September? Already?

Holy Earth, Wind and Fire… it’s already September?  I can’t believe I haven’t posted since July.  How’s everything with you?

On August 17, YouTube Red launched FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: EXPERIMENT 88, an original series I served on as Supervising Producer earlier in the year.

Just last week, I started work on a new show for reality powerhouse ITV / Leftfield that I’ll discuss just as soon as it gels into a thing and they announce it.

Beyond that, I’ve also been making strides on biographical feature film you’ll hear more about as it moves forward.   I absolutely love the subject of the film, and she’s been incredibly cooperative in helping me to tell the most realistic version of her story possible.

Finally, thanks to the folks at MWP and the University Film and Video Association for such a great time last month in Las Vegas.  I’m grateful that so many educators are getting behind the book and that the new material in the second edition has proven helpful.

New posts in the works.  See you again soon!



Teaching REALITY TV / UFVA Wrapup

Last night’s banquet at the Omni Parker House marks the end of my very first UFVA conference.

While the panels, lunches, coffee meetings and dinner cruise were memorable, I’ll perhaps remember best the most unnerving moment of the week.

A college professor who’d stopped by my publisher’s table was asked what she taught.  “Film and television, the whole picture,” she proudly replied.

While she browsed the stacks of titles spanning the gamut from animation to YouTube, a copy of Reality TV was offered.  Her reaction was akin to that of someone who’d just been handed a box of decaying fish entrails or a cat-hair-covered cough drop: “Oh, ugh… Ha, ha… I don’t think so, no.”

She wouldn’t even physically handle the book.

“Film and television, the whole picture,” she’d said.  All I could think of were her students who paid money to learn film and TV production that would someday graduate with no knowledge about how an ENTIRE GENRE worked or any idea of how different finding employment is in the one arena you can’t crack by writing a killer spec.

Her hip distaste really bugged me, and I haven’t shaken it yet.  I don’t care if you’re critical of Reality TV — hey, there’s a lot of it I don’t like, either — but you can’t will it away because you’d rather teach a class on Jim Jarmusch.

Prospective film and tv students out there, ask your admissions reps if reality television is covered in their overall program.  If it isn’t, you’re only getting HALF the picture.

Professors, please check out the free syllabus for the book at  Whether you adopt it or not, at least grab a copy and familiarize yourself with the basics.  Help your students to broaden their skill sets and become as employable as possible through a broad knowledge of ALL genres, including reality.

You owe it to them.

Media Schools: Not Teaching Reality TV? Why Not?

As the UFVA 2011 Conference draws nearer, I’m already trying to figure out why so many schools that teach writing for television and film aren’t teaching writing for reality television.  Maybe it’s because most resources in print are hopelessly centered on creating an original series instead of the more practical approach to working as a writer or producer on the hundreds of reality television shows produced in this country every year.

If you are an educator who is genuinely interested in bringing the world of reality television production to your students, adding skills that will improve their chances of being able to pursue a writing and producing career beyond the already wannabe-glutted fields of film and traditionally scripted television, I have good news for you.

Using Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market as your textbook, there’s now a supplementary (and free) syllabus that will enable you to teach Reality Television Basics as a semester or two-quarter class.

Just wanted to let you know it’s out there.  Stop me at the UFVA conference or drop me a line at realitytvtroy(at) if you have any questions.

Educators: Find me at UFVA 2011 in Boston August 3-6

It’s my pleasure to announce that I’ll be a panelist at UFVA11: The Future of Media Education at Emerson College in Boston on Thursday, August 4 at 1:30 in Walker 310 as part of MWP’s Jump Start Your Career and Make Your Scripts More Saleable, Too. I’ll also be attending the picnic and closing night dinner at the Omni Parker House, so there will plenty of time to say hello.

If you’d like to discuss Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to Television’s Hottest Market while I’m in town, drop me an email at realitytvtroy(at) The book does have an accompanying syllabus and includes exercises to help your students better understand a genre that employs thousands of talented writers each year.

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