Series Airs from TV Writers Vault
Member Steve Santini
(A&E, SyFy, Series airs in 8
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 success:
Scott Manville: Thanks for taking time from your
show to chat with us, Steve. 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 program?
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 film?
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 series.
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 aired?
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 show!
Scott Manville: What can you share about your
experiences pitching projects to the television
industry at TVWritersVault.com?
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 for.
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
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 beginning!