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When former defensive end Trevor Pryce left the NFL after 14 seasons, he could have embraced a life of early retirement at age 36. Instead, he pursued a passion project: creating an animated series about frogs battling evil scorpions. He was committed to realizing his dream even if it meant having to pay for the show himself. Pryce tells us about giving himself a green light and how Kulipari: An Army of Frogs ended up on Netflix. 

Photo: Retired NFL player Trevor Pryce, creator of Kulipari: An Army of Frogs 

Hollywood News Banter 6 MIN, 21 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • Ahead of this year's first presidential debate, the spotlight is on moderator Lester Holt, especially after Matt Lauer's poor performance as a town hall moderator a couple of weeks ago. Donald Trump loves to claim the debates are rigged against him, and he has already accused Holt of being a Democrat, when he is in fact a registered Republican. This first debate could break ratings records.
  • Interim CEO Tom Dooley is out at Viacom, but who will take his place? And will Viacom and CBS possibly re-combine, making the way for Les Moonves to lead both companies?
  • Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes spoke at an investor conference and admitted that there could be "room for improvement" in some of the recent DC Universe movies.

Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter (@THRMattBelloni)

Trevor Pryce: Kulipari 21 MIN, 8 SEC

Trevor Pryce started his pro-football career with the Denver Broncos, and was on the field when the team notched back-to-back Super Bowl victories in the late 90s. In 2006, he was signed by the Baltimore Ravens, and he played his final season in 2010 with the New York Jets.

In the off-season, Pryce was laying plans for another career, making music, TV shows and movies. For as long as he can remember, his mind has swarmed with ideas.

"I grew up a hyperactive kid," Pryce said. "Hyperactive both athletically, and when you can't be outside playing, your brain still races. So I could never sit still. So I was making beats, I loved music, I was a pretty good artist as a kid. You take that same thinking, and the way my mind works, and the way my body works, and you add time and money from being a professional athlete, and you end up in Hollywood."

Pryce's journey started with one of those beats -- he got a song on the soundtrack of Big Momma's House 2 in 2006. Fox flew him out for the premiere, and after seeing the expansive movie lot, he was hooked.

Now retired from the NFL, Pryce, who lives in Baltimore, is devoting himself full-time to writing and producing. His first big project is Kulipari, an animated series about a frog army battling evil scorpions. The 13-episode season is now available on Netflix.

By now, Pryce has had plenty of experience pitching ideas to Hollywood executives. He's found that being a retired football pro can often get him in the door, but he needs real ideas to keep him in the building. Fortunately, he's got plenty.

In the case of Kulipari, Pryce first released the story in a series of three books. While he loves the books, he always envisioned the story of Darel, the wood frog who longs to be a warrior, as a creation that moved on screen. Getting it there took time, and a serious investment of Pryce's own money.

Pryce tells us why he went ahead and commissioned artwork and started production before he knew the exact future of the series. He also shares how Netflix is like the Fight Club of TV development. Plus, he drops a hint about what's next -- he's still focused on Kulipari, but is also thinking more about a possible TV drama.

Trevor Pryce, writer and producer (@Trevor_Pryce)


Kim Masters

Kaitlin Parker

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