5 Lessons from producing Tonight With Zororo [TWZ] Talk Show.

Avatar [email protected] | January 22, 2018

So, It's been 3 years since NafunaTV worked on Tonight With Zororo. I get asked a lot of times how the experience was and why I'm not keen on doing a similar show.

So at the time in 2014, I made the decision to begin work over the next 2 years on this TV show. A lot of my spare time was consumed by the planning and preproduction of the show. Here are the factors I was working with:

  1. I thought the Talent of the host and our own high quality productions would be enough to make a successful show.
  2. My definition of success was framed by the expectation of the host and partner which came down to a NAMA nomination and placement on DSTV.
  3. Use it to test other TV show ideas.

HIND SIGHT IS 20/20

Looking back at the production, we successfully completed the season and the production won the NAMA award as well as the placement that was a requirement at the beginning. Even though TWZ looked like a success on the surface, I really didn't enjoy the process and I was kicking and screaming the entire time. Here are some of my most stressful memories:

  1. Rookie Talent - Getting down to production soon showed us that maybe our previous assumption that we had made on our host from his delivery on radio and that it would translate directly to the screen. Instead we had multiple takes per shoot and poor written scripts and jokes that often fell flat. LESSON: There can never be enough rehearsal or screen tests.
  2. Overlooking the importance of a writing team - I assumed that the writing of the show wouldn't be as big a deal as it became. Not having a structure that allowed interrogation of scripts and proof reading led to what, in my opinion, became the weakest part of the show. LESSON: Make sure there is a team of writers who know what they are doing who can come up with original, high quality content.
  3. Brand guidelines - Having clear brand guidelines so that we have consistency during production. I normally make sure to have brand guidelines for most of my advertising projects but I guess I didn't feel it was applicaple at the time to a TV show.... Boy was I wrong!
  4. Audits - We needed to have had a tighter monetary policy for how funds from sponsors came in and where handled. This avoids issues in future when other information surfaces and it doesn't add up with pre-existing records. Money can become a big bone of contention even amongst the closest of friends. Making sure that you have open and clear discussions and detailed contracts will always help.

LAST THOUGHTS

I find after all is said and done, I invested a lot of time and effort in that production but didn't really get the kind of profits or mileage I would have hoped for. It most certainly got media attention and some critical acclaim at the time, but my measure of success is purely financial. Our biggest challenge as a company is to get our productions to be as profitable as we can get them.


Written by [email protected]


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