The Method Producer
MANILA, Philippines—According to Wikipedia, Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances.
Method actors are often characterized as immersing themselves in their characters to the extent that they continue to portray them even offstage or off-camera for the duration of a project.
Running my independent television company StreetPark Productions Inc. gave me two things—the freedom to do anything I want, and the creative push to come up with new ideas and business models for TV shows.
I’d like to share with you a way of producing TV shows which I have come to call Method Producing.
Method Producing is an extreme immersion and participation in the world or industry that your TV show revolves in.
I realized that to captivate and inspire your audience, you have to be in tune with the world or industry that your show revolves in. I don’t dance.
So it got me thinking. To truly succeed as an independent producer, we had to reach a niche market—a blue ocean, that was being underserved by our competitors. We also had to know the industry of our show from the inside out to be believable and to strengthen our credibility.
Our TV show Philippine Realty TV hosted by Gabe Mercado and Angel Jacob, which is now on its seventh season, is case in point. What did we have to do for this show? If my present self could tell myself back then the things we would do to attain the success that we have today, I would have said to my present self that I was crazy.
It all began one day as I was going through the papers. I noticed how many real estate ads there were and realized that there wasn’t really a TV show that catered to the real estate industry in particular.
So the idea for a real estate TV show started to form. I asked the interns at the office to cut out all real estate ads and articles for research. On a leisure trip to Canada in 2007 with just the grain of the idea for the show, I had conducted informal surveys on relatives and fellow Pinoys about their thoughts on a real estate TV show that targeted them as overseas Filipinos who would eventually return and reinvest back in the Philippines.
Back in Manila, we held meetings and presentations with major real estate developers and presented the show.
So in 2009 we launched Philippine Realty TV, “the country’s first real estate TV show for local and global Filipinos.”
Our promise was to feature “the best in Philippine real estate,” showcasing the projects of real estate developers, covering real estate events, and featuring different industry players and suppliers.
Midway through the show’s second season a crazy idea hit: What if I build my first house on the TV show? Being the business owner of a small independent company with no one to veto my great grand idea, we began production and construction for Project: First Home and built the very first house set up from scratch from the ground up in real time on Philippine television. It was a breakthrough for us and an educational viewing experience for the TV audience as we showed everything we went through—from looking for and purchasing the lot, securing the permits, designing with the architect, up to eventually building and furnishing the house.
All of a sudden, we were no longer just featuring real estate projects or covering real estate events. We were actually building projects of our own on the show. Since Project: First Home, we’ve been building other concept homes on the show, and we are now a proud and active participant in the real estate industry, serving the role of arbiter and bringing to our audience the latest green building materials and technologies that are being used today. It has come to the point that some real estate developers have even decided to use certain suppliers that we’ve worked with and featured on the show.
The other things I did as a method producer to learn more about the industry was reviewing for and passing the real estate broker’s licensure exam. So I am now a licensed, nonpracticing real estate broker.
Now, with our latest TV show Franchise TV (FTV) hosted by Issa Litton, we embark on yet another method producing journey. The concept is simple: Aside from featuring different franchise concepts, what if we could run franchise businesses on FTV and show people the ins and outs of acquiring and running a franchise business from the perspective of a franchisee?
As of this writing we have just acquired a franchise for the ultimate Filipino food experience—Binalot. We have just finished our theoretical and practical training as a Binalot franchisee. So as all Binalot franchisees are required to do, I was literally part of the kitchen crew, learned how to cook Binalot’s TaparapSarap and other Pinoy-borites, learned how to wrap the food in banana leaves, and learned the ins and outs of the kitchen. This is all-important training because, I don’t cook.
We will be doing all this and more in the coming months and years, all in preparation for a number of franchise businesses we will acquire and run on Franchise TV. So yes, we have a lot riding on the show and on the franchise industry, which is exactly the way we like it.
That’s Method Producing.
Philippine Realty TV airs Sundays 9:30 p.m. with replays Saturdays 10 a.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. on ANC, and Sundays 8:30 a.m. on Studio 23. Franchise TV airs Saturdays 9 p.m. with replays Saturdays 10:30 a.m. and Sundays 9:30 a.m. on ANC.
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