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August 2, 2015

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Joe Downtown: Internet series to explore ‘downtown from the inside’

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Joe Schoenmann

Chris Ramirez, Lola Pictures, is producing an Internet series “on the people making downtown happen.”

A local production company today begins filming the antics, thoughts and lives of a handful of downtown residents for an Internet series that shines light on the people behind the area’s transformation from the forsaken to the embraced.

Creator Chris Ramirez, Lola Pictures producer, is signing 10 people for a series “on the people making downtown happen.”

“I want to tell the story of downtown from the inside,” Ramirez said. “I think a lot of people are nosing around … to do a reality show. We know these people, work with these people and I’ve been here since the beginning. … We want to show their connection to Downtown through their work and lives.”

He stressed the show undoubtedly would follow people involved with Downtown Project, whose $350 million commitment to redevelopment has spearheaded changes in an area once known for its shadiness. Ramirez added, however, he made a conscious effort to “include a cross-section of people throughout downtown.”

The show won’t be “reality TV,” exactly, he added. Ramirez has a writer working with some of the characters. He envisions it to be something like the former MTV series, “The Hills.”

Ramirez expects the first episodes to number between 15 and 20 and to be shown twice a week on the Internet. He doesn’t want to reveal the cast of 10 or partners in the project until the show is closer to launching. (But if rumors of potential cast members hold true, we know them as some of downtown’s most engaging, opinionated and energetic residents.)

Videographers will shoot through May, Ramirez added, with broadcasts to begin over the summer.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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