Just the facts, ma’am

forceA producer on Seven shows including Border Security and The Force addresses a question many of us have long wondered.

Why on earth would you agree to be filmed for these things?

Speaking about Border Security, producer Lyndall Marks told The Australian, “If the person is guilty, I think they’re more concerned about what they’re saying to police than about the camera.

“On The Force if they’re genuinely guilty, they don’t care about the camera. They only care about escaping. We know before we go (out with police) if they’re guilty. They’re not going to go out chasing someone unless they know they’re guilty.”

But many of the stories filmed for the Seven factuals wait a long time before they can be aired. A story can’t be broadcast until the subject has been right through the courts. If found guilty, the network can screen it. If not, the person has to agree, which they never have.

“With Border Security out at the airport you can get five stories in five minutes and no stories for five weeks,” she says.

“It’s a fishing expedition. But with The Force we don’t rely on action scenes. We don’t need the police to say ‘don’t move’ for us to start filming.

“We’ve got beautiful human stories in this series, like the little old lady who fell and her neighbours were concerned. We don’t necessarily need the full-on action scenes. We are really going for more human drama, the story itself and the softer side.”

Marks, who is a former producer on the US 60 Minutes, was recently promoted from series producer of Border Security,which she has driven to achieve phenomenal ratings for the network, to executive producer of Border, The Force, Border Security USA (presumably in adapting the US feed for Australians) and two new shows, one of which is about Tiger Airlines.

“I look at so many shows on TV and they’re so manufactured — they’re manufactured reality,” she says. “Which is why I love factual because you can’t mess with it. You can’t mess with the time line, you can’t mess with the integrity. You can’t just go out there and make a story.”

You can read more at The Australian

9 Comments:

  1. ” We know before we go (out with police) if they’re guilty. They’re not going to go out chasing someone unless they know they’re guilty.””

    Ummm – this is an aside to the actual article – but I thought we operated on a premise of innocent until proven guilty….

    I wonder whether that comment could have any implications…

  2. Homeland Security USA is a great show. Much more interesting than Border Security. The stories are different and the production of the show seems a lot smarter. Its not the same every time, with some person trying to bring in food and some guy who has $2 in his wallet is as staying in Sydney for 1 day.

  3. I sometimes wonder if shows like this border on ‘racism’. Too overly shallow and dark to watch. Probably like Australian Idle – manufactured karaoke nonsense.

  4. thewinchester

    Border Security USA… sorry, Homeland Security USA is quite well done, and I can say this having watched all 8 full 1hr eps of it to date. I think the production staff behind it have done really well transitioning the format for their market, and the teachings of the crews behind Border Security have obviously sunk in.

  5. @Paull: in the US, digital TV is all HD widescreen; there is no SD. News and reality type shows aren’t shot in HD because they don’t have suffiicient HD cameras, or maybe because they don’t think it justifies HD (this also applies to The Amazing Race because they use local crews around the world who simply don’t have HD gear). Over time, tho, we can expect that eventually, pretty much everything will be HD widescreen, with the exeption of amateur footage.

  6. I’m always amazed at the fact that not all US tv shows are filmed in at least 16:19 WS (if not HD). The ads for border sec US show a 4:3 aspect ratio show, you’d never get that in Australia despite the fact that we are 10 years behind almost every developed nation with our digital tv network.

  7. looking foreward to the force, will they still have another season later in the year?

    Border USA should be interesting as well. i’d imagine they’d have so much more material. and american factuals/reality always seem to benefit from the stupid things americans do.

  8. “Which is why I love factual because you can’t mess with it. You can’t mess with the time line, you can’t mess with the integrity. You can’t just go out there and make a story.””

    What a load of c**p. Of course they can mess with the timeline and the integrity . It’s called an editing process and a lack of ethics.

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