some things you might want to think about as you draft your own proposal.
Just Is is a weekly radio program probing the legal issues that make you roll your eyes as you read your
morning paper, raise your voice in a heated dinner-party debate, or wonder whether Dick the Butcher had a point when he
declared it was time to "kill all the lawyers".*
Give us your best argument: make the case for Just Is.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, here's why Just Is belongs on CBC Radio:
- Because the law hits us at home, work and play
- Because legal stories are juicy, controversial, and spark debate
- Because people get all worked up about legal stories, but frankly lack understanding of the issues
- Because Canadians who come in contact with the justice system find it's costly, time-consuming, and unsatisfying (source: Law Commission of Canada report)
- Because a recent CBC News Study clearly indicates our audiences believe crime and justice stories are important
- Because it would be a great weekly summertime feature on The Current--a way to keep this terrific program fresh and innovative in the off-season.
Uh-oh, sounds like bran-good for me, but will I enjoy it?
Well, yeah, this is summertime radio after all, your audio companion for hanging out at the cottage, munching on Special K and fresh strawberries-with chocolate milk. This isn't Law 101: Just Is is playful, energetic, and quick-witted.
The starting point for each episode will be an oft-repeated maxim; e.g. "ignorance of the law is no excuse", "justice is blind", or "the law is an ass". But it's not a predictable legal dissertation—"possession is nine-tenths of the law" might be the jumping-off point for an analysis of Canada's marijuana conundrum AND provide an answer to the question of how to get your DVDs back from your ex-boyfriend.
Defines a structure for how the show will be built each week.
* The playful tone of the proposal reflects the tone of the show.
Gives an idea of the tone of the show
Writing a short description like this makes it easy to quickly recap what your pitch is about
Don't get hung up on the title. This was a working title that got changed once the show went into production.
*Lawyers can always be counted on to tell you that this quote is usually used in the wrong context and that what Shakespeare was really trying to say was that lawyers are an integral component of a civilized society. But hey, these are the same guys who can bill you $400/hour with a straight face.
Just Is will go beyond the usual faces/places. An episode that delves into the notion that "seeing is believing" might include staging a public spectacle on a busy street corner, then asking passers-by to describe what they observed, in order to illustrate the problems with eyewitness testimony. For an episode on search and seizure, we might get a bit frisky: how many people on the street would submit to a pat-down or a search of their purse/knapsack/shopping bags by a pair of actors posing as security guards?
Just Is will employ a mix of formats—docs, interviews, panels, soundscapes-in short, whatever format best suits an individual piece; each episode will have several components, some of which will be recurring "departments". Host Lisa Taylor is a knowledgeable guide-a veteran journalist who recently returned to CBC after completing a law degree, she'll take the program out of the studio and into the field whenever possible.
So what's in an episode? Give me an example.
Raise your right hand and repeat after me: "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth". Sounds great, but, fact is, the justice system is ill-equipped to sort out lies from truth. So, we start with a personal story to illustrate the problem: Jamie Nelson spent three years in prison after being convicted solely on the basis of one person's word; that person was later shown to be an habitual liar. And from there, how about...
- An informative/irreverent ode to the polygraph. Once believed to be THE solution, it's now widely regarded as a dud. It was invented early in the last century by a Harvard University psychologist-the same guy who later dreamed up the comic superhero Wonder Woman (incidentally, Wonder Woman's lie detector was her lariat-once ensnared, bad guys were unable to lie).
- Testing the polygraph-we find three people confident they can fool a polygraph, and call their bluff.
- Interviewing a trial judge and a grade three teacher about their experiences attempting to separate truth from lies.
So who's going to do this?
We're the production team that currently puts The Docket to air on CBC Newsworld, a unit with a passion for compelling legal stories, and the expertise required to tell those stories (with two LLBs working in the unit, lawyer jokes abound). We've been chasing down and making sense of the most provocative and significant justice stories in Canada for two seasons now. CBC RADIO / 9/29/2006
*This section helps establish the credibility of the people making the pitch.
These specific ideas are helpful because they include treatments. Try to tell us how you'll approach a story and what it will sound like, not just what the story is.
This section gives a really clear idea about how the show will approach the stories it covers. It allows you to imagine how the show might sound on the radio.
Two of us (executive producer Susan Rogers and host/producer Lisa Taylor) have a history of working for the senior service: Susan was once Morningside's Senior Producer and a senior editor in National Radio News, where she produced Media File. Lisa began her career as a regional radio jill-of-all-trades, working as a host, director and producer.
