Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Okuhle Media and the TLC's Next Great Presenter Campaign:
As we wait for the announcement of this year’s winner of TLC’s Next Great Presenter on Tuesday November 15, we reflect on the continent-wide presenter search that we at Okuhle Media were privileged to be involved in as a production partner to Discovery Networks. Appointed to produce a 44-minute “Winner’s Story” documentary about the search and celebration of this year's winner, Okuhle Media partnered with event coordination experts, Show Works and television recording and live broadcast studio and post production facility MagnaTude Studios to execute, film and produce the 2016 TV tribute.
The one overarching take-out of the TLC’s Next Great Presenter Campaign, that resonates across the board, has been the importance of teamwork.
We spoke to our Senior Development Producer Kudi Maradzika, who believes the one thing that Okuhle’s Development Team - together with our production and studio partners, the Magnatude Crew - have taken away from TLC’s Next Great Presenter Search is the ethos:
“Together everyone achieves.”
Kudi shares more insights on the processes and planning that went into producing the TLC’s Next Great Presenter "Winner’s Story":
Take us through the Development Phase of a project that spans the entire African continent?
The process was made less daunting because TLC’s Next Great Presenter is already an established brand and competition. So, in developing the ‘Winner’s Story’ concept we already had a strong base from which to launch the campaign. The development was therefore mostly about finding the right tone and visual style that would resonate most with TLC viewers and elevate the show even further.
Paint a picture of what a Development Brainstorm session looks like at Okuhle - who is in the room?
It’s a lot of fun! We usually gather all the creatives and writers within the company and build from a single idea. So there’s a lot of thinking out loud and a lot of conversation during the process. There is also no right or wrong answer, as one thought usually compliments another in the most unlikely way. Cookies and nibbles usually bring out the best in everyone as well ;)
Identify some of the Challenges that Okuhle Media tackled in order to put together the planning and production phases?
We were lucky to work closely with both Discovery Networks and Show Works throughout the process. Having managed the logistics on the inaugural TLC’s Next Great Presenter competition Show Works was instrumental in helping us realize the show’s vision. The production was relatively large, but once we figured out a system, everything worked like clockwork.
Is there something unique that Okuhle brought to the table on TLC’s Next Great Presenter?
Definitely, I would say the studio expertise and production skills, as well as the creative vision.
And what a journey its been!
With over 1500 Entries across the African Continent and over 60 000 votes cast in 2015, this year’s TLC's Next Great Presenter Search launched off a solid fan base. So much so that Lee Hobbs, VP of Channels, Emerging Business, Discovery Networks CEEMEA stated that the 2015 competition “exceeded our expectations in every way and we are extremely excited to roll the competition out for a second year and amplify it further”. So what exactly does it take to amplify an established, international Campaign?
Well, a winning Events & Marketing Strategy doesn’t hurt! As Lisa Wynne from Show Works puts it," the key to a successful campaign comes down to being pedantic over our minute by minute production schedule, ensuring all the moving parts function in tandem and on time, in order to keep the machine running smoothly”. This is evident not only in Show Work’s flawless execution of the main Campaign, but also extends to the comprehensive digital presence and Activations that accompanied TLC’s Next Great Presenter competition this year.
Okuhle Media’s Chief Creative Officer, Louise McClelland, reinforces the importance of collaboration when it comes to delivering to the highest creative and production values on any TV project. “We feel honoured to have been selected to produce the “Winners Story” to mark the culmination of this year’s TLC’s Next Great Presenter competition. Partnering with Discovery Networks and working with an established and passionate team of professionals has made this one of the most enjoyable and successful documentary projects we’ve ever undertaken. We took a collaborative approach from day one, and together with our HD Studio partners, MagnaTude, believe that what could have been a challenging production on so many levels, turned into a successful case study for our business, and the start of what we hope will represent an ongoing partnership with all participating stakeholders on this prestigious talent-search project."
With less than a week to go, we’re excited to celebrate the culmination of a life-changing competition that will see the deserving winner walk away with incredible prizes, including a luxury holiday for two and the chance to travel to the UK to participate in the filming of the four-part Series at TLC’s London-based studio.TLC’s Next Great Presenter will be announced on the 15th November, and there’s still time to vote for your favourite from the Top 3 Finalists. Hop on over to the TLC’s Next Great Presenter website to cast your vote! Cover Image Courtesy of: http://tlcnextgreatpresenter.dstv.com/
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