There’s a chance if you go to the upcoming filming of “Closet Raiders — The Fashion Game Show,” you could be watching the very start of a popular TV show.
The event will feature three contestants playing for fashion prizes presented by models as they roll large pink dice and answer fashion trivia questions — wrong answers earn the "evil hosts" the prizes, which go to charity. The player with the most merchandise at the end earns the grand prize, and several 25-minute games will be played before a live audience at this Savannah premiere.
“Closet Raiders” will take place at 8 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Lucas Theatre. Tickets are $100 for VIP seating, which includes a catered after-party, or $25 for regular seating.
Michael Joseph James, creator and executive producer of “Closet Raiders,” is a four-time Emmy Award winner and was named the Los Angeles Press Club's 2017 Photojournalist of the Year. He is a music and TV production veteran, and has served on the advisory board of the SCAD Savannah Film Festival.
James talked to Do Savannah about his new TV show concept, what the audience can expect and where he hopes his Savannah debut will lead.
Tell us about the concept of "Closet Raiders," and what can the audience expect to see that night?
James: As an entertainment cameraman and producer for a top station in L.A., I’ve been to many, many, many fashion shoots, red carpet events, awards shows — you name it. I think I’ve almost seen it all. It struck me that it might be very cool to combine all of those elements — cool fashions, the competition of who outdid whom, the fast pace of a runway show — into a game show, and "Closet Raiders" was born.
[The audience] can expect to have fun! It is a fast-moving show so the audience will be entertained. There will be lots of prizes and glamour. The cast and contestants are fun and the prizes add the glitz and envy.
What was the response to the casting call?
James: We had a great turnout! People didn’t really know what to expect, so we had every personality you can imagine. I knew what I was looking for and was excited to see who showed up. We found the right combination of sassiness, attitude, serious fashionistas and glamour all rolled into a complete cast.
Any highlights you're looking forward to?
James: I can’t wait to see who wins! And I can’t wait to see what happens when someone’s coveted outfit gets stolen from their closet. It will be great to see who is ultimate closet raider.
What's next for "Closet Raiders"?
James: I would love to see "Closet Raiders" go on to become a popular TV show — maybe it even gets syndicated to other countries! The sky is the limit. Of course, we’ll never forget getting started here in Savannah. That southern hospitality has warmed my heart and helped lift "Closet Raiders" on its way.
Bringing "Closet Raiders — The Fashion Game Show" to the stage, and screen, has been a long process. I've spent decades working in television, and everybody I meet wishes they could "have their own show." Living in L.A., I figured I would produce the show in Hollywood. But when it came down to it, my friends and contacts in Savannah made it a reality.
The fashion schools, students, the creative atmosphere, the support and talent located in Savannah were so welcoming and they made all the difference. Helping produce the show is Savannah's own Kaufman-Heinz LLC, a spectacular production company owned by my friends, Matt Kaufman and Jeffrey Heinz. They embraced my concept and are making it happen. They deserve considerable recognition, as they helped move this concept to reality.
Along with countless other talented professionals and friends, we are all look forward to seeing just how far this show can go. I believe in it, and I believe in Savannah.