This may look like your typical Sherman Oaks home with a drought tolerant yard, but something more lurks behind that wrought iron gate. Owner Jon Hotchkiss, a TV veteran with 14 Emmy nominations to his credit, has created his own TV network here. He fetchingly calls it Adorable Puppies Inc., and has everything he needs to shoot, produce, edit and broadcast his original TV series (plural), right in his own backyard.
And here’s the kicker. He says you can and should do it too.
“Now, anyone with a camera, a lap-top and access to wi-fi can have their video or movie seen everywhere,” he says. “I think creative people want to bring their passion and vision to life without the heavy handed influence of the people with the money.” He notes that with technology and broadcasting being as simple and inexpensive as they are today, you don’t have to be subject to sponsors or network executives.”
If you need proof of that, all you have to do is Google “YouTube Stars” to see the number of kids who are making upper six figure incomes just dancing in front of their iPhones and talking sassy.
Of course, Hotchkiss’s programming is quite a bit more professional than the latest YouTube sensation. His experience includes working extensively on shows like Politically Incorrect, The Late Show With Craig Kilburn, Penn and Teller’s Bulls*&%, and various programs for networks like Discovery, TLC, ABC, Showtime, GSN and more. But one of the many great equalizing factors that he says allows him, and many others, to deliver quality TV shows around the world is:
“The change in the cost of gear. Professional equipment that used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – like cameras — now cost just thousands of dollars. And editing equipment that wouldn’t fit in a U-Haul. has been compressed to run on a MacBook Pro.” Also, the cost of chartering a helicopter to hover overhead has been reduced to the price of a drone, he adds.
Hotchkiss has produced several series, including “Pizza With Writers,” for which he invites top TV writers into his backyard to chat about their craft while making hand-crafted pizzas in his colorfully tiled outdoor oven. Pros like Nick Malis from Tosh.0, Jay Kogen from The Simpsons and Rob Kutner from The Daily Show with John Stewart have all participated.
Another of Hotchkiss’ clever series is “This Vs. That” a show that uses science and humor to investigate questions you’ve always wondered about, like which is more effective in heavy traffic, staying in the same lane, switching lanes or taking side streets? And finding out which is the more effective flotation device on an airplane, the inflatable vest or the seat cushion. Then there’s the episode about barbecuing with propane versus natural gas…to name just a few.
Hotchkiss’ revenue model is not about advertising. He charges $3.99 per month for a subscription that allows you to watch all his shows as many times as you want, for one month. He notes that this is much less than subscription sites like Netflix or Hulu.
And how is that revenue model working for him? It’s too early to say, he discloses, as they’ve only had it set up for a few months. But he’s having the time of his life creating television his way.
At this point, you might be wondering what his network has to do with adorable puppies. He explains:
“When you share pictures of your dog with friends and family on social media, you do it because you love your dog, you think your dog is the best and damn-it, you want everyone to see how great or cute or funny your dog was being at the time you took the picture….In your heart you are 100% certain that some people will love the photo… it will make them smile… and it will improve their day. And you’re right. These series are my adorable puppies. I created them. I produced them. I wrote them. I financed them. I edited much of them. And I even host one of the shows. And like everyone with adorable puppies, I want to share mine with the world, too.”
Get more information on Jon Hotchkiss Adorable Puppies network on Yahoo Real Estate.