He plays tennis, goes to Lakers games, and listens to music with his friends, but don”t be fooled. Fred Medill is not a normal teenager. While most teens only dream about meeting the stars, at 14-years-old Fred has already interviewed such celebrities as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Denzel Washington for his web site, www.FredTV.net. With his dad, Cary Medill, standing by as cameraman, Fred gets most of his interviews by standing out on the red carpet at movie premieres. In fact, as Fred”s website asserts, “where there”s a red carpet, there”s FredTV.”
Evidently, though, FredTV has a right to boast. Granted, FredTV is no Entertainment Tonight, yet despite its young star and humble beginnings the show has gained both acknowledgement and respect in Hollywood. For instance, although FredTV may not provide the publicity that mainstream television programs can offer, celebrities are nonetheless drawn to Fred. Even Pat Kingsley, a publicist known for her selectivity, steers clients Tom Cruise and Matt Damon in Fred”s direction at premieres. “He does his homework. He”s prepared and asks short, concise questions,” she told The L.A. Times. Kingsley also admits that, if nothing more, Fred”s interviews provide her clients with “an interesting couple of minutes.”
Clips of these “interesting couple of minutes” with stars can be accessed on Fred”s website at www.fredtv.net, in which he interviews everyone from “N SYNC to Muhammed Ali.
The inspiration for FredTV began when Fred spotted talk show host Larry King at a deli and mustered up enough courage to approach King about doing a cameo for his bar mitzvah video. In addition to King, Fred approached other celebs such as Michael Jackson and Jay Leno for some mock interviews. The finished product was a compilation of several interviews, shown to bar mitzvah guests in March 1999. Following the bar mitzvah video, Fred continued to pursue and videotape stars, seeing many of them during his family”s biannual vacations to Maui. Eventually, a producer friend of the family invited Fred and his dad to stand on the red carpet for the premiere of the movie, “Arlington Road.” The fact that Fred, a novice child reporter, managed to snag an interview with the film”s star (Jeff Bridges) provided encouragement to Fred and Cary Medill to take the next step: FredTV.
Currently, FredTV provides entertainment to hospitalized children at a Chicago Hospital on mobile computers known as PC Pals. Through the Starlight Children”s Foundation, seriously ill children also get to accompany Fred on his FredTV interviews and get their pictures taken with the stars. The Starlight Children”s Foundation is a non-profit charity organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with serious illnesses. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article any future revenue that may be attained by FredTV, either by selling ads or selling the website to a major network, will benefit the Starlight Children”s Foundation.
Presently posted on FredTV are highlights of Fred”s interviews with film, TV, music and sports celebrities over the past year, along with more recent footage of Fred”s interviews with the guys from “Dude, Where”s My Car?” and Arnold Schwartzenegger from “The Sixth Day.”