Day 28

Dammit!  My nephew and full time employee took the day off yesterday…so I had to watch the store all day.  I was all amped up to go to Pilgrim TV office, but I could not get away from work.  There seems to be some unknown force of nature keeping me away from this place.  Dare I say I will try again on Monday?

Today is home video day.  No HD film making here, just my little Digi camera with a 10 minute video built in. I have enlisted my 14 year old nephew, Dakota, as my sous chef.  I guess the TV show wants me to have 2 sous chefs, as sort of a family thing.  I will probably have my 12 year old niece be the other one, but for today just Dakota. 

Portabella Mushroom Tacos, with homemade corn tortillas and mango salsa will be the dish I am entering in the competition.  Picture your favorite Carne Asada taco, but I substitute Portabellas in place of the meat.  I prepare the mushrooms as if they were a fine piece of steak.  Why?  Because my wife duped me 17 years ago when she pretended to be a carnivore for our first 5 years of marriage.  Now, she has gone full vegetarian for the past 10 years or so, and I have to be creative in making veggie dishes that satisfy, and these tacos do!  

I challenge anyone to make a veggie taco that doesn’t leave you hangin, in fact I am challenging 3 professional chefs on this silly reality TV show.   Maybe not so silly though, there are cash prizes for the winner.  Also, I do watch all of these cooking shows all of the time and I love them.  I don’t know why I am acting like I am above a reality show?? It will be fun for sure…and I always say… “The pursuit is usually more rewarding than the thing you are pursuing”  (not going to win any literary awards for that quote, but you know what I mean…I am working with a Jr. High education over here)

Vegetarians are a huge pain in the ass!  Try going out to a fine restaurant where nothing on the menu is suitable for the Queen vegetarian, veggie soup…uh huh…no it’s made from chicken stock. “I’ll just have a side of mashed potatoes, and some steamed vegetables.”   But, out of necessity comes inspiration…sometimes even genius.  Once in a while a chef prepares something on the fly for my wife that even blows me away.  I hardly ever cook meat at home anymore, my mother is rolling over in her grave! 

So, it is Portabella tacos…Genius!

Day 27

The casting department of this new cooking show has contacted me, and they have informed me that I need to make an audition tape.  The tape needs to be 8-10 miutes long, and show my personality.  Oh God…a reality show!  I am going to make it this weekend, maybe I will post it on the video page…if it is not too corny!

The concept of the show is: Home cooks vs. Pro Chefs.  The home cook is supposed to have the advantage cooking their own signature dish, then the pros try to do a version of the same dish to see who makes the better dish.  Sort of a Home cook Throwdown.  

I am a very competative person by nature and I never like to lose, but I just want to get some exposure for SFU.  Not necessarily direct exposure for SFU, but I hope that I can get some pesonal exposure in the foodie TV world. 

I am thinking, what if the casting people of this show do a google search for  Robert Ogden and find this page…and they think, oh this guy is not into the competition.  Well, all I can say is…Winning this show means everything to me so I can use it as a stepping stone to making SFU a reality.  I know that this show is not the answer to my show getting the “Green Light”, but it is one small step closer.  I don’t care how long it takes, I will never give up until SFU is a real TV show!

Oh one more thing…Pilgrim TV, I am knocking on your door TODAY, no matter what…so get ready for me :)

Day 21

Last week very busy working my regular job…

On my last entry I stated that I need a new plan, and so I did come up with one.  I need exposure.  Radio, TV…something.

So, I entered a cooking competition for home cooks, a new reality show on a major cable network.  My application has been accepted and I will compete in a cooking competition to be aired soon.  Hopefully I will make it through all of the other applicants to be considered as a finalist.  This should get my name out there in the foodie world.  Even if I don’t make it as a finalist…I just need some TV air time, not sure if I will even get that yet, be we shall see. 

Don’t worry, I can cook!  I have been an avid home chef since I was 7 years old.  My mother taught me well and taught me to enjoy cooking. 

On other fronts, my partner Randy is sending the pilot to all the major networks…not such a great plan because they get unsolicited submissions everyday.  I have a feeling that the trash can is full of un-opened submissions.   

