Vicky Collins Online

A Blog With Superpowers


Leave a comment

The Pot Baron of Reality Television

The newest in the crop of marijuana shows launches on Sunday, April 19 when CNN introduces “High Profits” just in time for 4/20. The eight episode series features Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire, owners of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, as they work to become marijuana moguls and eventually franchise their stores. It follows on the heels of MSNBC’s well received docu-reality series “Pot Barons of Colorado.” After wrapping up that marijuana infused marathon, executive producer Gary Cohen says he’s hooked.

“Pot Barons was a crazy sprint” says Cohen, who is the Emmy award winning founder of Triple Threat Television based in Stamford, Connecticut. “Those six months were as demanding as any I could remember.” Cohen deployed an eight-person team who worked around the clock out of a house in Denver. The program focused on the most successful ganjapreneurs in Colorado including the founders of Medicine Man, Euflora and Dixie Elixirs. Now he is developing and pitching new programs. “I expect to do lots of pot shows,” says Cohen.

Cohen got his start in television producing sports and documentaries. Triple Threat TV produced nine films for ESPN’s highly acclaimed 30 For 30 series. His team also produced ten episodes of MTV’s True Life and eight episodes for Biography. His foray into marijuana shows is a natural evolution for the producer of non-fiction programming who is a self-described marijuana lover and advocate. “I’m comfortable saying I am a marijuana person. Thanks to efforts of a lot of people who have been working at it for a long time I lived to see a day I never thought I would live to see. Prohibition is over.”

90f054_3b6890f7cbb1445cbf8cff32fb46a8e3.png_srz_p_316_234_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz

Cohen is exploring how to do the marijuana version of various television genres such as talk shows, documentaries, cooking shows and music shows. One of those is a talk show with the Denver Post’s Cannabist pot critic Jake Browne who gets high and hangs out with celebrity guests. Cohen is shopping a pilot where Jake parties with former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson who wrote a book about getting high in the NFL. Cohen thinks a program like this will attract celebrities. “Marijuana is part of a brand. They’re eager to be identified with it in the right way.”

Cohen admits not every network is open to the idea of pot shows because there could be ad sales issues.   Even so, there are more channels willing to listen to a marijuana pitch now than there were a year ago and the reaction is “oooh that’s sexy, maybe we’ll get some viewers we don’t normally get.” While he was in Washington D.C. at the non-fiction television summit, Realscreen, he went up to a women’s network and asked if they were interested in talking and they said “yes, definitely. Let’s set up a call for next week.”

“There are an awful lot of people who get high. My interest is in leading the charge. I don’t want to follow the crowd. I want to do more. I feel like there are huge opportunities and we are getting out in front of some of them.” Cohen is looking at cable television and over the top networks and channels that are delivering programs through phone apps and streaming video on demand. “At the same time there is a marijuana revolution there is a television implosion,” he says. “There are more and more media outlets and millennials are not paying for cable.   You and I grew up in a world of half hour and hour television slots. Uh uh. Game over. Four minutes or eleven minutes or 71 minutes, it’s whatever it is. People will find it if they want it and it speaks to them. The doors have blown off old media and everything is different going forward.”

Cohen looks forward to returning to Colorado and cultivating his relationships with the Pot Barons. He describes his time in Denver as a “dreamy busman’s holiday.” In the meantime, he is casting for talent for new shows and producing a public service announcement for medical marijuana with a cast of 25 people with different conditions. He is also considering doing a documentary following the upcoming vote to legalize marijuana in California. “This is exciting work for me. The kind of people who are drawn to the industry are positive, energetic, they’re hard working like nobody’s business, they’re free thinking, they’re open minded, they’re creative. Six months ago I couldn’t have done it and now I can and now I really want to.”

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Where’s Doonesbury?

I must have been out of town when the Denver Post yanked “Doonesbury” along with “Peanuts” and some other comic strips.  I’ve been thinking I should write in or call or say something because I miss “Doonesbury” and I’m annoyed, but I haven’t and apparently neither have many others.  Westword wrote a blog about this.

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/06/denver_post_yanks_doonesbury_peanuts.php

For more information on Vicky Collins visit Teletrends Television Production and Development



Leave a comment

Blair’s First Filmmaking Job

My 12 year old son, Blair Ewalt, a budding filmmaker and 7th grade student at Denver School of the Arts, just produced his first professional film.  It is a two and a half minute promotional piece for an exhibit called “The 4000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks” at Denver’s Mizel Museum. The exhibit opens on February 2, 2011.  

It took Blair less than two weeks to produce the video.  He shot it in high definition and edited it on Final Cut. He did the videotaping over Christmas break so he didn’t miss any school.  What makes me particularly proud about this is that his father and I didn’t get him the job.  The marketing manager of the Mizel Museum, Sue Stoveall, remembered his audition film for DSA, a short called “A Christmas Gift,” and thought he had the right stuff.

He will have his first paycheck soon and the museum is sending a press release out to the Denver Post and other media singing the praises of the middle school kid who they hired.  Congratulations, Blair.  Someday I’m sure we will all be working for you.

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.

