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Our Pilot episode for Open Guard is ready!

Hey everyone,

It's been quite a journey since I last updated you on my TV pilot project. In November 2022, we embarked on an exciting adventure to shoot our TV pilot, introducing the concept of Open Guard while presenting yours truly, Ben, as the host. Now, with the shooting wrapped up, post-production in full swing, and deadlines looming, it's time to give you a glimpse into the progress and what comes next.

Production Recap

In November 2022, we went all-in, locking down production and shooting over an intense weekend in New Jersey. The days were packed, but we managed to assemble a dedicated crew, secure all fighters, and capture everything we needed. It all started on Friday, November 19th, with a pre-dawn Lyft ride to Brooklyn, where I collected the essential production gear. A whirlwind day of pickups and packing led to a late-night finalization of the call sheet for the weekend.

The shooting unfolded over two intense days, with early morning starts, a dedicated crew, and even a challenging location without electricity. But we pushed through, driven by the passion for our project. Tuesday came, and it was time to return the gear and the truck, a moment of both exhaustion and excitement.

Post-Production Challenges and Triumphs

With the footage in the can, it was time to dive into post-production. Editing, in particular, proved to be a unique challenge. When a project is close to your heart, it's easy to get lost in all the fascinating details. But a 7-hour timeline needed to be trimmed down to a concise 33 minutes, a process that demanded ruthless focus.

As I delved into the editing process, I realized that I had to cut anything not essential to the story. This shift in perspective allowed me to make significant progress. By the end of August 2023, I had locked the edits, resulting in a 33-minute episode that includes interviews and sparring scenes – a pivotal milestone.

Next Steps

So, what's on the horizon for our TV pilot project?

  1. Audio Mixing and Mastering: We've enlisted a professional studio to ensure the audio quality matches our vision. It's crucial to make sure every sound enhances the viewing experience.

  2. Color Grading: Budget constraints have led me to take on the color grading myself. While not ideal, it's a testament to our commitment to the project.

  3. Film Festival Submissions: We're racing against the clock to meet film festival submission deadlines. This step is vital to gain exposure and draw the right eyes to our project.

  4. The Ultimate Goal: Our aim is to generate interest from a larger TV network or VOD platform to secure funding and distribution for an 8-episode season. We're actively preparing for this next phase, including research into stories, themes, and locations.

  5. Marketing and Promotion: As we submit our pilot, we'll be engaging in marketing and promotional efforts to build anticipation and create a buzz around our project.

  6. Networking and Persistence: We're actively connecting with industry professionals, attending events, and staying persistent in our pursuit of bringing this project to a wider audience.

Our deadline for finishing the film is October 22nd, and after that, it's all systems go. We'll be doing everything in our power to get this project in front of the right people and turn our dream into a reality.

Stay tuned for more updates as we navigate the exciting world of TV production. Thanks for joining us on this journey!

Best regards, Ben

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