How are reality TV shows filmed?


Shows like Honey, We’re Killing the Kids, where they show us what happens inside the family after they go on the show. How do they film what goes on inside the house? Do they have a crew filming them everyday? If so, why does the family act clueless, as if they are being secretly filmed? And they break the rules that they were given even if they know they are being filmed? Or is it all just faked and I’m an idiot?

In: Other

There’s a camera crew standing there filming you.

Yes, it’s weird and the people aren’t really acting how they do in private. It’s not necessarily scripted, but these shows aren’t truly “reality” either.

That said, some are at least partially scriped or heavily edited to make a better TV storyline.

Yes they have a crew filming them.

What happens is loosely scripted and they just play out the scenario.

Arguments, fallouts and controversy are written in specifically to make things more interesting.

I’ve not seen the show referenced but that’s how they happen in the UK. You can tell they are really not committing to the ‘real life’ bit when private off-the-cuff conversations take place by a bank of studio quality lights.

A good deal of it is scripted. There can’t really be genuine human emotions with cameras around, especially when producers want to exaggerate everything to make better drama. Many of the accidents are scripted, or their significance is blown out of proportion to make drama. Very few people have as dramatic lives as “reality” TV purports.

The camera crews are present depending on the type of show. Long term shows will often have fewer recording days. There aren’t any lines that the people memorize, just the producers telling them to “Get mad” or “Be happy”, etc. It’s mostly improv.

I haven’t seen those particular shows, but usually it is somewhat fake. It might not be outright scripted like a traditional TV show, but the participants are given some guidelines to follow and the producer sets up the scenarios.

Those shows are also heavily edited. If they film people for a full week and then condense that into a 30 minute or hour long episode they can do a lot of creative editing to tell a particular story. Two conflicts in a week is enough to fill most of an episode and make it look like the people fight constantly, for example, especially if they draw it out, repeat shots, or pad it with unrelated shots that seem to fit (like close up reaction shots).

[This video]( gives some examples of editing tricks they use to make the conflict seem more dramatic than it actually is. There are a few other reality show example videos on Youtube as well.