While the producer plays a leading role in a project's pre-production process all the way through post-production and the final touches that make it fit for the screen, the most important role of a producer for reality TV is keeping everyone from the cast to the myriad of departments they oversee on track.
"As a series producer and show runner in reality TV you are the first person on a project, and the last person out. You oversee and take a big part in all of the phases and stages of a production," explains Norwegian reality TV producer Tone Innset.
She adds, "I am also a kind of hands on person, so I like to take a big part in everything, you know, each TV series that you are the producer in charge of becomes your little baby in a way. I love that you get an idea into production, and then follow it through until the finished product."
Innset has brought multiple productions to the screen including the television shows Charterfeber, Norges Grillmester and Unge Mødre. As one project comes to fruition and it becomes time to move onto the next, a good producer like Innset knows that they must adapt their skills to fit the requirements of the next show. They live in a world that changes swiftly, and their ability to abolish routine from one project to the next and realize what audiences want from a specific program is what keeps them continually working.
"I have fulfilled various roles on different shows from casting, field producing, writing the scripts for editing, and directing. I mean in a docuseries or competitive reality series most of the time you don't have a director like you have in film," explains Innset. "You have a field producer, segment producer, head editor, post-producer and the producer in charge aka the showrunner. So as the show runner you take a very big part in the creative part of the series."
All of Innset's productions have been drastically different in scope, and their individual success only further proves her prowess as an executive producer and showrunner.
As the producer of season 8 of the reality docuseries Charterferber, also known as Charter Fever, Innset was not only tasked with managing the crew, but also finding a uniquely different cast of Norwegian's that would keep her audience engaged over the course of each season's 12 episode run.
Innset confides, "I take a huge part in casting… A reality series is all about good characters, so type-casting is essential."
When it comes to casting the series Charterferber where there are no applications or open call auditions, Innset has to rely on her network of contacts in order to find the right people for the show.
This particulat series follows a group of Norwegian strangers ranging from top bloggers and attractive singles to large families and pensioners, who escape the cold and embark on a fully chartered vacation to a predetermined location in southern Europe. The series follows them as they prepare for their journey, the adventures they engage in and the sad day when they go home.
Innset says that she loved producing the show because "it's a humorous and edgy series, and a lot of people relate to the characters."
Switching gears, Innset went onto produce the second season of the popular and competitive Norwegian cooking series Norges Grillmester, also known as Norway's Grill Master, which began airing on Norway's largest commercial television station, TV2, earlier this year.
"I don't think I've ever had finished watching a full episode of a food show, so I really had to step up and prepare. I told my self I was not allowed to watch or do anything else before I had watched at least 2 episodes of different kinds of food shows every night," recalls Innset. "I learned a lot, and it became a series I am proud of."
She admits that in her job it is imperative that she cast "easily branded people, who dare to be themselves in front of the camera."
However, depending on the series, Innset is often tasked with finding people that are more than just "good characters."
She says, "If you are making a cooking show for example, they need to have very high cooking skills as well… So, if they fit the format when it comes to skills & qualifications, after that, then it's all about the character."
From searching the ends of the earth in order to find a handful of dynamic and engaging characters that will help make a show a must watch, to managing the day to day to production and all of the departments involved, Tone Innset is a seasoned professional whose accomplishments in the industry have made her a force to be reckoned with in reality TV.
Innset is currently a producer at Rakett AS, a.k.a Rocket TV, a Norwegian production company that operates under the Nordic Independent production alliance known as NICE Group, which according to The Hollywood Reporter, delivers over 100 series per year to Nordic broadcasters.