CategoryArts and entertainment

5 Things You Wanted To Know About Mold Making

A mold is a negative impression of the object you want to cast. It captures every surface detail of the object right down to the slightest undercut or indentation. It is not just inanimate objects either – it is even possible to capture a negative of a living, breathing person before using the body mold to reproduce a stunning life cast.

1. How to make a mold? – Mold making is an intricate art in itself. There are many techniques such as block molds, blanket molds, glove molds, poured molds and more. The making varies from simple to intricate and some can get quite time-consuming. Similarly, you can make the mold as a single piece or in two or more multiple parts depending on the shape and complexity of the object. The choice of mold type depends as much on the object as your own dexterity and comfort level.

2. What do you need? – You have to stock up on various materials, supplies, tools and equipment to make molds. There is a varied choice of mold making materials such as clay, plaster, alginate, moulage, polyurethane resin, latex rubber, silicone rubber, thermoset mold rubber and so on. Each of them has specific features, functions and suitability. You will also need gloves, containers, spatulas, mixer, brushes, knives, rasps and sometimes even a vibrating table or vacuum chamber. You should source all your art materials and tools from a trusted brand and supplier to ensure good quality and value.

3. How to go about it? – Once you have settled on the most suitable mold making material and method, you begin with the actual mold making. You will need a mold box to contain the object and seal the object first. It’s better to apply a release agent over the model. Then you have to apply or pour the mold making material all over the object. Technical aspects like spues and keys will have to be considered. The mold has to set properly before demolding it carefully from the object.

4. How to use the mold? – Once the mold has cured properly, it is ready for use. Clean and finish it properly before proceeding to the casting. You have to carefully choose a complementary casting material as the latter should not react or interfere with the mold in any manner. Sealing and coating with release agent follows again before pouring the casting material.

5. If you need help? – Mold making is interesting, enjoyable and even makes for a lucrative profession. You can learn how to make a mold by apprenticing under an expert, watching videos, reading how-to books or even experimenting on your own. Or you can choose to join a workshop that is led by an experienced professional for some valuable hands-on learning.

The author is an artist by profession as well as an experienced writer in the field of art and craft. In this article, he has focused on how to make a mold and other things that are related to it.

Indecent Expectations

Tips are earned.

I should actually just stop there; drop the proverbial mic and walk off, but all of us enjoy clarity, so let’s continue on, shall we?
Tips were never intended to create an entitlement nor give the expectation of the existence of any absolute “Minimum.” When I go out to eat, you start at 0% and work your way up. For excellent service, I’ll leave a $20 tip for a $15 bill. You earn a great tip from me when you go above and beyond the normal:

When you engage me beyond “what’s your order,” like crack a good joke and compliment my wife.

When the refills hit the table at or before my glass gets empty;

When you have intelligent things to say about the menu without me having to ask.

When you steer me away from an item that’s not up to par.

When you do something unexpected that makes my experience better.

The norm used to be 10%, and even then it was never understood as an expectation, but rather as a bonus for exceptionalism. Then the food service industry lobby kept pushing for higher and higher tip percentages and promoted the idea of minimum expectations and acted as if it should go up every time the wind blew. Then it became popular to attempt to shame people into giving higher tips with industry funded articles stating how only horrible people tip less than the new higher rate.

If I see a tip jar at the cashier’s counter of a coffee shop, fast food joint or stop-and-rob, or even taped to the outside of a drive-through window, I turn right around and leave. Giving me what I ordered is not “earning” a tip, and demanding a tip or acting like that tip is an expectation rather than a privileged bonus for exceptional service is insulting. I’ve left outrageous tips, and I’ve left a penny. Tips are a direct result of the amount of effort put into the service given. I don’t care what the service industry lobby says a tip percentage should be; they are tooting their own horn for their own benefit.

When I walk into a place that has a mandatory tip on the bill; I walk out and never go back because that is just pure arrogance and I will not pay a single dime to any establishment that does that. There are a lot of crappy service workers that expect 18-20% tips and have never earned that in their life. Tips are not the automatic entitlement the service industry lobby would like you to think they are, tips are for people who hustle and excel at what they do.

