He used charm, others’ personal tragedies and fake celebrity endorsements. How Christopher LaVoie cast his reality show and reeled in successful entrepreneurs
“It all started with a Facebook post,” Christopher LaVoie said Friday night, standing in the darkened warehouse of his small-scale production company, Vue Studio USA. As the producer of a reality show on truTV called “Livin’ LaV.” LaVoie said he got his start as an entrepreneur, but he didn’t become a full-time Hollywood producer for the same reason many of the people he met around the country would recognize: he is the son of a small-time filmmaker in rural New York.
“I thought I could do it,” LaVoie said. He spent his summer in Los Angeles, working as a writer and producing episodes for a half-hour comedy special on CBS. His credits included multiple projects on MTV and Lifetime.
But when he decided he wanted to shoot a full-fledged reality show, LaVoie decided to turn to his father, who’d been making a living at it as a documentary filmmaker for decades. He contacted producers he’d met on networking sites and took a chance on Vue Studio USA.
As one of the most buzzy shows on the Internet, “Living LaV” was a hit on Facebook, where LaVoie used his personality, his social ties and his celebrity endorsements. In the end, it was his father’s network that helped LaVoie land a huge Hollywood producer-producer deal with CBS for a full 10-episode series, which aired this week.
Vue Studio USA, however, has a different twist on reality TV that could help its new owner launch a career in show business.
LaVoie — who is single, 27, and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and who wrote a book about his father, titled “The Man Who Would Be a Filmmaker” — has never had an agent, made any money as a writer or produced any films himself. But he has found a way to keep his dad’s dream alive, and he’s trying to share it with others.
LaVoie began a blog to share his father’s work and to introduce his father to a new generation