Lungile Mayindi

Lungile Mayindi

Lungile is the founder & owner of Iron heart films

How TV producers can make a sizzle reel/pitch video for a reality tv show(step by step)

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How TV producers can make a sizzle reel/pitch video for a reality tv show(step by step)

In this blog post I’m going to showcase a step by step process on how TV producers can make a sizzle reel/pitch video for a reality TV show. Okay ,so I’ve had the opportunity to work on a few pitch sizzle reels and I also recently made a post about how to make a sizzle reel. But now I thought of putting into a practical actionable steps, okay here goes.

So lets say you have an idea for a reality show. This show is called Money Shakers, it’s a fast paced, reality show about the lavish lives of South African Fintech Millionaires, they’re rich, eccentric, playboys, they’re fun guys and with a right amount of weird habits.

First you need to write a little blurb about the characters, what journeys they will go through in the series and what the show will be like. You can add this in your tv show Pitch deck. This is help a lot,
especially for a reality show, as the main selling point of reality shows are the eccentric characters.

Here is an example of a reality show synopsis/blurb


Money Shakers


Money Shakers is reality show about the lavish lives of millionaire fin-tech
company founders in South Africafeaturing John, Ben, Mark and Robert who all self made fintech millionaires, in this show we will witness them  manage their tech empires, while balancing , live , love, work and relationships.


Reality shows are about the characters in the show, so you have to sell this. You have to sell how they are, what makes them interesting and great.

John– a Millionaire, with a money spending problem, he is a brilliant founder,but he  isthe brink of divorce. He starts to going to couples therapy with his wife, he starts taking money management classes. He will be tempted to go back to his old ways, when finds a rare, exclusive luxury Ferrari later in the show. Will he change for the better or will be revert back to his old ways and lose

Ben– is a self made man, he didnt raise any money, he used his own hard earned money to build
his company. He is expecting a child. He is a toxic hard worker and he has to learn to be home more to take care of his family. He never stops working, he is driven by guilt and shame, he means well but he works too hard and this makes him fight with family and friends. He is also a crazy sports fan. In his life his priorities are working and making money and sports, his family and friends suffer a lot because of this.

Mark–is competitive and has special relationship with Robert. They are ex-co-founders, with an
unresolved, relentless beef. Their first company they worked on went up in flames as they couldn’t agree or anything. Mark is single, has a lot of casual dates but he sometimes feels lonely. In this season we will see him try to find love in the city. The producers will give him a challenge to work with Robert on a project, will they manage to collaborate on this one time project, or will their feud tear them apart again.

Robert– is tech millionaire and Mark’s angry ex- co-founder. He hates mark and blames him for everything. He has three kids, he is driven, a high performing individual with a love for meditating, yoga and things that not usually considered manly, but he is brilliant, an outsider and
not your typical tech founder. He is also vegan. As the series goes, his unorthodox lifestyle alienates him from the rest of the gang. He will eventually challenge the boys to accept him as he is or he will leave forever and find his own tribe of fintech millionaires


Shooting Cast interviews for the sizzle reel

After drafting your character bios, its time to shoot interesting cast interviews. We
would shoot them in their natural environment, shoot them at home answering questions about their origin story, inspirations, motivation, their biggest, successes, failures and what its like to
be millionaires. This can be normal sit down interview to get the feel of the characters.

We also need make sure we shoot them in  their natural character l
environments(luxury apartments, fancy head office environments)


Questions to ask in cast interview

  1. What is their origin story?
  2. Where they were born, how they started their company and how they succeeded
  3. Inspirations?
  4. Motivation?
  5. Their biggest successes?
  6. Their biggest failures?
  7. What its like to be millionaire, pros, cons, family relationships?
  8. What they love?
  9. What they hate?
  10. Whats their family life live?
  11. Whats their company like?
  12. What crazy stories they have?
  13. What people can look forward to see?
  14. Why should people should watch this show?
  15. What people will learn from the showcase?
  16. What is their biggest strength?
  17. What is their biggest weakness?
  18. What are their favourite hobbies?
  19. What is their spiritual animal?



Getting additional footage of cast

We will also need to get additional footage of the cast members, from youtube, instagram and any other extra footage of the characters, from Aerial shots,Instagram videos from the cast instagram accounts

Establishing shots/Luxury car n house shots

You might be able to get luxury footage, or establishing shots.You can get this from existing footage, music videos and stock footage sites. We will need these for the edit to showcase to the audience what they should expect to see in the show, basically the luxury hotels, planes, cars and expensive suits


Video Script for the sizzle reel

Now after we have shot the cast interviews it might be great to write a video script which will help guide the edit, this can be after the shoot, but maybe we can also write the script before the shoot, so we know what type of footage to source and shoot.

Here is an example of a sizzle reel script for the show


Begin post-production and video editing

now that we have a video script and plenty of footage, you we can begin the process of cutting a bad ass 3 minute video sizzle reel, which consists of a voice over, great music and the best shots and dialogue clips from the interview videos and stock video shots.

When you are done now, you have bad ass sizzle reel you can showcase to broadcasters and financiers during a pitch

here are some great examples of reality tv show trailers

I hope this has been helpful.

Peace out.

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