|Being filmed during a Slow TV broadcast - courtesy NRK|
I was recently contacted by NRK to give some responses about Slow TV owing to the unique position of having made a documentary about Slow TV and, of course, keeping this blog (as a means to continuing my study of the format and developing my own inspired projects).
Below are the questions I was sent by email and my rather lengthy written responses, a small part of which is put into this article (in Norwegian) which gives a summary of Slow TV so far.
"Could you first tell me how and when you first heard about NRK’s Slow-TV, and what your first thoughts were?"
I first heard about Slow TV during my Masters course in TV Documentary production in late 2013. My first thoughts were there must be something special or very different in this to make such a long broadcast a massive success; approaching from the mindset of reflective academia as well as a media student practitioner, it agreed with my gut feeling that documentary could be done differently than the usual TV formula.
"Secondly, why do you think these broadcasts have become such a huge success?"
I think the broadcasts have become successful for two principal reasons. One is down to the audience and the other to the production values.
|A sunny day in Oslo filming for my documentary in 2014|
Given that no other broadcaster has had the success with Slow TV that NRK has, there has to be something about the way it is made. To continue with the analogy of thinking about TV shows like people, how you treat people usually determines how the relationship unfolds and grows. If you predetermine someone is cheap, isn't really worth the effort, time, money to be who they are, then they are sidelined and likely don't achieve the potential in a relationship that they could. If you think that they're worth it, that you'll treat them with the same values and respect as others, then it's likely everyone benefits from it. Within the family of types of TV shows from NRK, Slow TV has been given the same attention as sports, drama, current affairs etc - and Slow TV has been good for NRK and Norway in return.
|With Slow TV producers, Thomas Hellum and Rune Møklebust|
on Hurtigruten in Bergen
|Does a participation in a collective identity help drive|
Slow TV's success? Courtesy NRK
May I ask you if there’s a slow-tv-production that you’d love to see?
I’m not short on my own ideas and would really like one or more brought into reality. I have approached production companies in the UK but none are prepared to treat it with the same belief that Norway does. It’ll be a very occasional novelty niche show on a non-principal channel - not a national talking point and televisual celebration. It isn’t understood or conceived properly outside of Norway.
|Come on, USA - give us a Slow TV celebratory experience!|
So, boats, drones and static perimeter shots along the length of the Colorado River through The Grand Canyon’s 445 kilometres would give a suitably epic Slow TV documentary experience of outstanding natural beauty, and like Norwegians do with Norway’s natural Slow TV productions, this would evoke patriotic sentiment of Americans.
Slow TV journeys should give as close an experience to the real thing as possible. What proportion of Americans get to experience length of The Grand Canyon? Or people around the world? It would satisfy all the criteria for a truly ground breaking TV event like nothing ever done before.
So, if anyone would like me to be part of a creative team for a broadcaster making Slow TV, give me a job!
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