Monday, October 18, 2010

Social Media

To me, social media such as Facebook and MySpace are as important as the mobile phone or email. Social media has opened up an entire new gateway of connectivity and now allows for people to be constantly connected.

I find social media a blessing, in particular Facebook. I am well aware there is fierce debate as to Facebook's usefulness versus its negative impact on social behavior, but to me I think it is almost as revolutionary as the phone. With Facebook today, we are able to stay connected with hundreds of people and also connect with new people. We are able to share photos and music and create events and groups. I am not a Facebook fanatic, far from it, I don't spend my free time browsing it waiting to get the latest news from my news feed. I use Facebook as a tool. If I want to leave someone a message that is not urgent I will use Facebook, if I want to invite friends to an event that is happening I will use Facebook, if I hear a new song I like, I will share it on Facebook. Facebook for me is a utility, and a useful one at that.

I am well aware of those who are skeptical of Facebook and other social networking and media sites, who argue that these social media sites are destroying our social culture and invading our privacy and I have to say I agree with some of what they have to say. I do not feel like it is destroying our social culture, however I do feel it is changing it, and maybe not in the most positive way. When you speak to someone from one end of a computer to another, you are not face to face and the consequences of what you say are far less dear then if you were having the conversation in person. To me when you sit behind the keyboard you become a 'social hard man'. You say things you would never say in person because you know the consequences will be far less severe and to me this is changing the way we interact with each other. Real life relationships are becoming far more shallow as we find it difficult to have deep conversations with each other in person. As compared to twenty five years ago when face to face was almost the only way to tell your other half it wasn't working, or to iron out complications, today we can simply text or IM in an extremely informal manner, which to me is ruining our social interaction. In terms of my relationships I try as best I can to keep my relationships as real as possible and address any problems or deeper conversations in person in order to retain that sense of "being real". I find it extremely sad to see friends end a relationship by simply clicking a button on Facebook and I fear if things continue to go this way future generations will lose out on a plethora of emotions that are felt when two people interact together in person.

Monday, October 4, 2010

TV Pitch

For my T.V pitch, I have chosen to pitch to the T.V channel Sky 1. Sky 1 is an English channel available to viewers using the Sky Satellite service (the equivalent of Comcast etc.. in the U.S). As of June 2010 Sky had approximately 9.86 million subscribers. (John Plunkett,, "BskyB signs up 3 millionth subscriber to high-definition television service, 9/2/2010) Therefore 9.86 million viewers have access to the channel. Sky 1 is owned by BskyB, which in turn is owned by News Corporation. (

Sky 1 is known mostly for its popular culture and entertainment programs. It focus' on the most current and up to date programs, such as current event documentaries such as 'Ross Kemp on Gangs' a program that follows a presenter as he infiltrates various gangs around the world, to the latest episodes of 'The Simpsons'.

My show is a part-by-part documentary, which will follow a female journalist as she investigates the reason for staggeringly high teen pregnancy rates among working class teenage girls. The show will search to uncover the real truths behind the facts, and each show will focus on a different teenage girl, and offer a raw insight to the lives of the various girls. The program is designed to remove the veil from in front of the general publics face and show them exactly what is happening, probably within a few miles from them.

I browsed from channel to channel on the web trying to find out about demographics and what the channel wants, and Sky 1 fits the bill for a few reasons. On following the link on their website to the 'ideas submission' page I was greeted with a plethora of different options of what they were looking for and under the category of 'Factual and Features' I was met with the following:

"We need ideas which are broad, of high quality, probably in genres other channels aren't touching, and they need to attract a female audience.

Its unlikely we will do property, cooking, parenting or blue light ob docs. We're interested in hearing about new social trends and emerging pastimes. 

They have to have a sense of humour and cheekiness, and be smart. We are not interested in shows which are very bitchy, very camp or very sweary just for the sake of it.

Generally our programmes will be led by a known presenter not someone new to TV. Current presenters include Ross Kemp, Davina, Bill Bailey, Liza Tarbuck, Angela Griffin, Huey Morgan, Jamie Redknapp and Jonnie Irwin among others. 

Features shows are all one hour long and all are in HD (which may prevent clip shows if the clips aren't available in HD).

Stand out obs docs series would be good, and needn't be funny.

9pm and 10pm 
We need popular, presenter-led, serious factual ideas.

A creative starting point might be to find a presenter who our audience would love, and then pick an area of interest.

We're particularly looking for the new, female Ross Kemp. 

The tone should be emotional and passionate rather than newsy and detached. We want dynamic and challenging subject matter about the contemporary world. 

The series have to be able to be put on a poster if required, and be clear areas which will get press.

It's unlikely we will commission subjects already covered by Ross Kemp, and increasingly we're looking for ideas set in the UK.

It's unlikely we will commission one-off docs, unless it's a big exclusive in which case we will bid competitively.

All our shows are in HD". (

From their criteria I can see that they are looking for a show that will attract a female audience. My show is targeted primarily at females. It addresses a new social trend, that of teenage pregnancy. They are looking for a female Ross Kemp. My show offers the perfect opportunity for this, whilst it may not be as extreme as gangs and war, the lives of many of the working class teenage girls are not going to be glitz and glamor, but gritty and bleak, providing the perfect setting for the emergence of a new female Ross Kemp.

I therefore feel that Sky 1 is the most appropriate channel, for I have the show it is looking for, and it has the reputation of being a popular culture, ground breaking channel that would give my show the most publicity.