Granted, we're more familiar with razor blades and reel-to-reel than Dalet and digital audio. That’s why we're keen to co-opt radio network documentary maker Dick Miller to guide us in this endeavour. In fact, we've already collaborated with Dick on a doc for The Current. Lisa also explained the legal aspects (with assistance of Docket researchers) of the Michael Jackson case for Current listeners, when the show needed someone for the morning after the story broke, and has filed legal stories to both Canada at Five and The World at Six.
It will be cool to have the first bi-medial current affairs show that would produce programming for radio in the spring/summer, and for TV in the fall/winter, while serving both masters as a content unit all year long (because after all, here at the CBC, one can never have too many bosses).
Don't be afraid to let us know where you need some help. Supporting producers through the development process is part of the program development mandate.
Written by Chris StrawEver been to Halifax and had one of their famous Donairs? A Donair is sort of like a falafel, only it's made with shavings of some kind of mystery meat that's cooked on a revolving spit. You usually have Donairs late at night or your way home from night school or a movie... or the bar. They're kind of a guilty pleasure for many people. Donairs seem sort of foreign, but nobody seems to know for sure where they originally came from – Turkey? Greece? Lebanon?. All of those countries have a domestic dish that is similar to a Donair.
Chances are you bought yours from some guy you've never seen before. You don't know who he is or where he's from. Or for that matter, what the heck is in this thing anyway. But hey, compared to Tim Horton's, a Donair is international cuisine - and who cares if its good for you, the taste is... well never mind the taste. I want to make Donairs for the ears anyway.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury I present to you Radio Donair!!!!!!
Think of this planet of ours as a giant globe of mystery meat rotating on a spit. Once a week, I will slice off the juiciest bits I can find, from radio around the world and package them up in a tasty wrapper with veggies and yummy sauce and...
Okay lets set the Donair metaphor aside for a minute and talk specifics:
FAQs about Radio Donair:
What is it? A one hour, weekly show made up of the most interesting, entertaining, provocative and just down right gob smacking bits of radio, taken from the countless English language broadcasters around the world. It will reflect the world back to Canadians in a way never before done on CBC Radio.
What's in it? Short documentaries, contests, segments from phone-in shows, interviews, commentaries, commercials, short dramas, readings, music, anything you might hear on radio anywhere. Only we just play the good stuff that you find between the long boring bits. ( For some real examples, see attachment)
How do you make it? Thousands of radio programs around the world are currently archiving their shows on the Internet. Many others at least have websites with contact info. In many cases the items can be sampled and then requests made to have the files uploaded to a server. In exchange the radio show gets a link on our website and international attention. There would also be regular contact with major public radio networks like BBC, ABC, NPR etc. ...as well as the international services of many
This pitch starts off with an intriguing beginning that draws you in. It establishes the tone of the pitch and the show without describing it
Breaking the rest of the proposal into short sections makes it easy to read and follow.
* A good concise description of the show
This section demonstrates that thought has been given to the logistics of making the show. You don't need to have the production process figured out, but you should have thought through the idea enough to know whether what you're proposing is realistic.
National broadcasters like those heard on CBC Overnight. And some of the really rare stuff will get sent to us on tapes or discs by couriers and maybe even by some guy's cousin who will bring it home in his backpack.
Wait a minute. Don't we already have this on CBC Overnight?
Well for one thing it's on over night. But more importantly I am proposing something way more selective and something that draws from hundreds of sources.
So how do you know you can do it? The BBC already is - only their show is much more earnest and serious than the one I propose. It's also more wide ranging in scope. Radio Donair would have been very difficult to do five years ago, but file transfer and sound compression technology, not to mention the growth of the world wide web, have all made this completely do-able.
So Why Should CBC broadcast a show like this? We are a world-class broadcaster, broadcasting in a world that is quickly losing its borders, especially when it comes to radio. The great myth about globalization is that earthlings are all basically the same, no matter where they live. While the big corporate world might like us to believe this it's not completely true. Radio Donair will serve to highlight the different perspectives from different parts of the English-speaking world. Also Canada is increasingly a country made up of people from everywhere. Canadians are interested in the rest of the world. They travel. They have friends and relatives who live far away. They get news from around the world, but what about the rest of the stuff. The real life stuff that makes you smile or scratch your head? People don't just talk about earthquakes and politics. They share jokes and talk about relationships. They are ironic and sentimental and all sorts of things.
