Reality Vs Narrative

While two completely formats from an insiders point of view having worked both venues and still continuing to do so, it is easy to compare.

Reality TV

  • Good Rates
  • Pay checks always on time
  • Overtime past 12
  • transportation is usually taken care of by production if difficult
  • Longer productions meaning more shooting days, meaning less searching for jobs.
  • Great referral system and ability to grow quickly.
  • Usually well funded
  • Smaller crews
  • You eventually get to travel

Narrative (non-union)

  • Always begging you to take a lower rate
  • Pay checks sometimes get "lost in the mail" and you have to hunt down money.
  • Transportation is rarely provided for inconvientient places and often not even thought of by production.
  • Productions are usually shorter and do not last more than 20- 25 shooting days and you get lucky to get those sometimes.
  • When you start the production they are funded but as the weeks go by you see the cost cutting go into effect due to bad planning
  • The referal system is different as members of the crew help each other rather than producers and coordinators. Most people make one film and never make another after their failure.
  • Large crews with many specialists. More challenges arise. I love this about indies.
  • Travel is usually limited because New York is the best place for indies to shoot because of how welcoming they are.

If I had to choose one to work on I would pick: INDIES. I know they have so many negatives but working with a large crew, telling a story with a good script has always been my dream. Goals are harder to achieve and you have to rough it out sometimes but there is no better high then completeling a film or series with a group of characters that you helped come alive.

There are many on my team that would disagree and they love the reality format and the skills necessary for contructing a story out of everyday human life but its merely an opinion. This articale is for those who are looking to come into the business, letting them prepare for the long days and sometimes thankless productions who will screw you over sometimes, It happens. Remember its a business and not everyone is cut out for it. Follow your heart and you will wind up in the right place. Promise.