Advertisement

Production Practices in the Filming of German Scripted Reality Shows

  • Daniel KlugEmail author
  • Axel Schmidt
Chapter

Abstract

Unlike traditional reality TV, scripted reality formats (prevalent on German TV) are based on fictional scripts that are acted out by amateur actors but shot and presented in the aesthetic style of documentary reality TV. Therefore, these shows combine fictional elements and factual elements to create so-called faction. This chapter explores the organizational structures, interactions, and production practices before and while filming scripted reality shows by using the example of the German show mieten, kaufen, wohnen (Rent, Buy, Live). We observed the shooting of an episode and conducted interviews with the production staff and the amateur actors and base our analysis on this data. Scripted reality productions aim to factualize the underlying fictional narrative by using specific production practices. For example, only one camera is used, which leads to multiple takes of the same scene, as the scenes are not shot in chronological documentary order; or dialogues take place within predefined interactions, however, they are free individual adaptations of the script. This requires the directors to monitor and guide the amateur actors through the loosely written script while also attempting to create a meaningful story. We analyze the decisions, actions, and practices on set to illustrate the specific paradigm of creating faction in scripted reality shows from a screen production perspective. Finally, we compare the production process to the narrative structure of the actual broadcast episode to analyze the transfer of production strategies into the televisual product.

References

  1. Banks, M., Conor, B., & Mayer, V. (Eds.). (2016). Production Studies, the Sequel! Cultural Studies of Global Media Industries. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Caldwell, J. T. (2008). Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television. London: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chalaby, J. (2015). Drama without Drama: The Late Rise of Scripted TV Formats. Television & New Media, 17(1), 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Feuer, J. (2015). ‘Quality’ Reality and the Bravo Media Reality Series. Camera Obscura, 30(1), 185–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goffman, E. (1974). Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. London: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  6. Goffman, E. (1981). Footing. In E. Goffman (Ed.), Forms of Talk (pp. 124–159). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  7. Hill, A. (2007). Restyling Factual TV: Audiences and News in Documentary and Reality Genres. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hill, A. (2015). Reality TV. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Holmes, S., & Jermyn, D. (2004). Introduction. In S. Holmes & D. Jermyn (Eds.), Understanding Reality Television (pp. 1–32). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Kavka, M. (2012). Reality TV. Edinburgh: University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kavka, M. (2015). Sex on the Shore: Care and the Ethics of License in Jersey Shore. Camera Obscura, 30(1), 101–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kerr, P. (1997). “F for Fake?” Friction over Faction. In A. Goodwin & G. Whannel (Eds.), Understanding Television (pp. 74–87). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Klug, D. (2016). Die Herstellung von Scripted Reality-TV – eine Analyse von Praktiken und Realitätsauffassungen der Produzierenden. In D. Klug (Ed.), Scripted Reality: Fernsehrealität zwischen Fakt und Fiktion. Perspektiven auf Produkt, Produktion und Rezeption (pp. 125–186). Baden-Baden: Nomos.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Klug, D., & Schmidt, A. (2014). Scripted Reality-Formate im deutschsprachigen Fernsehprogramm. Trinationale Programmanalyse und Konzeption einer kombinierten Produkt- und Produktionsanalyse. Studies in Communication Science, 14(2), 108–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mayer, V., Banks, M., & Caldwell, J. T. (Eds.). (2009). Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Roscoe, J., & Hight, C. (2001). Faking It: Mock-Documentary and the Subversion of Factuality. Manchester: University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Szostak, S. (2016). Fiction TV Formats in Poland – Why Bother to Adapt? In A. Esser, I. Smith, & M. Bernal-Merino (Eds.), Media across Borders: Localizing TV, Film and Video Games (pp. 167–182). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Turner, G. (2010). Ordinary People and the Media: The Demotic Turn. London: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of MannheimMannheimGermany

Personalised recommendations