Five ways of not doing a reality show

Frank and Pete are very good friends. Pete is a television director, owner of a television production company specializing in advertising spots. Frank is a journalist, who used to be the anchor in television programs.

After they decided to join forces to create a television program, with a noble purpose, to obtain financial help for low-income people, who need some surgery to correct or alleviate some bone trauma. This serious surgery is financed by a renowned public figure, who would assume all the medical costs. In turn, he would cede the rights to use his image, within the context of the program, to encourage the recruitment of prominent figures like him, so that the aid circuit can be sustained over time.

At the beginning everything starts to take shape, they get in contact with a leading trauma doctor who agrees to collaborate in executing the surgeries and helping to find the most desperate cases of people who need help. On the other hand, they get the help of an athlete who is more than enthusiastic enough to help, because he, being of humble origin, knows well the difficulties that many go through in cases of this type.

Once everything is ready, we proceed to the shooting, which is carried out with some other setback. A contact is made by video conference between the athlete and the patient, a sweet old woman of more than 70 years. From both places the meeting is filmed, moving and happy. The following phases are fully executed, surgery procedure, post-surgery and complete recovery of the patient.

While the phases are being executed, the assembly of the shots is started, a lot of material, audio synchronization with video, because it was filmed in film style, with separate audio and video. Good digital cinema format, great lighting, excellent staging, every detail has been taken care of with care and professionalism.

Once assembled, the program comes to life, its own music is composed for the program, the preliminary body is assembled to be taken to the search of a distributor that helps the sale of the program, and there the problems begin. The idea is fantastic, but it does not seem to break anyone, everyone is moved but nobody wants to buy or finance the program.

Frank and Pete meet, review from top to bottom, and try to fill in the gaps, shoot new scenes and re-present the program. There is no success, there is no one who wants it. Different reasons are considered such as the fact that it is centered in a single country, that if the first patient should be a child, that there are still empty arguments that are not being appreciated within the story, but nobody can define what the problem is real.

Taking up the background, these friends are great professionals, everyone in your area. What has happened, why all this effort does not seem to bear fruit. Something has faile, and apparently is not in sight.

Frank being a journalist, manages an enviable network of contacts, there is almost no one who is not within reach of a call from his personal phone, Pete, on the other hand, has put at the service of the show the state of the art in technology and personnel for technical production.
When they began filming, they did so by keeping a reliable record of the events, and they documented virtually every important event that occurred. And there is one of the first mistakes, they documented, they did not create a story. Because at first they decided to build the program as a documentary, it was never intended as a reality show.

Each shot was staged genuinely, a very professional doctor, a very grateful and optimistic patient, so optimistic that it did not create the slightest doubt, there was absolutely no anguish for the result, there are no risks, everything is predictable, the result is known in advance, therefore there is no history.
Due to budget limitations, when this project started, they did not hire the services of a television producer. Whom could have helped, on the fly, to take care of filling the gaps that became evident after the editing.

When the editing begins, it is done without having a specific script, a guide that would allow structuring a style, that would help to have a rhythm and personality that would hook the viewer.
The short budget did not collaborate to give more prominence to the sponsor, who was playing abroad, leaves a little footprint in the story. Taking into account that it would be in your interest to follow up on the evolution of your patient.

Taking into account that it would be in your interest to follow up on the evolution of your patient.
Our friend Frank, having been little less than part of the star system of television journalism, could not give in to the temptation to see himself as a protagonist in the story, instead of being the link and narrator of the story for the audience that saw it.
What resulted in serious errors, such as wanting to induce interpretation of the images, with the help of voice over that described “anguished faces” when smiling faces were observed on the screen.


Having gathered these facts, we list the five mistakes made.
1. The intention is first, and this defines the way in which the images are presented, if you register a documentary, that is a story where you already know the end, but you recreate seeing the facts. There are no surprises, there is no history. You can not describe emotions that you do not see.
2. The absence of a television producer to help plan a budget adjusted to the objectives and thus be able to film while keeping history in shape.
3. The sponsor must have been someone much more accessible or geographically close, in order to appreciate a frequent interaction on the scene and evidence a genuine human concern, beyond the mere donation of money.
4. The absence of a continuity assistant helped to create gaps, scenes that were not shot, which contributed to the jumps in the events that were difficult to solve during editing.
5. The absence of artistic direction that helped to plan the creation of moments of anguish and the creation of an attractive visual pace.

At this time the program has not gotten support, it is unknown if it will find its way to be open to the audience of the masses. No matter what has been done in Latin America, the idea has validity in many other latitudes. It does not matter that they have started with an old woman, solidarity for the pain of others is universal, after all, we have all had a grandmother. But not being able to make these mistakes in advance has become a very costly mistake for Frank and Pete.

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