Free for educational use
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, entertainment, media production, reality television, television programs, 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.
In this English unit students will learn:
- that reality TV may not have a great deal in common with reality, but is often a highly-planned, manipulated media reconstruction
- to observe, discuss, analyse and critique an example of reality TV (Big Brother)
- to experiment with planning an example of their own reality TV program
- to create a scenario examining reality TV from an alternative viewpoint.
Reading Standard: students view, analyse, critique, reflect on and discuss texts that explore social, cultural and political issues of significance to their own lives. They analyse and discuss informative and persuasive texts and identify the multiple purposes for which they are created. They synthesise information from different texts to draw conclusions.
Writing Standard: students write sustained and cohesive narratives that experiment with different techniques and show attention to characterisation and consistent point of view. They compose a range of other texts. They plan and deliver presentations, sequencing and organising complex ideas. They proofread and edit their own writing for accuracy, consistency and clarity.
Speaking and Listening Standard: students compare ideas, build on others’ ideas and reach conclusions that take account of aspects of an issue. They draw on a range of strategies to listen to and present spoken texts, complex issues or information imaginatively to interest an audience.
The activities in this unit are relevant to the Interdisciplinary Learning strands of Level 6 Communications (Listening, Viewing and Responding standard; Presenting standard), and Thinking Processes (Reasoning, Processing and Inquiry standard; Creativity standard).
The activities are also relevant to the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand of Level 6 Personal Learning (Managing Personal Learning standard).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.
- Getting started
In class, view the interview with Scott Goodings about Big Brother Up Late and the clip from Big Brother Live Eviction, then discuss and write notes on the following:
- Where does the term ‘Big Brother’ come from, and what was it originally supposed to mean? If you don’t know the answers, carry out some library or Internet research about the author George Orwell and his novel, 1984.
- Make a list of other reality TV programs you have viewed on commercial television. In what ways are they similar to, and different from, Big Brother and each other? Are there any reality TV programs on the ABC and SBS networks and if so, are they different in content from those on commercial networks?
- Reality TV is sometimes criticised for its lack of reality. What aspects of reality TV may be artificial or deliberately manufactured?
- Analysing the Big Brother Live Eviction clip
View the Big Brother Live Eviction clip in detail. Write a report of about 200–300 words of the ways in which the visual and sound content throughout the clip is designed to attract and excite the TV viewing audience. Include comments on the role and behaviour of the presenter and the studio audience.
- Inventing your own reality TV program
In pairs, plan your own concept for a reality TV series of three episodes about a group of school leavers. You should describe and justify what you intend to screen, the audience you are aiming to reach, how long the filming will take, and how you intend to go about producing the program on a limited budget.
- ‘I’m on TV!’
Write diary extracts of the thoughts and feelings of a participant in a reality TV program.