Editor’s Note: Probably thousands of YouTube videos have been made with hosts who have bought video cameras, editing software and remote mics. These videographers are telling everyone they have TV shows, when in actuality they have YouTube channels that they call TV shows. Numbers of really-good television shows are on several channels and cable networks where the hosts and the people they have working with them have spent thousands of hours and plenty of money to produce quality shows in a professional manner. But how do you become a television host and producer, produce a TV show that’s good enough to attract national sponsors and stay on major television networks for more than a year or two? One of the TV personalities who’s found the path, put in the time, gone to college and learned all she can about hosting, producing, filming and marketing is Melissa Bachman (https://melissabachman.com/) of South Dakota. Bachman’s TV show, “Winchester Deadly Passion,” (https://www.thesportsmanchannel.com/show/winchester-deadly-passion/81951) has been running continuously for 52 weeks every year for 10 years on the Sportsman Channel, airing four times a week. Anyone interested in having a television show on a national network and gaining sponsors who can help pay for expenses, needs to learn from Melissa and understand the route she’s taken to get to where many outdoors folks hope to be.
I went to college and double majored in television production and Spanish. When I got out of college, I sent out 74 resumes, but no one would hire me. Finally, I picked the outdoor TV show that I wanted to work with and sent them not only my resume but also a letter saying I was willing to work for free. Immediately I got a message back asking, “When can you start?” I answered, “Tomorrow.” The TV people asked what could I do, and I explained, “I can sweep the floor, I can shoot cameras, I can edit, and I can do whatever you need me to do.” I started working for that TV show the next day and drove about 150 miles round trip every day to work for free.
Then after 4 months I was hired full time. Although I was a cameraman (woman) and producer for the next 4 years, I always wanted to be in front of the camera. I’d work 30 days straight, and the TV company I was working for would give me 5 days off. I took the money I made and bought a quality video camera. I started filming my own hunts and editing them and waited until someone didn’t get his show done. Then I’d give the company I was working for the shows for free that I had filmed, edited and produced. Over a period of time, several of the partners in the company I was working for asked, “What about that Melissa Bachman lady? Can we get some more of her shows?” So, I broke away from that company and started my own company. For the last 9 years, I’ve been doing “Winchester Deadly Passion” airing on the Sportsman’s Channel that has allowed me to hunt all over the United States and the world.
White-tailed deer hunting always has been my passion, since I was a child. The only dream I had when I was younger was to one day grow up and take a big buck, and I was finally able to do that more than once. I’m often asked, “Where did you get your passion for hunting?” My mom and my dad both hunted. My folks would take me and my siblings hunting with them. We sat in tree stands with them to hunt deer, and if they were hunting ducks, they’d build us a separate little blind where we could play.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” available in Kindle, print and Audible versions, at (http://amzn.to/YpoQHA).
Tomorrow: Hunter Melissa Bachman Tells How to Get TV Sponsors and Why She Works with Young People