Beyond Reality

Executive Producer of Floor is Lava / President of A. Smith & Co. Productions - Frank Sinton

July 17, 2022 Hayley Ferguson (Nee Dunn) Season 2 Episode 15
Beyond Reality
Executive Producer of Floor is Lava / President of A. Smith & Co. Productions - Frank Sinton
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I sit down with Frank Sinton, President of A. Smith & Co. Productions and Executive Producer of Floor Is Lava to talk about the launch of series 2 of the hit show on Netflix. Frank shares his insights from an impressive 40 year career in television that now sees him at the helm of a whole slate of TV shows. We chat about the key ingredient for making it in the industry, how he stays passionate after all these years and a behind the scenes moment that could have been one big hot mess…

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Hayley Ferguson Intro (00:02):

Hi, I'm Hayley Ferguson and this is Beyond Reality. The podcast that explores the world of television production by chatting to the people behind the TV shows you love. In this episode, I sit down with Frank Sinton, president of A. Smith and Co. Productions and executive producer of Floris Is Lava to talk about the launch of series two of the hit show on Netflix. Frank shares his insights from an impressive 40 year career in television that now sees him at the helm of a whole slate of TV shows. We chat about the key ingredient for making it in the industry, how he stays passionate after all these years and, a behind the scenes moment that could have been one big, hot mess. Frank Sinton: “The pool is leaking and we had 90,000 gallons of lava. We're gonna have the biggest problem in the history of television production.”

Hayley Ferguson (00:49):

Hi Frank. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm so excited to have you here to talk about the Floor Is Lava, the new season, launching on Netflix. And I guess before we get into that, would you mind just in your own words, giving me an introduction to yourself, essentially who you are and what you do.

Frank Sinton (01:06):

So I'm Frank Sinton. I am president of A. Smith and Co. Productions, and I guess I oversee our wide, you know, slate of shows EP as many of them as I can and help oversee development and just help keep our company running and happy and making shows that people hopefully love.

Hayley Ferguson (01:28):

Can you talk us through just a couple of the shows that you do oversee? 

Frank Sinton (01:32):

Well, I've been there a long time, so we've done hundreds of hours of shows. I will say what I love about our company is we have a real wide range of programs. We obviously do some of the big network shows like Hell's Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior, Floor Is Lava, which we'll talk about a little bit later, but also the documentary space is something I personally love and is something we've been doing for a long time. We have shows - a big hit on TLC right now, Welcome to Plathville, which is in the midst of a very compelling season four, American Gangster: Trap Queens. It's been on BT Plus and a baby for a long time, Unsung which is just wrapping up season 12, believe it or not on TV One. So there's just a little bit of the range. It's a wide gamut and that for me, makes it fun because every day's different, every show is different.

Hayley Ferguson (02:22):

Absolutely. I think that's one of the best things about working in television is being able to work on so many different things. And you end up becoming somewhat of an expert in so many different fields. I guess.

Frank Sinton (02:32):

Things you never expected to be an expert in, you know, like I remember when we did conspiracy theory with Jesse Ventura and I spent hours just going down the conspiracy rabbit hole. I actually went to my wife one time and I told her after like being up all night reading, I said, I just want you to know. And I was dead serious. Like I would never kill myself. If you find me dead, they got to me. So <laugh>, so you just, you just, you never know where this job takes you, but, you know, I told myself early on, I always wanted staying in a job as long as I'm learning. And the beauty of the job I have now is I'll never be done learning. So I guess, I guess this is my last job. There's no end to the amount that we can learn both on the job and about the subjects we’re covering.

Hayley Ferguson (03:22):

I love that. And I like to ask this question to everyone that comes on the podcast. Did you always want to work in TV?

