Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.



July 5, 2009

Poly casting call for "major cable network"

We know the television biz has its eye on polyamory as a possible Next Big Thing for drama and comedy. "Big Love" has been a great success for HBO, even though it's about quasi-Mormons in Utah doing something 19th century rather than about people like viewers' own friends and neighbors. At Loving More's Poly Living Conference last winter, Reid Mihalko, who writes TV screenplays, told the crowd, "There's a lot of interest in getting this [topic] on TV, but nobody is quite biting, because nobody knows if the advertisers will want it. It's kind of happening, but you don't see it yet, because it's not on the air yet."

(Reid has co-created a pilot show of his own for a poly comedy/drama series called "Polly and Marie", and he told the crowd, "HBO almost bought" it. Watch the trailer.)

Now a serious TV production company in Seattle is putting out a poly casting call for this Wednesday, July 8th, in the form of a potluck dinner picnic at a city park. It's for a poly reality series, which they say is for "a major cable network":


Seattle based Screaming Flea Productions is casting a ground breaking new documentary series for a major cable network about people who choose a poly amorous lifestyle. We look forward to meeting anyone interested in participating. Even if you're not sure you want to participate but want to hear what we have to say, please join us! Attending the potluck does not obligate you to be in the series. The potluck will be held at 6:00 PM on Wednesday July 8th at Gasworks Park in Shelter #1. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/_images/maps/picnics/GasWorks.pdf. Producers will explain the project in detail and answer any and all questions people have. We will provide some basics for the potluck, but please feel free to bring a dish to share.

Please share this information to anyone you think may be interested!

For more information about Screaming Flea Productions, please visit our website at www.screamingflea.net.


At their site are impressive-looking lists of clients and productions, and this description:


Screaming Flea Productions is one of the country's leading producers of non-fiction television. We have produced nearly 400 hours of network programming and have over 80 years of combined television experience. Formerly known as Belo Productions, Screaming Flea is the same award-winning team, experienced storytellers with ideas and attitude, …high production value …imaginative …innovative …cutting-edge, producing programs that work and to which viewers respond.


The slogan for the series is "Real Life Big Love." Does anyone know more about it? I spotted the invitation on a FetLife poly community; does that mean they're looking for people who are... umm... unusual? (I won't say "freak show.") Can someone go to this event and report back?

And remember, "Be a credit to your kink."

------------------

UPDATE, July 10: John U went, and he reports:


At least a dozen Seattle Area polys showed up Wednesday evening, July 8, to meet with about a half dozen Screaming Flea people. As an entertainment industry professional who has worked on book, CD, and video projects over the years, I was very impressed with the Fleas. They were direct, clear, no nonsense people. I definitely felt they were trustworthy and were doing the show because they thought the public might benefit from learning about poly, not just be entertained by it.

As to their posting on Fetlife, they also posted elsewhere, on non-kink focused poly lists. They were not just looking for poly kinksters.

They are looking to get funding from a major cable channel to do a half dozen episodes for starters.

A number of us went through their screen test procedure, which was standing in front of a camera and talking for a few minutes about our poly lives. They were clear that none of this test material would make it out of their archives.


UPDATE, July 13: PolyAnna of Seattle also went, and she reports on her blog (reprinted with permission):


Okay kids, progress report time. I recently attended a casting call for a possibly upcoming poly documentary series by Screaming Flea, a Seattle film production company. I read about the event at Polyamory in the Media, another awesome poly resource on Blogspot. A very important one, I might add, so if you're not already following it, please do.

So. The basic idea is this; a number of major networks have requested that Screaming Flea put together a pitch for a polyamorous documentary series. I get the impression that the networks put in this request to multiple film production companies, though I do have to admit that I'm totally inferring that idea, the representatives of Screaming Flea did not overtly say that. So Screaming Flea had this potluck as a way to initially meet the poly community in Seattle. It turns out that none of the Screaming Flea people are poly, or at least not as far as I could tell, so they were trying to get kind of an idea of what subjects to cover and basically what kind of people would be interested in participating in a documentary of this type.

