The Reality Television Story Process

Veteran reality show producer Troy DeVolld takes us into the world of reality TV show production.

The Reality Television Story Process

Developed by Jason Tomaric, FilmSkills
ABOUT THIS LESSON
We have all seen reality programming on television, but what happens behind the scenes?  Veteran reality producer Troy DeVolld takes into the fascinating world of reality production, its challenges, and the process of keeping the audience gripped in the drama of its characters.

 

  • 22:22 video that features the FilmTalk presentation and follow-up Q&A with host Jason Tomaric
  • Companion guide

 

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
  • How to develop the story arc for a new reality program
  • How to adapt a storyline to changing circumstances
  • How to manage slow storylines
  • How to edit and restructrure scenes
  • The new story arc of reality programming
  • Overcoming production challenges of reality production
ABOUT THE LESSON AUTHOR
Jason Tomaric

Jason Tomaric

Director, Cinematographer Los Angeles, California
Jason J. Tomaric is an Emmy, Telly, and CINE Award-winning director and cinematographer of four internationally-distributed feature films, dozens of national television commercials, music videos, and the largest film training content library in the world, published author of 8 books - used in many top universities, and creator of AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform. 
 
Jason has worked in Los Angeles and around the world in over 20 countries. His clients include Disney, NBC/Universal, National Geographic, McDonald’s, Toyota, Scion, Microsoft, and Paul Mitchell, with narrative work screened at Sundance, Slamdance, and South by Southwest film festivals as well as on Netflix and on all broadcast networks.
 
Jason has taught and/or guest lectured at some of the nation's most prestigious film schools including UCLA, Columbia College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, San Francisco State, University of Notre Dame, and numerous film festivals.
 
Jason has written eight industry-defining books, all sold in bookstores, and used in film schools around the world. The American Society of Cinematographers hails Jason's books - "There are no wasted words in Tomaric's tome, which concisely summarizes each facet of the director's craft.  It's difficult to think of a step in the process that Tomaric fails to address." 
 
Jason’s DVD training series on Hollywood film production have trained filmmakers in over 40 countries, with distributors in Europe, Hong Kong, New York and Australia.
 
In 2010, Jason launched FilmSkills, which combines the world’s largest film training video library with his proprietary learning management system.  Adopted by 47 universities within the first year, FilmSkills is now the leading industry-standard training solution for motion picture and television production.
 
In 2015, Jason launched AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform that bridges the gap between academia and industry.
THIS LESSON HAS BEEN UPDATED BY
Kingsley Benham

Kingsley Benham

West Hollywood, California FilmSkills
UPDATED ON 1/14/2016
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS LESSON
Troy DeVolld

Troy DeVolld

Emmy-nominated Producer, "Dancing with the Stars," "The Bachelor," "Hollywood Game Night"
Troy DeVolld is a writer and producer in the reality television genre.
 
He began his career with MTV’s “Fear” and “The Osbournes” and has gone on to write and/or produce for major reality hits “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Surreal Life,” “Flipping Out,” “Black Gold,” “Hollywood Game Night” and more.  In 2009, he was jointly nominated for a Daytime Emmy® for his work on Style Network’s “Split Ends.”
 
His 2011 book, “Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to Television’s Hottest Market,” has remained on a number of bestseller lists since its release, and is widely regarded as the definitive text on reality television’s storytelling process.  He has lectured in places as far-flung as Los Angeles, London, Chicago and Tel Aviv, and is easily one of the most sought-after experts on the genre, having made countless radio and TV appearances and being quoted by Time, NewsWeek, Emmy® Magazine and more.
 
He is a graduate of Full Sail University (where he was the ninth alumnus inducted into their Hall of Fame) and a member of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Caucus for Producers Writers and Directors, and the WGAw’s Nonfiction Writers Caucus.