“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton “Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die.” – Joe Louis
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
This week the San Diego Filmmaker’s presentation was on the Realities of Reality TV with Ken Gora, CEO of Branded Entertainment. He began with the three quotes above. Ken is the producer, and one of the judges, behind So You Think You Can Sell and The Romance. With a background as a corporate head hunter and a PHd in psychology, he has used his skills to create a reality TV series to meet a different market need.
His first idea, for a VP sales contest later called So You Think You Can Sell, came to him in the middle of the night. The idea involved doing something good for the community, creating jobs, generating sales for local companies, and filming it. He contacted several people in the business for advice. Mark Cubin (Shark Tank) asked – how do you make sure you don’t get idiots who might cost the company in sales, screen out serial killers, and has it been done before on this scale?
Essentials to good Reality TV
- Is it a compelling storyline? – For So You Think You Can Sell, people would learn lessons on selling, strategies of marketing and see how people deal with success and failure.
- Determine a gap or need – While there are similar shows this would focus on local businesses and local people.
- Funding (product placement, corporate sponsor, investor, advertising) – 95% of the show was paid for organically (through product placement, advertising, sponsors and branding). As a local show, Ken was able to approach many smaller companies and demonstrate how the it would reach their audience. * Estimate $1k per minute to produce and edit a low budget reality TV show.
- Characters – The people need to be genuinely interesting, not the people willing to do anything just to be on television.
How does The Romance Fit the Essentials of Good TV?
Again, it will feature local people and businesses. People learn psychology behind dating and see how people deal with success and failure.
- Existing dating shows seemed false (The Bachelor, The Batchelorette, Millionaire Matchmaker,…). When dating do people really move into a mansion together? Do people really fly off to Bora Bora together on their second date? Is it really a good idea to marry someone after 29 episodes?Why does everyone look like a model? So by creating a show that is more realistic they hope to fill that gap.
- Funding will follow a similar model to So You Think You Can Sell plus he is looking at investors.
- By choosing choosing participants like a single mom who works as a whale trainer at Sea World, he expects to find the right balance of interesting characters.
An important aspect of finding funding for the program includes creating sponsor packages. Send an email to the VP of Marketing/Branding with information on:
- Who you are – a brief description
- What the show is – perhaps your elevator pitch
- What placement will do for a sponsor – with a channel 4 deal the show will air in 1.2 million households and will be syndicated for 1 year.