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 knew as a kid that I wanted to earn a living in the outdoors, and I also realized I wanted to have my own TV show. I realized that most of the TV shows that failed were because all that the TV hosts wanted to do were to walk out in front of cameras and be seen. I knew I never would do that. I wanted to learn every aspect of producing a TV show. Before I even started my TV show, I knew that I’d go broke quickly if I had to hire a videographer and someone to do my postproduction work. So, not only was I willing to go to college and major in television production, but when I got out of college and started working for an outdoor-production company, I’d work 100 hours a week just to learn all the crafts required to be an on-camera person-videographer, postproduction person and a salesman. I realized that was the only way I could make it in the outdoor industry, start my own show and attract sponsors. I could do everything that was required to have a TV show without hiring any other people. Going to college, majoring in television production and then working for an outdoor television-production company gave me the information and the other practical skills I needed to reach my goals. As an intern, I got real world experience on how to apply what I’d learned to put information together and make the hunts happen in the field and in the editing suite.
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After I did my no-pay internship and worked another 4 years for that same company to build my resume and have practical experience actually making television shows, I realized the patience and perseverance I learned from being a college athlete really paid-off for me. While I was working for the production company, I learned all the things that had to be done after the in-the-field footage was shot to produce a TV show that captured and held the viewers’ attention. I was determined to learn my craft well enough, so I wouldn’t have to pay someone to shoot the footage or do all the required postproduction work.
People often ask me too at seminars how I’ve survived in the outdoor-television business for more than 15 years and had a continuously-running outdoor TV show for 10 of those 15 years.
I’m sure there are people who are better hunters, shooters and producers than me. However, I know for certain that no one can outwork me. I’ve been willing to work very hard over a long time, and I have a passion for what I’m doing. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I wouldn’t change a thing about what I’m doing. I might not have a TV show, but I’d be hunting every single day. I’m doing what I love, and I think people can see that in our TV show.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” available in Kindle, print and Audible versions at (http://amzn.to/1vIcj4m).