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Video clip synopsis – An excerpt from a live 'eviction' episode of the popular reality TV series Big Brother. Scott Goodings describes his experience of watching reality TV.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 3min 20sec
Tags - audiences, consumers, creativity, environment, identity, media and society, media influence, media production, ratings, reality television, television, television programs, youth, see all tags
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About the Video Cliptop
This video clip is an excerpt from the popular reality TV series Big Brother, courtesy of Endemol Southern Star and Network Ten. The video clip is on the From Wireless to Web website, produced in 2005.
The interview with Scott Goodings was recorded for the website.
Scott Goodings is a self-proclaimed 'TV freak’ and walking archive. You can view his full biography at From Wireless to Web.
The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.
From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.
Area of study 2. Representation
The media represent reality to audiences through the essential elements of selection, construction and representation. Each media form and process constructs an image or representation of an event, idea or story and represents it in a way which is different from the audience’s direct experience of reality.
These representations involve the selection of images, words or sounds and the ways in which they are presented, related and ordered. Often this is not immediately evident in the media product which can present itself as natural and realistic. Media codes and conventions, together with such factors as the degree of realism intended in the text, the cultural contexts of the time and place of production and legal restraints, help shape a product’s structure and meaning. A media product should be approached in terms of how it constructs meaning (and therefore its relationship to reality) rather than solely according to whether the product is realistic.This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.
Reality TV: Better Than Real Life
Twelve young people locked in a purpose-built camera-infested house at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, doing occasional tasks but mostly doing nothing, 24-7, for up to 85 days … is this a concept for a TV show? After three series Big Brother – the reality game show that caters to and celebrates the voyeur – has proved to be one of the all-time ratings winners of the new millennium.
The first series of Big Brother Australia screened on Ten in 2001. Key moments in that first series included the infamous 'dancing doona’ incident featuring Christina and Peter, Andy luring Gordon into a bondage session, Peter kicking the chicken, Sara-Marie’s 'bum dance’, gay Johnnie and Sara-Marie kissing, and Ben and Blair’s naked greyhound race.
Each week the viewing audience voted – by SMS – to evict one housemate until only one remained, proving once again the pull of cross-platform applications that empower viewers to interact with the 'event’.
It seems Australian audiences prefer reality TV to real life. More than 2.2 million viewers tuned in to the launch of Big Brother 3 (in 2003) in the much-hyped ratings war between Channel Ten and Channel Nine’s current affairs program 60 Minutes. Big Brother captured a 31 per cent share of the national audience, beating Nine’s 30 per cent and Seven’s 25 per cent.
Answer the following questions from the Video Clip Context and the video clip itself:
- List the reality shows that are on television at the moment.
- Which ones do you watch and why do you watch them?
- How realistic do you think they are?
- Do you think it is possible to capture reality on television? How might the recording and editing process change the reality?
- You are the program director of a major television station. You have been asked to come up with the concept for a new reality series. What is it and how will it operate?
Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.