Since I’ve been in the outdoor biz for going on 10 years now, I get asked quite a bit to review outdoor TV shows.
I hate doing that. Well, I don’t hate it – it is an honor, but…
I feel it is subjective. Outdoor TV to me is an art. Every show is different and every viewer is different. I can tell you from 30,000 feet what I believe outdoor TV viewers are seeking today, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t break the mold and try something different as I also believe the standard that is outdoor TV today is dying.
There are basics that every TV show should have in its toolbox, and I tend to comment just on those
1. A good host – male or female, young or old, doesn’t matter. But the host needs to be knowledgable, engaging, funny in the right moments and yes, can even laugh at themselves. They need to be comfortable on camera and show their true side. I mean, this is this original “reality” TV after all. Avoid the three b’s: bland, boring and bobbing your head around while you talk.
2. Awesome graphics – What you pay is what you get. And you need a talented graphics artist. You need a great logo that goes well on anything from your TV show to a trucker hat. Graphics within the show need to be attention-grabbing and spicy. It is hard to describe what “good” graphics are – but you can definitely tell poorly done graphics. If a viewer sees your poor graphics, it immediately labels your show as a “B” show. You want an “A” show. (The graphic on this page I made with PicMonkey, that is a sure sign you DON’T have an awesome graphics artist.)
3. Good show title – for the love of all things, avoid the word “Extreme” in your title and any derivative of that word. Your title should be catchy, but short. Grab your Twitter, Facebook and other social channels immediately once you decide on a name. If they aren’t available in your title choice, I recommend changing it. Social media trumps all.
4. A great editor – Don’t become best friends with your editor. Keep it business. You pay them to create awesome work and because most editors are right-brained, creative types, you’ll need to crack the whip on them to get a great product. (I’m a right-brained, creative type too – I get it) Not delivering on time is the number one complaint in outdoor TV. Your editor needs to own the latest software and have a Mac setup that would be the exact same setup as someone in Hollywood. I’m not kidding.
The rest is gravy beyond these four things, as they say. Oh, and you also need to be a good salesman – Good Luck!