SCRIPTED REALITY TV
Had an interesting chat with the head writer on a reality show. I can't give too much away, but I hope to interview him at some point for my book. There should be a section on Reality TV, shouldn't there? What does the script for a reality tv show entail? What about the bible for it? How do you pitch it? To whom? What kind of a staff is there on a reality show?
'Cause, campers, these things don't just pop out of thin air, and of course, the last thing they are is reality.
On huge advantage reality tv has is you can shoot it in very little time with a tiny budget because no one expects it to look good. When they're tuning into Desperate Housewives
you expect glamor. But when it's Survivor: Schenectady
, no one expects backlighting.
I think an interesting angle, along with how to pitch, is how to "protect" your work. It's almost easier to steal a reality idea than a scripted one and I'm sure it happens often. I think at this level of maturity in the reality genre, pitching is becoming similar to scripted. I've pitched around ten of them so far, one accepted (and never produced, arguably stolen).
The reality staff is very fluid and you encounter the same people often. Ability varies.
On the creative side, Story editors (basically the script writers) sometimes double as field producers. The actual "writer" on the show is usually just creating dialogue for the host, if there is one. And sometimes it seems like dictating for an exec. But there are other creative elements depending on the show, including games/challenges etc.
It's an interesting world.
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