Updated: 02/12/2017

Module 70 Addendum

Video Award   



the Basics


As we noted at the very beginning of this cybercourse, it's the essential emotional elements that make a production involving, influential, and enduring.

A major part of this is getting your audience involved with the people, places, and things in your production — giving your audience a reason to care.

Successful television producers and directors have an understanding of human needs, fears, goals — and, yes, even human aberrations and idiosyncrasies.

The truly successful television producers I've known, the ones that have won awards for their work, are well read. They know the classics, they read newspapers and books, and they observe and study human behavior. They have a sense of history, sociology, and psychology. They are comfortable with — even revel in — discussions of the classic films and television programs.

Audiences want to get something from the time they invest. Although they may be loath to admit it, they need to learn something.

This need seems to be built into our genetic predisposition and is undoubtedly related to our survival as a Many directions to gospecies. Such things as nature, science, travel, and news programming all tend to be interesting because of this.

Even entertainment programming — effective entertainment programming — tells us something about how people interact in different situations, as outrageous as that may be at times.

Effective humor also springs from a basic understanding of human nature — especially its idiosyncrasies.

A writer, producer or director may be asked to produce an insightful piece on almost any topic. A newsperson may suddenly be called upon to interview an expert on a topic such as economics, archeology, animal husbandry, or criminology.

In each case, the production person must have (or be able to quickly acquire) knowledge that will enable him or her to introduce new insights, information, and emotional experiences into the content of productions.

Those who are not equipped with a broad, liberal education may find themselves adrift, not knowing where to start; or, possibly worse, embarrassed and defensive about a lack of basic knowledge.

In talking to someone, it doesn't take long to discover that their views are based on half-truths, prejudices, and major gaps in understanding — all major problems for doing insightful, creative, informative, and effective programming.

It should come as no surprise that successful production people tend to be open-minded, willing to consider new options and approaches, and, in general, "slightly ahead of the curve."

This link has additional information on the elements of effective TV program content.

Television, of course, also has a significant social impact on audiences and cultures. Information on this can be found here.

This link on "Make A Difference" TV was written for those who want to use TV to make a difference in the world, but feel that mainstream television programming in the United States is far too restrictive.

And finally, you might even consider being a radical, as outlined here

TV Production Index

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