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Not Your Average Filmmaking - Ted Irving's Journey

Ted Irving
Ted Irving
courtesy of Ted Irving

"HOUSTON IS DRY county. We have a tremendous amount of talent here from actors to producers to techies behind the scenes. But when most get the opportunity, they head to Los Angeles or New York," says Ted Irving. Many of his past and present Hightower High School Media Academy students are grateful he did the opposite.

Born in Los Angeles, but reared in Houston, multi-media talent, Ted Irving describes himself as a "one man band" and for good reason. With Houston roots, this experienced tech man and teacher has a twisted, yet ordinary plan.

Two projects that happen to fall under this category and occupy his time are Great Americans, which he has completed, and Twisted Clips. Irving, who attended Westfield High School and then Sam Houston State for college serves as the producer, photographer and editor for both projects.

"Great Americans is a show that highlights the Americans that are never shown on TV...the average Americans...doing great things," he shares. The host for the show is a former Houston TV reporter, Lloyd Gite.

Before a project can begin, there are a number of commitments that are made. "I teamed up with several other people and we all made investments to attend NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives.)" Irving explains how this is a national convention where you pitch TV shows or movies ideas to companies such as MTV, BET, HBO, Paramount, Disney, etc.

What he wants people to gain from seeing this project is simple. He wants them to recognize that "there is power in being normal and not a star, but a star within one's community, a craft or trade." This is a philosophy many Houstonians can relate to.

The Houston filmmaking community is still growing as we speak. Despite the downside, resilient ones make a way. Irving has another project in the works that may help fill the known void.

Irving shares how "Twisted Clips, a TV show that showcases true independent films and gives them national exposure without having to spend hundreds of dollars with a Sundance or Cannes," is a project that can benefit many aspiring and experienced filmmakers. You can visit Ted at

Check out the pilot of Great Americans at
More info on Great Americans can be found at
Twisted Clips Blog

5 Notes to the Wise:

For those who are trying to get a project off the ground, Irving shares a couple of pointers.

1. "You first come up with a concept, get it copywritten and registered with the Writers Guild of America."

2. "Determine the taping format (High Definition or Standard Definition)"

3. "Location scout"

4. "Start recording...All aspects must be polished and the highest quality you can afford on a consistent basis from episode to episode."

5. "Get the show sold."

If you are a Houston filmmaker with a story to tell, contact Micole Williams at


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