2 Student producers do ‘the Fool’ for UPN

Take 1. No, maybe Take 2. OK, finally, Take 3. After three tries, two FAMU students eventually received the opportunity to show the world their new TV show, “Doin Da Fool,” which airs on UPN.

The two masterminds behind the show, Jai Lyle and Idus Hartsfield II, created it to make audiences laugh, send positive underlying messages to people and give people a chance to see what is going on in the urban world of college students.

“Doin Da Fool” includes a show introduction, comedy skits and live tapings of the host, Lyle, going out and interacting with the public in different locations.

“I’d rather have people watch the show than tell them about it,” said Lyle, a 23-year-old business student from Orlando.

“Music, comedy, social events – you get a little bit of everything.”

Hartsfield, who is a construction-engineering student from Tallahassee, handles many tasks such as editing, filming, directing and producing.

Along with hosting the show, Lyle helps produce, write and act in skits.

“Idus came up with the concept and I came up with the name,” Lyle said.

The duo used to film humorous incidents that took place whenever they went out. The they realized it would make sense to do a show.

Hartsfield and Lyle decided to take their home videos a step further and turn their hobby into household name.

After taping the show themselves, the determined duo let people view the show and came up with a business plan and a questionnaire for viewers’ opinions.

However, they soon discovered that it would take more than a simple survey for the show to be put into rotation.

First, Hartsfield and Lyle had to face some rejection.

The two went to ask local TV station ABC to air the show and were denied because ABC authorities felt their station was too family based for Hartsfield and Lyle’s concept. They then tried to contact FOX TV station for a month and had no success.

Finally, Lyle and Hartsfield drove out to the local UPN TV station in Midway to find a deal that would air their show.

“They watched the show, they liked it and wanted to work with us,” Hartsfield said.

“Doin Da Fool,” has been airing since last semester.

According to Hartfield, it is just a small beginning to the bigger goal.

“Our long term goal is for it to go national,” he said.

Although a portion of the show is scripted, not everything is planned, especially when the live camera is rolling and different people are approached in the street.

“We try to film and let average things happen, we know people like to see themselves on TV,” Hartfield said.

With shows such as BET’s “Hits,” the show might not be the first of its kind. But it does have its own uniqueness.

Lyle said the show offers a little bit of everything. He also said it has different elements of what’s going on in the community and that they are always on top of the main urban events.

“You don’t really have that many urban perspectives, this would be our first voice,” Hartsfield added.

Lyle and Hartsfield are happy with the show’s success, but said they understand that it still needs to grow.

“We recognize we have problems and we’re trying to correct them, the main problem is money,” Lyle said.

So how do they get money to fund the show?

“Through sponsorship, through ads and contributions from ourselves,” Lyle said.

Hartsfield detailed how the money from sponsors is used.

“All sponsorships money goes into production and helps fund the trips for when we go out of town,” he said.

Although the show is mainly taped in Tallahassee, some shows have been taped in Atlanta, Daytona, Miami, Valdosta and Panama City.

Participants in the show said going to school and creating a TV show is not an easy task.

“It’s an everyday struggle in life itself and doing a show is taking it to the next level,” said Kenneth Hartsfield, a 20-year-old architecture student who has acted on the show. “It’s all about prioritizing.”

“Its only a certain amount of time in a day,” said Idus, who is Kenneth’s older cousin. “Somedays I can get my school work done some days I can’t.”

Contact Royce Wynn at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com.