Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Creating ideas for TV shows and articles

This approach can quickly provide a number of ideas for possible TV shows or articles. Using this technique I choose a person as a subject and then list information about that person.

Choosing a person as a subject

I start by creating a diverse list of people (real or fictional). This can be done using the naming/listing technique (or I can simply choose two letters as initials and recall someone with those initials - PM = Patrick Moore etc). Here is one list I created:

Heather Small, Roger Moore, Robin Williams, C Nortcote Parkinson, Anthony Burgess, Goldfinger, Jane Torvill, Mr Motivator, Captain Caveman, Nostradamus, Eric Williams, Patrick Swayze.

For this example I choose Roger Moore as the subject.

Listing information about the chosen subject

I now profile the subject. To profile the subject I simply select a word from a list of random words and, instead of using the random word to create ideas, I use the word as a trigger to recall and list information or create questions about the subject.

For example:

Roger Moore. Random word = repeat

Here is some information and questions on Roger Moore suggested/triggered by the word 'repeat':

His films that have been shown most often on TV, The fee he receives for each repeat, the films or TV shows who would like to see repeated, his favourite films and TV shows, how long it takes him to learn his lines. Does he think there are too many repeats on TV?

I can also allow myself a degree of interpretation of the word 'repeat' (and use information listed to help trigger yet more information and questions):

What food 'repeats' on him? Does he/did he have a stammer? Is his accent his natural accent or did he take elocution lessons? Has he ever had to learn a different accent? What process do actors go through to learn a new accent?

The last question is a very interesting one and would make for a good article or focus for a TV documentary.

Next example:

Roger Moore. Random word = silicon

Information/questions triggered:

Does he have a PC? Does he surf the net? How many 'hits' does a Google search for his name produce? Does he play PC games? Has he played a James Bond computer game?

Next example:

Roger Moore. Random word = work

His first job. His first acting job. Does he think of acting as work or play? Other work he does. What work do his children do? How much 'work' does his famous eyebrow do? (!)


Most of the above examples used a degree of interpretation. However, as an alternative approach I can start by naming a specific thing and then consider the relationship between the subject and that thing. This takes the form:

(Person A and B)

With the random word (term) 'Loch Ness' the couplet takes the form:

(Roger Moore and Loch Ness)

I can track the 'relationship' between Roger Moore and Loch Ness:

Has he ever visited Loch Ness? When did he first hear about the monster? Does he believe in the monster? What did he think of the film 'Loch Ness'?

I can then use the above considerations to 'springboard' to new considerations and ideas:

What is Roger Moore's most bizarre belief? What are the most bizarre beliefs of famous people?

Another example of couplet use

With the random word (term) 'IBM'

Couplet = (Roger Moore and IBM)

Considerations triggered:

Does he use IBM computers? Has he ever worked for IBM? Has he ever endorsed their products? Have IBM featured as 'product placements' in his movies? Does 'Q' use IBM technology in the Bond cars?

and springboarding to other considerations:

Which people have been paid the most to endorse products? How much does it cost to have a product as a product-placement in a movie? How much would it cost to actually make a car with the technology of a Bond car?

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