Frank Sinton (03:29):

Yes and no. The no is, yeah, I grew up in Chicago which is not the TV entertainment capital world in a very kind of modest middle class. You get a job, you know, go to college, get a job. So I grew up like most little kids expecting to be a lawyer and chief justice of the supreme court <laugh> well, what I would do is a kid and this is true. I would actually make TV schedules. And this is before cable. I'm that old <laugh>. And, but before cable, I would just like make up my own channels and do schedules and create shows. So while I didn't know at that time that that was the career for me, cause I thought I would have a much more practical path. It was always sort of the, the secret dream. And then I got to college as a pre-law major and realised, wait a minute, I don't wanna be a lawyer <laugh> that does not sound fun. So I started taking as many entertainment [courses] and started working at the local TV station and, and then I was hooked, you know, then, then the career path was set.

Hayley Ferguson (04:37):

It's an addictive industry, isn't it?

Frank Sinton (04:39):

It is. It is. Cause you know, I mean, when you can do what you love when you can, I, I don't wanna say play for a living, but in many cases we do, we make, we make TV, you know, I mean it's a gift and I never take it for granted. Never take it for granted.

Hayley Ferguson (04:55):

Was any of the shows that you were, you know, when you were talking about when you were younger, you used to create TV schedules and come up with different shows. Has there been anything that you created or came up with all those years ago that you've actually, you know, now in your role in television have been able to bring to life in some way?

Frank Sinton (05:12):

Wow. That is a great question. I mean I love documentaries and again, I, I don't think I was a very normal kid, you know, making schedules, dreaming of being on the Supreme court and watching documentaries. But you know, the first, really big show that I got to EP was a show called Beyond The Glory, which was a sports documentary. So in, in many ways, really the first show I got to do was sort of the dream show for me, you know, just being able to tell stories of the greatest sports heroes, you know, so I'm trying, I'm sure there were some really dumb ones that probably would sell. Now if I could go back to my, you know, 12 year old self, but I don't remember any like really strange ones that I was able to dust off. Yeah.

Hayley Ferguson (05:57):

<Laugh> yeah. I would love to see the notebook from back then.

Frank Sinton (06:01):

<Laugh> yeah, me too. Me too. I'm gonna go, I'm gonna call my mom and see if I could start to find something in the old archives. Yeah.

Hayley Ferguson (06:09):

<Laugh> you're obviously an executive producer now, you're at the top of your game in your career. Can you take us back to the early days, I guess, what was that first job in television and how did you land it?

Frank Sinton (06:20):

Well, oh, there was working at the local PBS station in college, but I would say the first real, I got an internship at WGN in Chicago in the on air promotions department, which was really eye opening for me. It was such a great opportunity. I remember one day I was like, you know, it was a, so between I think sophomore and junior year or, and I was just shadowing one of the promo producers and she got called away and she's like, you do it. I'm like, what am I? Okay, we'll try it. But it was, it was such a great, a great job, but the first job out of college was awful. So if anybody listening and their career starts terribly, you will survive. But I was doing two jobs. I was working for a terrible little production company during the day and doing phone sales for cable TV at night.

Frank Sinton (07:13):

So I was getting yelled at during the day and yelled at at night <laugh> by people who didn't wanna be called. But I remember when I was doing like the phone sales, I didn't do very well, but I loved when anybody would talk to me. Cause the first question I always asked is what do you like to watch on TV? So as someone who wanted to program TV or make TV, just being able to talk to regular people about what they watch on TV was fun for me, whether they bought cable or not, it was part of my job, but that didn't seem to matter as much to me at the time. But yeah, the daytime job sort of fell apart when the owner went bankrupt again and couldn't pay me or anybody else on the staff, it got pretty ugly.

Frank Sinton (07:58):

I got very sad and I realised I wasn't gonna have the career I had dreamed of living at home in Chicago. So I had a friend who was already out in California and he's like, there's jobs out here, come on out. So I went with a friend of his, we got in a truck, drove across the country. I slept on his floor and you know, started looking for work. And I remember like for me there was sort of two paths. I either wanted to be Brandon Tartikoff who was at the time head programmer at NBC when they were at the top or Steven Spielberg, cause who doesn't wanna be Steven Spielberg? Right? And very early on, I had two entry level jobs or two job offers. I had a PA on a Godzilla movie and there was a job in the traffic department at KTLA, which is the local, was the tribune station here in LA.

