Joke Productions is a Los Angeles based production company specializing in reality TV shows, documentaries, & more.
We are independently owned and operated by wife and husband team Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina.
Click on the table of contents below to jump to a specific section, or read right through to answer your questions about Joke Productions.
- Why Are We Independently Owned?
- Joke Productions: The Beginning of Our Production Company
- Reality TV Production
- Documentary Work
- Reenactment Shows
- About Submitting Reality TV Pitches
Because at Joke Productions, we believe crafting great stories and polished productions is all that matters.
We don’t answer to a board of trustees. The only people we’re accountable to are the networks and studios who trust us to deliver amazing productions.
We take pride in elevating every show far beyond what is considered “doable” with its given budget. Every choice we make is in service of that goal.
That’s why we started this company. And that’s why we’re proudly independent.
Joke & Biagio met at UCLA and after 9 months of courting, joined forces to form a production company…and fell in love. Starting with the 16mm feature film they made in school and the feature length documentary A Galaxy Far, Far Away which received a national theatrical distribution, they taught themselves every job on set.
After creating, producing, directing, and editing engaging reality TV pitch tapes and helping many companies sell reality TV shows (and getting married!) legendary NBC president Warren Littlefield (Must See TV, Seinfeld, Will and Grace) championed the married duo to create, show run, and Executive Produce a reality pilot for Style Network (Foody Call) which was immediately picked for series.
Continuing as show runners on both The CW’s smash hit reality show Beauty and the Geek, and Science of Love, a prime-time special for NBC hosted by Mark Consuelos, Joke & Biagio honed their skills as storytellers and Executive Producers.
When Joke and Biagio met Peter Spoerri on one of their many productions, they instantly knew he was destined to be head of production at their company. Peter has a natural talent for putting money on the screen, and finding creative ways to extend even the smallest of budgets.
Now, with many successful projects under their belts Joke Productions has developed a keen eye for good stories, utilizes an amazing visual style when telling them, and pushes new technology to the limits in order to deliver productions that look much larger than budgets allow.
Joke and Biagio consider themselves lucky to have worked with and learned from industry giants like Mark Burnett, Warren Littlefield, Stan Lee, JD Roth and RJ Cutler. Those experiences have positioned Joke Productions, Inc. to lead the next wave of innovative, emotional and breakthrough television programming.
Founders, Owners, Joke Productions
Joke and Biagio are married, award winning filmmakers and TV producers. Best known for creating and executive producing unscripted television, documentary series, and reality TV shows, some recent productions include Snapped: She Made Me Do It on Oxygen, Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne on A&E, Scream Queens on VH1, and Caged on MTV.
Their documentary series Ghost Inside My Child featured the highest rated television episode in BIO channel history, and has returned for multiple seasons on LMN.
The duo cut their teeth as Co-Executive Producers and show runners on The CW’s Beauty and the Geek and earned accolades for producing, directing, and editing their theatrically released feature-length documentary Dying to do Letterman which was invited by the International Documentary Association to qualify for Academy Award® consideration.
Together they earned their documentary wings under acclaimed filmmaker R.J. Cutler (The War Room, The September Issue) and honed their reality TV skills working with luminaries like Mark Burnett and J.D. Roth of 3Ball Productions.
They’ve produced several hundred hours of film and television, working as writers, producers, directors, and editors as they earned their Executive Producer titles.
Joke and Biagio continue to challenge themselves creatively with each new project they embrace, and have a reputation for delivering outstanding, innovative work.
Biagio also delivered pizzas for Pizza Hut while playing “Marc Cram” on Nickelodeon’s Kenan and Kel, and Joke learned the Hollywood ropes while working as an assistant for producers like Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator, Armageddon, The Walking Dead.)
Head of Production, Joke Productions
This rare photo of Peter Spoerri was caught in the wild as he was busy stretching every dollar to the max on a recent Joke Productions’ shoot.
Peter is known to be one of those rare money guys who manages to say “yes” to the crazy creative whims of his producers, yet still finds a way to come in on time and on budget.
With a diverse background in film and television, ranging from HBOs Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices, to ESPN’s Bound for Glory, plus over 100 hours of TV for Joke Productions, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge, years of contacts, and top-notch production skills to our team.
Reality TV production is a big part of what we do at Joke Productions. From larger-than-life competition reality like VH1’s Scream Queens, to large-scale comedic formats like A&E’s Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne and IFC’s Commercial Kings, or more intirmate follow-docs and documentary series like MTV’s Caged, we take great pride in putting the “real” in reality TV. Joke Productions develops reality TV shows internally as well as working hand-in-hand with numerous television networks to bring new shows to life.
With heavy roots in documentary, we’re always looking for great, real-life stories to tell. Our feature-length documentary Dying to do Letterman enjoyed a theatrical release, and was invited by the International Documentary Association to qualify for Academy Award® consideration. We were also proud to produce the MTV True Life special: Secrets, Lies, and Sex, a documentary focussing on two young men with a closely guarded secret.
A background in filmmaking and a large dose of “indie spirit” helps make our reenactment television shows shine. We use the latest in camera technology and photo-real computer animation to bring shows like LMN’s Ghost Inside My Child and Oxygen’s She Made Me Do It to life. Both shows have enjoyed multiple seasons, and with each episode we push both artistry and technology farther to put the best told stories, stunning visuals and most production value on screen.
Are you an independent producer looking to team up with an established production company? Are you a larger than life personality who believes you should have your own show? Like most companies, we do not take unsolicited material. If you have an agent, manager or attorney, you can have them contact our representation. If you do not, you can request a submission agreement. We are not consultants, and we do not offer any type of service in which we promise to consider all submissions. That said, you can head over to our submissions page for details on querying us about pitching reality TV shows, unscripted television projects, and documentary series.