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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All!

I work as part of the Development Team at Original Media Production in Los Angeles and I am currently in the early stages of development on a new show for The National Geographic Channel that would focus on a small group of homesteaders living in the wildernesses of America.

I know that over the last few years a lot of the shows produced about homesteaders and people living off-grid have been heavily sensationalized to the point of not even being real. The goal of this potential project is to offer a 100% authentic depiction of what life is like for homesteaders in the rural parts of America. The show would focus on people living a subsistence way of life, getting almost all, if not everything, they need from the land. It would also focus on the benefits of homesteading and going off-grid in today's hectic and volatile Society as it's getting harder and harder to unplug and become self-sufficient.

If you either are or know of anyone who fits the above description, I would love to talk with you about this potential project. I know that there are probably a lot of questions about a project like this. If you message me, I'm more than happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. Ultimately, your feedback will help to guide the direction of this project as we work to make it the most authentic show ever produced about homesteading and living off-grid.

I hope you all are well and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
 

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I have been in discussion with Colin on this and am assured that this is not one of those slick make you look bad reality shows.

It is something that sounds awfully interesting. And he's on the up and up. He asked permission before posting this.

And ask the questions, here or PM. He will be around enough to answer them.
 

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Not for everyone, but if he is sincere in the offer, it might be a good opportunity for someone? I for one would certainly be interested to see a REAL show like this. I am not going to hold my breath, as no one has been able to make one yet and leave out the drama, but I would like to see such a show.
 

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Can't help you. Just got back on the grid after being off of it for almost 5 years. There are a lot of people up here that fit the bill but most of them wouldn't do it for fear of being made to look ridiculous. Which seems to be the goal of most of these shows. The last one made in the Copper River area used people that were pretty much just acting and were not even from the area. They left what amounts to a dump in the woods when they took off.
 

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I may be out of line suggesting someone else, but how about HT members Plickety Cat and Gungnir? Their blog, Off-Grid in Alaska, is always interesting, although their homestead may not be considered truly wilderness.
 

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It's a shame you are limiting it to Alaska, as there is a lot of "wild" left in the lower 48. I would know, we're 40 minutes from the nearest store, and almost all our supplies come via mail. You might be missing out on some excellent opportunity closer to home, which could relate to, and inspire a similar, and much larger audience. I like the shows, but the Alaska angle is getting played out. Still, thanks for seeking us out here.
 

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"The show would focus on people living a subsistence way of life, getting almost all, if not everything, they need from the land."


I think that is much rarer than you think. Im sure this is what you want to do but by defining it in such terms I think you are setting yourself up to be less "real" than the slick fakes.
What Ive seen of Alaska's rural inhabitants is a weirdly undefined existence.
The latest technology is used and embraced right next to the most ancient of ways. 4 wheelers haul fish to feed dog teams, Dog teams pull gas for snowmachines., Firewood heats thoroughly modern houses powered by solar cells that have have wonderful kitchens with a wood cook stove AND a microwave! .They prepare meals of wild moose meat and salmon and eat them in front of TVs watching shows from the internet and satellite.
To ignore this and focus on the few that live with stone pots and spears is to deceive with the best of intentions.
 

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No drama??? How the heck will you be able to cut to the five minutes of commercials just before it happens? Then review the crisis when you come back for five minutes, then maybe the girl pulls the trigger on the bear before the next five minutes of commercials......And will you have so many bleeps that I won't know when my microwave popcorn is actually done? And will you actually have any episodes of the hours and hours of solitude inside the house during the 9 months of deep snow?

Seriously, I hope you can come up with something more creative than what is on already..

geo
 

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Discussion Starter #11
American Stand that's a really interesting point. I think people who haven't been to Alaska have an unrealistic picture in their head of the state, myself included. What would you think of a show that featured how modern technology is making homesteading and self-sufficiency easier? It could be really interesting to show, as you said, how modern tech. is used right along with the old tried and true methods of homesteading.
 

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What would you think of a show that featured how modern technology is making homesteading and self-sufficiency easier? It could be really interesting to show, as you said, how modern tech. is used right along with the old tried and true methods of homesteading.
LOL I have to tell you at first for some reason I was offended at the use of technology in subsistence peoples. There is something about Sharing a whale hunt with skinboats and wood harpoons via IPhone and facebook that takes a little while to wrap your mind around.

