E. B. Doroshina student,
NRU "Higher School of Economics",
"Morning Glory" is a film about the work of the executive producer of the morning show. It demonstrates the channel's "production kitchen" on television.
How it's done: producing in the creative industries also gives a lot of attention to this topic.
Malika Tarabaeva, a graduate of the HSE Faculty of Communications, Media and Design, believes that “the talent of a producer ... is based ... on a great intuition, which helps him to guess what may arouse interest in the mass audience. Professional flair, combined with erudition and awareness, make the producer able to carefully think over the project, implement it using the capabilities of the creative team, promote it before meeting the audience and, as a result, make a profit ”. The main character of the film, Becky Fuller, was able to "predict" how to make the morning show a success. Sometimes her decisions were not well thought out, but rather intuitive. To some extent, this can be explained by the knowledge of the sphere and the market that the heroine possesses. But she uses it unconsciously.
Anna Kachkaeva, journalist and member of the Russian Television Academy, says that a producer is “a person who is able to assess risks, take responsibility, launch a project and bring it to some kind of result” . Speaking of responsibility, you can recall that Becky decided to increase the rating of the show so that it would not be closed. She calculated how much the program needed to dial, and agreed with the boss. She decided that she would fight till the end because she took the programme seriously. It can also be attributed to communication and management skills, which Anna Kachkaeva later talks about. Becky was able not only to agree with the boss about the postponement of the closing of the show but also to organize work within the team. She communicates with everyone on the set and beyond, directs the broadcast, and commands the presenters. In addition, she finds a common language with everyone and even managed to persuade Mike Pomeroy to participate in the morning program.
Konstantin Ernst, General Director of Channel One, notes that the producer “works 14 hours a day, practically seven days a week, who does not have enough time for either personal or family life” . The heroine in the film is shown as just such a person. She gets up before everyone else, looks at various documents while eating, discusses new ideas with employees until late. “I come first, leave last”, “I completely surrender to my work,” she says about herself when applying for a new job. This can be seen in her personal life. In a new place, Becky meets Adam, with whom they have a relationship. However, as soon as it comes to work, she immediately rushes to it. So she went to look for Mike Pomeroy at night, as soon as she heard from Adam about his habit of getting drunk before unloved filming. In addition to being fully committed to work, this can be called the ability to prioritize. The main character puts her work first. But thanks to such workaholism, she achieves great success and respect from her colleagues. Ernst also says that “90% of his life he (the producer) is unhappy, and 10% is happy so much that it covers those 90%” . Becky is haunted by constant setbacks and difficulties: she loses her job, cannot improve relations with a guy, her programme is going to be closed. She devotes all her time to her career, but in the end, the success of the project pays for everything. Raising the program's rating, delaying closure, and Pomeroy's acceptance of her professional contributions are all rewards for her efforts.
Andrei Boltenko, the chief director of Channel One, notes that “any person, even a very talented person, needs a producer who must not only be creative and professional, he is also to some extent a psychologist who perfectly understands what is happening” . Becky sees the tension between Mike Pomeroy and Colleen Peck. The same scene of their acquaintance, when they did not want to go to each other's dressing room, Miss Fuller had to take them in the hallway. She also tries to find her approach to each and find effective words. She has developed empathy and a vision of the problem. From the conflict of the hosts, she was able to make a distinctive feature of the show.
Although the main theme of the film is the functions of the producer, other ideas can be seen in it. For example, the purpose of journalism in general and "trendiness".
The book of I. M. Dzyaloshinsky “Journalism of complicity. How to make the media useful to people” mentions a survey among Russian media workers conducted by the Independent Institute of Communication Studies. One of the questions was the journalist's mission. More than half (58.2%) of the respondents answered that the journalist is an objective observer, that is, he is above everything that happens. In second place (21.4%) is the answer that journalists are manufacturers of goods called "information" . Moreover, to the question "What goals does your publication set for itself?" 59.8% of the respondents indicated “Development of the media as a business” . This shows the desire of the producer to bring the project to profit.
The film demonstrates several points of view on television production: the first is the position of Mike Pomeroy, the second is the position of Becky Fuller, the third is the position of the channel's bosses and, in particular, Becky's boss.
