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Postby Michelle » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:28 pm

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Hi Nutnll2do:

Welcome to the site. I think Erik has mentioned you to me. I am so glad you are joining us.

I agree. I think Erik is a class act and Danard's also a great person.

I am glad you had an interesting experience with the auditions.

What did you think of the new host? Did you get to meet him?

Postby tricklering » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:38 am

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I went to the Chicago auditions and happened to be right in front of Regeina and her family in line! (#3060) I was unaware of this site and any of the other information regarding other aspects of the show until she told me about them and I thank her for that- it was a pleasure to meet them, too. My invention is a landscape irrigation device (The Trickle Ring) which I am currently selling on the internet at www.tricklering.com. I did not see the show or much TV at all last year, but my sister told me about it and I did meet all the qualifications. One that concerned me was that a product could not have had a production run of more than 5,000 units, which mine has not. BUT... The nice blonde lady who initially judged my product in booth "A" was very supportive- she apparently liked everything about it- the looks, function, packaging, ad copy, artwork, and even the cool trademark logo on my shirt. The CATCH was that the product was really "too far along for the show." I had done too much of the work on my own and it was "ready to hang in stores". If an invention is being mass produced at all, it has moved beyond the prototype stage and into production and there is no real development story left for the show to work with or follow. I should have realized this, but I was more concerned that the product would be competitive with regard to function and marketability, not how far along it was! The publicity would have been nice, too. My goals will now be advertising and distribution.

A note about DVDs- Since I was told via email that using a garden hose to demonstrate my invention would not be appropriate, I put together a short movie using Windows Movie Maker and burned a DVD using Roxio 9. Although the DVD worked fine when I tried it on our home DVD player, it would not move off the "Start" page on the AI machine which was a TV with an integral DVD player. It may have been because I burned it onto a DVD+RW, but it didn't matter. While we listened to 20 seconds of soothing yet frustrating harp music while a nice shot of my back yard was showing on the screen, I thought that I should have brought DVDs burned onto other types of disks but I don't know if that was the problem.

Remember that although it is important to protect your invention and ideas, there is a greater probability that you will lose money you already have to scammers who want to promote, protect, market, and "help" you than there is from a snake who wants to go through the trouble of stealing your product and selling it first to make the money that you don't have yet!

A cold yet rewarding experience, and I know what stage to bring an invention in next year!

My Chicago Story

Postby Average Inventor » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:06 am

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My girlfriend and I arrived at 5:10am where we taxied over from our hotel about a mile away. We were let off near the entrance to the parking but were told to wait across the street until 6 when they would open things up. At about 5:45 they decided to start letting people into the front doors and needless to say people starting running and it was a bit chaotic. My girlfriend and I where one of the first 30 there but after people jockying for position and running (we were just walking fast) we ended up with about 50 in front of us and then as we arrived at the end of navy pier they told us they weren't ready for us. So they told us to try to stay in line and go back out the door we came. Well once they led us through another door to the parking garage there were already 100 to 150 odd people lined up in front of us so we just got in line behind them. There were a lot of people whining and bickering because of the unfairness of the situation but I figured "at least we are inside"

At about 7:30ish the producers thought it was a good idea to transport us outside so they could get a good picture of the thousands that were lining up along navy pier. The forecast was for rain and possibly thunderstorms so I wasn't too excited we were being moved. Anyway they moved us out and made us stand in a gigantic line and now instead of about 150 there were about 200 in front of us. It was cold and windy and one of the assistant producers came up and was nonchelantly asking us where we were from. I said "Cleveland, Oh" and others said Chicago, NY, IN ect. and she moved on down the line. People around us thought nothing of this but I realized that she was looking for someone to say Australia or some other far away trek. I joked with a nice lady near us about saying she was from Alaska (even though she was from Chicago) since she hadn't been asked by the lady when she passed. Well about 3 minutes later the lady came back our way and asked the nice lady that I had joked with about where she came from and she blurted out "Alaska". One flick of the wrist and 10 seconds later there was an entire camera crew awaiting her story. The lady was shocked and quickly said she was just joking and needless to say the assistant producer wasn't pleased, and left as quickly as she had come.

