How is reality TV filmed

Reality TV

A certain genre of television programming is known under the term reality TV in this country, which has enjoyed great popularity since the 1990s. Reality TV has its origins in US television, where it was called Reality Based Stories for a long time. Behind it were stories that actually happened like this (or at least something like that). In most cases, the viewer was told everyday stories that were re-enacted with the help of actors. Not much has changed in this to this day - but with one small difference.

Reality TV subspecies

The term reality TV is no longer as specific as it was a few years ago: there are now a large number of these and similar formats, so that the basic characteristics of the genre between the individual programs are very difficult to pinpoint . Very good examples of this are the two new subgenres Reality Show and Scripted Reality. The reality show is a television show in which real people stand in the middle and have to solve various tasks in order to win them. A good example of this is the show “Big Brother”, but the popular “Jungle Camp” also falls into this category.

The latest genre with the name Scripted Reality, however, is almost a sham with regard to its name affix “Reality”: In the formats of this genre, which are mainly at home in private television, the viewer is told a story that apparently takes place in real life - Often these are family stories with partly outrageous events. The stories told here by amateur actors are by no means real, but are usually not even remotely based on real events. Instead, in the credits of scripted reality formats, there is often a hint that the complete story and all characters that appear in it are fictitious. This form of reality is still very popular with the audience because it suggests to them that they are close to a story. It is not uncommon for there to be significant disputes or confrontations with the police, which to a certain extent satisfies the spectators' greed for sensation.

Differences between reality TV and classic documentaries

Although reality TV is now mainly associated with scripted reality TV and reality TV shows, real reality TV formats are always broadcasts in which real events are either documented true to the underlying story or with the help of original film material - which makes reality TV extremely close to the documentary genre. In fact, it's not that easy to separate reality TV and documentaries from one another. An important criterion of the documentation, however, is that it is always a journalistic and at the same time non-fictional story. Special situations are specifically filmed in a documentary and then put together to make a film. In reality TV, on the other hand, it is not uncommon for the boundaries between documentation and fiction to merge. What is particularly striking about reality TV, however, is the fact that when the scenes shown are edited together, dramaturgical means such as background music to increase effects, unexpected twists or a happy ending are used - emotions such as anger or sadness are also very popular with the protagonists. In contrast to classic documentaries, reality TV formats can also be seen regularly (once or several times a week), which should create a sense of continuity in the viewer.