File Name: reality tv audiences and popular factual television creator.zip
By the end of this guide, you will know how to pitch a reality show. TV networks trust our documentary, true crime, and reality TV production company to deliver finished television series.
Realscreen Magazine covered our company in great depth. Every one of those shows began with a reality TV pitch of some kind. This free guide will help you create pitches for unscripted television that will get you noticed. Much of the information about making documentaries looks it the subject in relation to theatrical releases, not making television series.
Our hope is that this guide saves you time and resources, and of course, that you consider pitching your shows to us. This guide goes hand in hand with our site Producing Unscripted , which we built to teach you the ins and outs of making reality TV, documentary series, and true crime.
To stay up to date and get tips and info on pitching reality television, get our newsletter. To hear us discuss many of these topics in depth while having a blast doing it be sure to check out our Make Reality TV Podcast.
Ane be sure to follow and interact with us on Twitter to keep learning about unscripted television. We do get busy especially in production but we try to be responsive on twitter whenever possible.
There is A LOT here. Wrapping your head around the different genres, styles, and structures of unscripted television will give you a giant leg up on most new producers pitching reality TV. Some people enjoy Fincher flicks, some like The Farrelly Brothers. Go to the movies and you can catch a comedy, a drama, a VFX laden blockbuster.
Totally different kinds of films. But reality TV is a young form of entertainment, and people are still wrapping their heads around it. Because of that, the differences in genres of unscripted entertainment are often lost on the casual viewer. You need to recognize what makes different types of reality shows work, and use that to your advantage when pitching.
Nothing bugs industry pros more than someone who acts like they know how to pitch a reality show, but makes a ton of rookie mistakes. You might laugh. But at least one or two pitches a week boldly state they would work on all these networks. TV networks pride themselves on being different from each other. For now, understand that different networks buy different kinds of shows. How to pitch a reality show changes with each network you target. Nothing is more disheartening than when people pitch us shows that would never be on TV today or that are already on TV!
Yet these kinds of shows are some of the most pitched by people just starting out in the reality TV industry. One of our goals with this guide is to save you from wasting time on reality show ideas that have very little chance of making it to air. Before you ever start pitching shows, do your homework. Watch a lot of TV. Know what kinds of reality TV shows networks are making today. Guess what? Often times these shows are far too niche for the broad audience that looks to a TV network for programming.
A lot of programming that is too niche, or is out of fashion on TV networks today like step-by-step cooking shows and magazine-style reports has moved on to YouTube, where it often does well. Self-contained shows are easy for networks to replay at any time. Imagine watching episode 7 of a season of Survivor, then episode 2, then 9.
That would be weird, right? This makes arced reality shows a bigger gamble for networks. Someone misses the premiere. Will they really start watching four or five episodes down the line? Probably not. This means TV networks have to spend big marketing dollars to make sure an audience shows up on night one.
Not all networks can afford that. A format relies on tentpole moments that repeat every episode. A format can be either self-contained or arced.
In Myth Busters, the guys introduce an urban legend, then run experiments to see if it has merit. On Survivor though there are tweaks season to season you see the same tentpole moments each episode:. Audiences recognize these repeatable elements in a formatted show, and come to expect them. For example, if you see the immunity challenge, you know the episode is more than half-way over.
For the most part, there are no overt tentpole moments or repeatable format elements in these shows. There may be recurring events dinners, parties, etc.
We get hundreds of pitches through our submission portal. The ones that arrive using pro terminology snag our attention immediately. They also have long beards.
They argue a lot. Lots of great drama there. Funny too. Sound cool? They spend a lot of that money playing jokes on each other. Every episode follows some hilarious family drama, but in the end they all come together as one. Here You Go:. It should be a show built around strong, real-life characters and have a repeatable story element. A self-contained format built around a larger than life character. That person needs major credibility in whatever world the show lives.
Each episode they wrote and directed wild local commercials for small businesses. But walk in with Gordon Ramsay and you have a hit. Networks love new, fresh faces. But the people you pitch have to be experts at what they do. Plus, they have to be as good as or better than the characters already on TV right now. Most aspiring producers waste hours, days, or even weeks preparing reality TV concepts that will never sell.
Important, and make a bundle of money. Reality TV ideas are a dime a dozen, and ideas, in and of themselves, are pretty much worthless. Everybody has one. Many are identical or very similar to each other. Many people pitch reality shows as if they are playing the lottery usually with the same results. The web is a mixed bag. A LOT of the results focus on writing elaborate treatments. This applies to all formats of reality-based ideas.
The real shame here is that talented writers and creatives take advice like this and waste hours writing useless paper. Especially since similar advice about reality TV treatments clutters sites all over the web.
After all, in the scripted world, written treatments are very important. You planned out an entire season, sample episodes, the whole enchilada. After all, you read how to do it in one of those web posts that made it seem easy. Which will get re-thought and re-formatted a million times by the network anyway. On the contrary, by following tips that come later in this guide, you can up your chances of success quite a bit. Just starting out? Chances are you have no access to music superstars, big name talent, or the Hollywood clout to make headline deals.
But the people pitching them have never met a celebrity in their lives. Unfortunately, no one pitching that particular concept had ever checked with P. Do this one thing and entertainment professionals will take you seriously. Notice in all three of these examples, there was something more to the pitch than just words on paper.
Are you a great shooter? A documentarian with several projects under your belt? Hard-core YouTuber? Terrific story teller? Wanna know what gets us excited? Do this one thing and entertainment professionals will take you seriously: make yourself valuable.
You get the big picture.
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Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unknown individuals rather than professional actors. Reality television first emerged as a distinct genre in the early s with shows such as The Real World , then achieved prominence in the early s with the success of the series Survivor , Idols , and Big Brother , all of which became global franchises. Competition-based reality shows typically feature gradual elimination of participants, either by a panel of judges, by the viewership of the show, or by the contestants themselves. Documentaries , television news , sports television , talk shows , and traditional game shows are generally not classified as reality television. Some genres of television programming that predate the reality television boom have been retroactively classified as reality television, including hidden camera shows, talent-search shows, documentary series about ordinary people, high-concept game shows, home improvement shows, and court shows featuring real-life cases.
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Email: baltruschat shaw. The staging of media events, recruitment of semi-professional performers, and immersive online environments emphasize the complexities of reality format adaptation, which involves the localization of global media texts. The surge of reality TV programs since can be traced back to tabloid-style documentaries, which first appeared in the late s. Their development was linked clearly to the emergence of multichannel television in the s, which created the need for provocative programs to attract audiences in an increasingly competitive media environment. This article details how reality TV producers attempt to create all-enveloping experiences that transgress the boundaries of traditional broadcasts.
Story structure is a huge weakness for many factual or reality filmmakers and TV producers, who often concentrate on subject areas and issues rather than dramatic and memorable narrative. Consequently programmes fail to attract the audience or win any awards. In this book Robert Thirkell, the international consultant known as 'The TV Troubleshooter' and renowned television producer, sets out a professional toolkit for developing a compelling storyline in factual and reality programmes and films.
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By the end of this guide, you will know how to pitch a reality show.