Anything Goes : Is it possible to produce television series outside of Hollywood? by J Tom Field

J Tom Field

Is it possible to produce television series outside of Hollywood?

I was recently put in touch with an active Hollywood producer. He was very kind and seemed quite willing to help me in any number of ways. The rub occurred when he discovered that I was unable to make a commitment to living in Hollywood. It seems that, no matter where a series is shot, most all pre and post production occurs in Hollywood and most studios now want the writer/creator of a show to be a show runner as well. Although I had a few stories to pitch for current shows, he felt that his agent wouldn't be interested since they weren't for a top tier show. Is it possible, or what will make possible, that beginning to end production of a show outside Hollywood or is this all we've got?

D Marcus

While it's true that the production hubs are still Los Angeles and New York of course a series can be produced entirely outside of them. More challenging for sure, but doable. As you discovered when talking with a producer in Los Angeles they want to work with people local to them. For many of the same reasons you want to of have to work local to you. As the series writer/creator you can look for producers local to you. Or (and much more difficult but doable) you could produce it yourself.

Angel Matheson

This is something that I have been wondering too. With technology I think it should absolutely be doable. I suppose it's really about finding the right people to get you connected for exposure. Detroit has an HBO series in production. Chicago has Chicago Fire. I think Atlanta has a few, of course Miami. So I think yes is your answer. Good luck.

J Tom Field

Of course self production is a difficult but doable thing. I'm not sure how many producers there actually are outside of Hollywood (and yes, of course D Marcus is correct, New York as well) who have productions airing on television. Getting it on the air is a step that's often important to have lined up before somebody's willing to put much money towards the production. That being said, I have considered trying to produce or co-produce the pilot. But, if there's no chance of the networks buying it, then that would be a lot of money wasted. Angel, there are three series in productions in Portland right now, but all have pre and post production happening in LA. The creator/writer/producer I spoke with had his show shot in Miami but still all pre and post production for all seven years run of the show was in LA. Amazon, a Seattle based company has their TV and film production offices in... want to guess? LA.

Angel Matheson

I'm not saying that pre and post production isn't being done in LA. I'm just saying that it can be done. With film moving out of LA more and more, I believe the doors are opening up to produce anywhere. Maybe you will be the pioneer of that venture.

Sonaal Pannu

Of course it is possible to produce television series outside Hollywood. After all, what is Hollywood? I believe Hollywood is an idea where people get together to network and collaborate on concepts, story-telling, skills and techniques. And this is possible even outside Hollywood, but to prove your point you must have an idea that's out-of-the-box and that is executed as per the standards that television demands today (which are no less than films I must admit when it comes to both quality and story-telling). We're living in the digital age and post-production has become even simpler with software's and technology easily available for first time film makers to come out, tell a story and showcase it to the world with the many avenues available for streaming content! All you have to do first is get your dream team and then there'd be no one stopping you! All the best, John!

Niksa Maric

I honestly don't know that much about production but I have to agree with everyone who voted YES. What I really hate is when a TV show starts on FICTIONAL locations let's say somewhere in Oregon and 3 episodes later the actors are standing in front of the building with the Canadian flag in background in Toronto or any other town. Do these production companies really think people wouldn't notice this transition. I'm pretty sure it was a TV show Continuum season 1.

Niksa Maric

I hope no one took the part about Canada the wrong way. I really don't have anything against production in Canada but maybe we're all shaking or barking at the wrong tree. Maybe we should all start looking in that direction. If I offended someone in the part in previous post about Canada, I apologize.

J Tom Field

Don't worry too much Niksa, Canadian's are too nice to be offended. I will say that Leverage, which I believe was supposed to take place mostly in Boston and then certain locals around the globe, was filmed in Portland. A lot of the Canadian filming happens in Vancouver BC because it has an international look, though I agree that a Canadian flag in a shot certainly does ruin that.

Niksa Maric

They do have some great shows, don't get me wrong but when you read the plot and when you see or recognize a different location, that really kills the show. I know this started with X-Files which was also filmed in Canada, for most of the part anyway but I was surprised how many shows in recent past were filmed on Canada.

Bob Greenwade

The problem of "you need to be in Hollywood" is something that The Fan Film Project is wanting to break. The Internet has all manner of tools for working remotely, so that if it's not something that needs your physical presence (such as acting or operating equipment) then you're welcome to do it from the comfort of your home, wherever that may be. Anyone interested can check into our work at whofanfilm.com (our general site) and intergalacticspacerangers.com (the retro-SF TV show that is our current big project).

J Tom Field

The looks interesting Bob. I'll definitely take a look at those sights in more depth when I have a bit more time (maybe this afternoon if I don't decide to cut two holes into the walls of my house). It does also come down to being able to make money. I'm not talking a lot of money but a low end living wage is mandatory if one is to put the time and effort into something. Weekend/hobby productions have their limits, not to suggest that they aren't worthwhile, or to suggest that the projects you mention are simply that.

Bob Greenwade

Thanks for catching that (now-corrected) typo, John. Seriously, if you (or anyone else for that matter) want to wait until we have the pilot episode funded, that's OK. This early planning is good for getting one's tuppence worth in, but (at least my understanding is that) the pay from the pilot on forward will be industry standard.

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