Reality and scripts collide on Nov. 20 at the February Film Mixer, scheduled for Feb. 20. Special guests at the event include K.C. Schulberg, an award-winning producer for the Hallmark Channel, and John Daly, he original host of Real TV.
Jeanne Corcoran, director of the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office, said the timing of the event was decided around Schulberg’s visit to Sarasota to scout for an upcoming project in the region. Corcoran met Schulberg because of an independent film shoot that uses the entire Southwest Florida from Naples to Sarasota as a backdrop.
“I want to talk with him about the transition from television, where budgets and distribution are solid and fate accompli,” Corcoran said. “He had a lot of freedom within a corporate budget to do things you just can’t do in independent film. As worldwide production supervisor and senior vice president for Hallmark Entertainment, Sculberg in fact was working with an annual turnover of $275 million.
She expects a lively conversation with Daly, who works in the low-budget world of reality television. “John has a long pedigree in realty, news and political TV, which is all a spinoff of unscripted film,” she said.
Both types of production are critical to the success of filmmaking in Southwest Florida, Corcoran said. Unscripted shows can be the “bread and butter nutrition” for an area’s film capabilities. “Reality gets a terrible rap,” she said. “One terrible show, one that casts aspersions on people and says ugly things about people, can do so much damage. But for every one of those, there are many wonderful shows that give us humor and they are entertaining, enlightening, human, warm and fuzzy.”
Unscripted shows have had a significant impact on local filming, Corcoran said. TLC’s Breaking Amish: Brave New World, which spent two weeks filming in Sarasota last year, ended up contributing $150,000 in direct spending in the area. Corcoran said reality crews can spend between $15,000 and $60,000 each day they film in an area. The shoots also provide work to local film industry workers, who get hired to perform film crew jobs. She notes that just in the last month, American Idol has filmed segments on contestant Sam Woolf in the Lakewood Ranch area. That helps both showcase the area and spread the word thallhis region is a film-friendly environment.
But film for scripted movies also has an important role in the region. She notes the success of movies like Spring Breakers, which Corcoran concedes may not have presented the most attractive Southwest Florida lifestyle. “The nature of the movie may have been gritty and offensive,” she said, “but it make New College look beautiful.”
The mixer will be held at the State College of Florida auditorium on Feb. 20 beginning at 5:30pm. Tickets are $10 for those who preregister or $12 at the door. You can register with EDC. http://www.edcsarasotacounty.com/events.html