Millions of people around the world love to watch reality television. We sit down once a week to watch the antics, drama, and silly moments presented to us by different network channels around the world. We get to sneak a peek into the lives of celebrities and everyday human beings as they go about their days. However, is that really what we are doing?
Perhaps you are aware that reality TV isn't quite what it seems. Perhaps you know that not everything you see on an episode happens exactly as it played out on your television screen. That is a great start to recognizing the fact that reality TV as it is called is not reality. Many times, the shows are scripted to add the drama factor to an otherwise peaceful moment in time. In addition, footage can be edited to changes how things played out between different cast members. Let us look at a few different techniques producers and editors use to create reality TV that has us on the edge of our seats each and every week.
A shooting script is an outline that details aspects of an episode or part of the show. Directors will give the filmers specific places to shoot while capturing footage for certain scenes or the entire show. They know which spots in The Bachelor house, for example, will pick up the juiciest footage: ahem, *cough, cough*, the bedroom, anyone? "Oooh, who is Timmy gettin' it on this week?! Didn't he just sleep with Tisha's best friend, Casey, last week? OHHHH, DRAAAAMAAAA. Girl, I gotta see what happens next week!"
Another thing that you may not know is that, while the cast members do not necessary get a script to follow, they may not be aware of everything that will happen on set to create hilarious spectacles for those watching at home. "For example, when a live skunk invaded the Daisy of Love set, that had nothing to do with the migration patterns of Burbank skunks. That was some terrified production assistant dropping a skunk out of a sack and running. However, the three men who beat it into a trash can with a pool cue while wearing their underpants ... that was real. Who could plan that? Who would plan that?"
Hand-Picking the Contestants
During auditions for these shows, producers will choose people that they know you will absolutely loooooove and those that you will despise to your core. Who doesn't love a good villain after all? They can see who thinks of themselves as a princess or God's greatest gift to the world. They can see who seems like a kind, caring individual that tries to keep the peace. Anyone who has seen The Jersey Shore has seen parts of Angelina's audition tape. She seemed so stuck up and snotty there that it is no wonder everyone else in the house disliked her and that she was gone for Season 2. That being said, it made you want to tune in and see what ridiculous sentences would come out of her mouth and if she ever got her ass kicked for being that way.
"I've never heard of that term," you may mention to yourself. Guess what? Neither did I until I started doing some research for this myTake. The term comes from mixing the words "Frankenstein" and "soundbite" together.
"Frankenbites come into being when, for whatever reason, content creators make a mashup of soundbites that never existed together in their original form. Sometimes in order to make a character say what the producers want to hear, editors and story producers will grab a phrase here, a word there, and cobble together a brand new thought."
Now why would editors do that? It all goes back to creating drama and excitement on reality television shows. Some days on set, there may be hours worth of footage that is not interesting on its own. As a result, bits and pieces of what people on the show talk about will be tweaked or simply changed to create an incident or crisis to get the viewers more vested in what they are watching. They also do this to cut out filler or bland parts of whatever has been taped.
Even after all of that, keep in mind that reality television is not always fake and does have plenty of real moments. However, not everything is as it seems. Those filming, editing, and supervising those shows know exactly what their audience will eat up and what will keep us coming back for more.
Share your opinions below! What reality TV shows do you watch? Do you know what is scripted and what isn't? How much do you actually believe is real? :)