MTV’s Most Wanted, was a programme which entertained the youth culture across Europe, while at the same time talking about important issues like Cancer, HIV and also talking about drugs.
The main purpose of Most Wanted was to show different types of music from all over the world. Music that some teenagers may not have heard of and making them play 2-3 songs live. Most Wanted contained bands and singers like, Take That, Phil Collins, Radio head, Cyprus hill, Nick cave, snoop Doggy Dog, and The cure. All different types of music played on Most Wanted. You had Rock, Pop, R+B, soul, Jazz, and basically any band willing to play live.
The show was made to make you feel extremely welcome. Ray Cokes, the presenter, made you welcomed during the whole evening, whatever time you tuned in. The show was aired Tuesday to Friday every evening at 8pm to 9:30pm. Because the show was on all week, you felt Ray was one of your friends. It almost felt as if you were going round your friend’s house every night.
You were always welcomed by a friendly smile from Ray and the team. You could tell that every one in the studio was enjoying themselves. They were there because they wanted to be. This was great for the makers of Most Wanted. The whole idea was for the show to be friendly. The genre MTV’s Most Wanted came under was Music and chat and interactive.
Most Wanted was broadcasted on a music channel (MTV- Europe) and the idea of bands playing live and chatting was a mix which MTV- Europe was looking for. The show regularly interviewed bands asking questions that they weren’t expecting. None of the stars were offended. Most of the stars enjoyed being on Most Wanted.
The show was very interactive. The show was always asking people to phone or fax in with requests for music and any comments about the show.
The format of Most Wanted was intensive. The target audience Most Wanted was aiming at was older teenagers to late 20’s, but regular attracted both younger and older audience. The show could be watched in 60 million homes across 38 countries, so the background and type of living is very different for each person watching the show. People able to watch the show, would have needed a satellite dish or cable box. Then they would have to subscribe to MTV. This tells us that the people watching would or is from a steady background. The person watching would also have to be able to understand English. The audience would also have to be interested in music and be able to laugh at different subjects, some which may offend you.
The set was very warm and friendly. The colours were warm yellows and reds. It did look a little like a home setting or a local pub, not like a television studio. The desk that Ray Cokes sat at could be looked at as a bar, this bringing more realism to the show being friendly. The lighting of the set was very district. If they lighted the set too much the colours would not have the same meaning. –The colours would no longer be warm and friendly. They would become aggressive and bleached out. The set was lighted softly but not to the effect where you could just see the set. The set was lighted so if you looked at the set you could easily see what it is, but not over lit so you wouldn’t take your attention of the presenter. Ray was well lit. You could not see any shadows in the background. You could easily see his face and under the eyes and chin which showed good lighting. When the band played live, the lighting changed to the mood of the song. If the song was slow, the lighting would be soft and romantic, and there would not be much change, but if the song was fast and energetic the lighting would be sharp and disco type with lights changing very fast and coming up quickly and suddenly. During outside shots, the lighting was very simple. There was enough light for Ray and Pat (assistant in outside sections) to be seen, and a bit of background. They probably used about 4 Red/Blondes. Also remembering that the car park (where they did most outside sections) was also well lit.
The Camera shot’s were always close. All of the camera’s were freehand (not on a steady camera) except when the band were playing. When the band were playing, the shot’s would be mixed between freehand and a studio camera. It all depended on the type of song. If the song was fast beat, the majority of the camera shots would be freehand and moving quickly. The editor would go to different camera constantly. Once again there were different camera shot depending who was on at the time. If Ray was reading the faxes out, the camera shot would be a close up but always freehand, with the occasional extreme close up. (Extreme closes up – face only). For example, if Ray said something rude or funny from the fax they would go to an extreme close up for a few seconds and then they would back off. If Ray was just talking to either Nina (producer) Club bed (small audience), the shots would be Mid-shots sometimes 2 shots, This depending on what he is talking about.
The reason why they used close UP’s on a freehand camera and the reason why the lighting was warm (soft easy colours) was because they were making you feel welcome. By using close ups and being on a freehand camera it gave you the impression that you were with your mates. It also gave the show a fast beat and making the show exciting. When using close UP’s like the ones Most Wanted used, you have to be careful not to over do it. If you over do it, it may start to frustrate the viewer. (By not given the viewer another space). Most Wanted probably did this maximum 10 times while on air. (The show was shown for 3-4 years) The reason why the cameras used on Most Wanted were free hand was to give the show a fast pace towards it. The free hand camera also suited the presenter, Ray Cokes.
Because of the way Ray presented, the produces wanted the camera to go in on Ray at a Dutch Tilt. This gave the programme a strange feel, but it did work. This was one of Most Wanted’s trademarks, A camera being held hand and constantly given a different angle. This way you knew if you were flicking past that this was Most Wanted. The only reason why these camera angles were done was because it made the show close and personal, and that at the same time it helps us relate to Ray (presenter) better.
Personally, I liked the camera angles and it did work for me. I think one of the reasons why I can’t explain is because I enjoy watching them.
The show was broadcasted Live Tuesday –Friday from 8pm to 930pm UK with a edit mix of the week just passed for Sunday evening. During the show, Will Mcdonald was the director (now producer of TFI- Friday) and his directing of camera shots and coming up with new ideas during the planning for the programme was excellent. Will bought a different and new dimension to the show. The show reached its highest audience peak when Will joined in 1995.
There wasn’t many graphic used in Most Wanted. There was one section that went on for about 4 weeks were you had to shot the object. The picture was put into paint mode. It wasn’t put in paint mode strong but quite weak, so you could still see the studio easily. They then split the screen into two. They used text graphics (Astons). The text was very rough and mysterious. (I’ve tried to look up a font like that but could not find one.). They only used this to put people’s names on the screen. It was typed like normal. It wasn’t all typed in upper case or all in lower case.
The show was ‘subjective’. The reason why the show was subjective was because when they mentioned issues like Cancer, etc., It was all one side. (I agree with them doing this personally) When they did an issue, Ray (the presenter) would normally talk to the viewer from his experiences and how he feels about the issue. This is why the show could be said to be one sided. Because the show would be explaining the way the presenter felt about the subject.
There was no real narrative story to the programme. You could say the typical running order was the story, but otherwise the programme was music with out the story. There were characters with the programme, all of the crew had nicknames, and all had their own personality. Nina was called Naughty Nina, and she was having an on screen relation with Ray, Ray and Nina always mentioned their love life. (On screen) Lincon was the cool cameraman, Curtis was the baby, Will was the old grumpy old man (also known as Wicked Will) Notice that all of them are being called by there first name. This making the show more friendly (especially because they have nicknames) The only story line would be recognise by an adult. The constant reference to sex and drugs. Which is why the target audience would normally be between 18-28. The story line was the relationship with Ray and Nina. The story line was issues that were happening on the day things that were happening across Europe and what people were thinking of as a whole. (Fax/Phone)
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Again we have to thank Paul Merrick for his contribution to this section :-)
This page has last been updated: 21-05-01
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