Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We invented everything

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  • elsketcho,

    NZHB - compelling!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Does anyone remember 'Going Straight' where people had to do a number of tasks that involved going in a straight line. That was pure genius whoever came up with that

    You mean the show where one of the contestants was horribly burned during a "challenge"?

    Worse, it only happened because he'd been told to re-enact a scene because the director wanted a better shot. Touchdown Productions was fined $30,000 and had to pay $35,000 reparations to the victim.

    It wasn't the only incident either. Touchdown had a horrifying record during the reality show boom.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    ha, Nick Tansley...

    I remember sitting outside journo school one day as he walked past and we asked him where his bucket was.

    he gave us the fingers.

    oh, good times.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish N00nan,

    Once I found out that AI refused to support gays and lesbians imprisoned simply because they were gay or lesbian, I have never given them any time or money.

    I think your information may be out of date. from http://www.amnesty.org/en/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity :

    Amnesty International considers people detained or imprisoned solely because of their homosexuality – including those individuals prosecuted for having sex in circumstances which would not be criminal for heterosexuals, or for their gender identity – to be prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

    AI started out solely campaigning on political prisoners, and decides which human rights issues to campaign on by international consensus, so it can sometimes be slow to expand its remit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Pah. I sneer at your Survivor. I scoff at your Flatmates. They are mere upstarts.

    1981 is when it all began, on the BBC: Now Get Out Of That!

    Reality TV is 29 years old, and counting: any advances on that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • R James G Gates,

    Thanks Mark, I now remember the song. It's stuck there now. There's something about that show, and that song in particular, which seems to exist in this weird dimension that doesn't know if it's for children or adults. The dimension where Dad steals chips of your plate and you go Daaaad! And he winks.

    "Your worst light entertainment nightmare."

    Totally. Which lives on in shows like the Singing Bee which seems hilariously anachronistic, especially the honey bees.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2008 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ... Put. A. Buck. Et. On. Your. Head.
    Put a bucket on your head!"
    I'm not kidding.

    Beyond the pail then...?
    Luckily canned,
    er, scuttled...

    ...as ewer...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Fiona has to speak on a panel about Survivor-style reality shows at the weekend, so we watched a Survivor-style reality show for a while last night. Indeed, it may actually have been Survivor. I wouldn't know. They all look the same to me, and all the contestants seem like people I'd try and avoid down the pub.

    Nobody's yet mentioned American Cannibal. It's a documentary film that did the festival rounds a few years back, following two writers struggling to get work then ending up in the reality TV market writing awful stuck-on-an-island-where-cannibalism-was-legal scenarios for a show where contestants were told the loser would be eaten, or something like that.

    As far as I'm aware it was a hoax, although the filmmakers and the writer/actor who came out to the festival weren't saying so. Hoax or not, it was disgustingly amusing on several levels. IMDB rates it low, although the ratings are very polarised if you drill into it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    I mean, it was *nice*, and I felt very tender towards them all for being so self-deprecating, and I would love it in real life, but it doesn't make for much televisual drama, does it?

    Modesty is NZ's cultural trait. It makes for bad TV, but better people.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • R James G Gates,

    "Reality TV is 29 years old, and counting: any advances on that?"

    I'd say Reality TV is older than that, or at least that early models can be found in the 60s with shows like Hidden Camera (punked), or 7 Up (is that what it's called?)

    Then there were some documentary type American shows back in the late 60s early 70s that clearly owed some debt to the Direct Cinema of roughly the same period. But the Reailty was manufactured in the same way it is now. In other words, conflict was gold, but it was framed as educational because we were looking at 'real' people doing real things.

    Maybe I'm pushing it with those...There must be a bunch of others?

    Auckland • Since Sep 2008 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    AI started out solely campaigning on political prisoners, and decides which human rights issues to campaign on by international consensus, so it can sometimes be slow to expand its remit.

    Slow indeed. I asked the question sometime late 1990s. At that time they didn't support GLBTT political prisoners. AI lost me then and there, and haven't been back since.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Touchdown had a horrifying record during the reality show boom.

    After an unplanned tie on one show, they decided the winner by coin toss, then reshot the 'winner' 'winning' and the 'loser' cursing their luck for 'losing'.

    "Reality" TV at its finest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 264 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    "Candid Camera" was a staple in our house in the early 70s.

    i think a lot of the ideas for the wave of "reality" programs out of the UK in the late-80s/early-90s were gleaned from dozens of bizarre Japanese television programs of that era and slightly earlier. the ideas were adapted, of course, to British tastes. the "Big Brother" format, though, is derivative of from the MTV thing...

    but i reckon the Japanese programs took their cues from the 60s American programs, just through a very different cultural lens.