Personally I think sub-minimum wages should be banned altogether since the service industry as a whole has abused and distorted that completely in their own favor and put all of the pressure on the wait staff. Making someone go above and beyond just to reach minimum wage is degrading and unfair.

Surprised by Peace

I no longer watch the news, because I simply no longer enjoy it. It is not uplifting. It’s bad news all the way. News about people being dishonest. News about a government building a swimming pool and calling it a fire pool. News about war. News about people who have to burn tires to be heard. News about people being killed for no reason.

Peace is nowhere to be found. Even in relationships between spouses, children and parents, and even among friends, peace is becoming scarce. That’s why we don’t feel good. That’s why we get sick and tired of life. Because peace has been lost.

To keep life balanced we need peace. Loads of peace. Peace is the glue that sticks people with differences together. Where there is peace, there is rest, says the Bible.

We need loads of peace in our marriages. The relationship between parents and children needs bags full of peace. The world needs truckloads of peace. We long for real peace between countries and enemies, between friends and strangers, between us.

And the only place where peace can be found in abundance is with God: 16May the Master of Peace himself give you the gift of getting along with each other… God is the source of peace. Nobody can experience true peace if it doesn’t come from God. The peace that the world tries to create is made-up peace hanging by a thin thread that could break at any time.

Indeed, it was sin that brought a lack of peace between God and mankind. God was dissatisfied with what mankind was doing on earth. Just look at his special people, Israel, in the Old Testament. When things had been going well for some time, it wouldn’t be long before the Israelites did something stupid and the peace that existed between them and God would disappear like mist before the sun. It was the same story time after time. God forgave and established peace, until the Israelites put a spanner in the works again.

It became too much for God and He made a plan. He prepared a real peace plan. A plan that would bring about lasting peace between Him and mankind forever: Jesus had to come to earth and had to die as punishment for mankind’s sin.

That is the only plan that can work. Not a peace plan put in place by people. Also, not a plan carried out by people. No, for a peace plan to really work, you need God.

Do you need peace in one of your relationships? Then you must find peace with God. Do you need peace in your business or at work? God has loads of peace.

I know you need peace in your life, which is why I will now pray with Paul for you: 16May the Master of Peace himself give you the gift of getting along with each other at all times, in all ways. Yes! May God pour his peace all over you. But even more, 16… May the Master be truly among you!

God is looking for opportunities where He can surprise you every day. Any place, any time. Open your heart to it. Be sensitive to it. Be calm and wait for it. God will pour his joy and peace over you in the most amazing and unique way.

A Tree With Strong Roots

Paul sends Timothy out into the world to do his work with the following words: 18I’m passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in.

One thing’s for sure: Timothy was called by God to proclaim his Word in the world. Timothy was young and would experience many things on his journey. Some days things wouldn’t go so well; some days he would be filled with doubts wondering what he was doing. Some days he would receive much more criticism than positive feedback. On those days he needed to hold on to one thing- his calling.

The more he would focus on and live his calling, the stronger the winds would blow. We all know the higher the tree, the stronger the winds up there. That is why Timothy had to be grounded, his roots grown deep into the foundation so that he could remain standing strong in the storms.

Why are some trees blown over in the storm and others not? Normally, trees that have a good root system would remain upright. Timothy had to ensure that his roots were well established. He had to plant himself in God’s words. And then, when it felt as if the wheels were coming off, he had to hold onto the calling spoken over his life.

Abigail’s story (not her real name) is about the storm winds that blew so hard in her everyday life that she was nearly uprooted:
This was not an easy year. I was planning my wedding, had a lot of stress at work, and had to complete my master’s thesis.

Two weeks ago, I called off my wedding. I prayed to God for guidance and through various things that happened He gave me clarity.

God gave me the strength to call off the wedding. I had to adjust my focus and repair my relationship with Him. I focused more on my fiancé – to such an extent that my values and my relationship with God broke down.

It wasn’t easy, but I’m grateful that I could remain true to my calling.

Without realising it, everyday things come between us and God. Without realising it, everyday things come between us and our calling. Slowly but surely our own dreams to come out at the top move in and gradually we shift God to the edge of our lives. We don’t have time. Life becomes chasing after wind and before we know it, the wind uproots our tree and blows it over.