It rained and got much colder and they only were taking in 10 at a time. All the while they where trying to get good video from the crowd while we were freezing and trying to keep our inventions for getting soaked and ruined. They didn't provide any shelter or help for anyone and they stopped from time to time to go inside and warm up while we were forced to freeze in the rain outside and jump through hoops at their cue. Several times the cameras came but I faced the other way since I wasn't there to be a joke.

Finally at about 1:30pm we made it inside. We then had someone check over our paperwork and we proceeded through the security checkpoint. After going through there I was assigned a letter "A" and then told to go to the first holding room where I would be called when it was time to see my first judge. Shortly after I was taken to another room where other "A's" awaited their chance to see their first round judge.

My first round judge was a blond haired lady in her late 20's or early 30's and she was smiling when I came in. There wasn't much in the space other than a chair and a camera. She asked me about myself some and then a little about my invention but I think it was just about me she was interested in finding out for consideration. She gave me a yes and was surprised I showed no emotion. She said "aren't you excited?" I said yes but it's just the first round. I could tell that she was dissappointed that I wasn't jumping up and down. They attached a blue card on to my sheet and led me to another line to get my picture taken with my number and then with my invention. After that they took me to another holding room.

The 2nd round holding room had a better view and had a few water coolers and cups to drink from. There were only about 12 people in this room and I could see no one that was anywhere near me in line that made it past the first round. It was about 2:30pm when I reached this point and I was informed that the 2nd round judge had just taken his 30 min lunch break. So my girlfriend and I went looking for food and had walked more than a mile and couldn't find anywhere to buy it so we settled for the pop tarts we had left in my backpack.

After the lunch break we looked outside and could see the line had not diminished as it was clearly still all along the outside of navy pier. I was then taken to a series of chairs where one at a time the next inventor in line would be cued by a flashing white light when it was ok for them to enter the 2nd round judges booth to get interviewed.

I was told by the staff several times that the second judge is looking for TV personalities. They said act extremely animated and energetic as he is looking for people he wanted to show on TV and someone that people will want to watch. Anyway I'm not usually super animated and I was dead tired after only having 2 hours of sleep. Never the less I tried my best and put on a big smile and gave it a shot. The executive producer seemed only interested in what I do for a living and where I'm from and what my story was. I had no sob story or pathetic job to speak of so I was honest and answered truthfully and pretty much that was it. He said they were going to have to say NO at this time and he wished me the best of luck and told me to continue pursuing my invention and not to give up.

It was about 4pm and I was in shock. I thought for sure I would at least make it to the 3rd round (which I would have needed to wait 2 days more in Chicago) But alas my American Inventor dreams were crushed and I was free to follow other avenues.

Sorry for the lengthy post but I have been lurking on here for weeks approaching the audition hoping to find some good details and most posts were short and uninformative. So I hope I shed some light on the whole first day of American Inventor 2 auditions.

Your Average Inventor
Last edited by Average Inventor on Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Postby Michelle » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:06 pm

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Your Average Inventor:

Thank you thank you thank you. Your level of detail was fantastic and I appreciate your sharing the experiences of the day with us.

I am going to take the liberty of posting it on our front page. I love your story and think it is a really good example of what other inventors can expect and what the producers for the television entertainment show American Inventor are looking for.

Question: Would you do it again or recommend to others to do it? or a show like it?

Thanks again,

Michelle :)

Postby Michelle » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:17 pm

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Hi Average:

I posted your story on the front page. The link to your story is here
http://www.americaninventorspot.com/an_average_inventor

Thanks to you and for all the other posters generously sharing the details of your experiences.

I think everyone auditioning in the other cities will now be sure to bring some thing to drink and eat.

Michelle

Postby Average Inventor » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:10 pm

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Michelle,

In answer to your Question: Would you do it again or recommend to others to do it? or a show like it?

I would be hesitant to do American Inventor again. For several reasons, first of which I believe that the first 2 rounds are much more about the entertainment value then the invention value and because of this it has lost significant credibility. Another reason is I feel it was poorly organized and the contestants were not given proper respect.

