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An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !

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George Holt IIIAn idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 18, 2013 at 10:59:45 pm

We have a world famous club called, "The Bandit Trans Am Club", that's been around since the early 90's. It's full of Trans Am owners from around the world that buy, restore, sell, show off, and just plain have fun with their Special Edition Trans Am's like the one from the movie series, Smokey and the Bandit. But it's more than that. There are get together's all over the world, a Bandit Run, meetings with Burt Reynolds, and more. The show would be about the members, and their passion for the movie, the cars, and the friendships they have carved out from meeting through the club. There have even been Trans Am funerals arranged. I invite you to jump on our Facebook Group and meet the gang! We have it all! We even have a couple of Trans Am owners that met, and had a Trans Am wedding! We have hot women, hot men, hot cars, and cool times! This is our Facebook Group:
This is the main website:
Last night we had a member with a car fire that destroyed his engine! This is good tv!!!

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Mark SuszkoRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 19, 2013 at 5:52:34 pm

I once knew a guy or gal that was into this, (a casual internet buddy from a mailing listserv) they had a fun time going cross-country and as I recall (dimly now) , they shot some footage in the cars along the way on then-new Dv camcorders. They tried to get friends to meet them at checkpoints and shoot the dirtside b-roll of them coming in and going out. I can't recall now how that project ended up. It sounds pretty niche, unless you open the narrative up at each checkpoint into some local color angle or something. Some big events seem amazing/riveting to the insiders, but less so to external audiences with no inherent knowledge or connection. This goes for everything from sci fi conventions to the transpac yacht races. To break out of the niche following and get a general audience interested, requires some creativity in developing the narrative.

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George Holt IIIRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 19, 2013 at 8:15:49 pm

I completely agree that you would have to get creative to make it interesting. It seems like most of these house flipping, motorcycle building, muscle car restoration shows,etc., all have a some kind of self imposed deadline they have to meet to get the car, motorcycle, or house done in time for an auction, show, or something that gives the show some kind of suspense and draws the person in that's watching. It's also helps to have colorful characters like the Moonshiner gang, and American Chopper bunch, or celebrity host. Once you get to know them, you start to view them like family, and someone you can relate too. We have the same bunch of colorful people that are trying to get their new projects done in time for auctions, car shows, etc., that run into real problems like hard to find parts, cars catching fire, paint problems and more. A central location that the show revolves around is always nice, but since this one would revolve around hundreds of people around the world, it would be more of a, "today we're in Germany to help Haans get his 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition ready for the big car show in Munich". Then hang out with Hanns in his home town riding with him in the Trans Am, getting to know the people and the impact that our American muscle has on them. Help him get the parts he needs, or whatever problem he's having. Then head off to the show, the judging, the tenseness when the judges arrive, all the Smokey and the Bandit gear laid out around the car. The emotions when he wins, or loses. We also have some super hot sexy female Trans Am owners that would blow your mind! One of them is married to a cop in California and he builds the Trans Am's for her. There are cool people and cool stories everywhere all with their own kind of drama that will draw people in. But yeah, you have to be creative. If you wanted to have a central location where a narrator would start the show by announcing who and where they would be going that week, just fill up a room full of Smokey and the Bandit gear, Trans Am posters, sponsor stuff, car parts, etc., and throw a hot celebrity in there as the host, or hosts. Maybe Burt Reynolds, or Jerry Reed have grown kids that want to get into acting. A man and a woman team maybe. By the way, the fastest car in Denmark is a Bandit Trans Am. He's on the website. I'll set you up with plenty of interesting people, and situations, just say the word!

Thanks, George

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Mark SuszkoRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 19, 2013 at 10:44:43 pm

That's not how I'd go.

Only other gear-heads watch purely gear-head-centric shows with any real loyalty. Top Gear would have a very low audience if they just did straight car reviews. it is all the OTHER unrelated stuff they do in between the car reviews that attracts a huge audience.

What I'd do for your club's show is, every episode is a mission. Or several missions.