No…I need a pro-active approach.

Day 14

Friday got too busy at work, no chance to leave my office.  This week is shot because I have a trade show Mon-Thurs.  So, it’s not going to be easy to get this show off the ground! 

I was thinking…maybe I should get an agent?? I have no Idea what I am doing, I am a lamb in a pack of wolves.  I wouldn’t even know how to go about getting an agent either. 

I am still sending out emails to anyone I can find on the Internet, and I am still waiting patiently for MR. X to respond or return from his trip.  I am not loosing motivation, it’s just that whatever I am doing is not providing any response.  I need to come up with a better plan.  Not sure what it is though…

I would gladly take suggestions.   Anyone…anyone…Bueller

But, that is what this blog is all about, hopefully, it will document the learning curve.  I fully expected it to take some time…it’s only been 2 weeks.  So far all that I have learned is that I know nothing about getting a TV show started. 

Good thing I have a day job.

Day 12

So busy with work and family, no time for blogging or SFU. 

Here are my priorities:

1. Family

2. My regular Job

3. Street Food Uncovered

Anyway, not too much to report about SFU, but I did send a copy of the DVD to the attention of the president of  http://www.pilgrim-films.com/

This company helped get the reality show “Survivor” off the ground in the first 3 seasons.  They also currently do ” Dirty Jobs” and “American Chopper” along with many others.  I sent the DVD with no note, just a Fed-Ex package to the attention of Craig Piligian. 

This is the building that I was to scared to walk into last week.  But today, I plan to walk in and ask for Craig.  No studdering, no explaining to the receptionist…”Uh, well, I wanted to see if he could help with, uh,uh…”  No.  When she asks if I have an appointment, my answer will be, I sent him a copy of my pilot, Street Food Uncovered.  I suspect  that she will say that I need to have an appointment.  I will simply ask to make one. 

That is it??  I don’t know, I am just winging it here.  I will report back what happens. 

Anyone know a spoiled son of a Hollywood Executive that I can bribe?   I will never give up!

Day 6 or 7

I was watching “No Reservations” last night on my DVR…and it reminded me a lot of MY TRIP…TEN YEARS AGO, before Istanbul was cool!  Tony, I finnaly got something on you…

CHECK OUT ISTANBUL ON MY VIDEO CLIPS PAGE

Also, there is a lot of talk going around the internet about how Anthony Bourdain is a “Sell Out” for doing a blatent product placement on his show using a Sapphire Chase credit card.   Here are my thoughts on the subject-

This is why Tony is still right on Target…

 Hello??!!  Who pays for television?  Advertisers! Howard Stern always says, “I’m in the advertising business” He reads live commercials all day long.  He actually made it popular again. Back when he was in competition with other radio shows, the live commercials made all the difference in his success.

 Anthony did not try to hide it, it was a live commercial…Bravo Tony.  I have not watched a commercial in years because of my beautiful DVR, you haven’t either you dumb Asses calling him a sell out. If advertisers don’t get airtime they will stop paying for your favorite shows. 

You may think I am kissing Tony’s ass because I want his job…No, I am just standing behind the man who made Food/Travel TV popular and cool.  Before him it was all boring documentary style. 

Get paid and continue to do your thing!  That is what Tony is doing, he is in the advertising business.

Day 3 & 4

Hello loyal followers…

I’ve been so busy with my real job and my family that I have not done much with SFU.  But there are a few things to report.  

1.  My FED-EX package  been delivered and signed for by the mystery TV host.   I’m anxious to bug him, its been a couple of days, but I don’t want to be a pest.  Any advice on this???  Give him a week or bug the shit out of him now??

2.  I managed to locate Pilgrim TV & films on my way home yesterday.  It was about 3:30 in the afternoon and I pulled up to this highly intimidating building with a security guard posted prominently in front.  

I came up with the Idea to do this blog so that the world could follow me and my experiences as to what it takes to take chances,  and try and make my dreams come true.  So I have to be completely honest here, every step of the way.   The truth is…I chickened out.  I lost confidence and I could not get myself to walk in to this ominous looking  building and announce…”I’m Robert Ogden and this is Street Food Uncovered!”   It’s funny because my tag line in the video intro is “NO , I’M NOT AFRAID”.  But, Iwas afraid and I am a bit embarrassed to admit it.  I don’t have to write about it, I could just try again and write about that, but in a way…as I am writing this…it is helping me to overcome the fear.