Frank Sinton (08:55):

And at the time, and I remember this, you know, at the time it's the biggest debate and it, and it was, you know, cause it's sort of which door are you going through? And I remember thinking I could sort of figure out how I could take the entry level job at, at the TV station work my way up, but I couldn't figure out how I could take the PA job and worked my way up to director. So I took the TV job cause I loved all aspects of TV and you know, it, it worked. So I got that job and was able to work my way up. And then eventually as I got older, I was able to switch over to, you know, more of the producing side than the TV side, but that's the beginning.

Hayley Ferguson (09:36):

Wow. I guess now that you are obviously working as an executive producer, can you explain what an executive producer actually does? What that role sort of means to someone that doesn't know anything about television?

Frank Sinton (09:47):

It's one of those things where if you watch a lot of shows, you'll see eight executive producers and it's like, okay, one of them, which one of 'em really did the job, but you know, for me, I'm an executive producer on the production company side. So for me, it's really about overseeing all aspects of the show, but I'll be executive producer on probably 2, 3, 4 shows at a time. We will often have a show runner or another executive producer whose job is a hundred percent, every single detail living it, breathing it. But you know, my main job is getting things set up, hiring the right people, overseeing cuts, dealing with the network. Obviously that's a big part, you know, making sure they're happy, making sure we're staying on budget, which is also important to everybody and making sure it's great. Cause hopefully it doesn't sound like a commercial for A. Smith, but we take a lot of pride in what we do.

Frank Sinton (10:43):

You know, we have a real high bar, high, high standards. So while we do bring in freelancers and we've had some great producers, there is that sort of standard of excellence that we try to live up to. So, you know, ultimately the buck stops with us, with me on the shows that I'm EP to make sure that every aspect of the show is to the level we need it to be. And all of the, all of the stuff that happens in between, you know, the things that don't go, right. That's when you know my phone rings.

Hayley Ferguson (11:12):

Yeah, absolutely. And I guess as an executive producer, I guess there would be that pressure to always, you know, push the boundaries, make it bigger and better than the last time.

Frank Sinton (11:21):

Yes. Yeah. Every, every show it's amazing. No matter how, what season you're in. It's okay. That was great. Now how can we make it better? You know, how do we push the envelope? How do we grow? How do we evolve? Cause you know, even on a show like Unsung over 13 years, you look at a show from 13 years ago, it already feels old, you know? So, you know, technology's changing styles are changing. So yeah, it's, it's constantly trying to top ourselves sometimes it's make it better and cheaper, which is often a challenge <laugh> but yeah, we never get to rest on our laurels. I say like, you know, not that I wanna be in that business, but somebody who like makes shoes or Coke or you know, a product where you just keep making the same thing over and over and you know, people are gonna buy it. That's, it's a different kind of luxury. We never have that luxury.

Hayley Ferguson (12:11):

Yeah.

Frank Sinton (12:11):

You're always making it and you always gotta make it better and always gotta make it different and yeah. And always selling

Hayley Ferguson (12:18):

Totally and correct me if I'm wrong, but your career spanned around 40 years, is that right in television? Almost.

Frank Sinton (12:25):

I really that old. Yeah. I guess you're right. I mean, I moved out to California LA in 1985. So I guess, I guess we're approaching 40 years. So if you start the, if you count the Chicago years yeah, we're right. About four decades.

Hayley Ferguson (12:38):

So in your 40 years of working in the television industry- 

Frank Sinton (12:41):

Oh, I feel old. Sorry. I need to absorb that for a minute. Yeah. Maybe I should sit down. Yeah.

Hayley Ferguson (12:48):

There's could be so much to talk about in terms of stepping through your career, but I guess is there one pivotal moment that you feel like made you in your career?

