Who wants to go to South America?


….come on down!!!

Last week we completed casting for 5Takes, season four.

The photo above is from the New York auditions.

Lots of people turned out… and why not?

This time we are sending the group to South America.

This time we are also casting an older group, in their 30s, more in keeping with the demographics of the Travel Channel. Some of them have children. One home schools. One is a cabin attendant on Southwest Airlines. One is a former pro for the NFL. It should be interesting.

Soon they’ll be leaving for 8 weeks around South America. Their trip will include Buenos Aires, the jungles of Brazil, Macchu Picchu, Easter Island a lot more.

What makes the show unique is the online component.

Each of the TJs, or Travel Journalists (that’s what we call ’em), will be equipped with a laptop with FCP and a small HD camcorder (like the one I showed you the other day). They’ll blog and vlog their way across Latin America as the show is being made. We’ll also have our own person, Fleur Amesz along, who will be shooting and posting ‘webisodes’ or what happens behind the scenes.

In many ways in this series, which is now in its fourth season, the web is as important a component, if not moreso than the show itself. That is because unlike almost every other TV show, we lead with the web, and follow with the show. That is, the web comes first.

A decade ago, when I was President of New York Times TV, Martin Nisenholtz was just introducing NYTimes.com to the newspaper. Joe Lelyveld, the Managing Editor for the paper tolerated a web site, but said, ‘nothing can go on the website until it has first been published in the paper’. This, as we now all understand made no sense. But it took the paper years to wrap their heads around the idea that the web leads.

Television is now where newspapers were a decade ago in their understanding of the position of the web. Almost all TV shows now have web sites, but they are for ‘more information’ or ‘to learn more about this’ or ‘to talk about this’.

This also makes no sense.

We are making the show in ‘real time’, the web is in ‘real time’, hence whatever happens in ‘real time’ goes on the website first. Think of this as ‘breaking news’. (Oh yeah, in TV News you still have to wait until 6PM for the ‘breaking news’ – well, you get the idea). Think of this as a kind of reverse Time Shifting.

It happens on the web first, and then it happens on the show. This allows us to let the audience become involved in the show as it is happening. Because they email (and this season video themselves) back to the TJs on the road. It’s all real time.

The only way this works is if we can turn the hours in almost real time as well.

We can.

An average ‘reality show’ takes months to complete. We turn these, from start to air, in 6 days.

How do we do it?

…….write me and ask. Like the show, we’ll make this interactive….


2 responses to “Who wants to go to South America?

  1. btw- i went to best buy yesterday to find a camera similar to the one shown below.

    i did find an 3 hd cameras(all sony), one tape, one disk and one hard drive. but nothing there appeared that compact.

    any idea where i can find one?

  2. That one is the Panasonic AG-HSC1U

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