Blanco County News
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Local Taxidermist Shoots Pilot for Reality TV Show
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 • Posted May 11, 2010

Reality TV is a popular genre in today’s television lineups, with such hits as American Idol, Biggest Loser, Top Chef, and Amazing Race. Stations such as TLC and Discovery routinely take ordinary people and document their day to day lives.

Following the chupacabra finding and subsequent fame, Jerry Ayer found himself in talks with various production companies seeking to do a reality show based on his profession, taxidermy.

After months of fruitless talks, Ayer was about to give up on doing a pilot. Then Hoff Productions called.

Hoff Productions, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is owned by Michael Hoff. It has produced shows for National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and the Travel Channel, among others.

Starting in the early morning hours of April 26, filming began for a reality show based on Ayer’s business, Blanco Taxidermy. The show is set up to concentrate on the creative side of taxidermy and be more project driven.

During the three day shoot, the crew filmed Jerry talking to a man from Wisconsin who had a mastodon tusk he wanted a replica made of, as well as visiting the Dollenbek Ranch to do a consultation on repairing mounts located at the ranch. The show also features students wishing to learn the art of taxidermy.

Following filming, the production company will cut several different versions of the show to be pitched to several different networks.

Ayer should know within six months whether or not his show will be picked up by any networks. The show may be picked up for a season, and if that happens, then an entire season would be filmed in just 12-16 days in a studio created set. If the show is not picked up as a series, it is possible that it will be picked up by a network as a one hour special.

Either way, Jerry Ayer is excited about the experience, and even if it doesn’t turn into anything else, he says, “I would do it again.”

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