Dr. Melissa Caudle - Biography

Dr. Melissa Caudle

Dr. Melissa Caudle is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of On the Lot Productions, a Louisiana-based production company.  Dr. Mel is an experienced producer and brings her expertise to production in the areas of budgeting, script breakdown, shoot scheduling, casting and more.  She has built a solid reputation as a documentary and independent filmmaker.  Her documentary films include Mexico Missions, The Dolphins in Terry Cove, The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Sean Kelly’s Irish Pub, Beauvoir and Voices of the Innocent.  She just recently produced the independent films Dark Blue in association with David C. Kirtland of New Guy Films and Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads and currently is in development on the television series The Keystroke Killer that will be shot in New Orleans.  She also has a weekly blog, Dr. Mel’s Message, (www.drmelcaudle.blogspot.com) that will include sections for producers, crew, screenwriters, and actors.  The title pages within the blog are:

1.   Dr. Mel's Message - Updates from Dr. Mel on The Keystroke Killer project as well as other productions, her thoughts, and articles from free-lance journalists.

2.   The Actor's Slate - For actors to receive advice on auditioning, headshots etc.

3.   The Back Lot- Covers production tips for producers, directors, and other crew-members involved in the production of films, documentaries, and music videos.

4.   The Script Doctor - Covers writing screenplays, pitching them, format issues etc.

5.   Ask Dr. Mel – this section Dr. Mel answers one or two questions she received in her            email, or on her blog or Face Book page she feels would be of general interest to her followers.

6.  Member Spotlight - this is reserved for a peer of Dr. Mel’s that she discusses.  This person is chosen by Dr. Mel.  He or she could be an actor, director, screenwriter, blogger, a magazine, or book she recommends.

7.   That's a Wrap - My thoughts on current film, DVD, and book releases etc.

Dr. Mel has created five reality shows including The Baker Girls:  Sealed with a Kiss and Hoops:  Life off the Court, The Body Shop, At a Glance, and Reel Um In.  She is currently in production on reality shows That’s Game:  The Paintball Crew, River Kings, and The Body Shop and in pre-production on the sitcom, 40 & Leroy directed by Reed McCants, which is currently a web series.  This series is a comedy with a host of comedians and actors including one young actor, Jamie Alyson, from New Orleans.  Dr. Mel’s co-executive producer is the Emmy Award winning Director Neema Barnette, who recently directed the film Woman Thou Art Loosed:  On the Seventh Day.  “I knew the instant I met Neema, that I wanted to work with her again,” Caudle said.  “It was within a matter of months that we teamed up on 40 & Leroy.” The sitcom is in its third season as a web series on Blip TV.

Besides being a filmmaker, Dr. Caudle is an author with more than a dozen books and articles in magazines around the world on production, creating reality shows, and screenwriting.  One of her most popular books is The Reality of Reality TV:  Reality Show Business Plans and The Reality of Reality TV Workbook, which has been translated into five languages and selling worldwide“I receive over 300 E-mails everyday from people all over the world,” Caudle said.  “To my amazement, I get at least five a day in a language I don’t understand.  Luckily, I have software for a language translator; otherwise, I don’t know what I would do.  Bollywood can’t get enough of my books in stock.”   Another best seller for Caudle is her book series for Screenwriters.  She named the series, Rescue the Dog as a pun on a statement she wrote in one of her books.  “My readers kept writing me comments on a particular section in one of my books where I use my own dog as an example and that he needed rescuing after I dressed him up for the annual Barkus Parade,” Caudle said.  “It just stuck.”  The series includes quick guidebooks for screenwriters on how to develop and use a beat sheet, write a logline, synopsis, and create a one pager for screenplays.  Caudle also has published two books on raising funds.  Fundraising for Low-Budget Films and 150 Ways to Raise Funds for a Reality Show are the third selling books for Caudle. 

All of Dr. Mel’s books are available on Amazon.com or at www.therealityofrealitytv.com.  These books are in high demand from screenwriters, reality show producers, and reality show creators and are fast becoming the “BIBLE” on reality show formatting, guidelines and creating business plans for reality shows.  Next month, she publishes her next two books, The Art of the Production Coordinator followed by The Reality Show Handbook.

In between producing her own films through her production company, On the Lot Productions, Caudle also is involved in creating and producing reality shows.  She became a show-runner in New Orleans reality show world working on reality shows such as The Girls Next Door and The Little Couple.  She was getting funding for shows when no one else was.  “I think it had to do with my business plans that I wrote,” says Caudle.  “I kept submitting plan after plan to television executives only to get turned down.  I finally decided to figure why and traveled to Los Angeles to confer with friends I’ve made along the way.  I quickly discovered the reason Hollywood Insiders weren’t interested in my shows was that the way in which I presented them.  “After sitting in a television executive’s office for two hours watching him throw reality show pitch packets in the trash, she questioned him like a journalist.  She wanted to know what was wrong with the plans and how to improve them to get his attention.  “I remember the exact moment I realized what I needed to do,” says Caudle.  “Creating reality show business plans are different from those for screenplays.  They may look alike but because of the unscripted factor they are different.”    Caudle left Los Angeles with a new insight – how to format reality show business plans. 

Dr. Caudle is also an award winning screenwriter having placed in the quarterfinals of the prestigious International Page Scriptwriting Contest in both the television and film category with her screenplay Dragonfly Principal.  “I love every aspect of the film industry and love the collaborative process that it offers,” says Caudle.  The teamwork philosophy is evident in several of her screenplays that she had co-writers.  She converted the Dreamweaver novel series into a screenplay.  Michael Ragsdale wrote the book, by the same title.  Immediately following the adaptation of Dreamweaver, she was given the rights to convert the novel The Angelics, written by David Repogle.  Both novels are available from Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon.com.  Dr. Mel’s other screenplays include:  The Keystroke Killer, Delete, Pulse, Auditing Richard Biggs co-written with Dennis W. Martin,  A.D.A.M., MK-ULTRA, Never Stop Running, Secret Romances, The Lost Disciple, co-written with Duane Gross, and Dragonfly Principal co-written with Gabriel Dyan.

For more information check out her websites and be sure to subscribe to her blog.

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