Friday, September 18, 2009

Making the Team

Before I get started on this post topic I want to address posts that haven't yet appeared. (Are you still with me? I didn't think so.) There will be 5 posts coming in the next couple of weeks on the topic of paintball media. (The first was coming today until I decided to do this one at the last minute.) There will also be at least two posts on the PSTA. (I didn't pursue the phone interviews I need to do because of Extravaganza going on this week.) There will also be an xball How-To coming up as I haven't done any nuts & bolts stuff in a while. So there you go. [Btw, the way this works is now that I've told you what to expect--some of which you were already waiting on--it buys me a little more time to procrastinate. Because I am--a lazy slacker.]

In yesterday's spur of the moment post about rugby on Spike TV--rugby for crying out loud--the comments reminded me of my favorite idea for promoting competitive paintball on TV. An idea I originally pitched 3 or 4 years ago in the pages of PGi magazine. An idea I unashamedly stole and modified for paintball because it's already been done and it works.

The concept is simple: making the team. The show opens by briefly setting the stage; tryouts for a brand new D1 team are about to begin. A short action montage with voice over puts the tryouts in context. First couple of shows introduce characters who may or may not make the team and in the process of the tryouts you also introduce the fundamentals of the game. Later, after some number of players have been chosen--a number that needs to be whittled down to a final roster--that process begins to reveal how the game is played--even though the focus remains on the players. The larger idea is that putting names and faces and personalities on the game is the best way to draw in ballers & non-ballers alike. They don't have to play, they just have to have a rudimentary understanding of the game and get caught up in rooting for their favorites to succeed. Once the final team is formed you move on to the actual events and throughout the process one step leads to the next progressively and naturally. Having worked so hard and beat out the other potential players the drama is now in the team's success or failure on the field of competition and all the action in the pits and the scene surrounding every event. And you began with D1 because it's more accessible to the average player and it offers the option of continuing with the team for additional seasons either as they struggle to make the grade or take on new challenges in the semi-pro and/or pro divisions.

It's practically perfect. The show format personalizes the competition, educates in a non-pedantic way and makes competitive paintball accessible and the potential drama visceral. And, best of all perhaps, there's no reason you couldn't do a variation of the same thing with a scenario team.


Anonymous said...

Hence why I am such a big fan of Hard Knocks and would love to see it translated to Paintball. The one thing that sets the show apart from the others is the high quality production, access, and the ability to get in there and hear what is going on (aka Mics all over the field and on the players). I have a similar idea in mind and one which I hope to put into practice before the season is out. A modified version of Behind the Mask to speak. I would love to see someone do this with the guys from Aftermath II. Not an origination story, but one that shows what a winning program goes through to make it to the podium.
Love the Idea Baca!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, I dunno. I know a lot of tournament players, and they, are, well, really colorful.

It would require a lot (LOT) of beeping unless you did it as a cable show.

Do we really want to let ordinary people know how paintball players really are?

Pelc said...

I love that Hard Knocks show. Never cared one bit about the bengals before that show and after that I actually would like to see them do good and am interested in them a bit.

I think a show like that is a good way to get paintball started up on tv..

And about paintball players cursing too much. Think about The Ultimate Fighter and other reality type shows like that. There's plenty of cursing in it and I personally don't think paintball is in a different type of crowd than the MMA fans.

Anonymous said...

I think it is all in how you present the show and how you edit it together. Hard Knocks is able to do it without too much swearing and guys like MWAG have managed to keep it at a minimum in their films as well.

anonachris said...

Sounds like you could just extend and play "the XSV story" for your making the team bit.

Mark790.06 said...

As long as you tape it all before airing any episodes. Just as your ask the coach thing points to, no kid in paintball cannot be seen as un-cool, and a show like that will have lots of un-cool moments, and as soon as a player is outed as un-cool they'll become actors instead of the run of the mill retards paintball players are known to be.
You have to have one 5' 98# pasty skinned emo kid that wears girl pants, but absolutely balls!

Baca Loco said...

You're in luck, Mark. One thing you can say about paintball is there is no lack of oddball characters involved. Present company included. :)