Canadian television producer Megan McElwain approached me about doing a reality show in 2007. The idea would be that they would follow the build up of celebrity shoots, document the session itself and the editing process, all the while showing glimpses of my personal life (mostly the conflicts, of course). Here is a paragraph from their first written pitch:
With unlimited access to one of the most interesting and sought-after celebrity portrait photographers, this is the story behind each moment, the second in time in which each photograph was taken. Some say the photographer is more interesting than his subjects – just like the many interpretations of his photos, it’s up to you to decide.
Reality show pitch by Canadian producer Megan McElwain, 2007
They made a couple of video pitches, the first one, called Uneasy (shown here) was very impressive. It is largely compiled from an interview at Gino’s in New York, and a session with Wes Craven for Audubon in Los Angeles.
The second one culled material from a number of sources, and I find less reflective of my style and approach, and with more swear words. Titled Buck Naked, this is the one that you might have seen on The Strobist, or A Photo Editor and has mistakenly assumed to have been commissioned by me.
Megan and her colleagues worked hard at getting the show picked up, and they had some interest, but there were a couple of difficult hurdles: the show had to syndicate in the U.S. if we had any chance of getting Hollywood publicists to allow them access. And, perhaps more importantly, we had to get my editorial clients on-board. Ultimately, for me that became the sticking point. What’s that expression? Don’t make your problems an issue for your client.