We anticipate the series attracting international as well as local audiences interested in the dynamic culture, unusual locations and unique stories of life in New Mexico. It should also attract the interest of “cultural creatives” and the younger generation committed to transforming our world. Ultimately, we hope to draw a “cult following” inspired by the show’s innovative design and offbeat nature.
Four essential intentions of this project are: 1) to create an ongoing vehicle for creative collaboration and development of those involved in the cinematic arts in New Mexico (its modular structure encourages inclusion of short films by many local filmmakers), 2) to provide a forum for stories about New Mexico as well as stories that inspire viewers towards more effective and fulfilling expressions in their lives and communities, 3) to promote greater understanding of the culture and issues of New Mexico, and 4) to boost tourism and business activity within New Mexico with the website becoming a “go to” destination for information about the state and the “Enchanted Café Train Adventure” becoming a notable attraction.
John Meade, creator / writer / producer, has been a film location scout-manager, production manager and assistant director for over 30 years with experience in all formats of the film and television business. He has also been a producer of concerts & theatrical productions, community events and multi-media conferences with a focus on inspiring community interaction, social evolution and personal transformation. A well respected networker with extensive connections into diverse circles in New Mexico, John is looking forward to weaving together a rich and adventurous tapestry of people, places and stories for the episodes of this show. Additionally and relevant to this project, John was the owner of The Planet Cafe, a natural foods restaurant and community events venue in Santa Fe (see the Other Business page of this website). Raquel Lopez, writer / production designer, grew up in New Mexico in a family that has lived in the area for generations. She has been writing all her life and has worked as a costume designer and art director for countless festivals and events in the western USA, most notably for major camps at Burning Man and Santa Fe's 2016 Unify Fest.
Copyright © 2018 by John Paulding Meade. All rights reserved.
A more detailed project outline, creative treatment and script are available for those interested in collaboration.
ENCHANTED CAFÉ TRAIN ADVENTURE
An entertaining and informative train adventure to the Enchanted Café TV series set at the historic Legal Tender Saloon in Lamy, NM.
The Enchanted Café Train Adventure will be a unique, immersive experience of New Mexico, guiding participants on an old train on the Santa Fe Southern Railway (www.facebook.com/SantaFeSouthernRailway - "tourist" train service is currently suspended) from Santa Fe to the village of Lamy, a landmark stop on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and Santa Fe's Amtrak depot. Here they will visit the historic Legal Tender Saloon (www.facebook.com/historiclegaltender, www.thelegaltendersaloon.com), film location for the "Enchanted Café" TV series, tour the Lamy Railroad and History Museum which is housed in a back room of this building and enjoy a wonderful locally inspired meal served by a restaurateur in the vein of La Cocina de Balam (www.facebook.com/LaCocinaDeBalam). Throughout the journey, participants will be treated to informative presentations on New Mexico's dynamic history, culture and contemporary issues and inspiring music and performances from the region coordinated by musician / historian, Michael Coombs (www.buskerjoe.com, also featured in the Creative Startups video below), and others.
This project is essentially a reincarnation and weaving of several independent businesses inspired by the Enchanted Café TV series now in development, to convey the essence of the heart and soul of the Land of Enchantment. It is also an answer to countless requests to revive the train, open the Legal Tender for meals and increase visitation to the museum that honors the significant history of Santa Fe's railroad. It promises to be a great asset to tourism and business in New Mexico.
Photos & Info: www.facebook.com/enchantedcafetrainadventure
Video Created for 2015 Creative Startups program: https://youtu.be/ScOu4KjFkc0
PILOT EPISODE: "NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE"
An aspiring writer, escaping the trauma of her childhood home in a stolen truck, breaks down in an obscure New Mexican village and discovers a new family in an enchanting café.
Angela, an independent, spirited mid-western farm girl in her early 20s, escapes the trauma of her childhood home following the death of her mother by stealing her Step-Dad's pick-up truck. Her spirit lightens as she heads west through New Mexico until her truck breaks down in a remote village. Having no cell service, Angela searches for assistance and wanders into an unusual café. She gradually finds herself entranced by Rosita, the sweet but dynamic proprietor, an intriguing cast of characters and a quirky traveling circus, and is transformed from a stranded runaway to a most welcome member of this unexpected family.
ENCHANTED CAFÉ TV SERIES WEBSITE
The TV series’ website will be created as a blog written by the series’ lead character and aspiring writer, Angela, which will include more information and related web-links on the stories and issues referenced in each episode. It will also include a directory of NM products and services, often highlighted in the show, as well as a calendar of NM events and directory of programs, classes and services, an evolution of the current Enchanted Cafe Bulletin Board located on a separate page of this website and linked by www.EnchantedCafe.net and on www.facebook.com/EnchantedCafeBulletinBoard.
THE ENCHANTED CAFÉ BUSINESS VENTURE
A Collaborative, Multi-faceted, Creative Commercial Venture
We are seeking a small team of innovative, community-minded entrepreneurs to develop and manage a unique commercial collaborative of synergistic businesses including a natural cafe & bar, performance space, gallery/boutique, museum and gardens as well as the primary filming location for the "Enchanted Café" TV series. The goal of this mixed-use venture is to create a community gathering spot that draws a lively, multi-cultural crowd of Santa Fe area residents and visitors who seek opportunities to connect with others for celebration, personal & community inspiration and creative collaboration.