One of your car-driving Bandits has to help out a different person (chosen from fans writing in) each week. The mission may be simply driving them to a destination, with them sharing some of their interesting life story along the way, say, delivering a buddy's cremated ashes to his favorite spot, three states over. Or transporting a person to a job interview. Or delivering a care package or tools or whatever to some people in need. Throw in a rally episode every couple weeks where they drive a poker run and award the best Bandit of the month for the good deeds done.

This gives you elements of an oral history documentary, a contest, and a feel-good charity make-over kind of show. It sells what the original Bandit movie sells: the independent man (or woman) going where they want to go, and with a purpose, in command of their own little rolling world.

The car and driver are tasked with getting some kind of element delivered somewhere, on time.
You then throw them a couple of unexpected problems or detours to overcome along the way.

Now you have a story to watch. Not just a car parade.

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George Holt IIIRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 20, 2013 at 12:13:38 am

Wow, you're good! That's a great idea for a show. Let's do it!

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Mark SuszkoRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 20, 2013 at 2:37:17 am

I need my fee up front.

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George Holt IIIRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:32:32 am

Oh course! Name your price!

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Mark SuszkoRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 20, 2013 at 8:24:57 pm

I would need 250, large, for my producer fee, 20 percent of all merchandising revenue in perpetuity, one of the 30 second spots built into each episode of the show to sell for myself, and one of the hero cars, with a T-top and an automatic transmission, delivered, to keep, after the season wraps.

You can leave the 8-track in it.

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Bill DavisRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 21, 2013 at 5:02:20 am

I still believe you're thinking too narrowly.

Why Trans Ams? It's like 000.1% of car nuts.

You have a whole world out there of people who fetishize their cars. THATS your show.

Fine, start with Team Trans Am. (plucky, American, scrappy) But if you want to attract serious money, you ALSO need Team Honda (asian techies in jump suits), Team Volkswagen (gruff but lovable), Team Ford (nostalgicly piloting classic Mustangs!)and an insufferably rich and self-absorbed Team Bentley who participate with valets and platinum cards at the ready to solve "inconveniences").

Also, cast married teams and SPLIT them with the producers making sure that the most incompatible "car couples" are forced together to ensure they melt down at the first sign of adversity. (remember to follow them with low-light cameras as they make their nighttime calls to their estranged spouses to bitch and complain about EVERYTHING!)

Now THAT's how you make yourself some modern TV!

(When can I expect my consulting fee?)

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

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Mark SuszkoRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:16:28 pm

Why Trans- Ams? Why not firewood?

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Todd TerryRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 24, 2013 at 1:02:06 am

My friend Ed who is also my neighbor AND a retired actor was briefly on the TV show "Knight Rider" many years ago.

He was a guest at a Knight Rider fan convention last summer. Ed said he was stunned to arrive and see a parking lot full of Trans-Ams belonging to fans who had them fully "KITT transformed."

Takes all kinds.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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grinner hesterRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Feb 25, 2013 at 6:04:02 pm

love it. I get to shoot and drive!

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Mike CohenRe: An idea for a new reality show - "Bandits" !
by on Mar 19, 2013 at 10:19:45 am

I am amazed at how many niche reality shows exist. There is a show about custom fish tanks. A show about Vanilla Ice flipping houses. A show about Pete Rose doing whatever a guy like him does. But they all follow the same formula:

Setup the problem
Gather the team
Make a plan
Start the project
Tease some unexpected challenge before the first break
After the break realize the challenge was no big deal
Make progress
Tease some interpersonal conflict before second break
After break learn it was just a misunderstanding
Get close to the deadline and just barely make it
Customer is happy
End on some funny note or a team high five or whatever
Throw in a few catch phrases and a memorable character who is a little out of place in the group
Of course the challenges and conflicts are part of the writing for the show because those need to happen every episode

Apply a particular subject such as Hot Wheels collectors or taxidermists or morticians to the stars or horse clothing tailors or circus elephant trainers or corn maze designers or trans am enthusiasts or Burt Reynolds chest hair collectors or 1970's Pan Am first class salt and pepper shaker hunters or Creative Cow forum hosts - and you MAY have a TV show.

Mike Cohen

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