 

 


Leave a comment

Passover in Kampala

Chag Sameach.  It means “joyous festival” and is a popular greeting during Passover.  With the Jewish celebration of freedom here again I recall our very special Passover seder in Kampala, Uganda.  I posted this as the very first story on my blog back in May 2008.  My story also ran in the Denver Post in spring 2007.

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_5534210

Cinematographer Paul Hillman and I are heading back to Kampala, Uganda again in June to do more video production for BeadforLife (http://beadforlife.org.)  It is our third trip.  This time we are focusing on the NGO’s market linkage program where women in the war torn villages near Lira and Gulu are getting assistance bringing their shea butter product to consumers.  What makes this extraordinary is the backstory.  All the women were refugees from the brutal reign of Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army.  For 19 years he and his men (many of them children) burned villages, raped women, killed men and abducted boys and girls in a senseless civil war.  With his retreat into the Congo these women have now returned from the refugee camps to their villages and are trying to get back on their feet by manufacturing shea butter which is a popular ingredient in cosmetics.  BeadforLife is linking these women to markets.  Other NGO’s are starting to do this on a small scale in Congo and Sudan which also have been wreaked by terrible hardship and civil war.  We are heading to the villages and expect the material to be powerful and compelling.  If you want to read about Kony and his murderous band of thugs in Congo today here is an article from the New York Times.   

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/world/africa/28congo.html?ref=global-home

For more on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com


2 Comments

Does Money Buy Happiness?

Daniel Suelo and his cave outside Moab, Utah

Daniel Suelo believes he has found the key to happiness.  Live without possessions or money.  His spartan life in Moab, Utah fills his soul and he doesn’t even think of returning to the life most of us lead.  “We use all our energy to maintain our possessions and it becomes an ugly cycle,” he says.  So he lives in a cave, gets his possessions from dumpsters and doesn’t look to money to bring him contentment.  Could you do this?  

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13843274

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.


1 Comment

Youth Sports: Enough Already

This very well written article is by a senior named Scott Martin at Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado.   In his guest commentary for the Denver Post he sums up the intense competition and pressures of youth sports and all the things adults do to take the fun out of it.  As the mother of an athlete I think he hits the ball out of the park.     

 http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci3590467

 For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.


1 Comment

A Denver Death Examined

I was particularly moved by Denver Post reporter Karen Auge’s story about the death of one homeless man and the efforts to uncover his backstory.  What probably made people notice this death is the photo of a trio of maintenence workers on the 16th Street Mall who were trying to revive him.  To the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless each of these lives matter but how often do the rest of us look the other way and ignore the plight of the homeless.  At least in death, people cared to know about Rick Johnson. 

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_12916115?source=bb

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.


Leave a comment

New Focus on the Family

Time will tell but this sure seems like a refreshing shift at Focus on the Family.  Jim Daly, who has risen from a hellish past, replaces Dr. James Dobson at the helm of the conservative Christian organization based in Colorado Springs and vows to be a different kind of leader.  Instead of being dogmatic “it’s more about having a conversation with people.”  He admires Barack Obama, wants to focus on the positive and says “lets shove off the rhetoric and get together on practical matters.”  There’s hope in that kind of thinking.  Here’s more on Jim Daly from Electa Draper of The Denver Post. 

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_12581442

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.


Leave a comment

Newspaper War

My husband and I had a newspaper war.  Our subscriptions to the local papers lapsed and I didn’t renew them.  It was sort of an experiment to see if we would really miss not having the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News delivered to our home.  Everything is available to us on line and I scan half a dozen news websites a day.  Often by the time we get the morning papers I’ve already seen or heard the stories.  My husband, however, moaned about not having a newspaper to hold in his hands when he woke up.  He felt uninformed going to work without having read the sports section and the agate.  When I went out of town he renewed our subscriptions. 

I was miffed.  I thought he was being parochial.  What’s so important about holding a newspaper when you have so much information at your fingertips?  He told me he was going to get me a Kindle so I could download my books instead of buying them.  The notion horrified me.  Books are meant to be held.  There was no way I would read a downloaded book.  Then I read about the sale of the Rocky Mountain News and I felt guilty.  Is it people like me who could cost all those journalists their jobs?  Am I driving a nail in the coffin of a venerable old friend and speeding up the newspaper’s march towards obsolescence?  Should I join Facebook’s “Don’t Let Newspapers Die” group?

Today the giant Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy protection even as the local newspaper arrived at our home like it used to.  Despite my initial protests I find myself enjoying the paper again.  I linger over articles rather than scan the headlines on line.  I like seeing the letters and editorials, Doonesbury, the advice columns and especially movie times.  I’ve realized the newspaper isn’t just for information.  It’s also for entertainment and it brings a pause to my busy life.  I would never read the New York Times wedding section on line but I pore over it every Sunday to see who’s marrying who, how they met and what they do for a living.  And  forget about reading the New York Times Magazine on line.  I didn’t sacrifice much living without newspapers but my life is better with them in it.  Hopefully this is what saves them.  Newspapers are a lifestyle choice.  They feel good in your hands.

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com