05 March, 2008

Reality TV

One good thing about the user generated content (UGC) phenomenon is that you are in effect seeing what people can be like. Although, of course, videos of people doing nice things for each other don't tend to show up as often. I suppose it's just too boring, just as our scripts would be if everyone was nice all the time without any conflict.

I never used to watch these clips but I'm being drawn in slowly and rather than writers being scared of reality TV maybe we should embrace it.

Watching UGC clips might seem like procrastination but actually it's practising creating characters and stories.
It is.

Watching some of them, you can't help think about what's going to happen next after the clip has finished. What were the consequences?


With this one, what story would you tell? The boy should be easy to identify with but what about his family? What are their motivations? They need to be given one. What happens an hour later? A day later? Remember that after it's happened, they post it on YouTube with no remorse. Maybe that's a clue, they wanted fame.

Because of a similar experience my version of the story would be dark but if you invent a back-story where the kid is the king of cruel practical jokes and this is revenge, then the scene would be funny.

Game Show

Putting aside what this show says about us as a society in the 21st century, can you get into the head of all the participants and understand their motivations? Can you imagine the hour after? The day after?

Where would you start the story? My first thought is to start with the game show and then flash back to the couple having money problems and applying to be on the show. It's my first thought because that's how everyone does it but maybe that's the best way. What happens next? Again this is about our own experiences and where we are now. Is she the goodie or the baddie? Do you go hopeful or pessimistic? Romantic or realistic? Etc or etc.


Lucy said...

An excellent point Robin and the reason I watch shows such as X Factor. They do a remarkable job of crafting CHARACTERS out of a multitude of contestants, most of them unlikable or boring in real life, plus they give them an arc to travel and thus make the audience ROOT for them.

Robin Kelly said...

Yes, the journey the contestants take can be as important as their talent.