I just turned a new page in my life. This business of making TV is not an easy one. Congruently pulling money from the ground is equally as challenging. For some reason I seem to be obsessed with the impossible and yet optimistic about the future. It is how God wired me up.
After Gold Rush I wasn’t fulfilled with just playing a miner on Television for seven episodes. I wasn’t OK with the perception of myself that I had failed to accomplish a goal that I had set out for myself. I also wasn’t OK with the perception that the producers from Raw TV edited of me. So I decided to become a hard rock miner and to have it filmed. I hired a cameraman, searched all over Oregon to find a guy who had a hard rock mine and made a trailer. I met many characters from Alaska to Hollywood on my quest to actually attain this dual goal of becoming a miner and getting back on Television.
I retained a lawyer, I hired two agents, I contracted a producer, I went to work in a real gold mine in the Mojave desert, I met real hardrock miners and I learned the business. My first producer pitched the show to SyFy in which they wanted to make it about Ghosts. I declined. We also received an offer from CMT for a rolling pilot (one episode) which I declined. After failing to secure a full season offer for my project Liz Bronstein (of Whale Wars) gave up, threw in the towel and quit making the statement that “lightning only strikes once.”
So I called Dave Kaplan who was recently fired from Pilgrim films and looking for work. I had pitched him the show months earlier at Pilgrim. He was still interested in producing my show and was able to use that to secure himself a job at 51minds (Endimol). I gave him my contact of miners, mine owner and agency. I continued mining in Arizona. I ended up moving jobs to Colorado working for Telluride Ski Resort in the winter and a Silver Mine in Ouray Colorado in the Summer. During this time Dave put together “Ghost Mine” for SyFy using the miners I worked with in Arizona, my agent in Portland who contracted the so called “paranormal investigators,” the mine owner I found in Sumpter and the concept I created and pitched to that same network.
Ghost mine became a hit show for Syfy and was just picked up for a second season of 12 episodes. Good for you Dave (you creative guy you!)
To this day I have not been sent a dime for the work I did to create Ghost Mine, a T-Shirt for either show or even a simple thank you from anyone. But I have learned that uncovering the treasure can be the reward maybe not always the treasure itself… so birthed a new show idea. One that in its DNA stands for integrity and overcoming extreme odds and is built upon the foundation that the Story or Legend inherently do not belong to anyone in particular but to everyone who hears it. And that it is not about the win but the contentment you find playing the game.
I hope that you will watch.