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    Tips for producing/directing a reality show
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Medellin, Colombia
    Hello guys,

    I wonder if there is anybody here who has experience from producing or directing a reality show? Or if you've been on set on one, and you understand the setups etc.
    I ask because I would like to get some tips on producing/directing this format as I am possibly joining a project (an "unscripted" format, following a group of people in their lives). What are some things to have in mind in planning the show, what are some key requirements you would have to put on crew etc.

    I am not referring to issues such as scripting, show format, storyline etc, but rather concerning the crew as such, the practical issues, and which positions are absolutely necessary to hire. What would be a minimum crew? What can be some challenges that can show up on set due to this format etc.

    I have plenty of experience of filmmaking in general (producing, directing) but not of this specific format so I would just like to have some input.

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    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Byron Bay, Australia
    I've done a bit of reality and I'd say one indispensable position is a good story producer (or several good ones if you need to work around-the-clock). They will make sure that any developing plot-lines are identified and covered, and will let the director/camera ops know where to focus their attention. They will also make sure that the post-production team are finding and using the best content.

    A great audio mixer is also essential as they'll need to be juggling a lot of channels (often a lav mic for every single person, plus several ambient mics). If you miss some action on camera, the story can still be salvaged as long as you have the audio bites.

    One big challenge that can show up on set is crew/equipment appearing in shot. You need to decide whether or not this is an issue, and how it will be prevented if needed. (eg a BTS-type show might have no problem with 2nd camera op appearing in the edge of a shot, but a dating show would want to avoid this at all costs as it would break the illusion of privacy and romance).

    Beyond that, it's hard to say. "Reality" encompasses such a broad range that it is impossible to make any further judgements without knowing more about the exact format.
    Last edited by deltoidjohn; 02-15-2019 at 04:32 AM.
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