Problems between you and your neighbours could pay off if you don’t mind airing those issues on the small screen.
A Saanich production company is searching for neighbours who are not only at war, but interested in peace, for a TV show it is developing called Neighbourhood vs Neighbour.
Showcasing issues plaguing neighbours would be a unique addition to reality television, said Erin Skillen, vice-president of May Street Productions Ltd.
The show would also feature a conflict-resolution specialist or psychologist – the hunt is on for one on the Island, Vancouver and Seattle – who will work on-camera with the warring neighbours.
“We are genuinely looking to help people, not exploit them,” said Skillen. “Some reality shows come in and they really mess with people and manipulate them, and we aren’t interested in doing that.”
Victoria casting director Annie Klein is looking for neighbours from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to film a demo over one or two days in the next two months.
Only one neighbour needs to apply. The opposing neighbours would be contacted later in the process, if producers are interested.
Skillen will begin pitching the concept to Canadian and U.S. television broadcasters later this month.
If there’s interest, the demo could be expanded into a full series.
Neighbours starring in the show won’t be paid because the producers don’t want people to ‘perform’ for the camera, said Skillen.
But if it becomes a series, the unpopular neighbour on the block may receive free home repairs, if that’s the source of the trouble. The disputing neighbours could also be asked to collaborate on community projects, such as creating a park, Skillen said.
Producers are also prepared for relationships that can’t be improved.
“In some cases, if people just really don’t fit in their neighbourhood and are really unhappy we can work with them and a real estate agent to find a neighbhourhood that might be a better fit,” Skillen said.
“We just want to help, basically, and make good TV at the same time.”
For details or to apply, please contact casting director Annie Klein by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 250-217-9006 by Jan. 19. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.