NexTv's Web Series and Short Film Competition: In Search of Tomorrow's Television

Tara MacDonald - Everything Burns

The Television Series it could Inspire

After killing off her abusive Marionette husband in “Everything Burns” Marionette Suzie reinvents herself from a stay at home housewife into a professional Landscaper who works for the company Grows It Ltd. Throughout the Mockumentary/Reality TV style episodes we witness Suzie’s triumphs and struggles with landscaping gear and landscaping personalities via a documentary crews footage of preparations for the annual Grease Cup Mower and Skills Competition.


Over the course of the episodes the audience gets to meet Suzie and her fellow landscapers while they work on various maintenance sites and engage in skills training in preparation for The 33rd Grease Cup Mower and Skills Competition. Through Mockumentary style shooting and editing we’re exposed to the work methods, lifestyles and histories of each Grows It Ltd. Employee. We get to know and form opinions on each team member and as the race draws closer the episodes take on a Reality TV show style were the audience can vote via phone line or website for which team and “Grows It Ltd.” Employee they want to win the Grease Cup. The audience pick will win the race and glory in the season’s finale.


“Grows It Ltd.” Is a Mockumentary/Interactive Reality TV series showcasing Marionette Landscaper characters in their Marionette World. This world contains all of the details and conflicts that our Landscaping world would. All physical changes in nature that we would see during our winter, spring, summer and fall seasons will be represented through out the episodes such as rain, snowstorms, falling leaves. Also represented will be the everyday conflicts that come from dealing with one’s life, co-workers, family, partners and any strangers that may enter it. Manual Labor is a painstaking, rewarding and hilarious industry. “Grows It Ltd.” is the outdoor version of the series “The Office.”


Grows it Landscaping and Construction Ltd. is being documented while preparing for their 33rd Grease Cup Mower and Skills Competition. The competition was initially formed as a friendly way to raise moral and encourage “Grows It” Landscapers to be proud of their work in what can be a degrading, exhausting and tedious career choice. Let’s face it nobody like to have a pile of doggy doo sprayed over your face by a twine trimmer at 7am. 33 years later Grows It Ltd. has drawn in and employs the worlds most renowned Landscapers who vigorously train their crews all year for this serious competition. The Rules state that each subcontractor must take on a rookie landscaper who’s worked less than 3 months in the field as part of the instructional skills category.


All Main characters and Background characters will be created as wooden marionettes ranging from 10cm-18cm tall. These characters will have a wardrobe of Landscaper attire including green work pants, cotton t-shirts, safety boots, hard hats, safety glasses, work vests, rain gear, winter gear, company hats and anything else that would be required as the seasons change. The Main Subcontractor characters meant to have the most screen time will have multiple “expression” heads that can be changed to show everyday reactions such as surprise, happiness, anger, frustration and so on. The characters facial features will not move in any way although each character will have their own dialogue.


Marionette World will consist of multiple sets designed to show the Grows It Ltd. Shop/Yard, Office, worksites that the Grows It Ltd. crews will visit during their workdays, and the Grease Cup Competition grounds. Each location will have the details that sell it as real to life as possible.

Grows It Ltd. Shop/Yard will have loading bays for each subcontractor filled with their crew’s gear. Mowers, backpack blowers, twine trimmers, lockers filled with tools, safety signage, rules and a time card punch clock on the wall. The yard has multiple storage bins for mulch, dirt, compost, garbage and salt. The Yard is also the location where most of the interactions between subcontractors occur. This is the only place large enough for crews to hook up their trailers and trucks and load on their gear for the day. The Yard also contains the company loader and bobcats.

Grows It Office will be a separate building overlooking the Shop/Yard where the office staff and Grows It owners can observe the workers. We only ever see the exterior of the office. It is known as the Bermuda Tree-angle amongst the workers. You’re never heard from again once you walk through those doors.

Worksites would range from private lawns to large universities and parks. Anywhere lawn maintenance and gardening would take place.