God planted you where you are now. God has beautiful plans for your there. The question is whether you still know what they are? Do you believe that God had a plan for you there? Or have you chosen the way of least resistance and not grown so that the winds don’t blow that badly?

My friend, don’t you want to have another look at your original purpose? Don’t you want to stand up like Timothy and Abigail and do the right thing? Do you believe so strongly in God and your relationship with Him that you won’t allow anything to come between you?

To Make a Difference

Nadia (not her real name) tells this story:
I want to witness about God’s change in our place of work.

On 1 April 2017, I started as supervisor in a new subdivision. This subdivision was going through a difficult period due to sensitive enquiries in the public service.

The first day that I called a meeting in the new subdivision, the oldest woman there asked if she could ask something. “May we please start by reading from the Bible and praying. Every week.” Please note: our division was multi-cultural.

So I called the others and every one welcomed the suggestion with open arms. It grew from there and now we do it on Fridays too. We ask God to guide us over the weekend. We read from the Bible in Afrikaans, and then translate it into English and South Sotho. We pray and sing in English and South Sotho. Everyone is so enthusiastic about sharing scripture and we bless everyone, Mondays and Fridays.

That specific subdivision was so demotivated, couldn’t work, and was afraid to make decisions because of the investigation. But after we invited God into our workplace and even during the week encouraged one another with God’s Word, the atmosphere changed completely. Despite everything, instead of stress, we experience calm.

There is a feeling of inhuman peace in our building and all of us can feel it. We work in harmony and where this one woman got upset by even the smallest problems, she has grown calmer and we can resolve our differences calmly.

GOD IS GREAT!!

How many stories do we have to tell to know that when we invite God inside, it brings peace. It becomes peaceful. Then stress disappears, even if the circumstances are not so good.

Each of us must make God real more and more and involve Him wherever we go. We need God to bring peace to our world.

And as I type this devotional, my cell phone rings. It’s 06h00. I see it’s my pal and when he calls so early, I know something’s wrong.

He asks for advice and wisdom. There was a break-in at a teacher’s home. Her husband was murdered. Tis on the day that people were requested to wear black to create awareness of all the murders in our country…

And before I become negative, I reread Nadia’s story. We cannot allow the actions of people who mess up like that get us down. Our country and our world need God.

Therefore, each of us needs to live our calling. Through her position, Nadia allowed God to come into her workplace. She was living her calling.

Paul couldn’t stop himself from living his calling: 7This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.

Total Quality Management

Dream Big, Starting with the Small

When starting a business, every entrepreneur will dream that the business will grow made successful and bring huge profits. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. The reality is starting a business is when there will be a sense of despair when the business we live runs slowly and all expectations will disappear. There will be times when you have doubts about why you enter the business world.

You have to look at entrepreneurship or build a business like a child who is learning to walk. The child will initially fall and stumble, possibly grazing the knee before he gets the hang of it. Gradually, he could walk and even run.

Likewise in business matters; on the first day you may not get a customer, or you can make mistakes along the way that will threaten your business, or you may have days when you have to chase customers before things start to take and move smoothly.

So, what is the best way to start a business?

Start Small

Start as small as possible. In other words, decide what products you want to sell. This refers to the most basic version of the product or service that you can offer. This gives you the opportunity to understand what the market wants and improve from there.

Fast Moving and Dismantling Ideas

This means, “don’t be afraid to try new ideas and be annoying”. Try new ideas and fail fast. If you fail, learn the right lesson and move on quickly. In fact, it is one of the advantages of being small – you can apply new ideas quickly.

Fast Safe Cash Flow

Contrary to trust, profit is not the key to maintaining business. This is cash flow. How do you get consistent income? If you are able to meet consistent cash flow, then the profits will get closer

Treat customers like a king

It is very important that you offer the best customer service. Doing this will make them more than just customers; it will make them your ambassador.

Perfect your company with a culture and leadership skills

Your corporate culture means how you treat your company, both process and interaction with employees or suppliers. If you can’t do it right when the company is small, it is difficult for you to grow your business to become bigger.

