Apparently, paranormal topics are trending again. Or will, soon.
So far this week, three TV producers and one radio show reached out to me. This has been going on for several weeks now. (It’s not entirely new. This happens in cycles, year after year.)
Those conversations can be tremendous fun, or they can be awkward.
Successful dialogues involve a shared, middle ground. That’s a place where we each understand the interests we share, and respect those that are very different.
(Note: The graphic with this article was supposed to look like a Venn diagram with a curious monkey in the middle. Now that I take a fresh look at it… umm.. maybe not. – LOL – But this is a busy day in a busy month. So, for now, I’m not reworking the graphic.)
Most producers seem to want a fresh, marketable idea (or two or three) that condenses well into an elevator speech.
Their priorities are:
- Can this idea become a popular TV series?
- Is it new/unique enough to stand out, but still familiar enough for broad appeal?
- Is this something people will enjoy watching?
In other words, their focus is on the entertainment value.
The problem is, paranormal researchers like me may have different priorities.
I’m looking for fascinating anomalies. Usually, they’re unexplained phenomena with (possibly obscure) historical connections, and cool locations where I can research them.
Usually, my questions are:
- Does this topic seem fun and interesting to me, personally?
- If I discover fresh information about this subject, will others want to know about it?
- Is this kind of phenomena (in general or at a particular location) something other people will want to experience, too?
When a producer and I are on the same wavelength, our conversations can be animated and fascinating.
Most producers find me from my websites, books, or my new YouTube channel.
Others met me at events like Dragon Con, or I was recommended by a mutual friend.
- Currently, most producers seem interested in show ideas and cast suggestions. They also want to know about paranormal trends emphasizing ghost research, but not exclusively ghosts.
- A few producers want to turn the Mandela Effect research into an unscripted series, or an episode in a paranormal series. (Most saw the X-Files (reboot) episode about the Mandela Effect. It was a fun episode.) I’m not sure that’s possible.
In real life, I tend to startle producers. I’m not what they expected. For example, I’m a believer, but not gullible. (Well, not usually.)
Also, I’m eager to be involved in research (locations, and finding supporting historical evidence) so their shows are both compelling and credible.
And I’m happy to “talk shop” when time permits. If something I say sparks a TV series idea, I’m delighted.
But, I won’t appear in front of the camera. I value my privacy too much to risk that. (That preference, plus the fact that I take some paranormal phenomena seriously, makes some TV producers uneasy. We’ve lost that “middle ground.”)
Mostly, I agree with David Bowie who said, “I’m always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don’t even take what I am seriously.”
I don’t believe all paranormal activity is ghostly. From infrasound to quantum explanations, many haunted places may be boringly ghost-free.
Likewise, some Mandela Effect reports might come from rushed (and wrong) news stories, premature obituaries, or something overheard and misunderstood. Confabulation can be in the mix, as well.
But other alternate memories – and supporting evidence for them – aren’t so easy to dismiss. That’s my focus in that field of research… reported memories with startling consistencies I can’t explain.
Those are the things I want to say to producers.
Our “middle ground” is: presenting engaging stories that have depth and credibility, so viewers come back for more. (Today’s viewers may become tomorrow’s researchers, who discover even more evidence to explain paranormal phenomena.)
Those are my answers. You might reply differently. (It’s a good idea to think about this before a producer contacts you.)
Understand the difference between researchers and entertainers. (That’s not binary. Some researchers are – or become – entertainers, and vice versa.)
Identify your own priorities, and consider others’ goals, prejudices, and interests.
There can be a middle ground. It’s important to find it so we can work together . The result can be better TV shows, and better paranormal research, too.