All of this sounds expensive. What's it going to cost? Not very much at all. There'll be one fulltime host/producer (Me). Most of the material will come for free in exchange for web links and international prestige. We will need a moderate budget to pay for the odd piece that requires some special deal. The BBC has been getting all of their material for free by way of informal reciprocal agreements. Oh yah ....and we'll need a couple of honking computers.
So who are you? I am a one time host, longtime producer with proven success in delivering offbeat and entertaining programs. I have a demonstrated ability to tell good stories and make people laugh - two things this show will do every week.
Anything else we should know? The website comes with this great animated logo that flashes back and forth between a cylinder of meat rotating on a spit and the earth rotating on its axis. There are radio signals flashing around it. And here's the best part....at the bottom, the D in Donair keeps going out to reveal the words "on air".
Thanks for reading this.
*Shows that there's been thinking about how this fits into what CBC Radio already does.
Examples of items that could appear on Radio Donair:
From Australian Aboriginal Radio Network: On the spot commentary from the annual "Spear Chuck". Hear a delightfully grizzled commentator give play by play of 60 to 70 year old first nations hunters throwing spears wildly at a stuffed kangaroo. There appear to be no rules. The piece is very funny.
From RTE in Ireland. The living soap opera that gripped the island. Producers of a nature show put web cameras and microphones in a Jackdaw nest to capture the day by day drama of Jackie (the mom) and Daw (the dad) as they raise their Jackdaw babies. The radio piece I have chosen is a moving and at times thrilling account of one baby’s first journey up the chimney and out for his first flight. Told with classic British concern for all creatures great and small.
From the weekly women's show on Nigerian Radio, Bone of My Bones. Regular columnist Wally Anumushan (who the show's host describes as having a voice like Barry White) gives his "Woman's Guide to Knowing Your Man" Put it this way - with Wally defending men, women have nothing to worry about. A wonderful sampling of Nigerian humour and social commentary.
From Sweden, an on the scene report from the Swedish Mouse Club, featuring mice fanciers from all over Sweden gathered to pick the best in show. Very Swedish.
From Australia's Crud Show on Triple M Radio in Melbourne: Tony McLare, host of a popular rock music show does a hilarious prank where he answers and ad for a plumber and gives the potential employer a hard time. A classic in the genre of on air pranks. Trust me it's very funny.
There are many, many more.
These specific examples help demonstrate the range of content that might be featured on the show and help you imagine what it might sound like.
The Art of Traveling
"If you look like your passport photo, you're too ill to travel." -Will Kommen
Alright – Give me the 20-second pitch.
Love traveling? Wish you could do more? Ever stayed up til the wee hours of the night swapping traveling stories with fellow world-weary adventurers? Of course you have -- the urge to travel is a powerful one, and one that lives in almost all of us.
OK, but there’s already a gazillion and one travel shows – what makes yours so different?
I'm glad you asked. First of all, this is not the kind of travel show where we jet off to an exotic locale each week and report back with Everything You Need to Know About, Say, Madagascar in 30 Minutes or Less. Instead, we want to explore the issues, ideas and CULTURE of traveling, with lots of practical advice thrown in. Ever wanted to know the best way to travel and work at the same time? Needed advice on ditching annoying travel companions? Wondered why so many Quebeckers holiday in Florida? Wanderlust will be chock-full of useful information, funny anecdotes and pearls of traveling wisdom, whether you're a seasoned backpacker or thinking of taking your very first trip.
So far, so good. What does it sound like?
Like a breath of godamn fresh air, that's what. It'll knock your socks off with its smart, spunky style and fast-paced energy. Like a roller coaster ride without making you sick. For a half hour, it's a fun mixture of documentaries, soundscapes, audio postcards, in-studio chat and sounds from around the world.
Headings are a good way to break up information... Better than one or two long paragraphs. . . .
*Short, concise introduction... Spells out why a listener would like the program. It's also funny and entertaining, much like the program will try to be...
* This part helps narrow the focus of the subject matter. . . It not only gives us some idea about what the show will be, it lets us know what the show won't be. It helps define and refine the pitch in relation to other programming already available or other pitches that might be made to the group...
* Tries to give us some sense of what the program might sound like on air... It lists some of the program elements that will go into making the program...
What foolhardy soul should sign on for such a venture?
We'd like a young, exuberant host who doesn't mind hosting a travel show that doesn't actually go anywhere. An engaging personality. A razor-sharp wit. An insatiable curiosity. And someone who loves traveling, obviously, with a lot of traveling experience... ...although this host will not, under any circumstances, engage in that annoying game of one-upmanship that plagues so many die-hard traveler types ("I remember the time I got held up at the Slovenian border for three days....at gunpoint....with no food....covered in a mysterious skin rash....")
