Greenlit: Developing Factual TV Ideas from Concept to Pitch: The Professional Guide to Pitching Fact

Greenlit: Developing Factual / Reality TV Ideas from Concept to Pitch ( Professional Media Practice) [Nicola Lees] on *FREE* shipping on .
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Editorial Reviews

This is really great info. I was especially impressed with all the endnotes and the bibliographic references. We're getting ready to pitch a show, so it will be interesting to see how well prepared we are after reading this book! We also purchased and read Dr. While that book seemed good at getting you to think about things in different ways, there were few if any bibliographic references.

One of the appendices was "Commonly Misspelled Words. If you have to pick one, pick Greenlit. One person found this helpful. Print on Demand Paperback Verified Purchase. This book is a perfect read for those who have ambitions of making it big in television and documentary. Lees lays it out stories and anecdotes from known industry sources who spell out exactly what one needs to do to succeed in pitching their ideas. Whereas it seems like many authors try to withhold information in these tell-all books, Lees has given a manual that had not previously existed.

I feel more confident having read this book that I understand the industry and can successfully pitch my ideas to major companies and networks. If you have an interest in present day television production trends, this book is for you. Nicola Lees has had remarkable success in pitching shows that have been commissioned.

Her insight into the industry and her road map for others to follow for proposals is keen. She tells some of the back room details of how programs get made and commissioned. It would have been nice if the book had a contact list for more production executives.

She includes some references and cautionary directions. Overall this is the best book out there for producers. Nice Job Nicola MediaPro. Very informative and helpful. Nothing dull or time wasting. Too dense and all about the UK TV industry. The description was not clear. Difficulty was also an issue when the long-running series Eye on Research was canceled in Science television has often occupied this niche of perceived quality linked to abstruseness of subject matter.

More directly, it is true that the BBC did undertake a significant amount of viewer research, and so the archives do often hold audience response reports for many of the programs and series that were broadcast. These reports, typically around two pages in length, show the responses of a panel of viewers to the program in question. The general public are, for the most part, unaware of research activity in this field. It is, however, important to grasp that these reports were not so much designed to shed light on the subjectivity of the science program viewer as to audit the effectiveness of the production process.

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It would, all the same, certainly be possible to conduct an extensive analysis of these reports and to gain a greater insight into the reaction of selected viewers over time to science as to other television programs. There is no evidence, either, that the scientists involved in science broadcasting gave much consideration to the audience; they too were much more concerned with the ways in which science should be propagated than with what kinds of programs the viewers might prefer to watch, understand or enjoy.

If the historical study of audiences for science television gives few leads, then more is known about the other participants in science television: In this Cold War world, where the atomic bomb, new biological science and automation seemed in different ways to threaten the stability of society and culture, there was a job to be done as never before in conveying the positive role and contributions of scientific research to the public. Even before television began to reach substantial British audiences from the time of the Coronation in , science was one of the agenda items for the newly reformed BBC General Advisory Council, seven of whose 49 members were scientists.

Discussions which initially focused on radio were soon extended to include, then to be dominated by, the new medium. He initiated a debate on the broadcast representation of science by calling for the BBC to appoint an advisory committee on scientific broadcasting and to employ more scientists as producers. After careful internal discussion there resulted an unhappy two-year period in which the senior biomedical scientist Henry Dale was employed as scientific advisor to the BBC.

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This only seems to have demonstrated the intrinsic problems of the advisor model, where such an individual is expected to compel respect but is not part of the normal management hierarchies of the broadcaster. It also revealed the main and continuing problem in discussions between these two professional groups: Individual scientists appeared in television programs, where relations with individual producers were often cordial. The Corporation was always careful to manage its responses to ensure that control over the medium was never ceded to their petitioners. The scientists, who stressed their cognitive expertise, would have preferred to have charge of how science was shown on television thereby expressing a wish to control the public relations of science.

To achieve this aim they very often favored series of something closely akin to broadcast courses of lectures in basic science. There is also some evidence that the different interest groups within science and engineering were also fighting battles between disciplines Boon, One of the dreams of Desmond Hawkins throughout the sixties was that it would become a kind of hybrid institution where scientists would do research and television producers would make programs about their work.

This never materialized but in Hawkins could report that scientists actively sought the participation of the Unit in their activities, through invitations to either participate in congresses, or to contribute papers to scientific journals. This suggests that to the scientists interested in animal behavior, the BBC NHU was seen as a participant in the knowledge-producing activity rather than simply a mediator between them and non-specialist audiences.

