TV Series, Spotlight America, will premiere in April despite absence of funds.
PR Log - Mar 08, 2013 - DENVER -- Airing in April 2013, Spotlight America is a new 30-minute travel/destination TV series that “spotlights” America, showcasing the great places, events and activities across our country. Through the attention it brings to communities across the country, Spotlight America helps these locales grow through increased tourism and business development. "It is not a travel show, per se, it’s an engaging adventure that has tested extremely well with families and younger audiences. Not to mention has already attracted several advertisers," Says its producers. Despite that, however, it was panned by most networks, until the producers thought way outside the box and struck up a deal with not just one, but three networks... and growing.
Spotlight America is produced by the Denver based production company, Marbalee Media, LLC, whose principles include the Emmy-award winning producer, Deren Abram (Film Pharm Productions) and long time cable television executive Lee Clayton Roper (International Media Advisors). The series is hosted by Raleigh Cain, a fourth grade teacher and an aspiring travel show host that lived and worked at the ClazyU Ranch, a posh getaway ranch in Colorado, and met Abram while he was scouting for film locations.
The series began as “Spotlight Colorado”, and was the brainchild of Abram-- the recent LA to Denver transplant-- who was fascinated by the diversity within the state of Colorado. Abram intended to make it a regional show but realized its national potential immediately and branded it as "Spotlight America." The series is smart, engaging, and distinctly American but what makes it even more unique is its funded: through air-barter.
The series will be available in over 30 million TV homes, via a combination of cable and broadcast station carriage. The TV distributors presently carrying the series are LeSea Broadcasting, Blue Highways TV, and Comcast Entertainment Television, and this is how it works: Within a 30 minute program there is typically 22 minutes of actual program content with 8 minutes of commercial air time. This advertising time is how the network makes its money and pays for the content. In this air-barter scenario, however, the advertising time during the show is divided equally between the distributor and the producers (Marbalee Media). Selling their portion of the ad time is how the producers will generate the revenue needed to produce more episodes.
"This is about as grass-roots as it gets," says, Abram. "There's something very American about that too. You know, if you build it... they will come." At least that's what they're hoping for. "Selling advertising is something the average producer just doesn't deal with.," Abram continues. "I wasn't even sure where to start." Where they started was just spreading the word and practically giving away the advertising space in hope that they can recoup some costs and build up an audience... and so far, it's working.
Marbalee is slowly starting to fill the commercial slots and, this week, they will officially launch an online fundraising campaign through the fundraising website, Indiegogo.com. Due to its positive effects on the communities and its absence of license fees or outside investors, the project has also just become fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501c3, that allows any contributions to be tax-deductible.
Production is slated to resume this summer and the production team is scouting for their next American setting. “We have an endless number of options and plan to do another six to nine episodes,” says Abram, who then added, “once we confirm the series’ sponsors.”
While Spotlight America promises to entertain, it will also boost tourism and local revenues derived from the sale of goods and services, while bringing attention to those people and organizations who are out there, making a difference. Jane Chaney, former Executive Director of the Gunnison- Crested Butte Tourism Assn. said, "The show is so entertaining and such great way to spotlight our community. This is beyond just tourism. This is building morale and elevating all those great people and places.”
Marbalee Media thinks so too, and have funded the series thus far based on that belief. What happens next depends on more than ratings.
http://igg.me/at/spotlight/x/67937 -Individual supporters of the series receive various perks like a “thank you” in the credits, signed posters, commercial spots, and even lunch with the producers and host. The campaign is also fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas (a 501c3 company) so that contributions may be tax-deductible.
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES CONTACT: Deren Abram (818) 314-0452 firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Host
Spotlight America’s host, Raleigh Cain, is traveling across the country showing viewers the best of America... and it’s right here in their own backyard.
Raleigh was born on a farm in Gardner, Kansas and now resides in Fraser, CO where she is currently a fourth grade teacher at Fraser Valley Elementary. She was “discovered” while working at the ClazyU Ranch in Granby, Colorado. At only 24 years old, she has traveled the world from a very young age and loves the thrill and excitement of meeting new people and discovering new places right here in the good ol’ USA.
Raleigh is just as comfortable fine dining as she is riding a horse or skiing down difficult black diamond runs. She appeals to people of all ages, and is the kind of girl that a mother wants her own daughter to grow up to be. She is often referred to as a wholesome cross between Katie Holmes and Selena Gomez. Sweet, thoughtful, sophisticated but rugged, she represents the show well.
About the Producers
About Marbalee Media- Marbalee Media is a Colorado company creating and providing new video entertainment through a wide variety of distribution platforms. Marbalee was formed through a collaborative partnership of Deren P. Abram and Lee Clayton Roper.
Deren P. Abram (Producer) is an Emmy Award winning producer, director, writer and editor. In 1998, Deren formed his own company, Film Pharm, Inc., where he serves as the company's Visual Supervisor and CEO. Shortly after graduating from Indiana University with a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, Deren moved to Hollywood to begin his career with the HBO television series Tales from the Crypt, followed by a series of
successful film and television projects. Some of these TV projects and clients include Food Network's Everyday Italian, The ESPY Awards, X-Games, ABC Sports/ NFL's Monday Night Football-- for which he won an EMMY (2003) and was twice nominated in 2004, and again in 2010 for two regional Emmy Awards. Other clients include IFC, Sundance Channel, ESPN, History Channel, Sony, Triumph, Disney, E!, PAX, USA Network, HBO, Documentary Channel, Fox Movie Channel and Comedy Central, to name just a few.
Deren’s achievements in Hollywood continued for over a decade working independently and often with his mentors: the comic actor Dom DeLuise, and film director Bob Clark—the director of the reverent holiday classic, A Christmas Story, and irreverent 80’s film, Porky’s.
Independently and with his mentors, Deren began creating his own film, television and video projects. Deren’s current focus is creating branded entertainment that supports his greatest passions: family entertainment; food, cooking and travel; and Colorado, where he now resides with his wife and two children.
Deren continues to serve as CEO for Film Pharm from Denver, Colorado and is actively producing and developing new TV and Film projects, along with his commercial and corporate video production arm.
Lee Clayton Roper (Producer) is President of the consulting firm International Media Advisors, with an extensive entertainment history in the world of cable television. She provides strategic planning, marketing and new business development advice both domestically and internationally. Her list of clients includes A & E, The History Channel, The Weather Channel, BlueHighways TV, ESPN, Cap Cities/ABC, the National Basketball Association, Comcast, Cox, Charter, Wave Broadband, Western Broadband, Telewest, Liberty Global, and Daniels & Associates.
Lee's experience includes roles as SVP Operations at Charter Communications; EVP/Managing Director of Marketing, Programming and Customer Care at United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC), a Liberty Global subsidiary; and VP and Partner at the global media and sports consulting firm, Bortz and Company. Well known throughout the cable television industry, in 2004 Lee was selected by the leading cable trade publication Multichannel News as a “Woman to Watch”, was inducted into the prestigious Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Walk of Fame, and in 2008 she was inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers.
Lee is also the celebrated author of the gold-medal winning cookbook “A Well-Seasoned Kitchen” that she co-wrote with her mother, Sally Clayton. Lee is a regular guest on local TV news and talk shows conducting cooking demonstrations. She also teaches cooking classes, writes a cooking blog and speaks frequently on the loving family story behind the book.