Why get the DNTO Content Factory the crew to do this?
Well, not only do we have an office full of former backpackers, Winnebago-lovers and road trip warriors, we have a stable of contributors from across Canada and around the world to draw upon. Over the last year at DNTO, we've had stories filed from Edinburgh, South Africa, London, Prague and Zanzibar.
We're a young and talented group who come from a smorgasbord of backgrounds...plus, we've proven we can deliver in the past. From That's Capital to the Seven Deadly Sins, we've become pros at creating the half-hour, limited run radio program. Not to toot our own horns or anything.
Before I fork over any cash, what exactly am I gonna hear?
Here's just a sampling of stories we’d like to do:
1. Roadtrips - Exploring the appeal of hittin' the open road: you, your car, and some bitchin' tunes. Roadtrips have been mythologized in popular culture, from Kerouac's On the Road to Thelma and Louise, but the reality of roadtrips - the monotony, the bad food - gets glossed over. Plus! Roadtrip horror stories, and practical tips on how to travel with your family in an RV and not go crazy.
2. Traveling and work - Teaching English, working on a cruise, "hostessing" in Japan: which ones are legit? Plus! An investigation into carnie culture.
** Even though the producers don’t have the actual host named in the pitch, they know the type of host they're looking for...
Note: Pitches do not need to have all of the answers!
* Gives us some idea of who will make the program and what kind of experience they have... Can they do what they say they want to do? Do they have the skills required?
*** The next section provides real world examples of programming. Concrete story ideas highlight the number of options to open to producers and underline the potential of the programming... ***
3. Nomads - People who never get off the travel trail.
4. Weird pockets of tourism - Germans love Canada's North, the Japanese love PEI, and Quebeckers can't get enough of Florida. How and why does this happen?
5. Traveling to literary/historical destinations – Howarth (the Bronte sisters), Neepawa MB (Margaret Laurence), Gettysburg, Stratford-upon-Avon, Havana...
6. Let’s Go vs. Lonely Planet - a comparison of travel guides. And what does your guidebook say about you?
7. Traveler vs. Tourist - What’s the difference?
8. Tourists vs. Locals - We explore the dynamics of this relationship...from notorious tourist-haters, the Parisians, to the indigenous cultures who have little contact with the outside world.
9. Travel tips - Internet vs. real live travel agents ...who wins? The art of changing currency. How to upgrade into first class...for free! Does anyone bother with traveler's cheques any more?
10. Border Towns - towns with a split personality.
11. Finding love while traveling - Because everyone loves a good "how we met" story.
12. Horror stories! - Because even more than love stories, we love a good gross-out. Catching anthrax from camels in Morocco! Spiders laying eggs in your skin in Japan! A chance for listeners to share their own worst traveling experiences.
13. The Seedy Underbelly of Hostelling
14. Cultural Immersion - how to best get into the culture of the place you’re visiting.
15. The Airport Challenge - We set up a test - how long could you live in an airport without technically going outside? You have food, bookstores, bars, exercise rooms and moving sidewalks... what else do you need?
16. Travel mags and gadgets - We try 'em out, and let you know the best ones to buy.
* This list of ideas would have been stronger if it had spent more time talking about the approach the show would take to telling the stories. Explain not just what you're going to cover on your show, but how you're going to cover it. Explore, the treatment, the characters, what we're going to hear on the radio. Think about how the tone and personality you've defined for your show will affect this. This is radio, tell us what it's going to sound like.
17. Anomalies - Places that shouldn't exist, but do - Liechtenstein, the Vatican, San Marino....plus, what about all those towns built exclusively as tourist traps? Getting to the bottom of Perce Rock and Niagara Falls.
18. Travel in the Future - Space....the final frontier?
Is this going to be expensive?
As tempting as it was to draw up a budget that included flights on the Concorde, caviar in Russia and safaris in Africa, we actually don't need to go anywhere to make the show. Instead we'll rely on our worldwide network of freelancers and wealth of traveling experience. We just need to pay those freelancers as well as our host and producer. Our goal is to make your dream vacation for the price of a budget getaway.
Of course, if you're set on the idea of jetting us around the world, we won't argue.
** Instead of itemizing costs, drafting budgets and the detailing the expense of production, it simply says how the show will be made. Budgets and costing can be done as part of the program's development. Although you don't need to do a budget, it's important to have a realistic sense of the resources that it will take to make your show.