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Meta man: Filmmaker creates a TV show about its own creation

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The new show “Show About the Show” is about a show. Then it gets complicated.

Brooklyn community television channel Bric TV recently unveiled a new suite of original programming, and among its new offerings is “The Show About the Show,” which documents its creator’s struggles to create a television program that documents its creator’s struggles to create a television program about that television program.

“You’re watching the show that we’re making,” Caveh Zahedi, creator, director, and star of new semi-autobiographical program, told the Brooklyn Paper while being interviewed for the article you are now reading. “There’s no fake show. It’s just a show about making a show.”

The concept of the show is difficult to grasp, and it was just as hard to make. Because of its meta-documentary nature, new content cannot be imagined or researched, said Zahedi, but must grow organically out of actual conflicts that Zahedi encounters with producers, actors, cast, crew, family, and friends.

In the first episode, which deals with Zahedi’s attempts to get the show approved, he explains to Bric TV producer Aziz Isham, played by actor Dustin Defa, that the first episode will deal with his attempts to get approval for a show.

“What’s the show?” Isham asks.

“This show,” says Zahedi.

“What show?”

“This show!”

As difficult as it is to describe, the show is very easy to watch. Zahedi draws on more than a decade’s experience making autobiographical films like “I am a Sex Addict” and “I Don’t Hate Las Vegas Anymore.” He says that the most relevant film in his oeuvre is his film “The Sheik and I,” in which the filmmaker documents his experience making a film commissioned by the Sheik Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates — a film that was subsequently banned for making fun of the Sheik.

“That was actually, in a way, the closest model for the show,” said Zahedi. “I just made a film about trying to make a film.”

Just as that film ruffled the sheik’s feathers, “The Show About the Show” is rubbing some cast and crew members the wrong way, as Zahedi endeavors to make his program as frank, honest, and humorous a depiction of making a television show as possible.

“It’s mostly going to be about sort of the deeper conflicts that arose with the cast and crew and the people mentioned in the show, and with the ethics of being totally honest of what’s going on behind the scenes,” he says. “A lot of people don’t want that.”

At any other show, being threatened with legal action by your colleagues would be reason for concern, but for Zahedi it is just more content for the next episode.

“Somebody threatened to sue me, so that could come up in episode three,” he said.

Watch “The Show About the Show” on BRIC TV (Channel 756: Time Warner Cable; Channel 46: Verizon; Channel 70: Cable Vision), at the Bric Arts Media site (www.bricartsmedia.org/community-media/bric-tv/the-show-about-the-show), or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH_iIz_ffzs

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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