Reality Show Cast Do's And Don'ts
Reality Show Cast Do's And Don'ts
Richard Hall (Reality TV Producer) gives expert video advice on: How can a reality show cast member get more airtime?; How can a reality show cast member keep their sanity in extreme conditions?; If Im cast in a reality show how can I tell if Im being set up for a 'twist' ending? and more...
How can a reality show cast member get more airtime?
It's really not up to the reality show cast member to determine if they're going to get airtime or not. If they go into it thinking that they have their own little strategy in mind to get airtime, it may or may not work. Generally, the producers want to produce the reality show. They don't want the cast members to produce the show. Just be yourself and play the game. We'll take it from there.
How can a reality show cast member ensure they're portrayed well?
I would say that a cast member on a reality show just needs to be themselves. Don't worry about your portrayal. There's nothing you can really do to influence how you're going to look, other than just be real and give the responses that you would give. Don't try to edit yourself. If you try to act on a reality show, you really look odd. You probably won't make air or you will look even more stupid.
How can a reality show cast member keep their sanity in extreme conditions?
You've got to be a little crazy to go on a reality show to begin with. So on some level, you've just got to feed off the adrenaline of being in that whole situation. Even if you feel uncomfortable or if you feel like you're just stressed out or you're not enjoying it, when it's over, I'll promise you one thing: you'll probably miss it. Because where else would you ever be in your life where you would have all these really creative people around you so completely interested in everything that comes out of your mouth? When you go back to your home and whatever your non-reality-show-TV life is, chances are you'll be missing that attention.
Do reality show staffs keep in touch with cast members?
You do keep in touch with some reality show cast members. It happens a lot. You definitely keep in touch with some of the people that you've had on your shows. But it's never as intense as it is when you are actually doing the show.
What are the best strategies to use on a competition reality show?
I think the bigger question is this: a lot of reality shows that are very popular have been around for a long time, or the formula has been around for a long time with different show. So the people that come on reality shows these days, by and large, know the games. They know the strategies, they know what's worked before, they know what some of the twists might be. They're kind of ready for it. Let's say they've modeled their approach to the game the way they saw the last winner of Survivor do it, or something like that. The only problem with that is that the producers also watched that season. It's not like they're going to just trot out the same show again. So hopefully, if we're doing our show well and we're still going strong we will come up with ways to make it so that, yeah, you can be a savvy player, but it's still our ball in our court. We can still do whatever we want and we will change things just because we know that you're a savvy player. And that's part of the fun. It's a little chess match. It's fun. It's fun for the viewers, too.
Do reality shows misrepresent their cast members?
That is so classic. I don't think I've ever seen a reality show postmortem, from someone who didn't win or didn't look that good, where they didn't say, "Oh my god, it's the editors! It's the producers! They did this, and they lied!" You know what? Tough. I'm really sorry. I've heard one honest reality show contestant. It was someone who came off of Paradise Hotel and she was hilarious. She said: "Yes, they have to edit stuff down, yes, they take the good moments together. But we said those things and we did those things and there's no escaping those things because they're right there on camera. You can't really make someone what they're not."
How can a reality show cast member avoid being misinterpreted in an interview?
Being misinterpreted on a reality show is a matter of opinion, I'm sure. I mean, that's the subject of an issue I would think more than objective. If that's your concern, I would just let it go because, like I say, we don't need to really edit people a certain way, and the ability to do that is collimated anyway. You are what you are; the camera doesn't lie.
If Im cast in a reality show how can I tell if Im being set up for a 'twist' ending?
If you're cast in a reality show and you're worried about a twist or something that's going to catch you unawares, I would just say: sit back and enjoy the game and see what comes.
How do reality show post production editors differ from other TV editors?
What's happening in reality TV is because shooting and post-production often happen at the same time. They have editors, of course, to edit the videotape. But they also have super editors, who are given much more authority to put the story together, because they're the ones who are going to spend the time actually seeing all the tape, seeing all the coverage, more so than the producers. The producers may not have time to edit the reality show. The story producers may be out picking up their next interview.