My semester is coming to an end in London and I've just completed a video class that I really enjoyed. It was really my first experience playing with video equipment that ranks at the 'prosumer' level. Lessons learn'd a'plenty, but to the point of this post:
A project that I did for this class was something of an experiment for me. I took footage of a few nights spent in my flat in London – which I share with 10 other people. We had joked for a while that we lived in a MTV Real World atmosphere. Reviewing the footage, I couldn't have summarized it better.
No doubt we act and behave a lot like the characters in the Real World, but when I was editing the footage, I got a real sense of how MTV is able to edit their footage to do all the things that they are accused of doing – enhancing conflict, portraying characters in a certain light, changing the timeline, etc…
And that's sort of the rub – reality TV is shot in a journalistic style. It appears to be capturing a slice of the lives of a cast of people. That, is the problem though – they are a cast, and it is a show – not a journalistic report. There is no greater moral oversight to how the show is shot and edited.
I noticed that in editing, it was more fun to pick and choose clips, change the order of events (slightly) and so forth – it made my finished result more entertaining to watch. However, i certainly couldn't have presented it as a journalistic work.