Tommy Kramer Tip #241 – The Secret of Survivor’s Success: Stories + Editing

The buzz word today is “stories”. That’s a simplistic way of saying that personal experiences are more powerful and memorable than just “bits” or “items”.

And the best example I’ve ever seen of how stories should take shape is the TV show “Survivor”. As I write this tip just before Christmas of 2017, “Survivor” just ended the 35th “season” (over a span of 18 years), with Ben Driebergen, a 34-year old Marine from Boise who openly admitted as the show unfolded that he’s struggled with PTSD after serving in Iraq, winning the million-dollar prize. The impact of this “reveal” on other veterans, and the awareness of how hard it is to deal with, no doubt made an impression on millions of people – and every season of that show has had dramatic, amazingly compelling stories like Ben’s emerge.

But there’s something here for you to learn: the primary reason why those stories have made that impact is that “Survivor” is, by far, the best-edited show in television history.

They film literally THOUSANDS of hours, then have to edit them down to the 13 to 16 episodes that make up a season. (Each episode runs 43 minutes. They edit, then edit some more, then edit some more.)

And that’s how you should approach your show. I told a morning team the other day that to reach the next level, the goal is to do breaks that would need little to no editing to make a promo for the show.

Art combined with work ethic. Stories + Editing. If you’re not doing that, hope that I don’t coach your competition. Because you’ll be the one that sounds like you can’t shut up, and are wasting the listener’s time.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2018 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Frost Advisory #396 – Call Us And Tell Us Why You Love Us!

Remember back in school when you wanted that girl or boy to like you?   I bet a specific name immediately pops to mind.   (That’s for you, Marlene).

If I could just be taller, thinner, have prettier hair or clearer skin.

If I could just be smarter, run faster, or make the other kids laugh.  

Then.   Then maybe she’d love me.

There is an old joke about the expressive who said, “Enough about me!  Let’s talk about you.  How do you feel about me?”

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Tommy Kramer Tip #240 – The Last Episode Before the Last Episode

At the end of the Fall 2017 network television season, we saw something unprecedented.  The reason you may not have noticed it is that it didn’t work – at all.

“The last episode before the gripping season finale…” was the “trailer” at the end of the NEXT TO LAST episode of at least two series that I regularly watch.

Think about this.  “The last episode before the last episode.”  Where does the madness end with these stupid network hype machines?

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Frost Advisory #395 – A Programming Lesson From “The Greatest Showman”

Welcome to the show!   We’re glad you’re here!

A simple idea, but one with profound impact.

In all my years of movie going, even harkening back to the days when you could buy a jumbo-sized pickle from Mrs. Cushman at the Majestic Theatre for a quarter, I don’t recall this ever happening.

The director and the star welcomed me to the movie!

“And we are so glad that you’ve come to see “The Greatest Showman” in the way it was meant to be seen; in the theatre with an audience on the big screen.”
~Hugh Jackman and director Michael Gracey.

And it only got better from there.  (Insert plug for “The Greatest Showman.”  It’s that good.)
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Tommy Kramer Tip #239 – Learn from The Andy Griffith Show

I keep hearing things being READ to me in EXAGGERATED tones: “THANK you for ALL you’ve DONE!”

Thinking about how to help people mature and get past this point, I happened to have an old Andy Griffith Show on while I worked the other day.  It was an early episode, from the first season, and Andy himself was REALLY exaggerated, using a loud, cornpone delivery that made him sound like a cartoon character.

But Griffith himself said later in his life that he found it difficult to watch those episodes, when he was still basically just doing his country bumpkin character from “No Time For Sergeants,” his first Broadway play (and later, his first movie).  That was kind of the style then; everything was overplayed.  And Andy thought he needed to stay in ‘vocal overdrive’ to be the comedy center of the show.

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