(Chicago) July 2nd, 2012 -- As of July 1st, Witch School International is formally opting out as a free resource for Reality Show Production companies. Since 2006, Witch School International has been pursued and contacted for possible reality shows, docudramas, unscripted dramas, and other interestingly named projects. During that time, WSI provided information to over 40 production groups. They worked with 22 production company inquiries, 14 pre-development projects, considered 6 different holding agreements, and participated in 3 sizzle reels. After all this activity, no project was completed successfully, and the networks involved have never finalized a single project or series.
As of today, Witch School International and CEO Ed Hubbard will no longer accept inquiries from Television and Movie Production companies. While Witch School has been involved with reality shows in the past, they are no longer interested in pursuing or being involved in any form of reality show. According to Ed Hubbard, “We will no longer be a free resource, which is how we have been used continuously by production companies in the past. We have provided everything from simple answers to detailed development packages, including the casting of sizzle reels. In all those requests, we absorbed whatever costs were incurred, and at no point were we offered remuneration or consideration for our cooperation. When a project died, we were never informed. This level of disrespect for us as a community has become too much to bear. Witch School will no longer be offering these services freely to any production companies.”
Reality Shows have a difficult time with Pagans, Wiccans and Witches for the following reasons:
Production companies do not understand the special circumstances that most Witches and Pagans live under. Permanent exposure as a Witch and Pagan can cause long term discrimination issues. America is not a society free of bigotry. Production companies see Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches as another sub-group of the overall liberal American mosaic, and they believe exposure on television will improve the lives of people in the Pagan community. The concept of long term discrimination is not something that the majority of production companies believe is a serious consideration in their negotiations.
Production companies want great visuals, and Pagans and Wiccans definitely have that. Witch School has never seen a project falter because of visuals. The Pagan community’s colorful lifestyles and freedom of body, mind, and spirit are driving factors, and this is like catnip to the Hollywood companies. But the productions companies only see people in the community as ritual performers and spell casters. They cannot accept the fact that Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans are much more than that. Many people in the Pagan community have a strong interest in not only magickal subjects, but also a wide variety of popular topics such as Supernatural studies, Ghost Hunts, Psychic Work, etc. Production companies reject the fact that Witches and Pagans are metaphysical generalists, who study all aspects of the magical world. Very few Pagans make a living at being spell casters or psychics. This is the bridge none of the production companies seem able to cross.
Production companies want Salem, Massachusetts. They do not understand that there is no core community in Salem which represents any national or regional Pagan groups. The single most important thing is that production companies want their mythologized Salem to be the Witch capital of the world. The truth is it is the Halloween capital of the world, and not a Wiccan Mecca at all. It is a terrific place for lots of Witches, Pagans, and Psychics to earn a living, but it does not have a Witch Lifestyle Community present in any way. This is what production companies have always sought in Salem and they have repeatedly come away with the realization of how fractious and divided the Salem community truly is.
The most important reason production companies eventually lose the Pagan community and create a boring image on television is that they are not willing to commit the time and resources to the community to develop an interesting and realistic show. According to Hubbard, “Production companies are unwilling to place resources in our community’s hands, which would allow us to help win over the Networks. Instead we are treated like a free resource, as prop toys to be put away and abandoned when they are done with their failed presentations. If our community was given even a tenth of the resources they use to create their mythological Witch show, we would be able to produce a real show about that would attract and hold people’s attention. Production companies have treated us as stupid, and incapable of being part of the process. Until they can overcome this prejudice, there is no point in continuing to work with them.”
So in closing, Witch School wishes all the production companies developing Witch or Pagan based reality shows the best of luck, but asks that you no longer consider them as a free resource in your project development.
Do feel free to share this. I would appreciate it.
This seems to be a step in the right direction.
Very well said. A True Natural Witches should never let Hollywood know the truth. For the most part true Witches do not ever let anyone know what they are. The Christians, "say, never cast your Pearls before Swine". You can look at Hollywood as being the Swine.
I thoroughly agree with this action. It's been use and abuse as long as Wiccans, Pagans & Witches have openly offered themselves and their communities for free. We no longer need to do that and if any TV company want 'proper' witches and their views, I think they should pay for it. Or why not give a permanent position in the production company to an up and coming Pagan in qualified Media Studies.
Minority groups have always been treated this way. I remember back in the 1980's we would get TV and film companies interested in Rastafari, and we would give talks etc for free just to clear up misconceptions. Again it was use & abuse. It happened in the UK a decade later with the Asian Community. We set up groups of representatives around the UK who would speak on our behalf for payment only, making sure we had a cross section of intelligent knowledgeable speakers.
We can do this in the Pagan Community if we could organise ourselves properly and agree on what information we are willing to divulge - for a FEE.
Well, I have found out lot's of my roots have and had to do with Pagan way back during Greek's and before Christ. Even learning that Christ [if not a myth] enjoyed and loved the Pagan belief. I would go as far as saying, that one day, it may come to light, that Jesus was a Pagan. Hence all the Pagan symbol's still in use today by the churches.
When I wear my Pentigram [at all times, mostly exposed with v-neck t-shirts] I walk proudly as a PAGAN, when ask wicca and wiccian, witch, I give them a simple answer.
I don't down that fact Pagan/Wicca/Wiccian/Witch go all hand in hand when it comes to the health of the earth and self. I just have prefered to call my self a Pagan without attachment to the term "Witch" and why?
Because I believe and see, that in America, we [non-understanding American's] have ruined the name "witch" with evil attachment. With the term "Pagan" we have attached harmony and Love and of the Earth and elements to that faith in the all and knowing of our consciousness.
I truely believe, if we all take this approch, then the Pagan faith has a better message system in place that the norm of the population can actaully understand and grasp onto more.
We are in a time of change, the failings of the religions, the rising of the spiritual. Pagan is highly spiritual and on the rise. More and more I meet people in S. Calif. that greet me because of my Pagan symbol on my neck and they too have something in which to display of wicca. Most out here like the term Pagan, over that of witch.
Witch school or rather Pagan school that later sounds higher.
Just my opinion.
This site has also been used as a recruiting resource for casting directors. Hopefully that will stop as well.
If they contact you or others, please let me know. I will remove them from the site.