Further reading- http://www.tvformats.com/formats.html
Last week I asked you to consider this – What are the essential ingredients of an entertainment format?
TV formats are made up of a “kit of parts”, these are the key elements that make the format work. All TV game shows, quizzes and entertainment formats are made this way. Producers spend a long time in development taking apart the format and rebuilding it until they are sure that it works (and if they are cash lucky a pilot or pilots will help them in this process). This ensures that the time spent in the studio is efficient and that the production runs smoothly. This might seem a rather restrictive and prescribed way to make telly but I would argue that there are (small) places for chaos or spontaneity in a format. For example when a contestant wins the big prize, when a celebrity does something unexpected or when the audience gets involved.
Today TV schedules are dominated by formats because they easy to make, can be bulk ordered and most importantly audiences have a huge appetite for them. Why? Well because these formats tap into one or more of the following; our love of winning (particularly if for a big money prize or if beating a baddie), big named celebrities and a good laugh (and natter).
Today we will be analysing 3 different types of entertainment formats looking for their key elements and reasons for success.
So what are THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF A BIG HITTING FORMAT?
On Thursday 13th October BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Editor, Duncan Jones came to visit to talk about the radio brief “Undiscovered Coventry”.
He told us about the BBC local radio remit; Local radio is for people interested in the local area – local news, sports, events and issues. BBC Coventry and Warwickshire’s output is 60% speech, 40% music. It has a set music playlist that is different to Radio One, Touch FM and Mercia FM and is aimed at an audience aged 40+.
Next year is a big year for Coventry. As an Olympic city it will get a lot of international attention! Also the World Shakespeare Festival in April – putting entertainment at the front of the station’s agenda.
Radio’s strength is it’s immediacy, reactivity and easy production. Telly is much more complicated and takes ages to make!
Duncan’s top tips for making your artefact;
1. Find something to say that people will be surprised about.
2. Be clear on the point of your story. What do you want the listener to get out of it. What is your aim?
3. Make it interesting – keeping a balance between the story and your creative ideas.
4. Paint pictures with words. There is no limit to the pictures you can create on radio.
5. The intro should tease the listener. The outro should point to further information (eg website, blog etc)
Duncan will be back to feedback on your work in December.
Name the last 3 programmes you watched on telly?
X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Loose Women, Gok’s Clothes Roadshow, Deal or No Deal, Question of Sport, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Weakest Link, The Million Pound Drop, Family Fortunes, Come Dine with Me, and so on…..
If you watch telly, you watch formats.
TV formats are an essential staple of all TV schedules. Get the IDEA right and you can make your fortune on telly.
So what do academics say about formats? This explanation of formats here should give you a good idea of why they are a very important part of our TV landscape today.
“In their highly competitive national television markets, broadcasters increasingly look for ‘sure shot’, ‘quick fit’, and ‘hit’ solutions – television formats provide them with a solution. Formats cost less time and money to produce than to create original shows and they have usually proven their ratings worth in more than one television market before being brought to be sold. Besides getting the broadcasters the required viewing figures and hence high advertising revenues, formats also have a high potential for merchandising, multimedia games, phone-in revenue and other brand extensions. These additional revenue streams further increase the allure of formats for broadcasters. This is evidenced by the huge sums of money broadcasters are prepared to pay in various territories or markets for a license or option to an original successful format. The license fees alone for a successful format can cost broadcasters in Western Europe up to £30,000 for 20 to 30 episodes (of 1 hour duration) for one season!”http://tvformats.bournemouth.ac.uk/overview.html
HOMEWORK – for next week 20th October
Watch this…..why is Deal or No Deal an internationally successful format? What are this show’s essential ingredients. Make sure you think about this on your blog before next week’s lecture.
Be INSPIRED – make sure you are watching and analysing one from each box each week.
|Who Wants to Be a MillionaireMastermind
The Weakest Link
A Question of Sport
|Just a Minute – Radio 4
I’m sorry I haven’t a clue – Radio 4
The News Quiz – Radio 4
Whose Line is it Anyway
|Have I Got News For You
8 out of 10 Cats
Never Mind the Buzzcocks
|Come Dine with Me
Mr and Mrs
Deal or No Deal
Welcome to 262MC Formats Production.
This module has been designed to give you a feel for what it’s like to produce TV and Radio productions for broadcast.
Be ready to be busy. You will be learning new radio skills, developing your tv skills and creating original programming formats.
Immerse yourself in radio and tv – watch and listen to everything you can.
Break down the programmes you hear and see
– really listen carefully to them and spend time working out their essential ingredients
– how do they make you feel,
– what it is that makes them work, (the presenter, the music, the set, the contestants, the subject matter etc)
– what devices are being used to move the programme along,
and CRUCIALLY what is about the programme that makes them appreciated by audiences.