Big Plans: FOUNDATION - Media Arts - Elaborate3

Big Cuz and Little J are very excited that Sissy is coming to play with them over the weekend. They both see Sissy as their special friend. Big Cuz wants to play a ‘Sisters Only’ talent quest just for she and Sissy, and Little J plans an obstacle course for all to play. Eventually, Little J, Big Cuz and Sissy come together to test their skills on the obstacle course.

Elaborate - Create and present media artworks that communicate ideas and stories to an audience

Theme - GENRE

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 6 ‘Big Plans’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about producing a Reality television – Game Show.

Remind students of some of the story elements particular to this genre of television production:

  1. Characters: real people, volunteer contestants, presenter/host - not actors
  2. Setting: on location, sometimes in an exotic location
  3. Story: real, unscripted, factual stories, narratives of the volunteers
  4. Sound: voice, location, music
  5. Framing: multiple cameras recording the action from different angles, lots of post-production editing
  6. Audience: live and interactive

Little J designed his own obstacle course and reality show called ‘Brave J’s Outback Adventures’, where he was the host/compere of the show and explained the challenges confronting the contestants to the audience.

Three groups of people are usually involved in producing television game shows.

  1. The contestants: selected by audition, must be able to perform (and have a sad story to tell the judges why they need to win)
  2. The location crew: the compere/host, trainers, medical staff, etc.
  3. The production crew: director, camera person/s, sound recordist, prop artist, make-up artist, and safety person, etc.

Divide the class into separate production teams, each working on a separate reality Game Show.

Each production team must list the jobs that need to be completed by the team, allocate roles to its group members, and sequence the actions for their production so everyone is aware of the order of the contestants, and of the scenes in the show.

Every student should have a role to play in the production.

Among the tasks to be done, each production team needs to:

  1. Storyboard the story arc, as well as the timing and sequence of scenes.
  2. Include opening titles, music theme, host introduction, synopsis of the show, introduction of contestants, length of performances, audience appreciation (sound of clapping and canned laughter), end of show judging, the announcement of the winner/s, the trophy presentation, closing music and credits.
  3. Select the ‘actors’, including those playing the Host and their assistant/s, the contestants (as the characters and their background story), and their expression (voice, gesture, etc.), and the audience (level of interaction)
  4. Design and construct: the costumes and make-up, the set with the obstacles, and other necessary props; and develop a plan where the set/obstacle course is staged and where the audience is positioned to view the competition;
  5. Allocate production equipment (real or imaginary) and production roles: such as a video camera, IPad, or mobile phone; check sound and light levels; develop a camera framing plan of different shots of the set and characters, etc.
  6. Investigate and learn from how other television shows of this reality genre have been produced, e.g. The Great Race, Survivor, Extreme Ninja, etc.

Impress on students to rehearse each segment of the show (the beginning, the middle and the end) to make sure everyone in the team is aware of the process before production starts.

After the show has been produced, each student should evaluate their part in the production, and recommend how the team could work together more effectively for future productions.

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