“It’s Easy Being Green” Fine Living Channel

Alice Cooper

Did you know that Alice Cooper replaced his addiction to alcohol for an addiction to golf? It’s true! The infamous shock rocker traded in vodka shots for cut shots and explains it all in his book Golf Monster.  The man is the king of transformation so we didn’t think it would be too hard to transform him from just a regular golfer (with a killer swing) to eco golfer extraordinaire (with a killer solar powered golf cart)!  In this segment, host Rene Loux helps Alice go green on the green.

The Backstory:  the night before the shoot, I got the stomach flu and was dreadfully sick but as everyone knows, “the show must go on!”  I was literally throwing up between takes. Sorry folks, the biz isn’t always pretty! The very kind people at The Phoenician (where we shot the segment) kept me supplied with gallons of Gatorade and I actually managed to direct in the blazing Arizona heat. It certainly helps that I was working with an amazing local crew, the fabulous staff at The Phoenician and Alice Cooper, a true professional who is not only incredibly nice but really funny!

Farm Aid

Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Dave Matthews joined the team in 2001. You can’t do a show about the importance of family farms without stopping by Farm Aid and chatting with Willie Nelson. His dedication to the cause is unending and inspiring.

The Backstory: First of all, it’s not possible to cover a top notch rock concert, interview celebrities, run around backstage, eat great food and not have fun– so that’s a given. We had a blast!  Memories of that day include Rene interviewing Alice Waters, meeting John Mellencamp’s wife Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp who is drop dead gorgeous and incredibly gracious and watching Neil Young and his wife Pegi Young perform “Silver & Gold” together…so, so sweet.

The Dressing Room with Paul Newman

The Dressing Room is so much more than a restaurant.  It’s a partnership, a community and a movement. Founded in 2006 by Michel Nischan and Paul Newman, The Dressing Room is at the heart of the “homegrown” practice of using local, sustainable and organic food to make simple, delicious meals.  We had the amazing opportunity to meet Michel and Paul on a gorgeous September day when the restaurant hosted a farmer’s market on the property. Since Newman’s passing, The Dressing Room still serves lovely meals, but now also serves as a tribute to man who appreciated and championed the simple things in life.

The Backstory:  Of course meeting Paul Newman was an amazing experience and interviewing Michel Nischan was a joy because he is so enthusiastic and passionate about his work. My big culinary moment of the day was discovering celery root. I had never heard of it! It’s a root vegetable that you can mash like potatoes but much more flavorful.

“Ms. Adventure”  Animal Planet

The assignment was to do a story on how animals survive in the hot, cruel, dry desert so we went to Moab, Utah and landed the day a rainstorm started that Moab hadn’t seen the likes of in 36 years. That’s production for ya! Only thing you can do is roll with it. The flash floods and rain became part of the story of how unpredictable life in the desert can be. The animals adapted and so did we. Host,  Rachel Reenstra, shows you how.

Ms. Adventure from Rachael Joy on Vimeo.

The Backstory:  Working on Ms. Adventure truly was a great adventure. We traveled the U.S. and the Bahamas doing amazing shoots with snakes, lemurs, meerkats, Caribbean reef tip sharks, wolves, moose, and yes lions, tigers and bears.

“Meet Tom Kramer”

Meet Tom Kramer is a spec pilot I produced, directed and edited. It’s the story of my friend Tom Kramer, a recovering alcoholic, on an unusual mission to find out who he is by finding out who he’s not.  The show was selected for the New York Television Festival in NYC where it screened at Milk Studios. It was also selected for the Independent TV Festival Los Angeles where it screened at Raleigh Studios and won “Best Reality Show.”

The Backstory:   First of all, Tom is doing great. He got married and has been directing hit shows in Los Angeles like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Penn & Teller’s Bullshit.” Meanwhile, our show got great reviews and lots of attention. It was optioned and pitched to several networks but nobody bought it. So many factors are in play when selling a TV show and the holy trinity of contacts, timing and opportunity just haven’t aligned yet to get “Meet Tom Kramer” on the air but it’s still available for any of you network execs out there!!

Producer/Director Reel

Trying to edit a reel using all your shows and maintain any kind of story is pretty much impossible so I picked three shows that really influenced me and made more of an artistic interpretation of a reel. Inspired by the the DeVotchka song, “How It Ends,”  I looked for recurring themes and visuals and saw that in two of the shows the audience clearly knows how “it” ends and in one you think you know. In all of them I  see themes of death, letting go and resistance to the unknown but also love for life, accepting the mystery and  hope.  I could keep going with these deep spiritual insights but they are just TV shows after all!

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