Social media revolution

How has the social media revolution changed the way a popular series is made? Wendy meets Samuel Benta, writer, director and star of his own show, and there's not a television in sight.


Do the preparation task first. Then, watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


Wendy: Wherever we are, thanks to devices like these, we can all feel connected. They’ve created a media revolution.
Ah! Just been sent the address and a picture of the place we need to go. So come on!
This must be it. Now, part of that media revolution is happening inside that house. Let’s go and see how. There are lights, a camera, actors and a film crew. They’re filming a comedy programme.
Director: Action!
Policeman 1: AAAAAH!
Policeman 2: Right, you then, over here!
Wendy: But what’s unusual here is that this programme isn’t being made for television. This series is only happening because of the social media revolution. All about the McKenzies was launched on YouTube. They kept the costs down by filming on cheaper, high-quality cameras and using a real house rather than an expensive studio. With the help of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as its own website, it has built up a dedicated following.
Angel: Ian!
Ian: Angel!
Samuell: No, Angel, get out!
Angel: Technically, I’m not in the room …
Ian: She’s right, bro.
Samuell: Shut up, both of you.
Director: Action!
Wendy: Now, they are filming the third series. Not bad when you consider the writer, director and star, Samuell Benta, had never done anything like this before.
So tell me about All about the McKenzies.
Samuell: All about the McKenzies, basically, is centred around a Black British Caribbean family living in London, following Samuell McKenzie, who is the main protagonist.
Wendy: How easy was it to get started?
Samuell: It was just me with an idea, and I told people what I was doing in a video on Facebook. I posted an advert out saying ‘Hey, listen, this is what I want to do. Who’s interested?’
Wendy: Oh, right, so it all started with the use of social media?
Samuell: Yeah, I mean by using social media, it can just multiply rapidly. You can just share something, other people can share your stuff, and then next thing you know, a thousand people know about your idea when originally you only put one post up.
Wendy: Traditional media like magazines, newspapers and television broadcasters are also turning more and more to online media. Vice started twenty years ago as a magazine but has become one of the leading youth media brands in the world through social media. Al Brown is Head of Video at their London office. 
Al: We’re in some ways classic publishers. You know, we write and we make films. What we do is that we constantly make sure that we're responding to audience feedback in terms of what we’re making, so I think our audience feel very included in the content that we make and part of that conversation. Having content that people want to talk about and want to recommend is a big part of the way that our audience grows.
Policeman: Now, you had to go there, you had to go there …
Wendy: Back at the filming for All about the McKenzies, the cast and crew told us how important social media is to their careers and to the programme.
Make-up artist: I get about 80% of my work through social networking sites. It’s all word of mouth, and the internet is the best way to spread the word.
Actor: You hear things through Facebook through, you know, various different contacts.
Make-up artist 2: I can put pictures of, like, my work, so that, you know, if they see something they like, it’s positive feedback and they can get in contact with you.
Policeman: LAPC. Freeze!
Wendy: There are now thousands of new programmes available online and which couldn’t have been distributed before the arrival of social media. With so much content out there, the choice for you is bigger than ever before. You just have to learn how to navigate through that extra choice to find what’s best for you.


Would you like to be involved in making a show? What kind of programme would you make? What would your role be?

Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.


Profile picture for user Andrii

Submitted by Andrii on Tue, 12/01/2020 - 20:59

I wouldn't like to be involved in making a show because I'm not into it.
English courses near you