Frank Sinton (12:56):

There's a few, I mean, to me, I kind of go back to the very beginning. There's something about when you first come out and you have those dreams of, of succeeding and no one's gonna tell you differently. And the confidence that comes with being young and maybe dumb, but I was lucky enough in that first job at KTLA the first job honestly was pretty boring entry level. It was just putting commercials into the schedule. I still remember the code. 0  2 7 4. I mean that's 37 years ago. I still remember the code that all that. But I remember, and I, if, you know, I'll be like the old guy giving advice. There were four of us doing the job. Three of them were probably there doing a job. They came in at nine, they took their lunch, they took their break, left at five, whatever I was there, starting a career and any chance I had to learn or soak anything up or talk to anybody, I took it.

Frank Sinton (13:54):

And I was fortunate enough to get promoted after three months into the research department, which, you know, I was the guy the ratings came to. So it was the first one to get the ratings in the morning. I would, you know, analyse 'em and I was really lucky. And I don't want, again, I don't wanna sound like the old guy who's like, you know, in my day, but there wasn't, we didn't have the internet. So I was able to print out the, the ratings and as a 21 or 22 year old kid, go hand them out to every, everybody at the TV station and talk about what worked and what didn't work and what was on and what the competition did. And it was such a dream opportunity for me to learn and meet and grow and less than a year after that, the job opened in the programming department and, you know, KTLA was the number one independent station in the country at the time.

Frank Sinton (14:49):

And I applied for the job as you know, manager of programming after I only been in TV for a year and they told me I was crazy and I was too young and I didn't have enough experience, but I didn't believe them. I kept telling them why I was better. And after a while the program director, you know, she wasn't hiring anybody. And I said, I don't understand you won't gimme this job, but you're not hiring anybody. And she's like, I, I can't because every time I meet somebody, I think they're not as good as you, but I can't hire you cause you're too young. I'm like just gimme the chance, gimme a chance. And luckily through time she gave me a chance and it really did propel that at least that programming dream I had, which was, was that great first step. And I got the job and I loved it. And that was sort of the, the jump start of the career.

Hayley Ferguson (15:42):

I love that. And I think that really shows, you know, television is such a competitive industry and you really do have to sort of go the extra mile and put in that extra effort. And I think because you loved the industry and you knew that that's what you wanted to do, like you were prepared to do it. And I think it obviously paid off in those early days and then taking you to where you are now. It's incredible to see the passion is still there.

Frank Sinton (16:05):

Yeah. You know, I, I really knock wood. I feel very, very lucky. I've loved every job. I still love what I do. It's never gotten boring, you know? And I was able, I was able to make that shift at the right time in my life and the right time of my career to go into the producing side and really go from being a television executive and programming executive and scheduling to actually, you know, now being a hands on producer. And you know, when I think back on that dumb kid, driving out to LA with, with two dreams, like not making movies, but I'm making shows and you know, and I'm working industry that didn't really even exist when I was a kid. You know, if you would've told me, I'd be producing shows for streamers and cable networks, you're like, what? <Laugh> like didn't exist. But you know, for who knows 40 years from now, what the entertainment business will look like, but there'll still be content.

Hayley Ferguson (17:03):

Yeah. I mean, the thing is with, you know, making movies versus making television, I mean in the area of television that we work in, like you could be producing a movie length episode in a day or two days. 

Frank Sinton (17:15):

Yeah exactly. Yeah, yeah. No, the turnaround, I mean, from the time you think of something, if all goes well, or the time you get the call from a network, till the time it's on the air, it's unlike the scripted business, you know, it moves really fast. Sometimes you gotta wait for the networks, but usually once you're, once it's a go, it's a go quick, you know, you can shoot a whole series in 2, 3, 4 days, you know?

