Who owns a TV show in the land of unscripted television? Like it or not, when it comes to documentary series, reality TV, true crime, and anything else that is considered “unscripted” — the owner is not usually the producer (not in America, anyway. Europe is different.) Just like us, you may spend months or years developing a project. But when it finally gets to air, someone else (the network, a studio, or a combination of both) will more than likely take all or most of the ownership. They’ll profit from selling the show around the world, merchandising, and more. You’ll be hired to work on the show, receive on-screen credit, but likely share in no profits, or none worth speaking of. To many (including us when we first started) this is hard to swallow. So why does it work this way? Should you allow someone else to own the show you develop? And what options do you have if you absolutely want to be the one who owns a TV show? We’ve got your answers… [Read more…]
Make Reality TV Podcast
The reality TV podcast to help you create, pitch, sell, and produce reality television shows and documentary series – Producing Unscripted.
We’re Joke and Biagio, and we make reality TV shows, documentaries, and factual programming for a living. These days we have over 100 hours of film and television under our belts, but we remember how impossible it seemed to break in when we were two kids living in our one-bedroom apartment.
We started this podcast to teach you the nuts-and-bolts of making reality TV, but more importantly, to give you a path to pitch your projects to us.
Enjoy the podcasts below, and hope we get to work together soon!
Just a tiny bit over four years ago this site launched with its very first podcast episode. To be honest, we didn’t know if anyone would listen, or be interested in learning the nuts and bolts of unscripted television, documentary series, and reality TV. [Read more…]
“Deep Dive” True Crime Series – you’ve seen them. The Jinx. Making a Murderer. Our own upcoming CNN/HLN series, Unmasking a Killer, is also a deep dive. How do these series work? How can you develop true crime series like these? And why do these types of series come with far more responsibility than others? Today we share five crucial tips you need to know. Plus…where we’ve been for the last two months. [Read more…]
Shalandra Champ is more than just one of our favorite cast members from Beauty and the Geek. She’s a working mom, a fearless go-getter, and as of now…officially a “Beauty” turned “Geek!” Today she shares the truth about life after being a reality TV star, and so much more. Listen in on a spirited, intimate conversation as we relive some moments from season four of Beauty and the Geek. Plus Shalandra, a.k.a. “Shay” offers some advice anyone, anywhere can use. This ep is a lot of fun – and you’ll find it surprisingly useful! [Read more…]
TV Network Executives: the elite group that filmmakers and producers wish to meet, hope to pitch, and pray will fund their projects. For some, they seem to be mysterious, god-like figures who can make dreams come true. To others, they seem a closed-door group impossible to access. Today, Paul Croce is here to shed light on this seemingly all-powerful profession, and give you real tips and truths about TV network executives. We wish someone had told us these secrets fifteen years ago. It’s awesome to have Paul share them with you today. [Read more…]
Producing documentaries sounds alluring or terrifying. It depends on where you’re sitting. Today, we’re sitting with Sundance fellow and TV producer Amanda Spain. Amanda is one of those rare people who’s managed to bring her talents to both the doc and unscripted TV worlds. As a seasoned filmmaker and newly minted Sundance fellow, she has strong opinions about producing documentaries. She also offers priceless advice and take-aways for aspiring producers and seasoned documentarians alike. If you’ve ever thought about producing documentaries, today’s post and podcast episode are for you. [Read more…]
Dana Golder is one of the biggest casting directors in reality TV. Just some of her credits include The Biggest Loser, The Amazing Race, and Cash Cab. We’ve been lucky enough to work with her on Beauty and the Geek, Scream Queens, Ghost Inside My Child, and Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne. Today, Dana is giving you priceless tips on casting just about every kind of reality TV show and documentary series you could imagine. From finding great real people to talking to them and and determining if they would be great TV, Dana is teaching you how to cast reality TV. Priceless! [Read more…]
Mickey Ramos is not only a terrific, prolific TV producer who survived an attack by over 600 killer bees while filming Naked and Afraid. She’s also the voice of Kenny’s girlfriend on South Park (how cool!) Plus, she’s dealt with some of the most difficult situations you can imagine in reality TV and documentary series. Today, she not only shares some of the craziest behind-the-scenes stories we’ve ever heard, but offers you exclusive tips on breaking into showbusiness and making better TV. [Read more…]
The Hollywood Notes Process: also known as “collaboration” to some and “notes hell” to others. Today, on episode 87 of Producing Unscripted we’re thrilled to be joined by Troy DeVolld, TV Producer extraordinaire and best-selling author. His new book is about the notes process in Hollywood. Today he gives you incredible free advice on surviving and thriving when you’re faced with an avalanche of notes. Getting notes might be confusing, helpful, or soul-sucking. Regardless, the notes process is something you’ll deal with on every project you ever make…from YouTube videos to network TV series. So spend a little time with Troy today and learn…to rock the notes process! [Read more…]