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The Ditching Suburbia podcast looks at a different aspects of non-suburban life, or talks with people looking ditch the suburbs.

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#14: What To Do When Hollywood Calls

We left our suburban life in September 2010. Since then we have been contacted by 10-12 different production companies working on some sort of show.

Length: 9:36  · Transcript  · Download

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  1. Picture of theFunnyratstheFunnyrats May 05, 2015

    this was an interesting read. Thanks for posting. I make YouTube videos and my wife and I want to live on the road, but we are trying to build our audience on YouTube as our income for our adventure. I always wondered about if it would be a good idea to venture into TV, but after reading about how they keep all branding, I think I’ll stick with YouTube!

  2. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink May 05, 2015

    You guys have the momentum going there already - no reason to hand that over to a TV show now!

  3. Picture of TheFunnyratsTheFunnyrats May 05, 2015

    My thoughts exactly. Just need to grow a little more! Then we hope to save up for an Airstream and hit the road.

    We recently finished paying off all of our debts. That was step 1. Step 2 is saving some money and 3 is buying the RV!

  4. Picture of Kristin SnowKristin Snow May 06, 2015

    Great post! We’ve been contacted a few times too and while we denied most of them in the grounds of it sounding sketchy and exploitative of our little family, we just shot a show recently that a network had already ordered (the RV version of House Hunters) and it was a lot of fun, and we were paid. We got to be totally ourselves with no script, which felt like a good fit.

    Sometimes it can be a good experience, but I agree with not diluting your story or hurting your family’s lifestyle to do it. Hope to see you guys out on the road!
    The Snowmads

  5. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink May 06, 2015

    Thanks for chiming in Kristin - good to hear there are positive experiences to be had!

    We’re stopped down in MI for the summer - so if you are coming through let us know.  We’re in Fremont (home of Gerber baby food) - a nice little out of the way lakefront farming town with a city-owned campground on the lake.

  6. Picture of Kristin SnowKristin Snow May 06, 2015

    We’d love to stop by if we end up heading your direction! The plan (for now - ours change like the wind) is to head up to Alaska all summer, then probably across the northern US, maybe down through Michigan in the early fall. We’ll certainly let you know. :-)

  7. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink May 06, 2015

    Cool - we’re here until early September.

    The CG may or may not come up on any apps - it’s mostly seasonals with a smattering of transient sites.

    They only take reservations for the holiday weekends, and rates are <$30/night for full hookups IIRC:

    http://www.cityoffremont.net/web/community_camp.htm

  8. Picture of CherieCherie May 06, 2015

    Fantastic post.. and pretty much the same analysis we have come to. Over the years, we’ve been pitched for more spots than we can count. Most of them requiring a LOT of our time, invasion of privacy and them wanting us to re-create exciting adventures.  One even wanted to follow our bumper for 1-2 weeks at a time over the course of a year.  Another wanted *US* to do a bunch of self filming, upload it all to them and then, may, they would use some of it.  And they all pitch.. ‘Think of the exposure you’ll get!’

    Umm.. no.  We have absolutely no incentive to be involved. And really, we don’t want more exposure.

    Truth of the matter is, our life really isn’t TV material. Filming our day would involve watching us sit at our keyboards typing things (like this response) and feeding the cat. Don’t think most folks want to tune in for that.

    We did accept one pitch… the filming was one day for a small distribution in another country. It was fun, and it was well done. But in that case, it didn’t feel like the other pitches and didn’t require a lot of our time.

    Anytime we’re contacted to be profiled in the media we always ask ourselves how much of our time would be involved, what impact will it have on the stuff that matters to us (our schedule, time with loved ones and work stuff), how much of our privacy would be invaded, what is the incentive of the person/company contacting us, do we have to clean the house (and keep it clean) and will the piece better the world?

  9. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink May 06, 2015

    Hey Cherie -

    Thanks for chiming in. I figured you guys had to have been hit up like this.

    I think you nailed the reason no show has yet come out - once you get over the fact that our lives are portable they aren’t all that different.

    We told the past producer as much - most of the time it’s us looking at screens doing work or schoolwork. 

    Do we get out and “adventure” more than when we lived in the suburbs? On average, sure, but they’d still have to watch us over a long period of time to see the difference.

    Overall we’re pretty quiet people who don’t do drama much.

    We’d be open to something along the lines of a Charles Kuralt “On the Road” piece where our story gets 90 seconds of screen time.

    Much past that and sorry..there’s things to do and places to go…get out of my way..;)

  10. Picture of LaurenLauren May 06, 2015

    Wonderful post! Many people would jump at the chance to be on a tv show, but those people often don’t consider all the things you mentioned. I think it is a great decision that you and your family made. What it comes down to is making the best decision for your unique family situation. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink May 08, 2015

    ..and 3 days after posting this I get another TV show inquiry…;)

    I sent the link to this blog post and his response was

    I must tell you that is a relatively pessimistic view of how television production works. You are right in many instances that that DOES happen, though, it’s never not worth it to put your name in the hat.

  12. Picture of JenniJenni May 13, 2015

    When we got the pitch email our decision to turn it down came down to one thing:  whatever they put out there (which of course “they” control) is out there forever.  Even if we had not minded that as adults, we did not want to make that decision for our kids.  Besides, I am pretty sure they would have spent 20 minutes with us before deciding we were completely boring. 

  13. Picture of Jessica CurrenJessica Curren May 15, 2015

    Interesting read! We have put our names in the hat for that last one. After talking extensively and doing a Skype interview, we felt they had a good handle on what life was like and were interey in their project. We’ll see ifnitt gets picked up. They said it’ll be 4-5 days of filming and then a 4-6 week break, and there will be compensation. I thought it sounded like fun!

  14. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink May 15, 2015

    I think you guys will be perfect for them Jessica - hope it works out!

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