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In their responses to the approaches of scientists, program producers for their part tended to stress that the use of television as a medium was their professional expertise and property Jones, b. For example, in response to a Royal Society-British Association delegation to the Director General, the leading producers of science television in the Talks and Outside Broadcast Departments, James McCloy and Aubrey Singer respectively, prepared statements about their production processes. Both producers emphasized the importance of their access to senior scientists and how the views of scientists at the Royal Society, for example, led them to interesting work to report.

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McCloy expressed his respectfulness towards science directly, whilst asserting the importance of interesting the viewer: In choosing stories to cover, Singer stressed suitability for the medium and McCloy favored the importance of choosing only subjects that were comprehensible to the audience Boon, Those of us engaged in broadcasting science to a general audience are forced to frame our attitudes in the light of this world we see around us. To this end, as a foundation to our policy, we have firmly decided that the broadcasting of science shall be in the hands of broadcasters.

Here he voiced with particular directness the view of the producers: Meanwhile, relations between individual scientists and journalist-producers tended to be businesslike, even cordial, and the coverage of science was generally positive, and certainly very rarely critical. In Bristol, Desmond Hawkins defined how the Unit should relate to scientists in a way that would encourage collaboration on an equal footing, but at the same time establish a strict boundary between the process of television-making and science and, at the same time, a clear division of labor between television producers and scientists.

To the former program-making, to the latter the production of the raw material from which programs are made: In handling this subject we expose ourselves to the critical scrutiny of scientists, and their approval is an important endorsement. Moreover, it is their work that throws up the ideas and instances and controversies from which programmes are made.

Greenlit: Developing Factual/Reality TV Ideas from Concept to Pitch

We look to them as contributors, as source material, as consultants and as elite opinion on our efforts. In short we need their goodwill. The televising of natural history was thus defined as a way of knowing and of producing knowledge rather than as a matter of translating the knowledge produced by scientists.

At the BBC, science and technology programs were produced by several different departments, mainly settling down as the responsibility of Science and Features in the s. Responsibility for natural history, by contrast, was separately located in a specialist department established in Bristol at a distance from London, the main production centre.

The conventions that grew up in natural history television were also different in mode, as its proponents made claims that it not merely represented , but actually did natural history by making television programs. The televising of natural history on the BBC was started in the s by naturalists who saw in the medium a means of bringing natural history to a larger audience than their network of public lectures had previously been able to achieve.

They were primarily naturalists making films. And they left a mark, although in later years they were marginalized because the production of natural history television programs became a profession. The first professional producers of natural history programs, foremost amongst whom was Christopher Parsons — , learned their trade from their interactions with these naturalists and were in this way acculturated to natural history. Second, from the start, the Bristol unit was always part of networks of natural history and participated in a vivid local tradition of natural history Davies, It thus appears that doing natural history television was, and remains, a specialism.

By contrast, across most of our period, television producers saw the making of science television as like making any television program. This is visible from the time of the part series The World is Ours —56 , five of whose episodes were on broadly medical or scientific themes. These were produced by the generalist Norman Swallow, with the first generation documentarist Paul Rotha in the background as Head of the Documentary Department Boon, But Aubrey Singer, who became the key figure in the development of science television, took a distinctive approach.

First he produced the spectacular live special broadcast on the eve of the International Geophysical Year, The Restless Sphere , a program that included narration from the Duke of Edinburgh and Richard Dimbleby and several live OB feeds from different parts of the world. The team that Singer assembled for this program, including his loyal deputy Phil Daly and the science writers Gerald Leach and Gordon Rattray Taylor, went on to be the core of the team responsible for the launch of Horizon in May Boon, It is striking that of the ensuing generations of producers who started on Horizon — including the first, the documentary film director Ramsay Short — the majority of them passed through science programing into more general television production Boon, There have been many influential and long-running series in the last 60 plus years covering every aspect of science, technology and medicine.

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Medicine and public health have often enjoyed their own specialist strands in addition to featuring within mainstream science broadcasting. In the early s, documentary drama was most often the preferred medium, with programs such as Family Doctor 3 September and Medical Officer of Health 21 September Perhaps the dominant feature of science on BBC television in this period has been Horizon , with a year life and more than 1, programs broadcast.

From the outset, the editorial independence that Singer, as Head of Department, provided enabled producers to range across science and its implications, ever in search of the good story. As the media scholar Roger Silverstone noted, each episode of Horizon is the outcome of a unique process of construction which is at the same time contingent and creative Silverstone, Any attempt at producing statements about Horizon in general for a given period of time is therefore doomed to be contradicted by individual examples.

Developing an Idea Chapter Six: Considering Multiplatform Content Chapter Seven: Writing a Killer Proposal Chapter Eight: Finding and Keeping Talent Chapter Nine: The Pitch Tape Chapter Ten: The Pitch Chapter Eleven: Alternative Sources of Funding Chapter Twelve: