Buyers and sellers are usually old hands at NATPE, but fresh faces Deb and Ozie Baldwin, a husband and wife team, came into the market optimistic on selling their ‘real reality’ home shows, Builders and Buyers and spin-off show, Greener Ways. The DIYers do everything on their own in their programs, with Deb motoring in on her motorcycle as the show’s host and producer and Ozie carrying the titles of creative director, EP and DP, under the shingle MyOptic Media.
Already airing in Chicago to Comcast subscribers, the show has grown in viewers and even garnered Deb an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement as Program Host. The couple self-funds its television program while also holding down day jobs, in order to bring about programming that gives realistic views of home building, even following a home from start to finish over the course of five years in Builders and Buyers.
Ozie sees their show as a shining light in the dim home building industry, and emphasizes that there is still a demand for luxury homes despite the economic downturn. ‘It’s still the American Dream,’ he says. And even more timely is the show Greener Ways, which was spawned when viewer feedback made the Baldwins aware that there were many green homes in Chicago.
The economy plays constantly into the shows, with Deb’s motorcycle being cheaper on gas than a car, and by the shows using product integration to help costs. They have even partnered with Home Depot on Greener Ways. While the Baldwins are careful in where they invest their money on the show, the investment of time is incredible. So far Deb says they’ve seen over 50 homes built from start to finish. ‘Sometimes I feel like the project manager,’ says Ozie.
The Baldwins are looking for international representation for both shows at NATPE.