New Orleans Set ‘Shepherd’ Debuts on Amazon Prime
NEW ORLEANS – Locally produced TV pilot Shepherd, which won awards at the Independent Television Festival in Manchester, Vt. in 2017, has now re-emerged as a four-part limited web series available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Directed by former University of New Orleans film student Andrew Bryan, Shepherd tells the story of a Catholic priest in New Orleans who has become fed up with crime enough to take matters into his own hands. Veteran local actor Lance Nichols (Treme, House of Cards, Into the Badlands) is the lead actor for the project, which blends elements of Breaking Bad and The Equalizer.
The pilot’s success at ITV Fest led to a development meeting with HBO. The meeting led to Bryan working with an agency in Los Angeles and pitching the series to several production companies – but Bryan said the global pandemic ultimately put a halt on any development opportunities, so he decided the best course of action would be to distribute the pilot on Amazon. He said he’s hoping the grassroots approach will generate credibility from reviews and word of mouth.
“Amazon Video Direct offers a sliding scale of royalty payments whenever someone watches an episode through Amazon Prime,” said Bryan. “It can be anywhere between $.01 per hour viewed up to $0.12 per hour viewed. Essentially, the more our viewership grows, the higher our returns are. If someone doesn’t have Prime, then they can purchase an episode for $1/each and we receive 50% of that.”
Bryan said he hopes to generate as much viewership as possible to get some return on his investment in the pilot.
“Our primary goal, of course, is to see how audiences respond to the story and hopefully make some meaningful impact on them. … But we also hope that enough critical acclaim and positive reviews might generate more interest from production companies and/or networks who can help us continue telling this story.”