Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 secrets behind successful tv formats - no 9

Continuing the series...

9. Steal a little, but not too much

Some call it inspiration. Some call it "being influenced by..". I call it necessary.

Well, unless you have been living under a rock for the best part of your life, you have probably seen some television programs at some point. And since what has once been seen cannot be unseen, what you've seen will probably influence you in one way or another.

But be sure to do it in the right way! Watch lots of shows a bit or a lot like the idea you are working on. See which solutions work, and which don't. Make note of the things you would change, do better, see more of or less of. Go back to these shows when you get stuck in your own project.

And, when looking at other shows, make sure you're looking at the right things. For example, you should not get stuck on the fact that "Millionaire" has a blue lighting rigged - that's not important. But perhaps you would instead note how they've avoided any close-ups of the people in the audience - or rather, their faces? Probably just to avoid getting someone yawning in the background, and focus on the competing person, but pretty neatly done nevertheless.

Bottom line - don't steal. Inspiration and fresh ideas, that's a whole different ballpark.

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