- AwesomenessTV, a division inside ViacomCBS centered on digital and SVOD content material, will launch its new TikTok actuality present “AwesomenessTV’s Subsequent Influencer” on Sunday.
- Its manufacturing crew created an NBA-style “bubble” to guard forged and crew from COVID-19-related dangers throughout its 10-day shoot at a Miami Seashore mansion.
- To forged its present, the AwesomenessTV crew recruited expertise from the TikTok collective Mission 305 and employed TikToker Alex Warren as its host.
- “TikTok is simply such an essential expertise discovery platform for us,” mentioned Emily Hecht, the present’s govt producer.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In a teaser for AwesomenessTV’s new actuality present, “AwesomenessTV’s Subsequent Influencer,” there aren’t any indicators that its stars are filming throughout a pandemic.
A swarm of youngsters in bikinis and swim trunks splash around in a pool, take a bunch selfie in entrance of a hoop gentle, and climb on one another’s backs.
“There’s [an] precise pandemic and y’all out right here attempting to get views,” one YouTube commenter wrote.
What viewers do not see within the trailer is that the manufacturing crew created an NBA-style “bubble” to guard its forged and crew from COVID-19-related dangers throughout its 10-day shoot at a Miami Seashore mansion.
“We’re a part of ViacomCBS, so we’ve got very strict COVID guidelines that we’ve got to abide by,” mentioned Emily Hecht, govt producer for the present, which premieres this Sunday. “We absolutely created a bubble in a Miami mansion. [An] wonderful home to incentivize the youngsters to wish to spend a bunch of time there since you couldn’t depart when you’re in.”
“Subsequent Influencer” is a cross between a standard MTV-style actuality present like “The Actual World” and a sequence of “collab” movies between a bunch of TikTok associates.
The mission, hosted by TikTok star Alex Warren, options 9 up-and-coming TikTok creators who compete to win a expertise and content material improvement cope with AwesomenessTV. The group faces off in a sequence of challenges that vary from in-person foot races to digital contests like posting a TikTok “duet” with Warren. All episodes of the present have been shot at a Miami Seashore mansion overlooking the Indian Creek canal (the place MTV’s “Jersey Shore Household Trip” was filmed).
Producing exhibits through the coronavirus pandemic has created an array of challenges for conventional media manufacturers. ViacomCBS put collectively a COVID-19 production task force to set testing protocols, PPE necessities, order cleansing and disinfection providers, and vet distributors for compliance on set. Different producers have cut scenes with crowds and used digital camera tips to keep away from making forged members get too shut.
Whereas AwesomenessTV did not promote its well being precautions in its present’s trailer, the crew is together with security disclaimers firstly of every episode to tell customers that “scenes on this episode have been filmed adhering to then-current Native, State, and/or Nation mandated COVID-19 pointers and restrictions.”
All forged and crew have been examined repeatedly, together with earlier than arriving to set and all through filming, a consultant from ViacomCBS mentioned. AwesomenessTV additionally plans to submit behind-the-scenes footage concerning the present’s COVID-19 security protocols, together with “a day within the life” video the place the forged shares what COVID-19 testing regarded like on set.
Because it launches its first TikTok-oriented actuality present, the crew at AwesomenessTV needed to strike a steadiness between acknowledging the realities of a worldwide pandemic and providing followers an escape from that actuality.
“It will not be a major concentrate on the storyline as a result of as a client, we all know that there is fatigue round that,” Hecht mentioned. “We do not wish to relive a number of the moments that we have already lived by way of as soon as.”
Casting and selling a actuality TV present utilizing TikTok’s expertise pool
Regardless of manufacturing obstacles, the timing is prime for media corporations to capitalize on a spike in curiosity in YouTube and TikTok stars.
Social-media use has jumped through the coronavirus pandemic, lifting views on most content material classes. Influencer James Charles’ YouTube-produced present “On the spot Influencer,” which premiered in April, drew tens of thousands and thousands of views and was renewed for a second season. And curiosity within the social-video app TikTok has exploded this yr, which led AwesomenessTV to concentrate on TikTokers when casting for “Subsequent Influencer.”
“With the recognition round TikTok, we knew we wished to incorporate a TikTok home,” Hecht mentioned, referring to a “collab” home development wherein TikTok creators work in teams to submit content material collectively. “Nobody was actually doing something but. There have been a few improvement offers signed with a number of the greater homes, however nothing was actually shifting.”
After reviewing video auditions from a narrowed-down listing of three TikTok creator collectives, the AwesomenessTV crew selected its 9 TikTok contestants from a Miami-based creator group referred to as Project 305. Its host, Hype House member Alex Warren, is one in every of TikTok’s largest stars with over 13 million followers on the app.
“We thought if we will do a present round an rising TikTok home, who higher to be adviser, mentor, decide, and host than somebody from Hype Home,” mentioned RJ Larese, VP of expertise & improvement at Awesomeness Digital Studio. “It was the primary main TikTok home that got here on the scene.”
Unsurprisingly, social media is a key a part of how AwesomenessTV is selling its present. All of its stars are contractually required to submit concerning the mission, and the corporate created a telephone quantity utilizing the text-marketing platform Community in order that followers can get sneak-peek messages from the present.
“We have signed up 1000’s of individuals since Tuesday when it launched, and it is only a enjoyable new method that is natural with our viewers to speak with Awesomeness,” Hecht mentioned.
How actuality TV has shifted since MTV’s ‘The Actual World’ and CBS’s ‘Massive Brother’ first aired
The drama and large personalities that blew up actuality exhibits like MTV’s “The Actual World” (1992) and CBS’s “Massive Brother” (2000) helped usher in a brand new content material class. And TikTok stars, who’ve already proven they know find out how to play up controversy for views, are properly positioned to take over the truth TV format.
“Actuality exhibits will not be a brand new factor,” Larese mentioned. “A TikTok home just isn’t actually a brand new concept. There have been issues like Crew 10 and YouTube homes, and that is simply the up to date model of it.”
One factor that has modified since 1992 is the arrival of social media and on-demand viewing, which permit followers to verify in on their favourite actuality stars at nearly any second.
“It is simply the modernization of the Actual World format,” Larese mentioned. “Locations like YouTube and TikTok and Instagram and social media on the whole have been in a position to [make it] occur 24/7. If expertise desires to provide you entry to their life, they will do it utterly unfiltered, not on a TV present now. I am not diminishing the worth of TV exhibits by any means, however there are much less constraints [on] social media.”
For extra tales on how media corporations are leaning into TikTok and social media, learn these different Enterprise Insider posts: