POPCAST: Life After Reality TV

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POPCAST: Life Behind Reality TV, With Marion “Maz” Farrelly

Season 1, Ep. 10

In the extension of POPSUGAR’s pilot season of POPCAST, host Tim Dormer interviews the masterminds that work behind the scenes on some of the biggest reality TV shows in Australia. 


In episode ten, Tim is joined by Marion “Maz” Farrelly. From Big Brother and Dancing With the Stars to The X-Factor and Farmer Wants a Wife, Maz has worked in just about every genre of reality TV. The only thing that’s consistent is Maz’s three golden rules to creating compelling and successful reality TV. 


In this episode we hear about:





















  • Maz's view on creating a story for reality TV vs. a documentary (01:04)
  • The golden rules Maz's team follow in order to produce in every reality TV show (02:08)
  • Maz's approach to casting characters (04:39)
  • The importance of set design and its role within reality TV (06:09)
  • The best advice Maz received while working in reality TV (09:23)
  • Maz's insight into making things happen on camera (11:41)
  • How transparent Maz is with her audience (14:45)
  • What happens during a contestant's psychology test before a show is filmed (17:01)
  • What resonates best with a reality TV audience (27:45)
  • The strategy Maz would play if she were a reality TV contestant (28:24)
  • How drama is created between contestants and/or TV judges (35:46)
  • The differences between producing a reality TV show in Australia v. the UK (39:12)
  • The evolution of reality TV and how its changed in the last 10 years (40:36)

More Episodes

10/3/2018

POPCAST: Life Behind Reality TV, With Luke Huggett

Season 1, Ep. 13
In the extension of POPSUGAR’s pilot season of POPCAST, host Tim Dormer interviews the masterminds that work behind the scenes on some of the biggest reality TV shows in Australia. In episode thirteen, Tim is joined by award-winning Australian television editor, Luke Huggett. Huggett has spent the last eight years editing popular and award-winning TV programs such as The Block, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Australian Survivor and MasterChef Australia. As an editor, Huggett sees just about everything captured on camera and plays a pivotal role in what you see on some of your favourite reality shows.In this episode we hear about:What life is like as a reality TV editor and what do they do(01:02)How much influence Luke has on a reality TV storyline (01:59)How Luke can change a story by adding layers to footage (04:14)The difference between enhancing vs. manipulating (05:39)An editor's ability to manipulate scripts (08:30)Approval processes once an episode has been edited (09:24)The tell-tale signs if something has been taken out of context (10:59)Luke's confrontation with a reality TV contestant (12:12)How Luke started his career in reality TV (13:49)Luke's experience in Africa working on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (15:21)Luke's opinion on which reality TV shows are well-produced and edited (17:41)The different reality TV show formats and how to plant a story hook (18:45)Luke's perspective on the real portrayal of reality TV contestants (22:21)The editing process when portraying stressful scenes or challenging moments (23:33)Editors working with producers to get a certain reaction or outcome (25:39)The character profiles and what editors expect from certain personality types (29:04)The differences between working with unknown talent vs. celebrity talent (30:13)What shows Luke would join as a contestant after working behind-the-scenes (32:52)Luke's perspective on how reality has changed through the years (36:06)
9/19/2018

POPCAST: Life Behind Reality TV, With Laura Waters

Season 1, Ep. 12
In the extension of POPSUGAR’s pilot season of POPCAST, host Tim Dormer interviews the masterminds that work behind the scenes on some of the biggest reality TV shows in Australia. In episode twelve, Tim is joined by Logie award-winning producer, Laura Waters. In the past decade she has produced all five of Chris Lilley’s ABC/HBO/BBC comedy series, We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Jonah From Tonga, as well as overseeing the production of a range of comedy and documentary series.In this episode we hear about:Laura's point of view of storytelling within reality TV (01:29)The commonalities between scripted television and reality TV (01:58)Why Laura got into making television and into entertainment (03:17)Laura's motive to to create her documentaries Year 12 Life and My Year 7 Life (05:24)Laura's experience casting young talent (08:33)Laura's duty of care during production of cast members (12:07)Laura's experience working on The Graceland Happiness Project and what made it her scariest project (18:51)How Laura developed the series and how production rolled out (20:23)How Laura addressed the raw topic of mental health and her responsibility as a producer (22:19)The distinction between over-produced and under-produced storytelling (22:50)Laura's favourite reality TV shows (28:15)The reality TV shows that are well-produced (29:42)How you can identify when a story isn't being authentically told (31:25)What Laura needs to do to get a certain reaction or outcome on camera (35:48)Laura's first appearance on reality TV in America (39:58)Whether Laura would ever want to be followed around by cameras (42:58)How would Laura be portrayed on a reality TV show (43:33)Laura's perspective on the enduring appeal of reality TV (45:56)
9/5/2018

POPCAST: Life Behind Reality TV, With Mike Goldman

Season 1, Ep. 11
In the extension of POPSUGAR’s pilot season of POPCAST, host Tim Dormer interviews the masterminds that work behind the scenes on some of the biggest reality TV shows in Australia. In episode eleven, Tim is joined by Australian TV and radio host, Mike Goldman - best known for his various roles on Big Brother Australia. With over 15 years experience working in reality TV, Mike was privy to just about everything that went on behind-the-scenes and shares his experiences working on one of Australia's favourite reality TV shows.In this episode we hear about:How Mike first started on Big Brother (00:51)How Mike worked with producers to create a story(02:13)The footage we didn't see on camera but Mike was privy to (03:30)The duty of care when creating reality TV (04:27)The production differences between overseas reality TV vs. Australian reality TV (05:14)How producers get a certain reaction or an outcome (06:27)The business of reality TV for contestant (09:10)Mike's experience working with live reality TV crowds (11:30)How Mike's script to camera needed to influence audiences at home (13:29)Whether Mike would ever participate as a reality TV contestant (14:30)Mike's perspective on the portrayal of reality TV contestants (15:47)How far can you push the boundaries of reality TV before crossing the duty of care line (18:06)The effect reality TV has on Australian culture (19:25)Mike's thoughts on how contestants should treat their reality TV journey (21:00)Mike's perspective on the enduring appeal of reality TV (22:26)Mike's favourite and real moments while working on Big Brother (24:25)