Hayley Ferguson (17:39):

Yeah. It's insane. It's actually incredible what TV tends to turn around these days. Let's talk about Floor Is Lava. Obviously season one was a huge success on Netflix and it's back for season two. If someone hasn't seen Floor Is Lava, can you just give us a brief rundown of what Flores lava is?

Frank Sinton (17:58):

Yeah. Floor Is Lava is the ultimate kid game. And I dunno if you played it, basically, if you pretend in your house, the floor is lava and you just can't touch the floor. So you gotta get across the room, jumping on chairs, tables, desks, swinging from the chandeliers, whatever. So imagine that if you think about honey, I shrunk the kids and everything's big and oversized and scary. And instead of it being a floor like kids play on we'd 90,000 gallons of lava for people to fall into when they don't succeed. What I love about it, it's a very simple game, a game everybody can relate to. We've just been able to take it to a level that you can't play at home. You can play the game at home. You can't play our version at home. <Laugh>

Hayley Ferguson (18:43):

What do you think it is about the show that's made it such a hit around the world?

Frank Sinton (18:48):

I think it's that relatability, right? We're all kids at heart. Like the, the games we love, you know, tag, hide and go seek, like this is sort of that version. It's simple. So it's relatable. It's fun. It's fun. And let's be honest. We like watching people fall in the lava though. Like it's still, it's still kinda fun when they fall, we laugh, but you know, nobody gets hurt. It's just good fun. And I think we're at a time where, you know, there's a lot of serious stuff all around the world. And I think sometimes we just need to have a good time and Floor Is Lava is that. We got a great host. Rutledge is great. It's a good time. We don't take ourselves too serious. We we're full of corny jokes and it's just fun. And I think it's great to do things that change the world and that's a big part of our brand, but it's also great to just have a good time and laugh and watch something together too. It's a true family show. You know, kids can enjoy it just as much as adults and watch it together. I mean, growing up, there was a lot more stuff you've watched as a family. Now it's a more of a rarity. So I think that's a big key too.

Hayley Ferguson (19:54):

Yeah. It just looks like so much fun to make.

Frank Sinton (19:57):

Yeah, it was<laugh>. I mean, one of the things that we do it is like we just test and test and test, but the, the testing's fun. I mean, we had a whole studio filled with, you know, foam rubber and different things and trying it and you know, people falling and it's like playing for a living like we're, we're making obstacles for people to jump on and fall and spin and how do we make it hard? Oh, we made it too hard. It was a lot of fun. And I think people had fun being on the show too, which I think translates as well. When it's, it's a fun game to play.

Hayley Ferguson (20:28):

I have to ask, did you ever personally test the course?

Frank Sinton (20:32):

I did not. I really wanted to, but it just, I never made that jump into the lava, but I was willing <laugh> but I didn't I'm, you know, as you pointed out, I've been doing this for 40 years, so I'm not exactly the ideal physical specimen to be to be testing and jumping. So, but my daughters were, were, were both testers early on. They were both at the age where they're better athletically to be trying these things than I am. Yeah.

Hayley Ferguson (20:59):

Oh, that's great. I mean, I guess the show, they can't sacrifice the executive producer to the lava. 

Frank Sinton (21:05):

Well, they would've sacrificed me if it was for if, if it was for the good of the show I would've gone in, but I don't think it was necessarily for the good of the show.

Hayley Ferguson (21:12):

So what can we expect from season two?

Frank Sinton (21:15):

You can expect more of all the things you like and some surprises. So, I mean, look, you know, you talk about getting to play for a living. I mean, getting to make Floor Is Lava, I mean, literally that's playing for a living and to be able to take a franchise that was already successful and already working and really blow it up to the next level was a blast. I mean, this year everything's gone bigger and we've added a volcano. You know, we always wonder when you watch Floor Is Lava, where's the lava coming from? Well, now we know <laugh> so, and we got the big giant finale racing up the volcano. We've upgraded all the rooms, we've upgraded the lava, you know, the show worked. It was great. But you know what? We love that challenge of like, again, like we talked about, how do you make it bigger, better, not necessarily cheaper in this case, but bigger, better <laugh>

Hayley Ferguson (22:01):

This season as well. There was obviously an Aussie representing Harry Jowsey from Too Hot To Handle in the mix.

