Santa Clarita lives to be stuff of reality drama

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week There will be an open casting call for local residents Sunday at Santa Clarita Studios for the project, titled “The Other Valley.” Jackie Zeman of “General Hospital” is pegged to host. Madeiras, a New York native, has been a television director for 27 years, with credits for “All My Children” and “Days of Our Lives,” according to the Internet Movie Database. She moved to the Santa Clarita Valley about five years ago and has been studying her adopted home – its development, economic growth, domestic follies – with a dramaturge’s eye. “What intrigued me about the area is that it’s ever-changing,” she said. “I think it is going to be the new (San Fernando) Valley. Where there is shift, there is drama, and where there is drama, there is interesting storytelling.” The show’s title is a nod to the original Valley south of the Newhall Pass. From her neighbors, co-producer Stacey Lietz said she hears yearning to find the San Fernando Valley of their youth in Santa Clarita. “That preplanned feeling of community that was brought here – everything’s about family here,” said Lietz, 37, who grew up in Woodland Hills before moving to Santa Clarita 2 years ago to raise her two children. “Even in the outskirts of town, it’s about family. “(In the San Fernando Valley) you can drive a mile or two, and you will be in an area you don’t want to get stuck in – crime (and) really, really rundown homes where people don’t take care of them.” Even that enduring 1980s icon – the Valley Girl – is alive and well in the Santa Clarita Valley, albeit with a few subtle differences. “The voices are not as high-pitched,” Madeiras said. “They’re both using their parents’ credit cards. They’re both blond. They do appear to be friendlier up here.” Despite apparent suburban bliss, Lietz said she’s heard plenty of stories that make great reality-show fodder – as about hijinks worthy of the ladies of Wisteria Lane on the ABC television hit “Desperate Housewives.” “My grass is the same as the grass in the San Fernando Valley. I could’ve brought my problems here like anybody else,” she said. “Dirty divorces, a couple of affairs. Just because my house is pretty and has a white picket fence, that doesn’t mean it’s the same on the inside. It’s just the spice of life that nobody talks about. “Besides, the San Fernando Valley is so hooked up into Hollywood. If it does happen there, you don’t blink an eye.” Madeiras said she is aiming to bring the show online by next summer – perhaps two half-hour episodes per week streamed on the Web, along with interactive events with the cast. But it’s the private lives of the cast members that will shape the show. “I’m looking for the value of life, and that involves comedy and drama and outside-the-box kinds of programming – and presenting that in a respectful way. “What slices of life will emerge from the casting call? The people themselves are going to determine what Santa Clarita will look like.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] IF YOU GO: The casting call for “The Other Valley” is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Santa Clarita Studios, 25149 Anza Drive, Valencia. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Mention Santa Clarita Valley, and most envision manicured lawns, clean, broad boulevards and rows upon rows of identical, evenly spaced tract homes. But beneath the pastel-colored stucco facade, entertainment veteran Mary Madeiras sees the stuff of drama. “I want to dig in and see,” said Madeiras, a TV daytime-soap director who is creating a Web-based reality series set in the Santa Clarita Valley. “What this will show is that everybody’s alike. … Their hopes, their dreams, the transitions that people are going through in their lives – we all share in that no matter what region we’re from.” last_img