    @Robyn:

    There have always been talent shows on the telly, but Popstars was the first to mix the talent quest with the idea of manufactured pop.

    nah, i'd say that kind of thing has been staple in Japan since the late-70s at least.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Slow indeed. I asked the question sometime late 1990s. At that time they didn't support GLBTT political prisoners. AI lost me then and there, and haven't been back since.

    Amnesty released its first report on the persecution of gay and lesbian people in 1994, and had a gay chapter before that.

    I can see how it might have taken time for the idea that people imprisoned for their sexuality are political prisoners to percolate worldwide, but individual country chapters were working on GLBT issues before that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    After an unplanned tie on one show, they decided the winner by coin toss, then reshot the 'winner' 'winning' and the 'loser' cursing their luck for 'losing'.

    "Reality" TV at its finest.

    There's nothing real about reality TV.

    Charlie Brooker had a very informative report once on the various techniques used by Big Brother et al to create atmosphere and deliver a narrative. He showed how you could make the exact same scene covey a completely different story depending on how it was edited.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Amnesty released its first report on the persecution of gay and lesbian people in 1994, and had a gay chapter before that.

    I can see how it might have taken time for the idea that people imprisoned for their sexuality are political prisoners to percolate worldwide, but individual country chapters were working on GLBT issues before that.

    Thanks for that Russell. I must be victim of unfortunate timing. 1994 I was in Montreal. 1996 moved back here. 1997 asked the question regarding GLBTT prisoners - got negative answers, which isn't, I suspect, surprising given that the initial report came out in only 3 years prior. I presume that AI in NZ modified their stance sometime after I asked the question in 1997.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    There's nothing real about reality TV.

    Charlie Brooker had a very informative report once on the various techniques used by Big Brother et al to create atmosphere and deliver a narrative. He showed how you could make the exact same scene covey a completely different story depending on how it was edited.

    And one could, I suppose, in a fittingly existential mood on a Friday afternoon, could say the same thing about reality. There's nothing real about reality. It's all down to the editing.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And one could, I suppose, in a fittingly existential mood on a Friday afternoon, could say the same thing about reality. There's nothing real about reality. It's all down to the editing

    Ooh. Deep!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    There's nothing real about reality TV.

    Too right...

    And too right again...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    A question for a Friday: my colleague Ben Goldsmith at AFTRS in Sydney is currently writing an article about Australian characters in non-Australian films & TV. He has asked if I know of any Aussies (characters rather than actors) in New Zealand films. For the life of me, I can't really think of any, except for Flight of the Conchords. All suggestions or guidance gratefully accepted!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • R James G Gates,

    Geoff, not sure if this is useful, and I'm not sure why I remember this in particular, but Ngati has an Australian character.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2008 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The first series of Mirror, Mirror (a joint Australian/New Zealand production, but filmed and set in New Zealand) had as its central family an Australian family (played by Australians) newly immigrated to New Zealand.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3212 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    or 7 Up (is that what it's called?)

    The first one was. Collectively they're the Up Series. I lost interest at 35 up. 56 up is coming up.

    It is a little bit like current reality TV, but there's no game-show element, unless you consider the game being that the people disprove the hypothesis that the child of seven can give us a good picture of the way their life will unfold. Most of them seem to be rather over the game, but they continue to participate, despite being under no real obligation. It does go a little way to showing how it is that people get stuck in these things for long periods of time, despite the negative effect that they may feel it's had on their lives. I guess it's so unique that they kind of feel compelled to keep playing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Carlos,

    The 1st time I got sucked into watching train-wreck reality tv was being in Europe when they showed Sylvania Waters on BBC about 1991.
    Even felt a perverse pride in the feisty hard-drinking nouveau-riche mum Noeline being a Kiwi...
    I'm guessing it'd look pretty tame these days.

    CPH.DK • Since Mar 2009 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    "Fuck you for profiting by wasting months of my time, I'm now going to get a real job that doesn't involve selling hot-dogs in a street stall, being tailed by goons, betrayed by friends, and talked down to by arrogant wankers".

    Was left on the cutting room floor. Although compelling viewing, the producers felt it didn't fit with their target demographic, and could undermine the appeal of the show, but it did happen...

    The 'reality' in reality TV is a euphemism for 'masterfully edited bullshit.'

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

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