Frank Sinton (22:08):

Harry might have, he might be my favourite. I know I'm not supposed to have favourites, but he has some incredible moments in the show. Have you seen, have you seen the episode with Harry yet?

Hayley Ferguson (22:18):

I did. I watched that episode. It's like, I love him cause I watched Too Hot To Handle as well.

Frank Sinton (22:23):

Yeah, that was a really fun episode. And seeing Harry on the dart board, I think that's all I need to say. I think everybody, if you haven't seen it, you gotta see Harry on the dartboard. That's all. I mean the whole show is worth it, but at least Harry on the dartboard is a moment that is, is worth checking out.

Hayley Ferguson (22:43):

Yeah, it's pretty epic. I was like, I was holding my breath during that moment.

Frank Sinton (22:47):

I think he was too. He was. And he's such a, I mean, part of the beauty of the show, I mean, for those of you who don't know Harry, he is about his fit as they come, what probably 6 30, 6, 4 chisel. And also in that show are the content creators who are, I don't know, five, 10, maybe 150 pounds. And I'm not gonna say who won or who did what, but the beauty of the show is you can compete regardless. I mean, we've had women that are, you know, less than five feet beyond that show and do well, you don't need to be a physical specimen, like Harry to be able to play Floor Is Lava. And it's fun watching him do what he did. Yeah. I still wanna like, just talk to you about it, but we should leave some, you know, we want people to watch the show. We don't wanna give everything away. Right.

Hayley Ferguson (23:35):

I know. I know. Right. <laugh> <laugh>, what's the question you get asked most, you know, when people find out you're the executive producer of Floor Is Lava, what do the fans want to know?

Frank Sinton (23:44):

They wanna know what the lava is. Yeah. And even if I were allowed to tell you, I probably couldn't explain it because it's a very <laugh> we tested so many different formulas and people way smarter than me to try to come up with it. The best way I could describe it is it's sort of like a, like Elmer's glue. It's got that viscosity to it. Cause we wanted it to have, you know, some real, you know, viscosity to it, but also like be able to wash off eventually. So it was something we really tried to dial in to try to get the right texture, the right look. So yeah. The other thing they ask is can I play, can I try it out? So unfortunately the set has been taken down, but that could be a great side business. Netflix, if you're listening open up a floor's lava park and just let people come play. Yeah.

Hayley Ferguson (24:33):

Oh my God. That would be amazing. Yeah. <laugh> was there a moment where something went wrong on set, you know, something you had to problem solve?

Frank Sinton (24:42):

Yes. One of the scarier phone calls I got, cause I wasn't on set yet, but was ‘we might not shoot today because the pool is leaking’ and we had 90,000 gallons of lava and a small leak lo opened up at the point. But you know, when a leak starts, you don't know, is this the start of a giant thing and we're gonna have the biggest problem in the history of television production and flood the whole studio or is it gonna be something we can repair relatively easy? So luckily it was closer. For me it was easy cause I didn't have to like climb in a web suit and go, you know, fix the hole, but we were able to fix it and get it back on track. But that was a scary phone call. That was a scary, scary moment for everybody on the set like uhoh but had a great crew and the right people and they got it fixed up. But the image of what that could lead to in my imagination kind of yeah. Was a little scary for a moment.

Hayley Ferguson (25:44):

<Laugh> wow. I'm glad you managed to sort that one out.

Frank Sinton (25:47):

<Laugh> yes, yes. Me too. Very, very glad. Yeah.

Hayley Ferguson (25:51):

Something that is always really helpful that I like to ask is what advice would you give someone that's starting out in television?

