How to make it in the Reality TV World?
In todays entertainment industry reality show ideas that get produced, are often revolve around a specific issue or event that everybody can relate to, and out of that is built a game. They are in essence, game shows. But even more importantly, they are big fun, and often-dramatic social experiments. When we look at these reality show we must remember that some things are fun to play, and some things are fun to watch. To truly connect with an audience and have entertainment value in a show, you need both.
The quality of a reality-based show can span from awful to inspiring. But the reason viewers tune in is because we have an insatiable appetite for witnessing and being entertained by the human experience.
What one should know about putting a reality show together is to follow the following guidelines:
Ø Be Specific in your concept, and try several approaches.
Ø Choose concepts and subjects that are highly marketable
Ø Think of movie
Ø Identify Unique Professions or Lifestyles
When creating a reality show you need to give a production company executives the inside scoop that they would love to find a show that places contestants in some sort of "fish-out-of-water scenario" and would like it to involve a family. What a production company look for is for you to be able to deliver an approach to that concept that is totally unique and something they never would have thought of. When thinking of a Title this stage is very important, they should roll off the tongue easily, provoke conversations, and simply tell you exactly what you’re going to be watching. For example: "The Bachelor", "The Apprentice", "The Biggest Loser", "America's Got Talent", “Real House wife’s of Atlanta” are all good examples. Word play is always a good way to grab attention and create curiosity. “Meet the Parents”, "Wife Swap", and "Blind Date" are all specific to what their show is about, but use known phrases to create new titles that peak curiosity.
The Story is a critical element to define when developing a reality-based project. When you look at movies, look at the core concept and story elements of the film, and a reality show just might be staring you smack in the face. Lastly identify a unique profession or lifestyle is one of the simplest and most successful sub-genre of reality show is the documentary style series covering unique professions or lifestyles. These stories serve the insatiable curiosity viewers have to gain insight into other peoples lives and jobs. Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Orange County" is a guilty-pleasure glimpse into the spoiled and faux-glamorous lives of a certain group of women in Orange County, California.
Once you have completed these steps then you are ready to pitch your reality show, but before you contact a network, you need to get that WGA registration number, which is your way of registering your original idea in order to protect it. The easiest way to obtain this number is to go to the WGA registry page at http://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/. For $20 you can register your pitch online. Once you have acquired your WGA number the big question is whom should you submit to? The Networks? An agent? Reality TV, Production Company? Most networks won't give you the time of day unless you're already attached to a successful project, but they are three that will Comedy Central, Discovery and MTV.
To Be Continued…
By Melisa Brown