In this unit we have been told to make a television program in which we have to show off our presenting skills. The brief has given us a broad spectrum in which we can do this, ranging from a wacky quiz show to a serious journalism piece to reviewing lamps with our Nan.
The first thing that I thought it would be important to do would be to research into proposal presentations, so that when it came to me presenting my own idea, I knew exactly how to engage with the audience and use my words to put my own picture in their heads.
One source of information I used on to write a good proposal came from this website:
For a few of the points it would be redundant to add them into my own presentation due to the fact that it isn’t going to the head of a major television network, and the idea is all pretty hypothetical, so the likes of points like “Production Talent”, “On Screen Talent”, “Duration and number of episodes”, and “Ownership” are ones that I don’t think I have to worry too much about, but at the same time, they are handy to know if life’s unpredictable path leads me to creating a television show proposal for real.
In the introduction, the first bit of information you are given is that commissioners receive up to 80 proposals per week, and of those, only a small number will be read from start to finish – meaning that I have to make mine as interesting to read as possible, bearing in mind that the slightest inaccuracy or dribbling on (probably like I’m doing now) will make that person put it down instantly and move on to the next one.
The first point made is: “Your title can be the most important part of the proposal that doesn’t matter.”
Due to the fact that television listings can only go up to 40 characters, it is preferred if your title is short, yet at the same time, tells the audience, and more important at this point, the commissioner, what the show is about.
However, this rule is more flexible than others as it can change depending on which channel it is you are presenting to. The examples given are Channel 4 and BBC 3:
“The channels have ideas of their own too – so under Stuart Murphy, BBC3 titles were of the in-your-face variety such as, My Penis and Everyone Else’s, Fuck Off I’m a Hairy Woman. Similarly, Channel 4 likes titles with shock value – The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off.”
The title of my show will be “Idiot Box”, which is a plan on how a stereotypical member of the older generation will refer to the television, and the show is based around talking about people who we think are idiots on the “idiot box”.
I think it’s a good name because when you think of TV shows these days, you think of Netflix alongside the more traditional method. It also gives you the idea that there is some more adult humour.
The next point made is that I should “be upfront about what you’re pitching.”
This is important because some channels may favour one type of show to another – BBC Three will prefer comedies or documentaries aimed at young adults with slapstick humour rather than the deadpan, higher medium of comedy or more serious documentaries you will find on BBC Two.
My both of my ideas appealed to the audiences who prefer shows on BBC Two and Channel 4 such as “Alan Partridge”, due to the fact that they are mostly deadpan humour and also factual.
My idea is influenced majorly by “You Have Been Watching” which was shown on Channel 4, alongside it’s many other popular comedy quiz shows such as “Eight Out Of Ten Cats”, but it doesn’t share the quiz show element, and is basically just people sitting around discussing television shows they don’t particularly like/think are so bad that they find them interesting – For example of the latter, think of any Nicolas Cage film.
If I was creating these show for real, then the standard duration for this type of program would be in the 20-30 minute mark, however, because it is only a sting, I won’t be too concerned about how long it runs for. It would be better if it is only short as well because other people have to show their ideas in the class time too.
When it comes to presenting this television show, I will pretty much be playing myself, which means I will act and dress pretty casually because it is more of a casual, sitting around and talking show, rather than a formal quiz or news show. Because of the topics being covered the general style will be a mix of cynical and jokey and never totally serious.
When it comes to language, it is pretty much the same – because I plan the show to be on after the watershed, me and the guests are allowed to swear, albeit, within reason. The show is casual so I wouldn’t expect myself or the guests to speak formally either, unless that’s how they speak naturally.