Mike Pomeroy treats journalism primarily as serious news. He epitomizes the approach that news is pure, useful information, that audiences turn to television for new insights into the world, and that a smart viewer will not dwell on entertainment. “People are not idiots, they need information,” he says. Elena Pronina's book "The Psychology of Journalistic Creativity" mentions a classic pragmatic text that describes non-judgmental and constructive facts without their prejudices. The text also says that such a text requires "intelligence and honor" from the journalist .
Becky has a different vision for their show. After she realized that the ratings needed to be raised extremely quickly, the idea of entertainment began to be traced very strongly. The morning programme, in principle, did not focus on heavy news, but after a "revolution" from Becky, emotionality came to the fore. We can say that in this regard, the main character as a producer saw the "trend". And this led to the proper result: the video with the correspondent Ernie was watched by 100 thousand people on YouTube, and there was a jump in the rating. The audience gets tired of the news, it wants to relax, almost without straining. That is why information is gradually turning into infotainment. Television must combine materials of different genres to attract the attention of as many people as possible. “The facts are that for a long time in our country ... the whole world argues which is better: news or entertainment. For many years. And you know what, Mike, your party has lost, ” – Becky defends his position.
The third position is expressed in part in Becky's work, in part in the wishes of the boss. The main goal here is not to educate or entertain the audience, but to get money. Becky's boss is constantly comparing ratings and analyzing programme audiences. From this, he models the most successful option.
As is already clear from the above reflections on infotainment, the film also shows the development of television journalism and its genres, departing from classical interpretations.
Pronina's book provides an interpretation of the reportage from Social Practice and Journalistic Text. Classic pure reporting means “a message that reflects the progressive development of a real event with the utmost clarity, generating a “presence effect”. The text deals with Sergei Fateev and the Tiraspol reportage. Fixing what is happening without showing feelings and personal assessments is a manifestation of true professionalism. If we go back to the film, we will notice that in this regard there is a difference between the classic and the "new" format. Live broadcasts from Ernie and Colleen, on the one hand, are reportage: they show various events, create the effect of presence. But, on the other hand, they are filled with personal emotions of the presenters, in contrast to the neutral classical reporting.
From this example, another film theme also emerges: why does journalism need fun and emotions?
First, people cannot be fed bran all day, as Miss Fuller says during her argument with Pomeroy. A large information load leads to human fatigue and oversaturation. Change of consumed content helps to get rid of this. Secondly, everyday news does not always claim to be serious. Holding a fair, rescuing a kitten, the emergence of a new art object – all this can be illuminated only from the point of view of facts, but for the audience, these materials will still carry certain emotions. Thirdly, emotions are more massive. The Psychology of Journalistic Creativity speaks of the emergence of a new type of text – hedonistic. First of all, it is aimed at entertainment, focuses on the drives and fears that everyone has. Such “texts” are most visible on television, on radio, and in newspapers, they do not have the same effect. “On this basis, a special concept of journalism has grown, diverging from the educational, rationalistic school of “newspaper science”, and even from the pragmatic “theory of news”. One of the elements of the success of a hedonistic show is fear, the danger for the participant. In the film, this is demonstrated by the example of Ernie, who sometimes jumped with a parachute, then flew on an airplane. Viewers look at his emotions and imagine their emotions in a similar situation. The visual turns into the spectacular. If the visual part of the media is aimed at a rational effect for the audience, then the entertainment part is trying to achieve emotions. Such materials seem extraordinary, which raises the visibility. But in this matter, it is worth observing the measure so as not to cross the line between news journalism and a completely staged show. A share of educational activities should be present and even dominate in some topics, displacing the emotions of both the participants in the event and the presenters. DayBreak is a morning news show that combines an information agenda and entertainment for newly woken-up viewers.
Summing up, we can say that there are several themes in the film that closely interact with each other. First of all, these are the functions of the producer and the qualities that he must possess. The story also touches on the development of journalistic genres: the classic serious presentation is replaced by a more entertaining one. This theme turns into an answer to the question of why television should be engaged in entertainment in addition to its main educational function. The entire film is a demonstration of the work of the chain of different stages of the television business, the mechanism of the body of production, in which the producer plays an important role.
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