A

The Mind of an Artist

Art Student, Chiamaka Okenwa, answers the question, ‘What runs through the mind of an artist before the birth of a true masterpiece?’ This is a question that plagues everyone, especially in today’s chaotic world where your identity is easily lost.

The answer to this question is what I have set out to find in my visit to ‘Identities’, an exhibition at Denk Spaces. At the entrance to the gallery was a display by the exhibiting artist Erasmus Onyishi. What had at first appeared to be a mere tangle of wires and clutter took form upon more careful observation as a colony of ants marching up the wall. This mixed media piece, Openly Closed, was perhaps what opened our minds to the existence of other forms of art apart from realism, a concept we had been more or less closed off to.

Stepping into the building, eyes began to fill with wonder. Each separate work was a colorful and vivacious expression of the same, special theme: Identity. The exhibiting artists had identified themselves through their work by their choices of color, line, texture and form, and each work appealed to all of us in different ways. One of Henry Eghosa’s expressive works, depicting a woman in the process of dressing in traditional attire seemed to whisper, our culture is our pride. Stephen Osuchukwu, in his dignified rendition of an elephant herd, drew focus to the matriarch elephant whose leadership position is almost synonymous with its identity. This female cow is the oldest and largest in the herd and is responsible for leading the elephant herd. Their survival rests on her broad shoulders. On deeper reflection we realize that, perhaps, we are a sort of matriarch when we are given leadership positions.

Obinna Makata, in his work Beauty Deeper than Cosmetics II, leads us to realize the need to maintain our own unique identities in a world where society dictates what to wear, how we should look and, ultimately, who we become. Another work of his, Of Race and Identity, tells us Africans that we do not truly conform to the label [Black], but our identities are rainbows of color, because there is a splash of something special in each and every one of us. His artful employment of Ankara emphasizes individuality. Just as each Ankara pattern derives its beauty from its unique pattern, so we derive our own from our difference in identities.

Promise O’nali, whose novel style would identify him in the farthest corners of the world, gives us another take on the term, identity. Because who are we, really? It is something to be deeply reflected upon. His works, in a cool and simple manner, induce the viewer to observe the intricacy of man’s journey through life, and the constant battle to maintain his true self.

Clowns Are No Laughing Matter These Days

Once upon a time, clowns were benevolent figures of laughter and joy.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, American children followed the animated antics of the Bozo the Clown on television each week. The cartoons were introduced by local presenters made up as the carrot-topped Bozo. One was Willard Scott, later to become weatherman with the NBC Today show. Willard Scott was also the first-ever Ronald McDonald, making his debut appearance in a 1963 TV ad for the burger franchise.

Flash forward ten years, to Cook County, Illinois (interestingly enough, the location of one of the first McDonald’s restaurants). A character calling himself Pogo the Clown is a popular attraction at community events. Meanwhile, young men keep going missing…

Underneath the clown makeup and clothes is a psychopath named John Wayne Gacy. In between appearances as Pogo he strangles to death 34 victims. He doesn’t wear the clown outfit when he kills, but his alter-ego of Pogo forever shifts the image of the clown in popular consciousness. Almost overnight, clowns become scary, with Gacy paving the way for numerous portrayals of bad clowns in literature and film, most notably Stephen King’s It.

King’s novel came out in 1986 and was a huge seller. In 1990, his nightmare creation, Pennywise the Clown, was brought to the small screen in a miniseries. Also in 1990, a Florida woman, Marlene Warren opened her front door to a brown-eyed clown bearing flowers and balloons. The clown shot her in the face and drove off in a white Chrysler. The clown’s victim died two days later. The killer, a woman, eluded capture for over a quarter century, but now she’s serving time for murder.

The nineties and noughties saw chilling portrayals of The Joker, the green-haired prankster in the Batman franchise, by the likes of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. Plus we met Krusty, the degenerate clown in The Simpsons.

