If I tell you reality TV, will you answer me? “A mind-numbing program, and people paid gold bars to sugarcoat the pill in a dream villa for weeks”. It’s an understandable shortcut, but tell yourself that we don’t know everything! The candidate’s life is more framed and regulated than one might think. Being in a villa is nice. But when you are more in control of much, it can quickly become more difficult.
(Obviously, the rules of procedure and the guidelines vary from one show to another. We will draw up an overview of what exists, but note that what is true for a show is not necessarily a generality! )
1. No excessive alcohol consumption
On reality shows like those offered by W9, the candidates are limited in alcohol. According to the statements of certain participants, they are only entitled to one bottle for about fifteen participants, and this, only in the evening.
2. No phone on shooting days
As the participants are subject to employment contracts, the production is obliged to grant them one day off per week. This is the only time they can use their phone, especially to manage their social networks and influencer contracts. In the new edition of Star Academy, the telephone is also prohibited, so that “candidates focus on their adventure”.
3. No contact with anyone other than the candidates
In his book “It’s all me! “, published in 2019, Jessica Thivenin, flagship candidate of French reality TV, looks back on some of her experiences. In particular, you can read “In fact it’s simple, I’m told to live our days normally and not to pay attention to the film crews, never to speak to other people (cameramen, journalists, sound engineers) than the other candidates who are in the house when the cameras are rolling, and never take off the microphone which will become my best friend. ». Nice atmosphere.
4. …. No watches or clocks either
On some shoots, even watches and clocks are prohibited. Beyond the somewhat confusing aspect of not knowing what time it is and having no time marker, it is also impossible to be able to prove that they have worked too many hours in a row, if that happens product. A little problematic.
5. No privacy…
Admittedly, from the outside, it just seems that the candidates spend their days sweetening the pill. It’s not completely false, but there is still a gap in terms of pressure between sunbathing quietly by the side of a swimming pool, and sunbathing by the side of a swimming pool, with a production team in front, cameramen on both sides and a microphone taped to the shirt.
The film villas are full of people you never see on screen. There are several teams, with a bunch of people each time. Difficult, therefore, to isolate oneself. Also in her book, Jessica says “The first day, in the villa, a few minutes after my arrival, stress and stage fright make me want to go and have a little natural need, but as I was told not to speak to anyone, I dare not say. I go to the bathroom, but the film crew follows me! There, I’m in a panic because I don’t dare look at the camera or talk to them. Finally, I can’t take it anymore and I say: “There’s no point in following me, I just want to pee!” » ». Complicated. Imagine, you, if your manager followed you to the toilet on your first day, and you had to explain to him, “Hey, I would like to put down a peach. It’s OK for you ? “. Tiresome.
6. … Nor regular working hours
In some reality shows, contestants are filmed between 8 and 10 hours a day, from waking up to late at night (around 2 a.m.). In total, there are about ten mobile cameras and several teams that take turns all day. In the morning, the cameramen enter the rooms and film the candidates while they are still sleeping, to have the first sequences of their awakenings. After these hours of filming, already long, the candidates give approximately one hour of ITW per day, often during the night. Overall, it is the production that decides the waking hours, and the sleep time of each. Nothing to do with our 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the office.
7. Not allowed to set a story off
Candidates have only one day off in the week: Sunday. They do “whatever they want”, or almost… In order not to miss an interesting sequence for the viewers, the candidates are prohibited from adjusting their stories off camera. To facilitate this process, the production separates the groups of friends on their free time. Finally, “free” is quickly said, suddenly! In the same way, they have no right to speak in front of the cameras of what happened in “off”.
8. No output without the agreement of the prod
On their day off, it’s OK. But during filming, the candidates cannot decide on a whim to take a trip to the beach. They must first ask for the agreement of the production, which must validate the request and organize the releases. It must be said that it is a bit complicated to arrive unexpectedly anywhere, with an armada of cameras and technicians!
9. Not allowed to reveal filming secrets
Some contracts impose confidentiality clauses on participants. As long as they are subject to it, they cannot reveal anything about the filming conditions of the shows, even after they have been broadcast, or risk receiving a large fine. For some programs, the clauses extend over 10 years, which greatly delays the various testimonies. It was not until 2021, for example, that Morgane Enselme, candidate for Secret Story in 2011, was able to recount her experience and certain traumas. In her book “Thirteen Weeks”, she notably denounced “attacks on human dignity”. Statements publicly endorsed by other candidates.
10. No refusal to replay a scene
On shows like Secret Story, contestants were constantly filmed by fixed and hidden cameras. Today, the model is different, and mobile cameras prevail. If it is much better for the intimacy of the participants, it induces that certain interesting scenes escape the cameramen. The candidates must then replay the scenes, in particular those of clash, by letting themselves be guided by the production. If it is necessary to redo it 5 times, then the candidates will redo it 5 times. We can understand that plunging our nose into the same anger several times is not very pleasant.
11. Certain clothes are to be avoided
This is more of a technical question than anything else! Candidates cannot wear small checks or fine stripes, as these patterns make the video wobble, hypnotize the viewer and prevent them from concentrating on the content: this is the “moiré” effect. Likewise, they are asked to avoid visible marks, so that the editors do not spend hours blurring the clothes.
12. No longer allowed to wear Louboutins
For questions of rights, the Marseillais no longer have the right to wear these shoes with the red sole during the filming. A few years ago, the luxury brand contacted Benjigay, the show’s production company, to remind them “good practices concerning the use of its brand, in particular when it is used without its consent, in the context of television programs, in accordance with the practices of the profession. ».
In fact, Louboutin reportedly banned his easily identifiable shoes from appearing on the show, believing that “would tarnish its image and make the brand too accessible”. Sorryyyy Christian. The soles must be strong to support such a melon, hihi. He’s not the only one to have done this: several brands have banned people from talking about them. No, but it will be fine, yes?