Frank Sinton (25:59):

You know, if I go back to my young, you know, dumb self or arrogant self it's believe in yourself and believe in the dream for me,  I got lucky. It happened relatively quickly for others. It sometimes takes a little bit longer, but don't give up. It doesn't always work out the way you plan it. You know, I'm doing something that, as I said, didn't even exist when I started my journey, cause you don't know where the journey goes, but if you're doing something you love, you work hard. The rewards will be there. It's a business like no other in terms of, you know, the rewards and the, the, the great opportunities you can have. So it sometimes takes a while and it's just, don't give up on that dream. You know, I remember coming out with three other guys eventually there were four of us living in a one bedroom apartment, you know, all with that dream and you know, the other three gave up.

Frank Sinton (26:51):

I don't think I was any smarter or you know, more talented necessarily than the others, but I was here to make it, you know, there was no plan B and I think if you're here, give it everything you got make every moment count. You know, it's like people notice, they notice a PA who goes above and beyond. They notice an assistant who's what else can I do? How else can I help? You know, those things matter? And they may not pay off in that moment. They may not even pay off a month later, two months later, but you don't know when that phone rings of somebody who remembers you and that you went that extra mile. So I know I kind of gave like five, five pieces of advice wrapped up in that answer. But I, I just think if you really believe in yourself and you put in that extra effort, it will pay off.

Hayley Ferguson (27:39):

I love that. And I think saying that, you know, there was three other guys and they didn't make it there's luck involved, but you know, a lot of it is perseverance and passion. And I think obviously that's, you know, part of what's got you to where you are now.

Frank Sinton (27:51):

Yeah. I've seen it, you know, and you see it now, now that I'm on the other side, you can see the, the young people who come in and you know, like, okay, that person's got something special, you know, and it's a little harder right now with things being remote. And I dunno if we're in post COVID or still COVID or whatever we're going through. So it does make it sometimes harder cause with not everybody being together, but if you're on set or if you're in an office or if you're not it's that, you know, that extra phone call that extra email, that extra text, that what else can I do? It gets noticed. And that energy think about it. I'm sure this happened in your career when somebody calls for reference or somebody's calling about you, they're usually like, oh she's great. Or I love her or she's got great energy. They often talk about the person before they'll talk about a skillset, you know, before it's like, oh she's a great writer. Yeah. People respond to, you know, your energy and enthusiasm and then, you know, the skills obviously matter, but it's that effort and energy, which gets, you noticed.

Hayley Ferguson (28:56):

100% having that perseverance the passion and yeah, just trying to stand out and working hard. I think it's great to hear that, you know, people like yourself, like you do look for things in people coming through, you are looking for, that's something special that you can see in someone that, you know, are they gonna go the distance in television cause television isn't easy.

Frank Sinton (29:16):

It's not. And you know, one of the, one of the greatest joys for me is seeing people rise, you know, through the ranks and fulfill their dreams. I mean, we've just in our company alone. We've got people there 10, 15, 20 years that have been with me and seeing them all gravitate in, in different areas. Cause sometimes you don't. We think we know at the beginning, but we really don't know you don't you're learning. And sometimes failing is okay too, you get a job. You don't like, it's like, okay, I don't like that part, but it's so gratifying for me having lasted as long as I have to see so many people succeed in so many different ways, you know, former assistants who are showrunners running their own companies are EVP of production started as a runner with me out of college. She's now our EVP of production.

Frank Sinton (30:05):

So seeing everybody take that journey, but what they all have in common is the ones that made it is you saw that spark right at the beginning, they were there for a career. It wasn't, you know, what do I get? What are the benefits? When do I get to leave? How much vacation it's like, how do I move up? What else can I do? How do I learn? What else can I take on? What's the next project? You know? And that's the difference between the ones that are doing amazing things and the ones that might have gone somewhere else.

Hayley Ferguson (30:33):

Definitely. Usually this is the part in the podcast where we would do some quickfire questions. Are you up for some quickfire questions?

