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Man goes to wing night, wins chance to make a reality TV show

Jeremy Macdonald just wanted some chicken wings, but the Yellowknife man ended up with money for his own reality TV show instead.

Jeremy Macdonald gave an impromptu, 5-minute elevator pitch for a reality TV show at wing night and won $3K

Jeremy Macdonald prepares to dive in Yellowknife's Long Lake. Macdonald uses his diving equipment around popular swimming spots in the city, recovering lost items and reuniting them with their owners through Facebook. He won $3,000 to develop a pilot for a show about his dives. (Marc Winkler/CBC)

Jeremy Macdonald just wanted some chicken wings, but the Yellowknife man ended up with money for his own reality TV show instead.

When Macdonald arrived at the Top Knight pub in Yellowknife Wednesday night, he noticed "a lot of movement going on."

It wasn't the typical wing night crowd.

An event sanctioned by the Yellowknife Film Festival was going on called "Pitch This: The search for N.W.T.'s next big show." The event didn't require anyone to sign up beforehand, so preparation wasn't necessary.

"And then, some of my friends said, 'Hey, why don't you throw your name in the hat.' And I did," Macdonald said.

Macdonald is widely known in town as the scuba diver that runs the Sh** I Found Diving in YK page on social media.

Naturally, his impromptu, five-minute elevator pitch was about a show on scuba diving in the territory — "from scuba diving on gold veins, looking for lost transport trucks, even looking for a UFO," Macdonald said.

"I just went up and talked about what I loved doing and the judges seemed to connect with that," he said.

"I felt unprepared," said Macdonald, who noted that others had props, and "all kinds of glamour" with their presentation.

Grand prize winner 

To his surprise, Macdonald ended up winning one of two grand prizes — $3,000 in funding to make his pitch come true in a pilot episode.

"My wife was jumping up and down, and so was I," said Macdonald. "I couldn't believe it."

"He was one of the stars of the evening, but there was a huge lineup of amazing pitches [that] night," said Nancy MacNeill, the producer for the event.

MacNeill said Macdonald was "very ready" to sell his show.

"To be honest he was very well prepared," she said. "He may have gone for wings [Wednesday] night, but he has been clearly thinking about this for a long time."

Jeremy Macdonald went for wing night at a Yellowknife pub. He came home with $3,000 after pitching a diving reality show in a contest sanctioned by the Yellowknife Film Festival. (Facebook)
Northwestel is funding $2,000 and the Western Arctic Moving Pictures is providing $1,000 for production assistance.

Macdonald said he met with Northwestel this week to discuss further details. He will work on a pilot episode that will eventually air either online or on TV.

The other winner of the grand prize that night was Miranda Currie, who pitched an idea for a northern children's TV show.

With files from Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi, Lawrence Nayally, Peter Sheldon

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