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Reality TV: An Insider's Guide to TV's Hottest Market Paperback – August 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you want to work in Reality TV or create your own Reality show, you need to read this book first." - Andy Dehnart, RealityBlurred.com

"Reality TV is the most savvy, comprehensive breakdown of the elements of Reality TV I've ever seen." - Larry Brody, TVWriter.com and author of Television Writing From The Inside Out

"...this book is a great resource that really breaks down the process from the invaluable perspective of an insider." - Tess Rafferty, Writer/Supervising Producer, The Soup

From the Author

I've worked in Reality TV for more than ten years on dozens of shows, always making a point of sharing my experiences (well, as much as I'm allowed to) with students, educators, and interested outsiders. This book was born out of my long-standing frustration with the lack of reliable reads on the subject of producing the stuff.  

Be honest.  Do you know much about the real inner workings of Reality TV?  How can a genre evolve and improve when so few great storytellers have any idea that it's as viable a career option as any other in entertainment?

While there are countless books on the process of writing screenplays and traditionally scripted television programming, most of the reads on Reality TV that I had found offered advice on getting cast or creating and selling original shows, virtually ignoring the storytelling process and utterly failing to establish the basics of maintaining a career as an employable reality professional. 

With the help of the great folks at MWP and many of the most experienced story producers, editors and execs in the business, Reality TV: An Insider's Guide to Reality Television now exists as what I hope will become the definitive book on cracking the genre, developing your ability to tell better stories, and revealing just how much fun you can have along the way.

Of course, if you're a die-hard fan who just wants a fun and sometimes funny peek behind the curtain of Reality TV, that's okay, too.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions; 7.2.2011 edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932907998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932907995
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Reality is the most ubiquitous genre on television; it covers everything from competition shows like "Survivor" and "Top Chef" to docu-soaps like "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." But Troy DeVolld somehow manages to cover the basics of EVERYTHING in this great birds-eye view of working in reality TV production. Even if you don't want to work in reality... even if you're just a fan... this gives you a great glimpse behind the scenes. And even if you hope to work in scripted TV, like "Parks & Rec" or "The Mentalist," DeVolld offers a unique perspective into another valuable creative process.
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I bought this book first prior to related books because it is the newest and I believe the hottest TV trends are time-sensitive. If you consider television show evolution you will notice what I mean and Devolld, the author, describes reality TV as it involves lower production costs.

The content length is almost enough because it is not filled with fluff and irrelevant anecdotes which other books of 300 pages contain. However, I think it could do without the appendix A, C, D because they cover general filming tips. Instead it could be replaced with specific challenges breaking into reality TV.

Devolld's sincere writing is well organized and grabs your attention with occasional clues of "insider" details. Don't get too excited because simultaneously, he also states he will not and does not tell secrets because of his non-disclosure agreements about productions. This is why I have to reduce the rating by one star. Even though I respect the author's honesty and integrity, I believe he could have included more breakthrough tips to help amateurs make it in the industry, instead he suggests the reader to buy a different book not only once but twice.

What is lacking of industry secrets, is replaced by Devolld's common networking tips such as getting entry-level jobs and starting work early, where you can get access to the decision makers. This isn't practical for enthusiasts who already have money or well paying jobs, but want to reach out to executive producers for a co-production opportunity. I have yet to try this, but the author recommends several websites which provide contact information for production companies. Getting an email response from a executive producer is yet another challenge.
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This book is awesome! I have been in TV production for about 10 years, and this book gave me way more info than i was expecting. If you are looking to break into the television biz you have to get this book.If you are an inspiring TV producer use this book to guide your career.
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I already work in reality TV as a story producer. I got this book out of curiosity and I really enjoyed it. There aren't really any schools where you can learn about working in this field, its kind of a bastard step child of "real TV shows". So learning happens mostly on the fly, and those who are able to pick things up on the job do pretty well. At least, that's how it's gone for me. Since my knowledge is all based on experience I sometimes wonder if I've missed some stuff. This book helped confirm for me what I've learned, filled in a few gaps and was a good, fast paced read. This season I've been paired with someone who was promoted from exec. asst. to story editor, so there's a lot of learning he missed by not working his way up the ranks. I gave him this book to help get him up to speed. I think its the perfect tool to teach someone what they need to know to be doing our jobs. And there are pictures in there of people I've worked with, which was fun. It really is a very small world.
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Troy DeVolld knows exactly what he's talking about as one of the top executive producers in the reality television field. He's also a seasoned comedy writer, so this is not only a MUST READ for professionals, but a fun read. Simply stated, this is the best resource for anyone going into the reality field, or anyone interested in working in TV. Highly informative as well as an entertaining read. Kudos, Troy DeVolld, for writing the definitive book on the field.
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In this, the second decade of the 21st century, Reality TV accounts for one-half of all on-air television. And with the Web ever-growing, the numbers of shows and people who produce them is becoming incalculable. The audience is huge, and, consequently so is the industry. Troy DeVollo's "Reality TV" is the industry's best resource for all concerned: Viewers, Professionals, and Aspiring Professionals. Take one look at the book's Table of Contents and you will see DeVollo's written the encyclopedia of Reality TV production. No wonder there are so many "must reads" by so many reviewers. Add mine to that list.
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I'm not an "insider" but wanted to get a glimpse inside. It doesn't really do that because the author, being bound by NDAs, has few stories to tell. However I'd expect that an TV production insider would find the book too basic.

So it ended up being a mildly interesting read, but even though the book is short the "meat" of it could easily fit in a magazine article.
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