Grease Cup Competition Grounds are concealed under a dome high on a hill behind the Shop/Yard. The interior of the dome is divided into the competition grounds, the judge’s corner and the stadium seating. The competition grounds include a large obstacle course for the Bobcat Obstacle Race, rows of shrubs for the Pruning Competition; tire changing pits for the Wheelbarrow Race and the grassy field with trees obstacles for the Mower Race.

The Sound Scape is equally important as the visuals for this concept. Any sound that would be heard in the real world of landscaping would be heard in Grows It Ltd.


There are Five Main Characters that will populate this world. The first four are subcontractors each with their own crews working for Grows It Ltd. and competing for the Grease Cup. All Four subcontractors played in last year’s games and have brought their glory, grudges and retaliations to the table. Suzie makes the fifth main Character.


Suzie is sweet, meek and mild with an edge to her that nobody can quite understand. She has three children from her former husband and she’s very secretive about her past. Suzie never laughs although she has a great sense of humor she simply states “That’s Funny” when she finds something amusing. Suzie has been hired as the rookie for the crew the “Stallions” led by Subcontractor Pete Moss. She has no interest in dating anyone at this point in her life.

Pete Moss is the stereotypical landscaper man. He’s gruff, tough, well built, handsome, and a hard worker. His team the” Stallions” placed 2nd in last years Grease Cup Mower and Skills Competition losing to the “Hollywood Crew” led by subcontractor Brock Pavers. This year Pete is sure hi s team will triumph until he meets meek and mild Suzie. The everyday journey of human frustration, misunderstanding, curiosity and generosity begins. Pete is married.

Brock Pavers is a charismatic European man with an accent and a way with the women. He relies on his crew to complete the job and takes all of the credit for their hard work. He’s a slimy character whose curly medium length hair suddenly starts to blow in the wind whenever he sees a woman…even if there is no wind that day. His crew the “Hollywood Crew “ won last years Grease cup. Brock seduced all of the judges in last year’s competition.

Chip Mulch looks after the crew the “Apple Barrel Gang”. Chip is a veteran of the landscape world and works the most hours of anyone in the company. He will die behind the lawnmower before he retires. His crews generally work 7 days a week from sunup to sundown. Chip’s favorite saying is “The early bird gets the worm but if you get up before the bird you can build the worm a garden to hide in…so there!” The “Apple Barrel Gang” missed last year’s competition because Chip wouldn’t let them take time off work to compete.

Tabs Kat also known as Tabby is the leader of the “Animals”. He/She is very butch with mannerisms of both a woman and a man. Nobody actually knows if Tabby is a man or a woman due to his/her super strength and ability to make the softest most wonderful homemade cookies with a glass of milk. Tabby’s favorite drink is a nice glass of Chardonnay with an umbrella in it. The “Animal” crew is made up of the rough backwoods country landscapers who all admire and respect Tabby and challenge to get aggressive with anyone who asks them what gender Tabby is only on the premise that they don’t know themselves. The “Animals” were suspended from last year’s games after a backpack blower modification failed and sucked the clothes off of one of the judges


Grows It Ltd. first season is meant to introduce the characters and workings of this particular Landscaping company as it prepares for the world famous Grease Cup Competition. The Grease Cup is equivalent to the Super bowl in the Landscaper w orld. The season finale will show the Grease Cup competition using the audience votes to determine the winner. If you were to combine the opening scene of Pretty Women where Julia Roberts rolls out of bed and gets ready for the streets with the story telling and shooting style of Christopher Guest’s “Best In Show” along with the voting style of “America’s Best Dance Crew” and the unique and individual characters of “The Office” you would have Grows It Ltd. This series has the potential to evolve into many seasons as the characters evolve, Suzie’s children grow up and work for the company or another company, injuries occur, people retire, have children, switch careers, win the lottery and so on.

Overall this is a personally exciting project to discuss. Having worked with a Halifax, Nova Scotia Landscaping company for many years I’ve learned the most about human emotion, strength and virtue from the people working beside me shoveling snow for our 16th hour. “Go Big or Go Home” became our motivation. That’s the motivation behind Grows it Ltd. A Sincere Thank You for your review.

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