But it wasn’t until 2016 that Caulrophobia – the fear of clowns – reached truly fever pitch. In the latter part of that year, the world was gripped by a wave of ‘scary clown’ sightings. In the lead-up to Halloween, social media sites received numerous postings about sinister-looking clowns who were reported lurking first in forests, then in a host of urban locations in the US, UK, Australia and a number of other countries. It got so bad that the president of the World Clown Association, Randy Christensen took to YouTube to condemn people dressing up as clowns to frighten people. “Whoever is doing this crazy stuff is not a clown,” stated Christensen, a Minnesota-based party clown. “This is someone who is using a good, clean, wholesome art form and distorting it.’ Christensen added that members of his association had suffered job cancellations and felt under threat following coverage of scary clown sightings.

It all got too much for McDonald’s. On October 11, 2016 the burger giant announced that its mascot would be keeping a lower profile as a result of the incidents. A spokesman said the hamburger clown was cutting back on appearances at community events as a result of the “current climate around clown sightings in communities.”

There was a kneejerk reaction from other corporate entities like Target, which took clown masks from its website and stores. Schools as far apart as Ohio, USA, and Otago, New Zealand, banned clown outfits and masks.

Cut forward to Halloween night, Monday October 31, 2016. Caulrophobia had taken such a terrifying hold in the United States that large numbers of both householders and the parents of trick or treaters had firearms at the ready that night.

Fearing vigilante retribution, most clowns kept a low profile that witches’ eve. Not so in Orange County, Florida, where two men needed medical treatment after being attacked by a group of 20 people in clown masks. But other than that, Halloween night 2016 seems to have been a bit of a fizzer in the scary clown department, given all the hype leading up to it.

Flashing forward now to May 2017. A bald, bespectacled man fronts a court in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is Dale Raincourt, aka Klutzy the Clown. He pleads guilty to the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl over a six week period. The judge jails him for two years and bans him from ever working as a children’s entertainer again. Another nail in the coffin for bona fide clowns trying to earn an honest living.

Then in the fall of 2017 came the big budget cinema production of It. Pennywise was back, scarier than ever! The film proceeded to do very brisk business indeed at the box office, with the biggest attendances ever for a September-October release.

So where does that leave the benevolent, child-friendly clown of yesteryear? Well, a lot of them have hung up their clown outfits and wigs for good. Others have strategically re-aligned themselves in the marketplace, promoting themselves as “balloon artists” and avoiding all use of the “c” word.

And poor old Ronald McDonald has been put out to pasture in most parts of the world. On a recent trip to Thailand, I did encounter his life sized effigy outside a McDonald’s in Bangkok. He had his palms pressed together in a “wei” greeting. Alternatively, he might have been praying, appealing for divine intervention as the clown joins the ranks of vampires, zombies and other denizens of our worst nightmares.

Mind Mapping for Creating Characters

Whether you consider it using flow charts, whiteboards or even just free association, Mind Mapping has been around for some time now. People have used it for taking notes, brainstorming, and problem-solving. A Mind Map is a tool used to visually organize information or ideas. As a writer, it can be used for solving writer’s block or creating a workable outline. Today I am going to show you how to create a character sketch.

Character sketches can be very basic or incredibly detailed. It can include eye and hair color or blood type and your heroes first kiss. Many writers go online and look for pre-made character sketches that include hundreds of questions that may not apply to your work. This is where the idea of a mind map comes in handy.

For those who are not familiar with the process, don’t worry creating a mind map is not complicated. It can be done on a piece of paper, a whiteboard or using software programs. It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are several FREE programs that will do an excellent job, including xmind.net, mindmaple.com, and freemind.sourceforge.net. Some of these programs have paid versions, but as a writer, the free versions will do everything you need.

To create a mind map on any subject there are 4 basic steps.

Step 1 – Start by writing a single concept in the middle of a blank page.

Step 2 – Add related ideas to this concept and use lines to connect them.

Step 3 – Branch off each of these ideas to expand and create new thoughts.

Step 4 – Use different colors, symbols, and images to make each branch unique.

To help visualize this process I will use one of my own characters as an example. Every character you create will be different, but if you use these points as a starting place, it will be much easier.

My starting point is always very specific. I use my character’s name and a photo of what I think he or she will look like. Why do I add a photo? Because as the saying goes, “a picture IS worth a thousand words.” Personally, I put the name and photo inside a red circle at the center of the page, like a bullseye.