I had it all planned out in my mind how I would get past the secretary, I read all the history about the company so I could impress them and let them know how serious I am about this.  I studied all the players, names, photos, bios…but the butterflies in my stomach took over and I got back in the car and drove off, cursing myself the whole way home.   I don’t know why I let myself get freaked out, they’re just people.  I guess the truth is…fear of failure. 

What now?  Pick myself up, dust myself off, shake it off and try again!  I will not give up!   I must remember things like, Abraham Lincoln had more failures in his life than successes.  And, even if I can’t bust through Pilgrim…there are hundreds of other avenues to pursue. 

I will go back to the scene of the crime, I will go inside and make myself known…and I will report back to all!

Day 2 of my journey into TV

Today was a very interesting day.  I wasn’t feeling well, but headed off to work anyway early this morning. 

Here is where I stand so far…

I have completed the 30 minute pilot. It took me about 3 months to film and edit.

My partner has a contact at the A&E network, we sent her a copy-no word back from her.

I have a customer at CAA, big Hollywood agency.  He agreed to look at the pilot, but he is so busy with Oprah and Clooney that I don’t think he has time for me.  No word from him, and I don’t want to bother him.

I have sent countless emails and voice mails to many production companies with zero response.

So I have been researching local production companies and I am planning on walking in unannounced to see what happens.  I found a company in Sherman Oaks called Pilgrim Films & TV.  They produce many successful shows including Dirty Jobs.  Another one called Pietown in North Hollywood who also has many successful shows on the Food Network and HGTV.   I was in no shape to walk in today, so I went home early to be with my baby girl. 

Here is the interesting part…this afternoon I received two emails which gave me lots of hope.  The first one was from my partner Randy.  His friend, a TV writer and very tough critic, called him today and said he watched the pilot and thought we have a great product and that he is going to pass it on to his agent at William Morris who handles Reality TV.   He feels good about this. 

The second email was even more interesting.  Like I said, I sent hundreds of blind emails to anyone and everyone, and today I received my first reply.  This was from a very prominent TV host and I was shocked to see an email directly from him.  I don’t want to say who it is for now, I don’t want to blow it.  But he said he would be happy to take a look at the pilot and so I immediately put a package in FED-EX, and he will be receiving it tomorrow.   I never expected to here from this person when I sent him an email, I honestly thought that some intern somewhere would be receiving it anyway.  But the cool thing is just how warm and genuine this person is in real life, not just a phony TV guy.  Not only does this give me hope for my project, but a new found hope in people!  

Still tomorrow I will hit Pigrim TV, I need as many options as possible.

My first blog

I realize that know one is reading this blog, or is even interested. 

I have decided to write this adventure as if the whole world is reading and is very interested.  Not for my own ego, but in the hope that someone will read this and be inspired.  Maybe Anthony Bourdain will read this someday and know that he has inspired me to take a chance.  Who knows, maybe from this blog I will meet Tony and I will get to tell him in person.   Today is the first day of my attempt to be become the Julie of Julie & Julia.  I guess Brad Pitt will have to play me, and Harrison Ford will be playing Tony.  I know that you’re not that much older than me Tony, I just like Harrison. 

Street Food Uncovered.  This is my dream…to travel the world, eat street food from strange lands, tell the story behind the people making the food, and get it all on film.  I also know that this is not a totally new concept or breakthrough television, I just feel that there is always room for one more. I do feel I have my own slant though.  I also need to get paid for doing this.  Not because I am greedy, but because it’s expensive!  Oh, and of course I want to be a star, but it is really more about traveling the world.

So as it turns out, filming the pilot episode was the easy part. Getting someone in Hollywood to watch it is the hard part. Getting someone to return an email or a phone message is IMPOSSIBLE!  I am going to have to change my strategy to walking in cold to production offices, or ambushing people at the closest Starbucks to some of these places. 

This blog is going to chronicle my every move…