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Reality Check

Book Description

Do you have a concept for a reality TV show, but aren't sure about the next steps? Loaded with practical, step-by-step advice on the art and business of reality TV producing, and featuring insights from Mark Burnett, Dick Clark, and other top producers, Reality Check takes you from idea to...reality! At age 13, Michael Essany launched a lowly cable access TV talk show from his parents' basement in Valparaiso, Indiana. Fast forward to 2001, and Michael had turned his little talk show, The Michael Essany Show, into a multimillion-dollar project that quickly became one of the most talked about reality television shows. If Michael can do it, so can you. But be prepared for a lot of hard work and a few reality checks. This book includes compelling advice on how to:

* Better understand the nature, complexities, and potential of the reality genre
* Physically produce original reality programming
* Get past the gatekeepers and deliver quality pitches to major networks and production companies
* Legally protect yourself, your work, and your intellectual property
* Learn from glories and the gaffes of those who toiled before you
* Utilize the internet and other multimedia outlets to create and generate revenue from reality programming
* Avoid the professional pitfalls of the reality TV industry
* Parlay reality television projects into a successful and enduring career

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Author Bio
  7. Foreword
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Introduction
  10. 1. Welcome to Reality
    1. Documentary Reality
    2. Competition Reality
    3. Celebrity Reality
    4. Personal Improvement and Makeover Reality
    5. Renovation and Design Reality
    6. Professional Reality
    7. Forced Environment Reality
    8. Romance Reality
    9. Aspiration Reality
    10. Fear-Based Reality
    11. Sports Reality
    12. Undercover Reality
    13. In Conclusion
  11. 2. Reality’s Long Reel
    1. The Ordinary Star is Born
    2. Regurgitated Reality
  12. 3. From Fantasy to Reality
    1. Waking Up to Reality
    2. Down the Beaten Path
    3. If you Build it, they will come
    4. An Unwanted Reality
  13. 4. Facing Reality
    1. Taking a Swing at the Pitch
    2. Developing the Pitch
    3. Making your Pitch Stick
  14. 5. The Show and Tell of Reality TV
    1. New Portals to Stardom
    2. Straight to Video
    3. Ditching the Disclaimer
  15. 6. Producing Reality
    1. Planning “Unplanned” Television
    2. Putting the Pieces together
    3. Production Basics
  16. 7. Where Ethics and Reality Collide
    1. Walking the Reality TV Plank
    2. Baptism by Fire
    3. The Ethics Checklist
    4. Pushing and Shoving the Limits
    5. Meeting Mr. Murphy
  17. 8. The Ugly Reality
    1. The Dangerous Dotted Line
    2. Fear Factor
    3. Personalized Protection
  18. 9. Fit for Reality
    1. Fit for Duty
    2. The Right Stuff for Reality TV
  19. 10. Living Reality
    1. Beware of the Energy-Sucking Idiot
    2. Bend it Like Burnett
  20. 11. Reality Baggage
    1. Reality Television: The Flapdoodle of Modern Broadcasting
    2. What’s so Bad about Reality Tv?
    3. Carry-on Baggage
  21. 12. Random Secrets of the Reality Trade
    1. Skip the “Where.” Get to Work
    2. Buy Low. Sell High
    3. Become a Production Intern
    4. The IMDB Factor
    5. Build a Digital Résumé
    6. Cracking the Email Code
    7. Watch Critically
  22. 13. Avoiding the Reality Drive-Through
    1. The Juggling Act
    2. The $60 Battle Plan
    3. Talking the Talk
    4. An Emergent Trend
  23. 14. Making Sense of Reality
    1. Where We’ve been. Where you’re Going
    2. Something Borrowed, Something New
    3. Lots of Eggs in Lots of Baskets
    4. Life’s a Pitch
    5. Homemade Reality Tv
    6. Power of Attorney
    7. The Dirty Work
    8. Cultivating a Career
    9. Youniversal Reality
  24. Glossary of TV Production Terms
  25. Index