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Newport RI: The Series Photo Montage

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Published on May 6, 2012

Newport RI: The Series Treatment

Newport, RI: The Series is an idea, born from a gallery viewing of artist, William Heydt's, "Newportant People", watercolor series of paintings. The people who were in the paintings were there that night. Each painting became bolder and more vibrant as I spoke with the people and actually saw their personalities come to life in these colorful, detailed paintings. Later, as I reflected on the paintings, each character came to life -- their story on canvas. What were they really like in person, where did they live, what were their family dynamics?

The following is a synopsis of this idea which took on a life of its own as it grew into a potential series for television -- what if we took those stories, brought them to life -- actually bring a piece of art to life, and then share it. Matching the paintings with fictional characters and stories allows us to drawn in an audience and keep them coming back. With over 150 paintings in this series, the story lines are an endless source of inspiration.




Tom C. Erb, Creator

Synopsis of characters, development of story and first episode conflict.
Newport, Rhode Island - known for the America's Cup Sailing Challenges, Opulent Mansions and Gilded Age fantasy, spectacular landscape -- and Art. Drawing visitors from the world, the culture of art, history and architecture keeps the streets full, and the economy strong. Behind the scenes, it is the local people who truly represent Newport. They are important to the fabric of the community -- they are Newportant. Newport R.I.: The Series coming in 2012 will bring to life the paintings of world renowned, local artist William Heydt. Heydt has produced hundreds of watercolor paintings of the local people and landscapes of Newport over the past twelve years in his series "Newportant People."

The new series Newport R.I. will take his paintings and have fictional scripts written for each image. In addition, many of his landscapes will be a part of every episode so that the story fades in and out of Heydt's paintings. The pilot consists of six images that tell fully scripted episodes. Each episode will end with short interviews with the actual people in the painting with a discussion about their experience being immortalized in a Heydt painting. In addition the very talented and immense musical community of Newport will be composing original music.

The Story Line

Newport's most renowned playboy/artist Richard Davenport born with a golden spoon in his mouth is from old Newport and has inherited much of what he has from his Grandfathers railroad fortune. He was educated at De LaSalle, Brown University and Harvard, he is an adventurer, loves polo, opera, sailing and art. Although he has an interesting collection of art, his biggest interest is painting. As a child he was sent to French arts schools for the summer to study with the most renowned European artist of the time. He wasn't very keen on his studies then, but as he got older, his interest in vibrant watercolors was revitalized. He began sharpening his skills by painting unsuspecting people in the parks of Newport. Richard has never married, lives a very active life, and has lots of acquaintances, but not many close friends.

Richard's hobby is to watch the people of Newport. Not the visitors and tourists but the people that live and make Newport their home. He watches them downtown, at cafes, on wharfs and at the beach. He also follows them in the local newspaper The Newport Gazette. His interest is in a column called Island Characters written by Tim Sullivan.
Tim Sullivan is a local man who attended Rogers High School and went to University of Rhode Island majoring in Journalism. He was hired by The Newport Gazette right out of college as a beat writer. He has had several stories that were picked up nationally and internationally, such as; "Losing the America's Cup, "The Trial of Claus Von Bulow and "Stephen Spielberg films Amistad in Newport, RI" Tim has settled into writing about the people that make Newport their home.

These two men become acquainted though a chance meeting when Tim was writing a story about a local firefighter family at the Newport Fire Department, and Richard is staging a family portrait at the fire station. The meeting leads to a partnership that brings the people of Newport R.I. and their stories to the world.

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