Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reality TV is Lazy, Let's Make Better TV

Reality TV, it's everywhere, and almost unavoidable when you sit down to watch TV.  There is some obsession among TV networks to produce very cheap (and at this point) uncreative television.  Why not cheapen the production of the shows to bring in more ad revenue?  Sure, I admit that makes sense when running a business, but in the entertainment industry I find it just plain lazy.  I mean most people wouldn't want to eat low grade food would they?  Why watch low grade TV?

Anyway, I find reality TV to be lazy because most of it isn't "real" it's made up or edited to seem more exciting than it actually is.  A lot of it is also filled with shots of random locations.  I've seen a few of those "housewives" shows, and noticed a lot of filler, but I pretty much consider a lot of those shows "filler" in a way.  Don't get me wrong, but most people's lives' aren't at all interesting.  Hell, I've been home all day not really doing anything, and I just randomly decided to start this blog.  Not much is going on with me.  A show about me would be pretty boring if a network didn't pay me to do interesting things or at least edit footage of me typing this blog to "O Fortuna".

Then again, this can make taking a dump even seem epic.

I'm not saying all reality TV is bad though because there are a few decent ones.  One that comes to mind is "Deadliest Catch".  Unlike those "housewives" shows or "The Jersey Shore" the people on this particular program are actually doing productive, hard, and interesting work.  They might edit in some extra tension before commercial breaks and use some music, but they don't seem to over use it.  I can respect a reality show that has a sort of documentary style feel to it because that seems more realistic.

My idea on how to fix it.

Now there has to be some sort of budget used in the production of these shows.  People who already have a decent amount money are getting paid to have a camera crew follow them around, and the producers and camera crew are as well and they use minimal creativity or original (most of the time).

If I were a network executive I would look to the student filmmakers or hobbyists that have the ability to produce high quality dramas, comedies, cartoons, etc. and give them the budget of some reality shows and see what they turn out.  There are plenty of people on the Internet who can produce great, entertaining, and unique stuff with relatively low budgets (some higher and lower than others).  I think it would be a great way for people to get their work out there in a more mainstream manner than they wouldn't normally have the opportunity for.

Some examples of people I'd like to see have their careers advance in the entertainment industry...

Well CorridorDigital has been around for awhile so they have a pretty damn decent footing on the Internet, but I just wanted to show an example of what is possible when people with real honed skills produce videos with a low budget.  They also run a great web series through a separate channel.  It's called SYNC.
I should also add that these lower budget productions also feature "unknown" actors in them, and if these were brought into the main stream it would help them out as well.  Hey, this idea of mine could help create some jobs.  There would be more of a demand and an appreciation for everyone taking part in these productions.  Plus real original, well-made, and entertaining content is always better.

Anyway, moving on...

Okay. Now the acting isn't the greatest, but I'm not really concerned about that because everything else about this is so great.  Brettsk8 isn't as well know as CorridorDigital (above) so they probably have an even lower budget and a bit less experience which makes this even more impressive.  (Keep in mind this video is from 2010, so I'm sure he has gotten even better at his art from the more recent videos I have seen.)  This is probably one of the best examples of a low budget production I have found so far.

I should mention a lot of these I find use post-apocalyptic settings.  I kind of compare this idea to old westerns.  It makes things cheaper to use this as the setting.  Just find abandoned buildings and deserted places and you're good to go.

Moving on...

I love everything about this; it's so stylish and the acting/writing is great.  It's amazing this doesn't have far more views on YouTube than it currently does.  I don't think I can explain it.  You'll just have to watch it for yourself.

Some more...

I have only just found this recently, and damn I think this looks like it could be great.  Too bad it's not out yet.  They have an ongoing "behind the scenes" series which I think is great because it shows how they do it.


I was trying to avoid "fan-made" series, but this one is great.  This shows how great "crowd funded" productions can be. This series started after they made a short film by the same name and it became a very popular web series based on Fallout: New Vegas.  Season one is complete and you can watch it on YouTube.   After a very successful Kickstarter campaign this series will be back for a second season with an even bigger budget and hopefully an even better story.

These are just some of the best of what I've found and have followed, but there are many others out there.  You just have to go and find them.  I'll start looking for some more series and start reviewing them and bringing them to your attention, so that these filmmakers can get the recognition they deserve.

FYI:  I do NOT claim to own any of the embed or linked videos, information, media, etc. on this site.  I'm just linking them to enlighten audiences to their existence.  That's all I am doing.  Think of this as a review site. (Just being safe.)