Myself and my primary partner talked to all of the members of the production company. They were very nice, and didn't seem to hold any particular presuppositions about a lifestyle that isn't exactly well represented so far. It seems that the main goal of Screaming Flea at the time of the potluck was to just meet the people, get some basic ideas of what poly means, (no small task, I know) and to make contacts with people who may be interested in being filmed for the documentary if it were to be picked up by the networks. The final thing was to get people to agree to be filmed introducing themselves and talking about their particular flavor of poly on camera so that the production company would have some footage to use to pitch to the networks to try to get the poly documentary contract.

All in all, I would say nothing negative about the event. The Screaming Flea people seemed interested in learning about poly culture. When I spoke to one of the members about how there might be a percentage of poly people who would be somewhat hesitant about participating in a documentary for legal reasons (job related, child related, etc.), they were sympathetic and made it clear that anyone with reservations should not be participating in such a project. They seemed to do a satisfactory job of expressing what the project was and why they were having the potluck. Really, the project is in very initial stages and the potluck functioned mostly as a meet and greet.

Okay. So that said, I would have to say that at this stage I'm very much supporting this project. One of the conversations that I've had multiple times at or since the potluck is how horribly poly has been represented via documentary in recent years. I even spoke to a person who participated in one such documentary and was highly misrepresented because of editing, according to him. While I realize this is a real risk as far as documentaries go, I really, really believe that quantity of poly representation in popular media is an issue right now. I would probably feel differently if the production company gave me any idea that they might demonize poly, but at this point it seems that their focus is on learning as much as they can. I very much hope that this documentary series gets off the ground. I plan on participating as much as it is possible for me to do so.



UPDATE, July 28: The producers are still looking for more people for the show. Liza at Screaming Flea Productions writes,


My name is Liza and I'm working on this project for Screaming Flea. We are still working to get people involved and would be happy to hear from anyone interested. This is definitely a work in progress and will certainly grow and change as time goes on, but the goal is to create a positive and honest portrayal of several poly families.

The challenge we face on this project is finding people who are willing to be completely open with their lives. I realize this is a private issue for many people, so I would advise anyone not wanting family members, coworkers or other people in their lives to know to not be on camera. However, for the brave non-monogamists out there, I would love to find you!

I do believe this could be an amazing show and would introduce poly to people who have never heard of it before. I think it would be awesome if that introduction is an honest portrayal and not one filled with fear or judgment.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just want more info.

Thanks,

Liza

polydocumentary@gmail.com
or
liza@sfpseattle.com


[Permalink]

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I intend to go to the July 8th meeting. It's within walking distance of my house.

John U

July 05, 2009 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Carra said...

Were I in range I'd definately go to at least check it out. I saw someone advertising it on a poly group on Facebook that I'm apart of. It seems a lot less sketch than the random advert that was on the PP forum last week at least. I'm very interested to hear how this turns out.

July 05, 2009 6:07 PM  
Blogger Anita Wagner said...

John, please let us know about the details of this, I'm very curious. Thanks!

July 06, 2009 9:49 AM  
Blogger PolyAnna said...

Thank you so much for posting this! Myself and my primary will definitely be there, and I'd be happy to give you a full report if you'd like. I'll most probably be posting all about it on my site as well.
I love your site, btw. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

July 07, 2009 12:59 AM  
Blogger PolyAnna said...

And oops, I wasn't signed in properly when I posted that. Here's the right username. Sorry.

July 07, 2009 1:02 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

PolyAnna, please do give us a report here! Or post a link to it. Thanks.

--Alan

July 08, 2009 11:45 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Hi Everyone,

My name is Liza and I'm working on this project for Screaming Flea. We are still working to get people involved and would be happy to hear from anyone interested. This is definitely a work in progress and will certainly grow and change as time goes on, but the goal is to create a positive and honest portrayal of several poly families.

The challenge we face on this project is finding people who are willing to be completely open with their lives. I realize this is a private issue for many people, so I would advise anyone not wanting family members, coworkers or other people in their lives to know to not be on camera. However, for the brave non-monogamists out there, I would love to find you!

I do believe this could be an amazing show and would introduce poly to people who have never heard of it before. I think it would be awesome if that introduction is an honest portrayal and not one filled with fear or judgment.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just want more info.

Thanks,
Liza
polydocumentary@gmail.com
or
liza@sfpseattle.com

July 28, 2009 7:41 PM  

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