I add new ideas to focus on around my character. Each idea is placed in its own circle and connected by a wavy line. Why a wavy line? Because straight lines are boring and analytical, I am trying to tap into the creative side of my brain. I will also use a different color for each circle and the line that connects it, for the same reason.

I focus on six main points with each character. These include Family, Friends, Work, Skills, Physical and Secrets. At this point, it might be hard to come up with a photograph for each category, but you can use symbols like a question mark for the section that says Secrets.

This is where the fun begins. Under each main point listed, I include 5 additional sub-ideas. For example, under Family, I would list Mother, Father, Siblings, Other and History. Each of these would also have their own circle, and I would color that circle the same as the primary idea Family.

I can already hear someone saying this won’t work for me, my character’s parents are dead, or my character is an orphan. So? This is only to spark ideas. If the mother is dead, this will remind you of that and be a memory for your character to ponder about. If she’s not, you can describe what he liked or disliked about her the most.

The same idea applies to Siblings, if he has them he can tell stories of when his brother did this, or his sister did that. If he never had one, did he ever wonder what it would be like to have a brother or sister?

You might wonder why I included the word Other. Whether your character’s parents are living or not at some point someone else had a major impact on his life. That could be a babysitter, a scout leader or a teacher. All of us are created by those we have interacted with.

History would include things like who was the black sheep of the family, are all the women in this family short, have there always been anger issues? These are the things the character himself may not even realize affect his (or her) way of thinking.

I could write an entire article on how your character’s family affects the way they act or think or believe. That’s kind of the point of a mind map, you can go as deep as you want. By keeping it simple, (one word at a time) it allows your mind to keep filling in the blanks. Don’t believe me? Just say the word Mother out loud and see what images and thoughts pop into your head.

Most of the categories I listed are obvious, but I do want to take a moment to talk about Secrets. Every person on the planet has them and if you think you can create a character without them, you are sadly mistaken. It could be as simple as they never learned to swim, or as dramatic as they killed their own sister. This is also a good place to include habits. For example, if you wrote Taps, it could remind you when he gets nervous he always taps his fingers. If you wrote the word Ring, you would know she twists her ring when upset. You don’t have to write the whole reason why she twists her ring just write the word to keep your imagination going.

Key points to remember:

1st point – Keep is simple. One word at a time. You are not writing the story you are capturing ideas to include in the story.

2nd point – Use color. Bright, vibrant colors stimulate the mind. The more stimulated the mind, the easier it is to be creative.

3rd point – Use curved lines to connect thoughts. Why? Because if you just use straight lines, the brain gets bored quickly.

4th point – Add images whenever possible. Why? Because if a picture is worth a thousand words, then 10 pictures are worth ten thousand words. By using a word AND an image you engage both sides of the brain without limiting your potential.

Once you start using mind mapping to write, ideas will flow one after another. It’s actually very hard to have writer’s block if ideas come so fast you can’t keep up. It may not solve all your writing problems, but it will make things easier.

The Reality of Reality Shows

The concept of reality shows

Reality television is a television programming genre that displays usually unscripted overdramatic or hilarious situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of trained actors, sometimes in a competition or other circumstances where a prize is awarded. Shows in the Reality TV are called as reality shows that are often produced as series. The people are either engaged in competition with each other or in an awkward situation or spied on in their daily lives. Reality TV is a buzzword of the day. Watching reality shows have become our favourite past time and a source of fun and enjoyment. It is a real program cast with real people not with actors.

Though the term reality television is chiefly used to categories shows that have arisen since the year 2000, the history of reality TV shows goes back farther than we can think. Television has been depicting the lives of people through dating shows, contests and pranks for a very long time. It has a great history which most people didn’t know considering modern reality television and its boom in popularity in recent years. The reality TV show started in the year 1948, Producer-host Allen Funt’s Candid Camera, in which unsuspecting people were drops into funny and unusual situations gets filmed with hidden cameras, was first aired in the year 1948. The show is seen as a prototype of reality television programming.

