Harry and Meghan Documentary: Hidden Messages is part one of my look at some of the production techniques used in the Netflix documentary. It’s not a review of the documentary or a commentary on the story. Its is my analysis of how the production team have used certain techniques to tell the story. Some of these techniques have a hidden psychological effect on the audience. They are well known in the advertising business. I use them all the time; even the title of this video is designed to hook you in; the Harry and Meghan Documentary: Hidden Messages, Harry and Meghan -is probably the most talked about and searched-for keyword today, and Hidden Messages is designed to create curiosity in the reader. Giving you the desire to find out what these messages may be and implying that you will come away from watching the video better informed. #uktvreviews #jgtvdirector #harryandmeghannetflix
So let me know what you think of my observations.
Key moments in this video
0:00 Start 0:06 What is this video about 0:40 Review Time 0:48 The Disclaimer and what it really means 2:45 Power Words set Agendas 4:00 The Towel Shot 5:05 The Master IV
EXCLUSIVE: TV Director on the INSIDE STORY of How TV works. Do you want to know how to make better videos to attract, engage and retain viewers? Using my experience making shows like Asia’s Got Talent and my 40 years in the broadcast business, I hope I can help. Using reviews of good and bad shows you watch and connecting them to YouTube videos that work, I will share my techniques for great storytelling. I am also going on a journey on YouTube. Using it as a place to experiment, make mistakes, and hopefully succeed. After 40 years, I still have so much to learn. How TV works is a mixture of reviews and behind the scenes of TV and my career.
Jonathan Glazier: TV Director, Executive Producer, Lecturer at University for the Creative Arts. Former Head of BBC Light Entertainment and International Formats, MD FoxWorld TV UK. Creative Director at Talent TV, Creative Director Endemol Asia.
Coming to ITV in 2020, in production in Australia as I write (break a leg David and Chris) a show described as mad in the US press after its first season debut on Fox. The Masked Singer is a Korean Format from my friends at MBC.Celebrities don masks and perform in their own voices to the ubiquitous panel of judges. The performers are paired off and the loser is eliminated and of course, unmasked. Given some of the performers are not known for their singing this could be dubbed cruelly as a murder mystery given some of the attempts are “pitchy”. That said like the best of entertainment and in the works of one of the great entertainment producers of her generation the late Jane McNaught “you have to be able to see the joke.” Or in other words don’t take it too seriously, enjoy it as a parlour game but play to win. I can’t wait to see what Australia makes of it, and I really do hope the UK version has Eamonn and Ruth masked as beauty and the beast.
Jonathan GlazierExecutive Producer & Director, Writer and Creatorformer BBC head of format entertainment.
The Great Hack is a superb watch, compelling even if you forget the implications of the story because the characters are fascinating. In particular, Brittany Kaiser, why does a Bernie Saunders voting, former green peace advocate and brilliant woman end up working for the Trump campaign through Cambridge Analytica? Was she seduced by the anarchy and power of the undoubtedly charismatic Steve Bannon, or was it her family’s dire financial circumstances? This is something the film doesn’t address in any depth. Nor does it look at how all the leading players at Cambridge Analytica have simply started up precisely the same kind of company after dissolving CA. Although we do get the impression they filed for bankruptcy to avoid their legal responsibilities. The money and power screams of an Illuminati conspiracy theory. All that said this is a must-watch show, brilliantly made. Chilling imagery of our data being collected and shots of those “innocent” quizzes we have all clicked on Facebook bring home the reality of data collection. There’s one caveat I’d add, who did anything wrong? Sure the ownership of our own data is something we should all debate. But all recent elections target the swing vote. All parties seek out the “persuadables“, why is it so shocking and called election influencing when it’s been happening since the mid-’50s. Once upon a time, it was Mr Murdoch who was the alleged kingmaker. Yes, the stories used today to target the swing voters are despicable, mostly false but very effective, why are we so surprised? I think the most insidious thought being the platforms we use to post cute cats are the ones being used to split society apart and the fact that Russia and other foreign powers are using the same techniques to subvert our democracy. Vice wrote an excellent review here, saying the great hack mostly missed the point. That point being, we are entering into surveillance capitalism, but that’s been the case for years, the powerful have been keeping the masses in their place using every trick in the book. Supermarkets have been employing psychologists for years placing impulse buys in precisely the right place in the store etc. The infamous “torches of freedom” smoking campaigns designed to get women to equate smoking with their emancipation in the late 1920s were an example of early manipulation by large wealthy corporations using Edward Bernays and the psychoanalyst A.A. Brill. So while it is a must-see “The Great Hack” is really about the modern-day techniques being used today, the fact that it’s got so much easier to farm data thanks to the large internet corporations. I think we all half expect our governments to hold data about us, perhaps our banks and medical institutions, suddenly we discover a bunch of college kids with an app have 100 times the data, and we gave it up ourselves so easily is a shock. If I am honest, I don’t know why we actually give our trust so easily to governments, medical institutions and of all places banks.
The last Alaskans is a remarkable series. We all know the pain of getting quiet reserved people to talk on camera. This is where this series really succeeds for me. Seeing these people, particularly the men open up in such an emotional way is heartwarming. These are the last 8 or 9 families living in the Alaskan wilderness, once the last children of the current permit holders die, no more permits will be issued. Contrary to popular belief is is possible to fail capturing spectacular scenery, this series does not fail, it is beautifully shot. The drone shots are lovely and the IV and cabin interiors take you right into their lives.
For me though it’s the story telling that succeeds so well and that centres on relationships. The relationships within the families and the families relationship to nature. I am no supporter of hunting or trapping, this show does help square some of those issues. For these families it is about survival and actually their relationship with nature actually does help preserve it, probably much more than most non hunters. But don’t judge me take a look at this gem of a show.
As love Island breaks ratings records in the uk it’s interesting to see the US version struggling. Is Love Island one of the many ideas that just doesn’t translate? And why is that? Certainly the US VO lacks the wit and charm of Ian’s fantastic effort here. Also the US version to me feels more like unscripted drama, or a game show with people really chasing fame at any cost. The UK version actually feels more authentic, yes I did say that! But the inmates actually seem to be searching for relationships while acknowledging the Love Island “experience.”
All this against series 2 of the rebooted Temptation Island producing solid ratings. I was at FOX for the first outing but had left by the time of the UK version. I am fascinated by cultural differences particularly between countries that share language and seemingly so many other touch points. Yet still there are major differences that polarise our cultures. It highlights the fact that cultural differences are random and often hidden. A common language helps us identify and understand. But it also shows just how much care is required when language is also a barrier.