The cornerstone business will be the Enchanted Café offering a broad, locally inspired menu to attract a wide range of clientele along with the added focus on healthy organic produce, hormone & antibiotic-free meats and gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan options. Beverage offerings might include smoothies, healing elixirs, kombucha, mate, hard cider as well as beer & wine. The existing large commercial kitchen, saloon/bar and dining/ballroom at the Legal Tender will serve this operation well. Additionally, there is an outdoor terrace that would benefit the café during the warmer months as well as exterior grounds for gardens to grow produce and herbs. The café would most likely be open 4 days/week, Thursday - Sunday, as it would be occupied for filming 3 days/week, Monday - Wednesday.
The front parlor of the Legal Tender could be used as a boutique and mini general store to sell arts and crafts as well as foods and wares from New Mexico. Some art and décor for sale could also be displayed on the walls of the café to enhance the inspiring quality of the establishment. The large open areas around the train station nearby could lend themselves to outdoor events and offer the perfect base camp for the film production.
We will prioritize the Enchanted Café becoming a model business in the sustainable practices that are incorporated into its various activities, including energy conservation, use of local, organic and environmentally friendly products, minimal use of paper goods, recycling and composting in our gardens. We will seek to install skylights for more natural lighting and solar panels at the rear of the building or on the roof to provide all the power needs of our operations as funds can be made available.
THE BUSINESS MODEL
The Enchanted Café is envisioned as a collaborative venture structured to allow financial autonomy of the separate businesses involved through the leasing arrangements with the existing non-profit entity as the master lessor of the property. The non-profit status of the master lessor will encourage donations to support the mission of the project (see next section below) meanwhile supporting the activities under its umbrella.
As much as possible, we will solicit the loan of the establishment's décor and large interior plants from Santa Fe area businesses in exchange for marketing their services. Likewise, we will seek to incorporate special local products and services into the café at discounted rates in exchange for publicity generated for them, particularly enhanced by the eventual television show exposure and its accompanying website.
THE AMBIANCE AND CULTURE
We envision furnishing the space with a unique and fanciful collection of local furniture, carpets, art and décor in conjunction with the tribal flare of large colorful fabrics. We anticipate having cultural theme days at the café and performance space when unique menus and entertainment could be offered to draw a more specific clientele from the local community and honor our diverse cultural roots - such themes might include Latin, Native American, Cowboy and Asian (many Chinese immigrants were employed in the railroad's construction).
The Enchanted Café is envisioned as a progressive and historical crossroads of Northern New Mexico culture. The iconic nature of this landmark saloon and its museum commemorating the railroad which was central to the evolution of this country, set the backdrop for bringing the Santa Fe area's forward-looking community together in the context of its collective legacy. We seek to expand the palette of our clientele in the broadest sense and the overall mission of this project is to foster inter-cultural understanding and appreciation, respect for our heritage and traditional values, collaborative creative expression and personal / community well-being.
ENCHANTED CAFÉ TV SERIES
An unconventional entertaining and informative weekly show that follows the lives of the colorful characters at an offbeat café and ventures into unique corners of New Mexico.
ENCHANTED CAFÉ will be a weekly TV series created and produced by a cinematic arts collective of independent filmmakers in New Mexico analogous to the creative structure involved in the development of Meow Wolf's renowned immersive installation, "House of Eternal Return", in Santa Fe. The show will highlight the dynamic culture at a village café where the confluence of progressive new ideas and traditional values wrestle with contemporary issues striving for collaborative solutions. Rousing conversations, wild tales and the enterprising activities of its quirky cast of characters and intriguing visitors, also lead viewers into inspiring stories and adventures about the unique people, places and events in New Mexico conveying the essence of The Land of Enchantment.
This original, mixed-format show blending reality and fiction might be described as a New Mexico version of a cross between the popular TV series, “Cheers” and “Northern Exposure”, with some of the enchanting qualities of the films, “Bagdad Café” and “The Milagro Beanfield War”, interwoven with magical reality TV-styled adventures as in Anthony Bourdain’s CNN series, “Parts Unknown”, curious documentary vignettes as in Andrei Codrescu’s feature, “Road Scholar”, and an occasional music video or musical montage. These segments will highlight fascinating NM personalities, adventures to unique events and places, the complex culture and colorful history of this state, and exemplary ideas in business, technology, public service, social organization, well-being and the arts as well as reflect on challenging local issues with a solution-oriented perspective.
TV SERIES LOCATION
The principal location for the series is planned for the historic Legal Tender Saloon (www.facebook.com/historiclegaltender, www.thelegaltendersaloon.com) in Lamy, NM, an offbeat little Northern New Mexico village just 18 miles southeast of Santa Fe. Built in 1881 as a general store, the building houses the Lamy Railroad and History Museum (open for tours by appointment) and the saloon, parlor, ballroom and kitchen which have primarily been rented for special events over its recent history. The village has only one church that is not in operation, a classic train station used minimally for twice daily Amtrak service, several old train cars on railway sidings and a wonderful assortment of authentic New Mexican homes making it a perfect setting for this show.
Photos & Info: www.facebook.com/enchantedcafe
P.O. BOX 22002, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, 87502
PHONE/FAX: (505) 982-9950 CELL: (505) 470-9740
JOHN PAULDING MEADE