Frank Sinton (30:42):

Sure. Do I have my hand on the buzzer? Yeah. And okay.

Hayley Ferguson (30:46):

Yeah. First thing that comes to your mind.

Frank Sinton (30:48):

Okay. I'm ready.

Hayley Ferguson (30:49):

Let's start the clock. What is your favourite reality TV show to watch

Frank Sinton (30:53):

American ninja warrior? I love the competition that makes me cry.

Hayley Ferguson (30:56):

What was the last TV show you watched?

Frank Sinton (30:58):

Stranger Things.

Hayley Ferguson (30:59):

What is the most famous person you've met through working in TV?

Frank Sinton (31:03):

Wow. I mean, Joe Rogan is pretty famous. Yeah. There's been so many. I'll go with Joe Rogan.

Hayley Ferguson (31:08):

What is your dream show to work on that you haven't already worked on?

Frank Sinton (31:11):

This will be a show I probably will never sell, but I would love to do a show that is a debate format where people really debate issues, even issues they don't necessarily believe in, but where we could get to the heart of things so people can understand and intelligently hear both sides of an argument

Hayley Ferguson (31:28):

That's interesting. We have a show in Australia called Gruen where they get advertising agencies to basically do a pitch for two opposing sides. And you've got one advertising agency creating an ad for one side and then the opposite with the other agency and they kind of like duke it out. Yeah, they do that every week like that's great. Yeah.

Frank Sinton (31:48):

I need to come to Australia so I could watch that. Yeah.

Hayley Ferguson (31:51):

<Laugh> what is the best location you've been to for work?

Frank Sinton (31:54):

I did get to work at Disney World. That was fun.

Hayley Ferguson (31:57):

What a canceled TV show needs to make a comeback?

Frank Sinton (32:01):

Cheers, I want, I want cheers back.

Hayley Ferguson (32:03):

Have you ever been on TV and what were you on?

Frank Sinton (32:06):

I did make a cameo in conspiracy theory with Jesse Ventura. I'm not gonna say which scene

Hayley Ferguson (32:12):

<Laugh> if you could be on any reality TV show, what would you be?

Frank Sinton (32:15):

On? I'd be on American Ninja Warrior. Cause that means I've got myself in really good shape. And I got a good story to tell.

Hayley Ferguson (32:22):

How do you think you'd go on American Ninja Warrior right now?

Frank Sinton (32:25):

Right now I would go out on the first obstacle. No questions asked

Hayley Ferguson (32:29):

If you could have dinner with any celebrity dead or alive, who would it be?

Frank Sinton (32:33):

Well, I've gotta go back to my original dream. I'd love to sit down with Steven Spielberg. I mean he was somebody I wanted to be. Loved his movies, loved what he did. So I'll I'll have to take Steven Spielberg

Hayley Ferguson (32:44):

Yeah, amazing. You've made it to the end of the quick fire questions

Frank Sinton (32:47):

All right. How much did I win?

Hayley Ferguson (32:49):

A lava lamp?

Frank Sinton (32:50):

<Laugh> okay. I'll take it. <Laugh> that's that's the ultimate prize.

Hayley Ferguson (32:53):

Look, thank you so much for your time. I've had so much fun talking to you. It's been so great to hear from you in terms of all your insights from your career. I just really appreciate you sharing everything with us.

Frank Sinton (33:05):

Well, thank you. It's been a blast and love what you're doing and I've gotta come to Australia and watch that show now and meet you in person. That's on my bucket list.

Hayley Ferguson (33:13):

Absolutely. Well, congratulations again on season two of Floor Is Lava on Netflix.

Frank Sinton (33:18):

Everybody's gotta go watch Harry on the dartboard. <Laugh> right. Thank you. Bye bye.

Hayley Ferguson Outro (33:24):

Thanks so much for listening. If you're enjoying this series, I would love if you could share on your social media and help other people to find this show, don't forget to subscribe, to get the latest steps dropping directly to your podcast.