tv vs. reality

We’ve been very busy the last few weeks – mostly focusing on Battle of Brooklyn – but also working on tv projects. It’s interesting because tv and reality are so separate. I have spent years working on the donor film off and on- a lot of it is mental. Reading, thinking, processing and trying to figure out how to put together a straightforward film from thousands of threads. Good TV, on the other hand, like good pop music, is all about keeping it simple.

Today, the New York Times ran an article about two reality shows – including the new Find My Family one about adoptees finding birth parents. For it to be good TV (i.e. an audience grabber) it’s going to be exploitative. I use good TV loosely. I mean major network, prime time, ratings grabbing.   At the same time, it makes sense that it would be. It’s dramatic – it’s peak moment. On another level it certainly puts the debate out there about how to handle these difficult emotional situations. Similiar situations certainly extend to the donor realm. I would be very interested in working on something in this vein, but I also realize that it would be hard to keep it from being exploitative on some level.

A few weeks ago I filmed as my friend Yvette met a blood relative for the first time – her brother. It was emotional but not off the wall and both of them wanted to be filmed. They wanted to document the moment. Two days later when Yvette went to meet her birth father I filmed as she left. When she returned it felt too invasive to intrude on that meeting.

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