Another Christian Sitcom

sitcomHeavenly Help currently has 8 episodes and is broadcast on Parables TV. All of their episodes are available online.

That’s 3 Christian sitcoms I’ve found, counting mine and Pastor Greg, which isn’t in production any more. 3, out of all the religious shows in existence today.

I’m going to try to find out more about Heavenly Help. In the meantime, here’s segment 1 of their pilot:

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Season 1 (all 10 episodes) of Peculiar Should have cost $60,000!

dollar singThis week I am working on the last episode of the first full season of Peculiar. We did 6 episodes first, and then another 4 this May/June.

Total, for the entire 10 episode run, we will end up spending under $9,000. That includes captioning. That’s 10 22:30 episodes. Over 200 minutes of content.

I was playing with numbers, researching what a production with a higher budget would look like. I checked out the SAG Ultra Low budget rates. These numbers don’t include all the benefits and other things, or the restrictions you have to follow if you do an actual union contract. I just wanted to see what the rates were.

Minimum of $100 per 8 hour day for actors. I know from my own freelance experience that crew positions would cost between $200 and 400 per day. For fun let’s say $250.

We had an average of 5 actors per day, and an average of 4 crew per day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. We shot the 10 episodes over 34 days, total.

If you do the math, and add what we spent on food and gear and captioning, that’s $60,000!

Holy smokes. I know how low end we were on stuff. We really needed better lighting. And imagine if we had to pay for locations? Add at least another $5,000.

I am still amazed we got these done. Thankful to have so many people who saw the vision for the show, and joined in.

I found another Christian TV Sitcom… from 2005

sitcomFrom 2005-2008 a Christian sitcom called Pastor Greg filmed 39 episodes.

Created by Greg Robbins, who played the lead, and produced by Uplifting Entertainment, Robbins’ production company, the show as broadcast on Cornerstone Television and TBN. From what I can find, it looks like Cornerstone put up the money for production as well. The cost of first 26 episodes was expected to push Cornerstone $150,000 past their normal operating budget. Apparently Cornerstone stopped producing all other shows, and focused only on this sitcom. Several articles said they filled their airtime with infomercials while in production. According to CBN, the target audience was men and women, 24-54.

By any account, that was not a lot of money to film a sitcom. Under $6000 an episode back in 2005. (Now, that’s a guess. I don’t know what they actually spent. $150k divided by 26 is under $6k.) The big chunk of the budget went to buy 2 HD cameras for the studio. Things have come a long way in video production. According to the reviews on the show’s IMDB page, the show wasn’t well received. I’d wager that they could do a lot better with $6000 per episode today.

The show did have a definite 80’s feel to it, the clips I could watch anyway. I know in my head that it was just taped a few years ago, but it felt like an 80’s comedy. Maybe it was the VO track. The opening was definitely that sort of feel. Some people described it as slapstick.

You can watch full episodes at www.cinevee.com, these are the “Lost Episodes” of the show. You can also order DVDs from this website: http://www.pastorgregsitcom.com

I found a short clip from the pilot on Youtube. I’m pretty sure this isn’t an official posting, so… Don’t now how long it will remain: