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. Much more interesting though are the behind-the-scenes stories of hustling my (overly?) ambitious shows in Hollywood, the global adventures that inspired them and the insights that came from both ups and downs, some of which you’ll find chronicled on my blog. Story-driven insights about life but also practical wisdom about using transmedia strategies and emerging technologies to bypass the gatekeepers, self-finance on a budget, co-create with like-minded communities and self-publish for your fans — strategies summarized on the course syllabus for a transmedia class I teach.

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, a 2024 Netflix Originals series narrated by Cate Blanchett filmed around the world, featuring award-winning cinematography my team and I captured of tortoises, skunks and rattlesnakes living together underground and a first-of-its-kind tracking sequence of endangered rhinos sauntering through a Nepali town. I also worked on seperate Disney+ and a Nat Geo series featuring stunning macro photography of Brood X “zombie” cicadas that emerge once every 17 years, along with high-speed Phantom photography of chipmunks in kung-fu-like battles (all shot by my close friend and collaborator, adventure cinematographer 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 programs W-5 (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 like the Straight of Hormuz and the Horn of Africa. (CBC’s The National).

• SECURE FREEDOM (researcher, co-producer). A documentary about terror suspects being held without trial in Canada’s “Guantanamo light,” which aired on the 6th anniversary of 9/11 to some 600,000 viewers. (CTV’s W-5).

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

• EMBEDDED IN BAGHDAD (researcher, co-producer ). Alexandre Trudeau embeds himself with an Iraqi family during the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign, which premiered prime time to nearly a million and a half Canadian viewers. (CTV’s W-5). 

Bibles for my docuseries 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, including BIKE THE PLANET, a travel show about bike culture and activism around the world, which had a flashing green light with a major streamer but was ultimately canceled due to the pandemic and loss of its celebrity host (so currently hunting for another celebrity bike activist host).

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

GANGSTA GLOBAL, a scripted TV series about ghetto gangster culture worldwide, which had interest from a major streamer before the WGA strike, is being expanded into a multi-platform franchise. Here I’m putting the transmedia strategies I teach into practice by building out my storyworld with cost effective extensions like graphic novels, a scripted podcasts, indie games and other interactive experiences before continuing to chase a huge scripted TV series investment (taking cues from THE WALKING DEAD, THE BOYS, WATCHMEN, MCMAFIA and GANGS OF LONDON).

ego trip co-founder, Mass Appeal creative director and Emmy-nominated WU-TANG: OF MICS AND MEN director Sacha Jenkins is attached as co-creator. Sacha I met because of his Vibe Magazine article on Queensbridge hip-hop, which led me to interview him for my TRAGEDY Queensbridge documentary, and is arguably the best hip-hop journalist to ever do it.

Another one of my hip-hop projects called POUNDS had Hollywood heat with major rap stars and celebrity-led production companies for a hot minute, but ultimately was never produced. And with Algerian-Canadian actor and rapper Rabah Aït Ouyahia, I co-directed and story edited the proof-of-concept pilot for OPPS, a hip-hop crime series Rabah created, set in Montreal and and Algeria, inspired by GANGSTA GLOBAL, of which he’s a big fan. Check out the micro-budget trailer I co-directed and wrote the voice over for – which we’re using to raise funding for a properly financed international co-production between Canada, France and Algeria. 

 

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