By Amanda Cupido
Tyler Fillmore knows how to get his 15 minutes.
After creating a reality show pilot entitled 15 Minutes (’til last call), Fillmore knows what it takes to get noticed in the film industry.
Fillmore is the writer and executive producer of the show, which is inspired by Toronto’s club scene and the gay community.
The show follows 12 characters as they fight for attention in the clubs and strive for their 15 minutes of fame.
But after being turned down by several Canadian networks, the fourth-year film student is going to Los Angeles to meet with American networks and discuss the future of the show.
Fillmore explains the idea came from his own experiences and a fascination with popular culture.
“I realized a connection between the two scenes,” he says.
The show is a “reality sitcom” similar in style to The Hills. This means the show is unscripted, but the footage is edited to create a rough narrative for each episode.
Fillmore shot the footage over the span of one month in the summer. After editing over 500 minutes of material, he had his first episode.
“We were putting ourselves out there and word got around,” says Fillmore.
“We were knocking on any door we thought we could open.”
After the lack of interest from Canadian networks, they hit a stroke of luck.
The Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) decided to represent Fillmore and his crew. APA currently represents reality shows like The Bachelor, as well as The Daily Show and Conan O’Brien.
With the agency’s help, several American networks heard about the pilot and showed interest.
“I’d like to stay in Canada but business is all in L.A.,” says Fillmore. “That’s where the money is.”
Fillmore is not looking for a specific network to pick up the show — he would be happy as long as it gets on television.
“I want to entertain people,” he says.
So does one of the stars of the show. Michael Pihach, a third-year broadcast journalism student, is known for being on the guest list at every club.
Pihach was originally chosen because he was already involved in the scene as a journalist.
“I see my character making a lot of friends but making a lot of mistakes too,” Pihach says.
“I report what I hear and people might mistake me as a trusted friend.”
Pihach says the show takes on an ‘Andy Warhol,’ or post-modern, approach to television, making it unique and entertaining.
“I see this show putting The Hills out of business,” he said.
Samantha Vite, co-executive producer and public relations manager, was approached by Fillmore last year about the project.
Her main responsibility is to promote the show.
“We are showing it to everyone and anyone,” says Vite.
Vite says the show is not confined to a specific style and she hopes to see the concept evolve with Toronto culture.
“You can set out a plan, but it’s about listening to the signs and following those cues,” she says.
Vite says this approach is what helped them get noticed in the United States.
“That’s what has got us to where we are.”
There will be a screening of the pilot at Circa nightclub on Nov. 14 at 9 p.m.
You can find out more about 15 Minutes by searching for 15minutestheshow on YouTube.