A voice for all seasons
Each decade seems to have its own individuality. Examples like the 1950s Rockers, the 1980’s excess, even the 1890’s engineering.
However the 2000’s are too young and incomplete to judge but early indications are that the time we are living now may well be remembered as the time of celebrity.
In fact, a particular brand of publicly available, disposable celebrity that every young person seems to think is their inalienable right.
And I think maybe a little known Dutch company is to blame.
Endemol Productions devised Big Brother almost a decade ago but now its tentacles spread far and wide. The phenomenon continues unabated and promises the dream of ‘being somebody’ to everyday nobodies.
The never ending contestants’ limitless desire to achieve a career [read richies] out of merely being known is almost eqaully matched by our own natural voyerism into these real-life soap operas.
So endemic is the problem that natural talent is being side-lined for manufactured pop-culture.
A good example of this is the huge list of singing competitions. In the past to be a songbird usually meant teaming up with a writer and creating something, not rearranging someone else’s work.
And as a writer this gnarls at my groin.
It’s time to fight back and I’ll do it in my old traditional way – by joining them!
Although scathing about the concept of fame TV I actually have a desire to be part of it.
I too am seduced by the promise of eeking out an easy living and would relish the lightweight, unearned adoration that entails the lifestyle. Cheap, but desireable nonetheless.
But Reality TV producer’s don’t come knocking at the door, at least not mine, so I need to get positive and the way I propose is to propose a way.
My idea is to set up a few video booths around the country and invite anybody who cares to leave any message they want.
They would be stationed in public squares, parks and stations and be the twenty-first century version of speaking at Hyde Park corner.
The messages will be recorded and sifted by a team of editors to extract the interesting from the banal, with the best featuring on a weekly programme.
Some may choose to record daily dairies, others may vent their spleen, but most will just be childish giggling and vociferous slang.
Not to worry, talent and interest will shine through and there will be gold amongst the dross.
I know you are now thinking that this has been done before. After all, even the failed contestants of some singing shows get their chance to prove in a video booth why they were not selected the first time round. So why would this format be successful?
The answer is money.
The twist would be that it would cost a nominal amount to record the message. The booths would operate only on the basis of fiscal intercourse.
In the same way that TV companies love programmes that force viewers to pay by voting on a telephony device, producers would love a TV system that pays for itself to be made.
All I need now is a TV Production Company and I’ll be able to share the decade with the Dutch.
Author: Vince Poynter
From the Ideas section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 13 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 in Jun 2006
‘Big Brother’ is a fly on the wall style documentary TV programme whereby miked up participants, chosen by their personalities and looks are grouped to live close to each other in a house surrounded by cameras to capture their every movement and conversation. The footage is edited to entertain and as time progresses the viewers get a chance to vote out the least interesting characters thereby ending with a winner who receives a cash award
If you are thinking this idea is just YouTube which is a widely used free service please note that I offered this idea in Jun 2006. YouTube was only founded as a web address in Feb 2005 and it took a few months to get funding and wasn’t formally launched until Dec of that year. In mid 2006 it wasn’t that well known, certainly not by me. In fact it wasn’t until 2010 that I uploaded my first video to YouTube