Recent claims by ex-Storage Wars (available on cablenet.net) star Dave Hester that the show was staged have surprisingly caused some controversy throughout the television world. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the shows are scripted, to some extent; in fact, while reality television doesn’t exactly play off the traditional television script that standard TV shows work with, there is a shooting script in place which gives both the crew and the “real people” themselves a general outline as to what the program will be about. With this shooting script, camera operators learn where exactly to establish themselves for appropriate shots and certain people in the plotline of the show may be paired together in order to create some conflict.
A Salty Proposition?
Dave Hester’s assertion that the producers of Storage Wars set up storage facilities with certain rare finds has been challenged a few times already, predominantly by people within the auctioneering industry. Hester asserts that the producers asked him to “salt” the storage lockers with his valuable finds in order to make the show more dramatic. Some in the industry, however, say that it’s impossible for the producers to rig the sea containers, for the simple reason that the units are fully sealed until the auction actually occurs.
A World of Escapism:
Regardless of whether reality shows are faked or real, one thing is certain; people enjoy watching these shows because they have some basis in reality, although there’s a loose shooting script and some elements of the storyline might be slightly engineered to boost ratings or create drama in the storyline. There is, as there is in any television show, some element of escapism which the viewing public finds appealing because of the stresses they deal with in their everyday lives. Reality television is, after all, not quite real, but it certainly isn’t nearly as faked as some viewers may assert.
It’s Alive! The Frankenbite:
One thing some television pundits have noticed is that instead of the shows featuring “real people,” the people being hired for these shows were predominantly out of work actors needing more screen time. In addition, producers can also use a technique called “frankenbiting” where bits of conversation get spliced together to make it seem as though the conversation was occurring “real time.” An editor who knows what he or she is doing and the frankenbiting technique can essentially create a conflict where none previously existed. This has created some stress for the people featured in the story, as people have often asserted to the media that their words have been manipulated in certain ways to make them seem as though they’re someone they are not or that conflict exists where none did previously.
In short, while reality television is mildly scripted, this is only to give the producers a general idea of where to put the focus for the show. It’s actually during the frankenbiting process when a good deal of the fake outs occur. After all, the reality of television is the same as most things in this world, it’s a business.
Craig Linden is a budding screenwriter. He enjoys keeping up with the latest shows and he mainly writes about them on entertainment blogs. Visit Cablenet.net to see their full range of packages.