home June 23, 2020

Scripted & Unscripted Film, Television & Transmedia

Below you’ll find summaries of my unbranded film and TV experience and original content projects currently in development. Often much more interesting though are the behind-the-scenes stories of me hustling my (overly?) ambitious shows in Hollywood, the global documentary and travel adventures that inspired them and the insights that came from both ups and downs, some of which you’ll find chronicled on my blog and lived experience page

Story rich insights about life in danger zones and practical tips for using transmedia theory and emerging technologies to bypass gatekeepers and co-create with like-minded communities – strategies summarized on the syllabus of a course I teach on the future of storytelling at Seneca Polytechnic (which admittedly I’m just starting to put into practice myself).

Selected film and TV experience includes: 

NETFLIX, DISNEY+, NAT GEO ORIGINALS NATURE DOCUSERIES (field producer, field editor, camera assistant, DIT, Swiss Army knife everything person). Most notably OUR LIVING WORLD, an epic 2024 Netflix Originals nature series narrated by Cate Blanchett about the “living network that connects everything on Earth.” Shot in 24 countries over 3 years, I field produced on two out of four episodes, including the series opening tracking sequence of endangered rhinos sauntering through a Nepali town, the series hit Netflix’s “Top 10” in nearly 50 countries, garnering a thoughtful review in The Guardian. (Check out my own article about the project).

I also worked on separate Disney+ and a Nat Geo series featuring ASC award-winning macro photography of Brood X “zombie” cicadas that emerge once every 17 years, along with a project featuring high-speed Phantom photography of chipmunks in kung fu-like battles (all shot by my close friend and collaborator, adventure cinematographer/director Mark Ó Fearghaíl).

• MISSION JOY: FINDING HAPPINESS IN TROUBLE TIMES (production manager, Canadian segments). Official Tribeca Film Festival selection about the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu from Oscar-winning THE COVE director Louie Psihoyos. Now streaming on Netflix. 

• TRAGEDY: THE STORY OF QUEENSBRIDGE (writer, director, producer, associate editor). A fan-favorite indie documentary classic about the largest housing projects in the US with the richest legacy in hip-hop, featuring rap legends Tragedy Khadafi, Marley Marl, Mobb Deep and Capone-n-Noreaga – itself a fan-favorite hip-hop classic. Premiered at Slamdance, was the opening film at NXNE, screened at the NY Hip-Hop Film Festival and Pop Montreal and was on heavy rotation on Fuse TV. 

Geopolitical documentaries hosted by Alexandre Trudeau for Canada’s premier current affairs TV programs W5 (CTV) and The National (CBC) include:

THE NEW GREAT GAME (consulting story producer). A docuseries about pirates, pariahs and world powers competing for strategic global waterways, featuring interviews with Robert Kaplan and Noam Chomsky (CBC’s The National).

SECURE FREEDOM (researcher, co-producer). A documentary shot in Canada and Syria about terror suspects being held without trial in Canada’s “Guantanamo light,” which aired on the 5th anniversary of 9/11 to over 600,000 viewers (CTV’s W5).

BELGRADE: ONE YEAR AFTER (researcher, writer, director, producer). A documentary about activist youth in Serbia who helped defeat the Milošević regime at the polls. (CBC’s The National). Originally started filming Arkan’s notorious Tiger paramilitary group, but pivoted when a more uplifting story presented itself and turned into a world historical event, with Trudeau conducting the first English interview with Vojislav Koštunica, who defeated Milošević in the 2000s elections.

• EMBEDDED IN BAGHDAD (researcher, co-producer). Trudeau embeds himself with a family in Baghdad during the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign, seen by over 1.5 million viewers on its primetime premiere (CTV’s W5).

Bibles for docuseries I’m developing are available on request, several of which were shopped by reality TV pioneers Bunim/Murray Productions and KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS executive producer Jeff Jenkins’s JJP production company. Notably BIKE THE PLANET, a travel show about bike culture and activism around the world, had a flashing green light with a major streamer but was ultimately canceled due to the pandemic and subsequent loss of its celebrity host (and so I’m currently hunting for another celeb bike activist host).

Other series in development include STREET DREAMS, about innovation and activism-infused streetwear fashion, WELLNESS WARRIORS, about myth-busting dangerous health and wellness scams and fads, and DIVERSE CITY, about how cultural diversity is a key driver of innovation across professions in cities around the world.  

GANGSTA GLOBAL, a scripted TV series about ghetto gangster culture worldwide, had interest from a major streamer before the WGA strike. Instead of shopping it as big budget series in this difficult current market, I’m putting the transmedia strategies I teach into practice, taking cues from THE WALKING DEAD, THE BOYS, MCMAFIA, GANGS OF LONDON – and Marvel for that matter – to build out my storyworld with cost effective extensions like graphic novels, scripted podcasts and indie games before chasing a huge TV series investment.

Ego trip co-founder, Mass Appeal creative director and Emmy-nominated WU-TANG: OF MICS AND MEN series director Sacha Jenkins is attached as co-creator. I first met Sacha because of his seminal Vibe Magazine article on Queensbridge hip-hop, which led me to interview him for my TRAGEDY: THE STORY OF QUEENSBRIDGE documentary. He’s arguably the best hip-hop journalist to ever do it. So together with my background covering global conflict for Canada’s top current affairs news programs, we make a strong team for a research-driven crime saga that goes beyond what’s possible in the true crime genre – think SCARFACE, THE GODFATHER and THE WIRE. 

Somewhat related, in 2022 Algerian-Canadian actor / rapper Rabah Aït Ouyahia and I co-directed a proof-of-concept pilot for OPPS, a hip-hop crime series Rabah created, set in Quebec, France and Algeria. It was inspired by GANGSTA GLOBAL, of which he’s a big fan. Check out the micro-budget OPPS trailer I co-directed and wrote the voice over for – to help Rabah raise funding for an international co-production between Canada, France and Algeria.



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Selected Work

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