Friend 'Ships Ahoy!' on Facebook to increase show's odds of a network pickup
by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Kyle and Marylou Bryant pose in front of the Portland Spirit. The couple has created Ships Ahoy!, a positive reality television show.

Kyle and Marylou Bryant love watching television reality shows but don't find the negative angle often used in the format entertaining. They would like to see positive, uplifting reality shows. In fact, they have created one focusing on a segment of our community hardest hit by the recession - small businesses - and how the people involved in the business are solving their problems in a positive fashion.

'We wanted to focus on small family- owned business in the Portland area,' said Kyle, owner of Cinesational Video Productions, a Christian production company. 'The gist of the show is 'What can we do to succeed as a small business?'

'We sent emails to several family-owned businesses - a fire truck manufacturer, a motorcycle jacket (maker) and to the owner of the Portland Spirit.'

Portland Spirit owner Dennis Corwin agreed to be the subject of the project.

'They are struggling with the economy,' Kyle said. 'Struggle is part of the story. 'What can we do next?' is also part of the story.'

And so filming began for 'Ships Ahoy!' a reality television show the Bryants are hoping will be picked up by a national television network.

Corwin's Portland Spirit fleet consists of five boats, which operate on the Columbia and Willamette rivers and are crewed by more than 100 people. Kyle said he has focused on the stories of crew and customers, both on and off ship.

'All of the crew are theater-based or they are real serious boat hands,' Kyle said. It is customary for the crew to welcome their passengers onboard with a song and then sing to them again as they depart. 'The people are so interesting ... the captain, crew and the passengers, we talk with them about their experience.'

Crewmembers will be followed throughout the show's season performing work as normal, including conducting safety drills, entertaining guests, conducting weddings, 'Make A Wish' and other special trips. Some episodes include unique situations such as windsurfer rescues and a plane crashing in the river. And it is all filmed with the dramatic backdrop of the Columbia River Gorge.

'There will be a positive take on how Dennis takes care of personnel conflicts and problems,' said Kyle. 'The goal will be to demonstrate how these are handled constructively with positive outcomes.'

He promises the show will be humorous, dramatic and thought provoking. 'One of the main aspects of Ships Ahoy! will be to show the inspiring moments that rise to the surface amidst the chaos of running a fleet of ships,' he said.

The Bryants are just finishing filming and plan to have the editing done in December.

'Then we'll be shopping it to the networks,' Kyle said.

To improve the likelihood of 'Ships Ahoy!' being picked up by a network, friend the page at www.face .

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