Got a good, unscripted TV series idea?
Winning pitch gets $10,000, partnership with a new Vancouver production firm
In a kind of pay-it-forward model, Vancouver TV creator and producer Tyson Hepburn wants to give someone else a chance at a career in TV.
Hepburn's new Tyson Media Productions has just put out a call for submissions for unique, new, unscripted series ideas.
“Most production companies develop ideas in house. However, my history is I went and I sold TV show ideas to people like David Paperny, who is an Academy Award-nominated producer. He helped me and teamed up with me to make Cold Water Cowboys almost 10 years ago, which was a big hit on Discovery Channel,” said Hepburn, a Vancouver native and Simon Fraser University film school graduate.
“He helped me, he tutored me, he helped turn my dream, my vision into a reality, and so I thought what better way to start my production company.”
The successful pitch will receive $10,000 toward creating a top-notch sizzle reel, as well as a partnership with Tyson Media.
“The best way to success, to selling your ideas, is relationships with broadcasters, which I have. That's No. 1. No. 2 is usually having a great sizzle reel, a five-minute development tape that is amazing,” said Hepburn.
Submissions will be accepted until Jan. 15.
Hepburn says a submission must be five minutes or less. It must show the host, who does not have to be a celebrity. The entrant must also prove they have access to something special and has an intellectual property agreement.
“In terms of subject matter we are kind of open-ended,” said Hepburn, who to date has received more than 100 submissions.
The subject and the people you want to focus on must be relatable. This is not the Real Housewives, but real people doing real things.
Hepburn has been making unscripted content for over a decade.
As the co-founder and executive producer at Mayhem Entertainment, he has such titles as the History Channel and Netflix show Rust Valley Restorers, as well as the Dog Dudes on Amazon Prime and Apple Plus to his credit.
He said the draw to unscripted is twofold for him: Learning about all facets of TV production, as well as about other people and their lives.
“You get to meet a lot of really interesting and sometimes kooky, sometimes crazy people, and you get to learn the business that they're in and what makes them tick,” said Hepburn, who has done shows about fishing and fireworks. “You get to pull back the curtain on all kinds of different people, their businesses and their lives and their families.”
If a career like this interests you, then go to tysonmedia.ca/ pitch-tyson.
The best way to success, to selling your ideas, is relationships with broadcasters, which I have.