Different kind of reality shows

There are various types of reality shows that are running on TV. These shows broke the boredom of the traditional scripted shows and started showing the real-life situations. Reality shows cater to different age groups and tastes because of the availability of the wide range of themes. In many reality shows, participants are often placed in exotic locations or in abnormal situations. Some of the reality shows cover a person or a group of people improving their lives. They represent a modified and highly influenced form of reality to attract its viewers. Documentaries and nonfictional shows for example news and sports are not categorized under reality shows.

Some types of reality shows are as written below:

• Documentaries or Documentary Series

Out of all the subgenres of reality TV, the documentary subgenre is possibly the most general one. The core difference between documentaries and a documentary series is that while documentaries are every so often constrained to one episode, documentary series span a series in its entireness, following a series of arc-like scripted television. The subgenre would also cover most social experiment shows, where different kinds of interactions are observed just for the sake of a new experiment.

• Competition or Elimination

Reality programs that are based on a elimination or competition format are just about getting eliminated by the annoying housemate or having the best participant become the winner. They are all about winning something important overcoming your competitors. The competition may be among all the other participants, or against time/money.

• Makeover or Renovation

Same as the name itself says this type of shows either about Makeover of a person’s appearance or make a renovation of your old house.

• Dating

This one is the most significant subgenre of reality TV where the boy meets girl and the audience stick to know ‘will they or won’t they’ aspect of the story.

• Hidden Camera

Starting with Candid Camera, this is possibly the longest-running reality subgenre. It is all about capturing the reactions of innocent people placed in unexpected situations. This subgenre also covers shows which rely on amateur submitted content.

• Supernatural

The most common types of the show in this subgenre are programs that investigate paranormal occurrences. The subgenre also encompasses shows which focus on hunting down famous mythical creatures.

 Travel or Aspirational

Since most audiences can’t afford to travel to the faraway lands for a vacation, many of us settle on enjoying these destinations through this type of travel shows where a person, couple or group goes to a trip and film all of their experiences for the viewers.

Besides all these shows celebrity talk shows or competitions like talent hunt, adventure, game shows or fear-based shows are also mentionable.

Reality Shows in India

The very first reality show of any kind on Indian TV was a quiz contest Titled- Bournvita Quiz Contest. It was hosted by the famous Derek O’Brien in the year 1972. But first, it featured a live show in various cities initially, then went on air as a radio show. In the year 1992, it became the first reality show to be featured on ZEE TV and Indian Television. Then came “Sansui Antakshari” in the year 1993 which was hosted by Annu Kapoor on ZEE TV and It became the first Indian singing reality show that ran till 2006. Came in different versions of Star One and SAB TV with the same host after 2006. ZEE TV made its name to bring about home-grown reality shows rather adapting international reality shows on Indian TV. Singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa came in the year 1995 hosted by the famous singer of Bollywood Sonu Nigam and the dancing reality show that changed the whole scenario of dancing shows Dance India Dance came in the year 2009.

Sony Entertainment Television launched India’s first dance reality show titled- Boogie Woogie it was created by Naved Jaffrey in the year 1996 and hosted and judged by Javed Jaffrey. It was as an immediate hit for the channel. In the year 2000, Star Plus aired “Kaun Banega Crorepati” with Amitabh Bachchan (an adaptation of “Who wants to become a millionaire”) which went on to become India’s favourite and most watched reality show. To give competition ZEE TV launched another game show titled- Sawal Dus Crore Ka and Sony TV launched Jeeto Chappar Phhad Ke but KBC’s popularity didn’t deter; making it the most successful reality show in Indian television. Sony India came up with Indian Idol in 2004 which was an adaptation to the popular international reality show “American Idol”. After its success with grown-ups, they came with kids participants in the show which helped the show to gain love by all.

The production team of Endemol India came up with popular reality show Big Brother’s Indian version of Bigg Boss and Fear Factor on Sony TV in 2006. It became India’s most popular international adapted show after KBC. It was moved to Colors TV making it India’s most watched Hindi Television due to its backing on Bigg Boss, Fear Factor competing with the likes of Star Plus and ZEE TV.