I went with the intention of getting my product some tv exposure while going through the weeding out process and I had hoped to get to the next stage and have 50k to further my invention. Since my invention is a new technology for an extremely competitive market I was hoping the exposure and AI contacts could get it off the ground.

Another motivation was to go through the process and report back to my local inventors group as to what really goes on at the auditions so those who are hesitant can have all the details and hopefully it will motivate some to go out and do it.

So for myself I most likely won't audition one of my inventions for American Inventor next year but I would be happy to help other inventors prepare for their auditions. I still feel it can be a good chance for some inventors and I would recommend it to others who are willing to accept the reality of the situation and who can set low expectations as to how they will be treated and what they will be judged on.

I have also been through the Everyday Edisons process and it by far trumps the AI show as far as professionalism, Judge quality, and overall benefit to the inventors. If they say NO they will let you know before you walk out the door why your invention wasn't picked and sometimes even what patents are the ones they feel your new idea is too close to. I hope more shows pop up like Everyday Edisons because I feel it will shed the best light on the invention process and the average inventors.

I do feel strongly though there is a place for American Inventor and I hope this second season get the ratings it requires to continue on to many more seasons. Since it's national TV it will expose more people to the creative inventors spirit and I must admit AI was where I first realized that I too could be a successful inventor.

Your Average Inventor

Postby nutnlls2do » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:17 pm

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Michelle,
I did not get a chance to meet the new host. As far as Average Inventor's posting he is right on the money. Thank you Average!! It was an experience and I can say I been there and done that. But what is next for my invention? I will not give up nor go to American Inventor. Just remember it's a tv show and I am not a good actress. I have an invention and that is what I want famous, not me.

John (Trickle Ring),
Glad you made it to this site and I wish you the best of luck with your invention, you are a very nice man. Best regards!! Regeina :wink:

my chicago audtion

Postby creativeannette » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:38 pm

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Hey, it was a blast. ok it was really wet but I wouldnt change it. My 17 year old and I took off for chicago and got into a great hotel there with a friends help. We had everything, from the 40 page application (two copies) to the invention and all they required. IN chicago we arrived in line at about 6:15 am, and there were a gazillion people ahead of us in line. They routed us around the building, in and outside and we stood out in the cold and rain for hours. Luckily we had hairdryer, and everything to redo the look if we needed to. Yeah, we did. twice. Ok, so we were in line til at least 1 pm before they cut the line. about 20 people behind us they cut it and said that was all they had room for that day. Next about 2 hours after that they said they cant see us that day and to come back the next day. We waited for another 1-1/2 for a number to come back and be seen. While in line, they did take our paperwork to shorten the wait on Sunday. We arrived Sunday early, and they took us into line after about another hour or so. they did the metal detector thing, and searched all bags. Then we went upstairs, to a holding room where they did a lot of photographing, and staging for photo opps. Lots of move here, say that. After hours, we finally got seen. I brought my invention into the black curtained cubicle, and showed it to a blond lady, with a camera operator. She was nice, but said little. I told her about me, the invention and all. They said there were other items on the market and that at this time it was not right for the show. I was disappointed, but packed up and left. I know I will market this on my own. Oh oh, and I met some really nice people that I just know will go a long way with their inventions! And, this was a surprise. Although they filmed the guy next to us a lot they didnt even ask to see his invention. They wouldnt even let him show it after all of that. And seriously they filmed him a BUNCH! I think we will be on the air though, in the crowd shots as we went to the front of the shots each time there were some. its cool for us to have done, but we had a super story, relavant product that is not on the market and it was about a $1000 for the weekend. I dont know that I would audition again considering all I learned...

Postby Michelle » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:48 pm

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Hi Annette:

Thanks for sharing your story. It's so interesting that all of you were in line together but the stories are all so different and interesting.

Why do you think that man was filmed a lot?

Michelle

I think

Postby creativeannette » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:52 pm

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he was filmed a lot as he was an older man with a lot of personality, and you could tell he really was enthusiastic. We were too and we caught a lot of coverage. He was really smiley, loud and fun. He was kind of frail as well so maybe that was part of it. I dont know.

all together though, it was a great time, tiring but a good experience. now I have to get my tushy into gear and patent this invention.
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