Scotch Ellis Loring, who was known as Patrick McCollum when he attended Washington Union High School in the early 1980s, is taking advantage of the growing outlets for broadcasting.
When executives passed on the local actor’s TV script for a comedy series about a talk show struggling to stay on the air and the challenges the hosts face when changes are made, he decided to produce the program himself. “Faux Show TV” can be seen at fauxshowtv.com.
Along with Loring, the online offering stars Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, Teddy Sears, Tiffany Haddish, Tim Bagley and Ben Patrick Johnson. Sears will be seen in the second season of CW Network series “The Flash” as Jay Garrick.
“It actually ended up being a better vehicle for everybody. This was the first time I got to produce, direct and act. I had no formal education in entertainment and this was a great way to learn,” Loring says.
Loring may not have gone to school to learn film production, but he’s had a lot of first-hand experience. His TV and film roles include “Hot in Cleveland,” “Miss Guided,” “Wonderfalls,” “Alias,” “Firehouse Dog” and “The Facts of Life.”
He ended up in Fresno when he was 12 because his father, Sgt. Frederick McCollum, settled here after he moved the family across the country during his 25-year tour of duty in the Air Force. Loring started acting while attending Sierra Junior High (now Duncan Polytechnical) and continued into high school as he competed in local speech tournaments and appeared in local theater productions.
Loring knew when the script was being shopped to various studios that if no one bought it, he would put together the money to produce it himself.
After there were no offers, he took the original script and was able to turn it into nine episodes ranging in length from 3-8 minutes each. The majority of scenes for the entire season was shot in one day.
“I knew that I had a cast and crew of professionals who could get the job done,” Loring says.
It was easy for Loring to get Coles – best known for the TV show “Living Single” – to star in the production. Loring produced a one-woman show by Coles, “Oh But Wait, There’s More!,” that toured the country.
Loring’s initial plan was to just get this script produced. The attention it will get online could spark him to do more webisodes (if funding can be found), sell the script to a studio or provide a script for another idea he’s developed.
“I know the show will have a niche audience, but I hope there’s a good viewership so that my intent is clear. I think this is an example of a really nice piece that can be produced for very little money,” Loring says.
It’s also an example of how the Internet is providing more broadcast opportunities for producers, directors and actors like Loring.