Next revolution reality shows in India came with an adaptation of other famous international shows like The Voice India and So You Think You Can Dance on &TV. These shows changed the concept of singing and dance shows on Indian Television. Other popular reality shows based on foreign shows are like MTV Roadies, India’s Got Talent etc.

The actual reality of reality shows

It’s generally accepted that reality TV is really kind of terrible. What was once considered innovative in the entertainment world, has devolved into unintentional comedies starring the most horrible and awkward people imaginable. Nowadays real is the last thing that strikes you about reality shows. Whether it is a dance show where lesser-known faces of telly world vie for the best dancer tag or the Bigg Boss’s house in which racial slurs and catfights are a part of the process to decide winners, much goes into presenting a reality show as real. There is a vast majority of reality television shows that are not 100 percent real, as there is a high degree of manipulation in order to achieve sustained audience attention.

Results are in reality shows mostly controlled by producers/directors. They want to keep audience believe it is random and unpredictable, to convey this most of the time some candidate is told what to do, how to do. They are even told to behave in certain ways. And in the end nobody will show you all things, things will get edited and aired show may be far from actual reality. Reality Television is a genre more of an exact description of the shows themselves. Producer’s fake shots and even re-stage dramatic moments that happened when the cameras weren’t rolling- pretty much everything is actually plotted and planned out like the normal scripted show. Most of the reality shows still hold a basic level of truth, however, portraying events that really did happen, even if they’re acted again for the cameras. These shows feature people living their lives and doing their jobs, even if a lot has been smoothed out of their day-to-day routine in order to edit out the boring bits.

Most of the talent hunt, singing, dancing even in shows based on general knowledge like “Kaun Banega Crorepati” participants has to go through a long struggle. Most of the time voting is absolutely rigged and the winner gets decided as per his or her capability of keeping TRP’s high. Most of the contestants of the reality shows, especially the winners, might get disappointed soon after their win, the attention shifts to the winner of the next season. The limelight being taken away from them doesn’t agree with many young people. Some contestants might get frustrated as they harbour false hopes that once they win the contest, their future is set for good.

Impact of reality shows on society

New boys & girls who are becoming reality TV celebrity stars does not succeed on talent but use melodrama to always remain in the news. One of the worst effects of their action is on teens who try to emulate their behaviour. All the stunts that are done on these TV shows under organized conditions are copied by the people in reality and resulting in death. Some of the shows where contestants participate to win prizes show them in poor light as they use meanness and greed to outdo each other. The negative traits can manifest themselves in the audiences and create behavioural problems. Liberal doses of abuses are hurled on the shows because the directors think that more and more people will watch them. It is a huge mistake because bad words are caught by teens and kids affecting their personality as well as behaviour. Although kids’ reality shows like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs, Sabse Bada Kalakaar, Junior Masterchef India and many other shows attract the audiences and gains good ratings, it is not advisable to put children under stressful situations in the early years of their lives! Small children have been forced to participate in reality shows, they have wrenched away from all normal activities and thrown into a single-minded devotion to lending their voices to these reality shows. They are compelled to shoot for long hours, sometimes in scorching hot non-air conditioned rooms. Even Parents also pressurise their children to excel on reality shows, small children become victims of a system that fosters and encourages unrealistic ambitions.

Some reality shows show participants taking extreme risks and putting themselves in bizarre or dangerous situations. Since younger children mostly learn through imitation, watching such programmes may put them at risk of physical injury. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology indicated that children who viewed high-risk TV programmes increased their self-reported risk-taking behaviour significantly more than children who were exposed to low-risk TV or watched less TV. Reality shows that are focussed on some people and their day-to-day lives are a big nuisance and parents need to draw a line when it comes to children watching such shows. They portray everything in an exaggerated manner which is not at all a reflection of real life. This should be made clear to our children. Reality talent shows, on the other hand, make parents feel that their own children are inadequate.

Prevention from the bad effects of reality shows

First, establish that watching reality shows is not a priority in the family. According to the age and understanding of your child, explain what your family belief systems and values are and that they do not match what is shown on reality TV. Help the child understand the impact such programmes can have and that real life is different from what is projected in a reality show. Have discussions about this in a friendly and non-threatening manner.