January 11, 2008
ADRIANNE M. MURCHISON
Hey! Got any bright ideas?
Share them at auditions for 'Everyday Edisons'
Now is the time to reveal that real invention idea that's been simmering in the back of your mind.
Audtions for Season 3 of the PBS series "Everyday Edisons" will be Saturday at the Gwinnett Convention Center in Duluth. The reality show features the development new products conceived by everyday folks.
You can have a presentation in hand or just an idea scribbled on a piece of paper. But you've got to show up for it to turn into a real invention that people buy and use, says Louis Foreman, the show's creator.
Foreman expects teh South-east casting call to draw 700 to 2,000 hopefuls from as far away as Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. It's the first of five casting calls that will also be held in San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago and Boston through May. Twenty to 30 inventors will be picked from each city and then narrowed down to 12 or 13 for the program.
Doors open at 7 a.m. and as long as you register by 1 p.m., you will get to audition.
"Everyday Edisons" premiered last April, Season 2 starts in May. And Season 3 will air in May 2009.
Several metro Atlantans became inventors in Seasons 1 and 2.
Wendy Hampton, a Lawerenceville mom and credit and collections manager, created a board game called Befudiom that's based on everyday idioms (www.befudiom.com)
Northsiders Russ Stanziale and Brent Anderson invented SnacDaddy, a chicken wing serving tray that stores leftover bones. The friends nearly let their doubt prevent them from trying out for Season 1's audition in 2005. They argued in the parking lot about whether their idea would fly with the judges, said Stanziale, 39, who lives in Cumming.
"If I could show you the papier mache prototype we had for a presentation ]," he said. "It looked like a volcano you had as a third-grade science project...a bad science project."
That turned out not to matter. SnacDaddy now is used at WingZone restuarants and can be purchased online at www.snacdaddy.com.
"Most people never follow through with their ideas," Foreman said. "Sure, they go to barbecues or family events and say how they came up with something, but they never [do] anything about it."
Audition judges include patent attorneys, engineers, designers and marketing experts. They will consider whether a concept can be developed within one year; if it's widely marketable to consumers; and if it stands a good chance of receiving a U.S. patent.
"The beauty of this call is we are there to appraise ideas. People will walk away with much more knowledge than they came with," Foreman said.
During the hours-long wait for auditions, free workshops on the patent process will be held and Hapton, Stanziale and other inventors will share their stories. Major retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Sharper Image also will be on hand to assess the candidates' more developed inventions.
"People just need their first big break," Foreman said. "If you had a product that you were trying to get to market but was having a hard time getting Bed Bath & Beyond to look at it, now's the time that you can get their ear."