Yes I think Alaska as it really is is A award winner!
There is a guy out by Bethel With a market farm, probably the only one for 500 miles. Ive watched a man step out of a plane and walk off into the stone age. There is a Lawyer that raises Reindeer ,people that ride the same train the tourists do then walk off into hidden cabins. . People that have great Homes and the only way in is via airplane. People that Work in offices the biggest city and spend the weekends in walk in hand built cabins living the life the lower 48 dreams of. Even a exgirlfriend in a wonderful home near the city that has eaten wild meat since she was a child.
Strange as it seems a LOT of the Alaskan spirit is in those cheechockos fresh from the states who come up not knowing much but determined to live the old west homesteading living off the land dream.
 

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I hope that you really are over the fake drama that nearly all of the shows have.

Take Gold Rush Alaska for example. It was a great show, and very enjoyable to watch as they struck out to find gold. As the show aged, there was more and more fake drama added, and it stands out like a sore thumb. I think that the majority of Americans are over the 'character development' and 'pot stirring.' Just read any serious thread on any reality show, and it will become quite clear that viewers are sick of it.

I think you could have a hit show if you find the right people, and set it up more on the lines of Wartime Farm that aired in the UK. That series, IMO, is quite good, whereas the drama is what real challenges the hosts face, as they tie it in with a little show and tell about what they are actually doing.

I wish that I were younger and not tied down with life...I'd love to try something like that, just for the experience of doing it. Sounds like a golden opportunity for the right people.
 

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Sorry if I am stepping on toes here... I hope it works I will definitely watch, hopefully it is more of a how to kind of show. Sustenance living in Alaska will be interesting but I would love to see homesteaders from all across the country, see the different climates and issues. Most people don't want to see a solar system set up from start to finish... I can't imagine it will be in-depth enough to interest most actual homesteaders.. I want to know about food storage, how many of what they can, their electrical setups... I would like to see a well thought out coordinated family effort, kind of like the Duggers do off grid Alaska.. I would like to see a family raising several different kinds of foul, turkeys, chickens, geese, ducks and processing them in the winter, I would like to see them raise and harvest beef, pork, fish, oysters, clams all the seafood available and putting it up, their fruits and vegetables, how much they need for the year. I would like to see a good set up organized fencing clean barns disciplined children, being homeschooled and learning to sew, and music lessons and also their celebrations and fun... Really just as soon not see animals in miserable conditions, half built rickety fences, cows calving in a blizzard in the snow.. Homes that have been half finished for years... etc.. I don't think it is fair that Hollywood wants to put the crack pots on tv allowing the viewing public to think that we are all that way...
 

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I hope that you really are over the fake drama that nearly all of the shows have.

Take Gold Rush Alaska for example. It was a great show, and very enjoyable to watch as they struck out to find gold. As the show aged, there was more and more fake drama added, and it stands out like a sore thumb. I think that the majority of Americans are over the 'character development' and 'pot stirring.' Just read any serious thread on any reality show, and it will become quite clear that viewers are sick of it.

I think you could have a hit show if you find the right people, and set it up more on the lines of Wartime Farm that aired in the UK. That series, IMO, is quite good, whereas the drama is what real challenges the hosts face, as they tie it in with a little show and tell about what they are actually doing.

I wish that I were younger and not tied down with life...I'd love to try something like that, just for the experience of doing it. Sounds like a golden opportunity for the right people.
Fake drama is correct. I hope that this will be a real show and not scripted reality. We have lived in the Canadian North for 15 years now and the reality of homesteading is hard work, repetitive work, boredom, planning and yet fun. And you are right Clovis - Gold Rush Alaska was a joke.

Stuff happens but it is spread out over years. Drama - and tragedies - occur in everyone's life but no one would survive the lifestyle if they reacted the way that some of these shows are scripted. If you work a gold claim and a piece of your equipment breaks down this is not drama this is normal and the cost of doing business. You don't tear your hair out and whine - you just get on with it.

