Toronto-based prodco Architect Films has an HGTV Canada show set to premiere on April 7, already has a second series order, a spin-off, and a U.S. run, all in its first year.
Mike Sheerin, president of Architect Films and EP/director of Decked Out, says that the construction series began when Sheerin spotted Paul Lafrance (pictured), CEO of Cutting Edge Construction and Design, on a morning show three years ago.
“I remember thinking this guy is pretty funky looking, he doesn’t look like your typical contractor, and I thought there could be a show there. I called up his company that day and set up a meeting with them and we agreed to pursue it. Three years later we had a show,” recalls Sheerin.
The 13 episode series sees Lafrance and crew build decks and backyards, including one massive deck, pool and cabana combo, and the second series order from HGTV Canada, placed before the first series even went to air, will see more of the same.
Architect Films is currently in production on the spin-off, Deck Wars, a 4×1-hour competition show where the same crew from Decked Out is filmed a studio and split into two teams of two. The challenge is to see who can build the better deck in two days for bragging rights.
Decked Out will also air in the U.S. on DIY in April and HGTV in July.
Not bad for a company that started just over a year ago, and has a staff that boasts one series producer, Bree Tiffin, with the addition of editor Wade Carson. Sheerin started the company after working on documentaries for Toronto-based 90th Parallel Productions and left to open up his own shop.
“We’ve had a great first year,” says Sheerin. “The show sold, we got an early renewal from the network, because they were so enthusiastic about the product, we sold it to Scripps in the States and we got Tricon on board as the distributor for the rest of the world.”
As for what he can do for year two, Sheerin says, “I’m looking at a cork board right now that probably has about 35 ideas on them. Some of those are better than others.”