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Old September 20th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #1
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Looking for a "reality tv" workflow

I'm about to start a huge (for me) project, about 200 hours of tape. To avoid reinventing the wheel, I was wondering if anyone had any info on how big projects get screened and editted. People automatically groan when they hear Reality TV, but that is probably the workflow most comparable to what I need. Lots of questionable footage to be reviewed, cataloged and made accessible for the edit.

Right now I'm capturing tapes. I've designed a workflow that I feel will do it but am keeping it hush for now since I want to see what people say (plus I'm told it's too complex :P.)

Any insight on how the reality shows get cut are appreciated. Thanks :)
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Old September 20th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #2
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Well, you definitely have your work cut out for you. If you have the budget, I would highly recommend having a post house log the tapes for you unless you have alot of extra time on your hands. The typical 30 minute (22 minutes of program) shows that I have worked on take about 2 weeks to complete but that's with a staff of loggers, writers, producers, off-line and then on-line editors with 24 hour post facilities. I have been told that the average cost is around $50K-$60K to produce the whole thing from shooting to completion.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 01:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info James :)
I'd love to hire it out, but can't afford it, and would rather have the "experience", heh.

Also, hindsight 20/20, I found a couple workflow threads
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...light=workflow
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...=workflow+edit

Although I think my question still applies since I've had an interest in how the rtv shows go together. From what James says, it sounds like mostly simple work, just a lot of people helping on it!
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Old September 20th, 2005, 01:34 PM   #4
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I wouldn't call it simple but the reason that it gets done fast and efficiently is because of the amount of talented people. I don't know what your content is but shows that are carried soley by the cast like "Real World" and not by narration are typically more difficult to cut because you have to make do with what you're presented with and not a scripted narration to cut video to. However, more often than you think, cast members are asked "can you do or say that again" to get the original context of what they did or said just like the producer wants it for a better storyline and easier editing. I produced, shot and edited a show for cable just like COPS on FOX and that was the best experience I could have ever had about learning how to shoot for the edit and create a story. Now, that's a show that you can't ask, "can you do that again", if you miss it, it's gone! I did however, have to hollywood some of the intros, just as the real show does, to the calls after the fact because of how fast they initially went down but that's fine because they are generic. You can see every episode of my show at the site below.

As far as a work flow, I like cutting my own footage mostly because I have a running storyboard in my head and I am shooting for the edit. This makes it so much easier in post as I already know where everything is on the tape and roughly how it will assemble. I haven't ever really logged or loaded footage into bins or created an EDL. Those are extra steps that I have never found a need for. I just load all footage that I know I'll need and start cutting.

www.taskforce.tv

Last edited by James Emory; September 21st, 2005 at 10:40 AM.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 09:22 AM   #5
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Thanks again for the inside info!
I completely agree with narrated shows being easier to do. I'd like to avoid that in my project (it's a movie making-of doc) but will likely be having cast and crew in for "Hollywood interviews" so I have something to move the on set footage with. The narration-less stuff is always amazing though (the making-of for Terror Firmer is a two hour backstage delight, entirely shot on set with no talkover).

I'm going to have to review and bin this project. Wasn't really shooting for the edit back then, as I was very inexperienced with shooting/editing and, although I have some ideas, I'm still not entirely sure how the show should play out. Plus the footage is madly varied, anything from one on one interviews to triple-angle special effect tests to hotel parties after shoots. It'll be fun seeing what I can get out of it.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 09:29 AM   #6
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The shows that are carried by the cast and not dedicated narration are sometimes done with what are called OTFs (on the fly) interviews, or formal interviews for bios, updates, backstories, how it was done, or the latest dirt on other cast members, etc.. You'll need one or the other.
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