We have had drama in our life - some of it ours, some of it happened to our friends and colleagues - but it does not happen every day so it will not happen in every episode if the producers want reality. Treed by a grizzly, forest fire right up to the back door, D9 Caterpillar sank in a sink hole never to be seen again, dogs chased grizzly out of camp and then were chased back and came running to hide behind the humans, colleague decapitated by helicopter blades,escaped Alaska mental patient crashed through border followed by police car chase and then disappeared into forest where we were working and we had to herd her to safety, meteor exploded right over our head and then the whole world was out searching for it and then there was the drama of no mayonnaise in the grocery store because all the tourists went shopping.
 

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I think that the majority of Americans are over the 'character development' and 'pot stirring.' Just read any serious thread on any reality show, and it will become quite clear that viewers are sick of it.
I don't think so. It's clear that people who live the lifestyle and take it seriously are not interested in the fake drama, but they are a small percentage of the population. You can't judge the majority of Americans by some posts on discussion forums that don't relate to the majority of Americans. Fake drama sells commercials.

I think you could have a hit show if you find the right people, and set it up more on the lines of Wartime Farm that aired in the UK. That series, IMO, is quite good, whereas the drama is what real challenges the hosts face, as they tie it in with a little show and tell about what they are actually doing.
We just finished watching Tales From the Green Valley and we are a few episodes into Wartime Farm. They are probably the best nonfiction shows we have seen in a long time and we thoroughly enjoy watching, but I seriously doubt they could ever be a hit show in America.
 

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No drama??? How the heck will you be able to cut to the five minutes of commercials just before it happens? Then review the crisis when you come back for five minutes, then maybe the girl pulls the trigger on the bear before the next five minutes of commercials......And will you have so many bleeps that I won't know when my microwave popcorn is actually done? And will you actually have any episodes of the hours and hours of solitude inside the house during the 9 months of deep snow?

Seriously, I hope you can come up with something more creative than what is on already..

geo
The six to eight months of doing absolutely nothing 'homesteady' sitting in a cabin, snow bound, is why I never did it. Worked ten years there, and got a feel for the land, and if you weren't into snowmachines, (hate them) or dog sledding (which required the steaders I knew, to work all summer long, just for the feed bill) or trapping (no use for it, commercially), there's nothing to do. [Bad knee from falling in a crevasse and dog sledding/skiing don't get along very well]
 

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You do something along the lines of Dick Preenneke and "Alone in the Wilderness" I am all on board!!! Another Gold Rush Type drama, I have no interest in.

BTW, I think Dicks story could be reproduced using some modern type equipment etc. and still not really take away from the basic premise, if done correctly, and with respect for the people involved, instead of making them out to be either Rambo or Dumbo. Just simple people living a simple life and avoiding the dramatic risk taking that has been portrayed in many modern documentaries. Smart people simply do not take many of the risk that are portrayed.
 

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I don't think so. It's clear that people who live the lifestyle and take it seriously are not interested in the fake drama, but they are a small percentage of the population. You can't judge the majority of Americans by some posts on discussion forums that don't relate to the majority of Americans. Fake drama sells commercials.



We just finished watching Tales From the Green Valley and we are a few episodes into Wartime Farm. They are probably the best nonfiction shows we have seen in a long time and we thoroughly enjoy watching, but I seriously doubt they could ever be a hit show in America.
Boy I sure don;lt think it is over by any stretch of the imagination. As new reality shows are popping up on a lot of over channels as well not just History or the Other Discovery Channels.
Look how popular Naked and Afraid is.
So popular there is another one just started last weekend. It is called tethered ~!
Two people this time have some survival tools etc, and all fully clothed.
But are Tied together by a 6 rope~! That Tether is paddle locked to their belt~
Not until they get to the rescue site will someone unlock them. LOL
Now starting again for what it is now the 3rd season Railroad Alaska in a few weeks is back.
And lets not forget the new show that just started two weeks ago. Utopia
No way are people getting sick of these reality shows. The are more poplar today then ever before.
And with over 85% of the people in this country getting cable or satellite service they won't be going away anytime soon either.
Out of 230+ Channels one must have something to watch that is at least fun to see the mistakes etc. in. I am getting over 210 myself. LOL
 
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