Reality Television Preproduction

Prevention has always been considered better than cure, and in the reality television world, preproduction is prevention. Preproduction is the stage of planning where everything is mapped out and set up , rough sketches of ideas are drawn, and everyone is given a basic idea of what’s about to happen before shooting starts.

However, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Some shows start shooting even before they have a confirmed cast, while others don’t bother mapping out activities before shooting. This method of working only results in more work for editingeditors, and requires a harder more effort in postproduction.

It’s especially important that story producers are involved in preproduction so that lots of setups are available to be shot, rather than relying on non-story people for creative input. Even is if by luck, the story producer (you!) is involved in production right from the start, there’s usually a lot that has already beenshould be accomplished before you set foot in the building.

The first thing item to tick off the list that usually gets selected is the casting, and usually the casting department and the producers try to ensure that they cast people individuals who are unlikely to get along, to make forwith the idea of creating some good drama. The most important job you’ll have is to engineer these cast members so that they make forto develop a good story, even though you’re unlikely to have direct input into who gets is pickedchosen.
Reviewing Past Episodes and Casting Materials

If the show you’re working on has already filmed a season or perhaps more, the first thing you need to do is study the previous episodes for the tone and message that the producers and the network are expecting from you. It’s important to not try to completely revamp the product, unless that’s what is asked for you, and try to come up with a final product as close as possible to expectations.

It will also help if you know what you’re working with, so try to read up on the cast. Check out audition tapes, read up on themresearch them online; just try to study your characters and find out how you can spark a fire.
Downloading With with Your Producers

Just like you as you need a map when driving across the country, it’s important to know your producers when working on a show.

Field producers are especially important, since as it is their job to organize the each shoot and capture the material that you need to build your story. Once you’re shooting, this team will help you find out what’s going on and who’s starting the drama that you need for your story.

Find out what they’re setting up for the shoot, and since as they’re often the ones with the most knowledge about the cast, ask them for their insight into the cast.

“The balance of the workload between Field Producers and Story Producers is crucial to the creative process of making a good show happen and make sense. The Field Producer needs to know how to shoot for the edit; meaning it is important to understand how things will be cut into the show. I think it’s so important to know how to manage your time well in the field and know when you’ve got the right sound bites, scene openers, and endings, and B-roll. You’ve got such limited time and money to make things work that you constantly have to trust that you are getting what the Story Producers need to cut a scene and make it work in the arc of the episode.” – Michael Carroll, Producer

Sketching Out Your Profile Interviews

Profile interviews introduce the characters in your show to the audience, and helps establish the connections that the audience forms with them. Conducted within the first week of shooting, it is important to ask in -depth questions that make your characters look good appealing and help the audience relate to them. Ask questions that, can haveonce the voice of the interviewer is removed, and still make the subject look good.

Tip: Always remember to ask questions which have to be repeated in the answer. Remind subjects to answer questions as if the answer was a stand-alone statement rather than an answer.

If you need to set up conflict right away, the best way to do it so is through the profile interviews. When you’re setting up questions, the first thing you need to do is to look at what kind of image you want to build. Base your questions on that image, and pen down the ideal response that you would want from your participant.

If the subject is comfortable in front of the camera, you can drive them to come as close to your ideal response as possible, and if they aren’t comfortable then even better for you! You have the perfect answer with you and all they need to do is say it out loud.

It’s important to keep profile packages short and sweet, so use on point footage that builds the subject’s image very quickly. Ask a varied range of questions, but remember to keep only the essential ones for the profile package.