14.9.07

Blackflies and beer

Journal Entry -- July 3nd, 1979. Lakeview Lodge. Old Woman Bay, Ontario.

Man..what a long day yesterday was. Big mistake trying to drive from Regina to T-Bay...passed through Winnipeg about 4 had a swim then decided to push on. Kenora at 6:30 ... no rooms, anywhere. Kept on going. And after Kenora there's nothing but the Big Empty. Reached Thunder Bay about 3 a.m. almost blind from hi-beam headlights...ass-holes. Slept 'till 11 and slid on down here to Old Woman Bay. I think I'll have a few beers and hang out. No rush, man. The Sault tomorrow.

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September 14th, 2007.

Tomorrow's a big day. I'll find out whether a History Television series I've been working on gets greenlit. I hope it goes as I seriously need the cash flow. That what running a little prodco is all about -- cash flow. Forget the journalism or the search for our national soul. I used to have eight people working with me and although I watched our costs carefully I still burned through about 20k a month. Phones, rent, insurance, travel, legals, accounting, some salaries, a bit of development -- and that's that. 20k. I had a 100k line-of-credit which is about the most The Bank will ever give a small prodco. And that line-of-credit went up and down like the toilet seat. And when I got deep into it..the phone would ring and I'd hear a cheery "hey man, how's work ?". My account manager. He must have had some sort of red flag against my file. Can't say I blame him.

We've put a great deal of work into this History show. Especially the title. Titles are crucial.

The WORST titled show I ever did was a golf show called EAT YOUR GREENS. I thought I was pretty smart with that...until everybody asked me why I was doing a cooking show for TSN. doh !

I look for titles that have two..maybe three words. Just enough to fit into that little Bell Expressview menu. My favourite titled show is DOGS WITH JOBS. Nothing fancy or clever. It just works. That's probably why it's Canada's most profitable life-style show ...ever. I think it has sold to over 50 countries. That's serious cash. Many millions of dollars generated by a show shot on a handi-cam by underpaid "writer / directors". I once worked for the prodco, Cineflix in Montreal. They have nice digs. Up in Miles End....tres trendy.

But like Lagerfeld said "after trendy comes tacky".

3 comments:

Balbulican said...

Welcome to blogdom, Mr. Young. Should be a very interesting ride, both for you and your readership. I look forward to it.

Damaged Goods said...

thank you, oh great one. I'm not very good with the techie stuff yet -- how DO I add a link, by the way ?

but I'll figure this out as time permits. What I'm trying to do is to weave some bits and piece of my personal Journal from over the years...with the on going struggle to stay alive in this killing industry. And I'm one of the winners (I think).

I feel very strongly that the tsunami of newbies who're coming into this industry (many of them pitching ME constantly) need some sort of "real world" pole-star which might in some small way make their passage a bit less brutal.

Amanda said...

So far, I'm loving it, Don. Us young guppies need all the advice we can get, so it's great to have you on our side.