THE NEXT CONTESTANT
A famous game show host is forced to retire and train his replacement when he
refuses to take responsibility for his decline in popularity.
Tom Delaway has been the face of the once-renowned game show, Name Your Price, for 30 years. Over the last few years of his career, he begins to resist his contestants and the audience responsible for making him famous. After Tom dismisses a contestant who is far more famous than him, the show’s board decides to replace Tom with a humble young man named Rupert Blanche. Tom acts ruthlessly towards Rupert on his first day despite Rupert’s efforts to ingratiate himself with Tom. When Tom is forced to be a contestant so Rupert can practice hosting, Rupert lets his nervousness get the best of him and he belittles Tom on-stage. This leads to their final argument and Tom’s revelation that he has to let go.
STILLS AND BTS IMAGES
Timothy Riley as Tom Delaway
Frank Graziano as Rupert Blanche
Carolyn Strauss as Josie Miller
Kylen Marie as Angela Duvall
Dwayne Carrington as The Announcer
SCRIPT SUPERVISED BY
Q: Which real-life game show, if any, inspired the film’s game show?
A: In creating the fictitious game show Name Your Price, we looked to the classic pricing game show The Price is Right for inspiration. As the longest running game show on television, The Price is Right is widely recognized by viewers, and we considered the show's format to be a natural foundation upon which our film's show could be based.
Q: Is the main character based on a real-life game show host and, if so, who?
A: With The Price is Right as a starting point, we based our initial considerations for the character of Tom Delaway on the stage persona of Bob Barker. Over the span of thirty-five years as the host of The Price is Right, Bob's command of both the stage and the cameras captured audiences’ attention for decades. We wanted Tom to be just as captivating in his early years on-stage, though his off-stage personality is not reflective of Bob’s in any manner.
Q: How was the filming of The Next Contestant affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant logistical challenges to many industries where working remotely isn't an option, with filmmaking being no exception. Fortunately, everyone on our team contributed to making the set a safe environment despite the pandemic. Our crew wore masks at all times, and our cast wore their masks or face shields until they were ready for a take. Each team member sanitized their equipment at regular intervals as well.
Q: Where was the film shot and why?
A: Most of the film was shot in Denver, Colorado at River North Media Company. Luckily, this venue was ideal for shooting three of our film's four locations: the Green Room, TV Executive's Office, and the Name Your Price set itself. We locked down a three-day-rental so that our team only had to build the set for the film's game show once, saving valuable set-up time and minimizing risk to delicate props and set pieces. The film's fourth location, Tom Delaway's home, was filmed in an Airbnb in Littleton, Colorado as the neighborhood was quiet enough to film in, and the property owner worked with us to ensure our production's needs could be met.
Q: What element(s) of the script proved particularly challenging in bringing it to life on the screen?
A: The creation of the film’s Game Show Set was by far our greatest challenge. We knew we needed two custom-built podiums, a beautifully lit backboard, and a colorful way to hide the cyclorama wall we were using as our backdrop. This is why our Production Designers met with Sabrina regularly to brainstorm, prepare mock-ups, devise blueprints, purchase the necessary materials, and to finally build the biggest set pieces. It took two months of preparation and building before our set pieces were transported to set. Then, over the course of a day, our four-person Art Team rigged the Game Show Set and collaborated with one of our Electricians to pre-light it with Titan Tubes and LEDs.
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