The Television Writers Vault is pleased to announce
the production and airing of a new reality
series from Writer/Member
Steve Santini of Ontario, Canada.
Santini is the Creator and Star of "Deals
From The Dark Side", a Docu-Style
Reality Series exploring Santini's unusual and
bizarre world of macabre historical artifact
collection. Buck Productions, in a distribution
deal with CableReady, has produced 13 episodes
(as of this interview date), currently airing on
A&E Australia, with U.S.
Broadcast set for Nov. 7 @ 10/9c on SYFY.
We're very proud of Steve's determination, as
he pitched a multitude of unique and
inspired concepts at the TV Writers Vault. He
ultimately found his break
after being discovered by the Head of Television
at Buck Productions (An Executive Member of
TVWritersVault.com scouting projects) who collaborated as
Co-Creator with Steve, turning his original
concept into the show he stars in today.
Steve joined Scott Manville at the TV Writers
Vault for a brief chat about his newfound
Scott Manville: Thanks for
taking time from your show to chat with us,
We're really excited about everything that's
happening for you.
Steve Santini: Thank you. My
busy world has become a lot more manic during
this past half year (laughs).
Scott Manville: I'd love to know right
now, what is your life like since creating,
selling, and starring in your own television
Steve Santini: I have always been an
entertainer in one fashion or another, and so
I've been used to being out “in front” all my
life, so to speak. That said, since the show has
aired, I get recognized all over the place by
people from all age groups and all walks of
life. Personally, I find this very nice.
Scott Manville: You're
obviously a very creative person, living what
seems to be a really strange and fun lifestyle. The direction
and production quality of the show looks
awesome. Was it easy for them to capture on
Steve Santini: I was very pleased with
how Buck Productions tackled the creative aspect
of portraying my unusual life and passions, and
how they brought this to television screens.
Unlike other “collector” or “picker” type shows,
we knew mine was different due to the bizarre
nature of many of the historical objects I
chase. Buck and the brilliant production team
capitalized on this by producing a cutting edge
show that really reflects the objects and the
tenor each brought to the table. Shadows were
long, color was played with, the music was hip,
and the subjective images were captured in a
totally unique way, never before presented.
Scott Manville: So
you're happy with the company producing your
Steve Santini: I am very happy with the
overall effect of the show as crafted and
achieved by Buck Productions. However, I must
also give a good deal of credit to the film crew
and also to my director, Stuart McIntyre. All of
these creative and inspired people had a vision
for how this show should play out, and all of
them threw in elements that helped to make it
the unique vehicle it is now.
Scott Manville: Where are you at now in
production? How many episodes are completed and
Steve Santini: Season one is comprised
of a total of 13 episodes. Approx 8 of these
have already aired with the balance waiting to
be shown in early 2012.
Scott Manville: As part of your deal with
the production company, are we correct in
understanding you're receiving a Created By
credit, and some form of Producing Credit? Or
was the approach more as Creator and Star where
credit and financial participation is concerned?
Steve Santini: Over a year ago, I
created the basic premise of the show and took
it to Buck [ed. via TVWritersVault.com]. Jim Kiriakakis, the head of
television production at Buck and I tweaked the
primary idea together until we ended up with the
show you see now. So, I am not only the primary
star and host of the show, but I also have a Co
Creator credit alongside Jim.
Scott Manville: You pitched a concept
for the show, made contact with several
producers, landed a deal, then development began
with your project morphing into the show we now know as
"Deals From The Dark Side". Can you tell us a
bit about that process?
Steve Santini: A number of years ago I
created the basic outline that would eventually
become “Deals From The Dark Side.” The initial
show I created and pitched had more of a
paranormal lean to it but there were creative
issues we felt we could not properly address in
order to present such a show in a convincing
enough way to the viewing audience. So, working
with Jim we went for the logical and natural
fix. Namely, that I am a unique guy who collects
dark and creepy rare historical objects! By
stripping away the paranormal lean we were free
to focus more on the known and provable dark
history of these rare relics. In the end, this
seems to have been a very wise move, as daily I
hear from more and more people who enjoy the
Scott Manville: What can you share about
your experiences pitching projects to the
television industry at
Steve Santini: TV Writers Vault proved
to be an invaluable tool for myself when
reaching out to industry players. Over the
course of my membership I received a good and
consistent level of interest from all levels of
production executives. While many of these
initial contacts did not pan out, one certainly
did. In retrospect, that is all a
person really needs to get rolling!
Scott Manville: Your roots are in
performance, as an Escape Artist, so you already
had a sense for working and dealing in the
Industry. For others pitching reality shows who
are new to the business, what advice can you
share with them?
Steve Santini: There are so many
pointers I could share, I could probably write an
entire book about pitching and writing for T.V.!
Perhaps the best single bit of advice I could
share is the following; if you are pitching and
pitching, and an idea is not “catching”, don’t
let your ego be so large that you are not
willing to retool or even scrap your original
idea in favor of something that is more
marketable. If one is to succeed in pitching to
television, one needs to have immense stores of
patience, a very strong spine, thick skin, an
expansive imagination, and a good clear eye on
the pulse rate of the industry. Study T.V. in
all its myriad of forms; the good, the bad, and the
ugly. See what is working and try to understand
why it is working. If you do this you will have
a good and realistic expectation of your own
project and how it may or may not fit into what
the industry is currently producing and looking
Scott Manville: What has been the most
difficult part of your journey to this point?
Steve Santini: I would
have to say that hands down the most trying part
of my personal journey in pitching for T.V. has been the waiting
for an idea or concept to catch. For three years
I have been writing for television and pitching
concepts and projects. Many times there were
glimmers of hope and it looked like for sure I
was on my way, only to have those hopes dashed
and nothing come of it in the end. Fortunately,
I never gave up. Even in my blackest hour I just
kept writing and believing in myself because I
knew that one day it was all going to fall into
place. Have faith, believe in yourself, and
remember that certain doors always close for a
reason. Others also open for a reason!
Scott Manville: What has been one of the
greatest moments of this journey?
Steve Santini: I love travel and
meeting interesting new people which has been
for me the greatest part of making “Deals From
The Dark Side.” I hope the journey continues!
Scott Manville: We wish you continued
success with the series, and we're very proud of
the tenacity you've shown in formulating and
pitching your concepts at TVWritersVault.com. I hope you're having
some fun now!
Steve Santini: Thank you very much! It
would be nice to sit back and relax, but I am one
of those people who is always creating and
exploring new horizons. For me the fun is just