Show Concept: The Real Deal

Video script concept for property-based TV/web program

Client
Ozman Ijaz

Date
September 2017

Media
Video script

Objective
Write a video script for a pilot TV show that could realistically be filmed in locations in and around Winchester with a phone or handcam on a low budget.

Background
The client, Ozman Ijaz,  was a registered estate agent who wanted to produce a video that he could use to promote himself as a potential host of housing-related TV shows. From me, he needed a storyboard and script, along with relevant direction.

The work
Oz and I agreed to target the video at first time buyers, using a narrative which tied into the current economic and political climate of an incredibly pronounced class divide. It’s now harder than ever for the average Jo[e] to buy a house, and we wanted to convey the frustration of that fact, along with pulling back the reasons as to why.

Our plan was to talk to struggling potential first time buyers, as well as existing moneyed homeowners in one of the most affluent areas of the country.

Alongside this, to add extra gravitas to the narrative, we chose to contextualise the class divide by showing the extreme end of the lower class by highlighting Winchester’s homeless population, the struggles they experience, and the ease with which people can slip into those cracks in society.

We decided this needed to be a fast-paced, disruptive, youth-focused production that captured the exasperation of the times. To-camera work needed to be blunt and straight-talking. Over-the-shoulder footage needed to feel hurried and a bit frantic. It was going to be raw, and that wa the point: something super slick would reflect the upper class rather than the working class demographic we wanted to speak to.

Throughout this all, the aim was to present Oz as the man on the street. He’s faced these frustrations and challenges himself and now he’d be exploring them for the next generation of house-buyers and helping them navigate that world in down-to-earth fashion.

See for yourself
Browse below to see the storyboard and read the script.


Scene 1: Intro Scene 2: Interviewing potential first-time buyers Scene 3: Summing up the issues
Standing or walking

Speaking directly to camera

Homes Under The Hammer style

UNILAD-stlye.

With mic or without. (Mic gives feeling of more authority for interviewer)

Sat on Winchester Uni steps, looking downwards. Gives a subtle feeling of being an authority on the subject.

Walk off at end towards bottom left or right of the image

Scene 4: residential homeowners Scene 5: Mortgage broker chalk wall Scene 6: Estate Agent Interview
Friendly but hurried, man-on-the-street feeling.

Boom mic and camera man’s hand hovering into shot give a ramshackle feeling.

Oz talking to and getting prompted by cameraman also give a ‘team’ feeling aka Challenge Anneka.

 

Need to find a dark wall where the chalk will show.

Camera not being head-on gives a different more dynamic ‘youth feel. So it takes a very dry subject and makes it feel more like filming inside a youth centre.

I’d suggest sitting Oz at the agent’s desk at an angle where he can also see the computer screen. That way the viewer gets an idea of what they’re looking at even before the camera cuts to a close up of the screen.
Scene 7: Show first-time buyer around a flat Scene 8: Walking interview with uni economics professor Scene 9: Conclusion
Here we want dynamic moving shots of Oz in between the agent and prospective buyer. Not too many stood still – Oz needs to be animated and full of ideas and questions. We want the focus on Oz’s expertise and energy. Another static interview would be too similar to the previous scene.

Here we want energy. Where homeless people are stuck, we want young people to have motion.

It’s important this is around people. Oz has been talking TO young people in this show, now he’s surrounded by them.

 

Concept Video Script

 

Scene 1: Introduction

Type: To-camera

External – Winchester University Campus

OZ: “How would you like if I told you you’ll never have a home?

“I mean a proper one. Not just somewhere you rent for a few years.

“Your own house or flat.

“Well the harsh truth is that for millions of young people, it’s getting more and more difficult to make that leap from renting to buying.

“The rich are getting richer. The class divide’s growing. And it’s important to know what you can do about it.

“I don’t just mean that in terms of society, about where you vote, or what you protest for example…

“But also what you can do for yourself, practically, in the here and now.

“I’m Osman Liaz, I’m here in Winchester, and this is The Real Deal… for first time buyers.”

 

The scene cuts to a title montage played out to an upbeat, fresh-sounding instrumental soundtrack. This continues between each following, creating a sonic identity for the show that maintains momentum in a way that feels designed for its youthful first time buyer audience.

 

Scene 2: Interviewing potential first-time buyers

Type: Vox pops. (A microphone will give the full effect.)

External – Winchester University Campus

OZ [To Camera]:

So this is Winchester uni. Those are some students. Let’s go and find out just what they think about their chances of buying their first home.”

Questions

“Hey. Do you mind if I ask your name and what you’re studying?

“We’re just doing a bit of fact-finding about first time homebuyers. Do you think you’ll ever own your own home?

“(IF NO): Why do you think that is?

“What could be done to help you change that outlook?

“Who do you blame for that and why?

“How do you see your options? (What about buying in a different location, like up north?)

“Are you hopeful it might ever be different?

(IF YES): “How do you think you’ll afford that?

“What do you see as the biggest barriers to buying a house or flat?

“Do you think it’s fair the way it is at the moment for first time buyers?

“What would you like to see change?

“Could the government do more to help?

“What schemes have you heard about?

“Is there enough being done to educate young people on how to actually go about buying a home?

“If I asked you the steps to buying your home, what would you say they are?”

Scene 3: Summing up the issues for first-time buyers & introducing the other side of the coin – existing owners

Type: To-camera

External Winchester University – sat on steps

OZ

“So that was pretty clear.

Oz counts off the following points on his fingers…

OZ

“Young people want to buy, but they’re not sure how they’ll afford it – and most don’t even know how they’d start to go about it.

“Some of them talked about deposits.

“Some of them don’t think they’ll ever earn enough.

“And [almost] all of them thought they’d struggle to buy in Winchester – even though they’re already renting here.

“And you know what? That’s probably not surprising when you consider this is one of the country’s most affluent areas.

“Makes you wonder though – just how DO you afford a place in this city?

“Let’s find out.”

OZ stands up and walks down steps at an angle, exiting the scene to the side of the shot

 

Scene 4: Disruptive, but polite interviewing of local residents

Type: Over the shoulder (Think Daz doorstep challenge)

External – Winchester residential housing estate

OZ

“Okay so we’re here on the mean streets of suburban Winchester…

Oz pauses… camera pans around to picturesque residential environment

OZ

“Yeeaah okay, not very mean. Let’s hope the residents aren’t either!”

Knocks on door or sees resident in front garden

OZ

“Hi. Sorry to bother you. I’m Oz and we’re filming a show called The Real Deal.

“I was just wondering… it’s a beautiful house you’ve got. What sort of job do you do to afford a place like this?

“Do you have a partner too? What do they do, if you don’t mind me asking?

“On our show we’re thinking about first time buyers… if you were in that position, what do you think you’d do?

“Would a place like this feel achievable to you, do you think?

AFTER ANSWERS: Oz faces camera and speaks into it

OZ

“So that’s the view from the other side, if you like.

“And let’s be honest – it’s a BIG divide between first time buyers and existing owners.

“I reckon it’s probably a good idea if we talk to someone who can help us make sense of it all.

 

Scene 5: Mortgage Broker Interview (chalk on a wall)

Type: To camera, but at an angle. Possibly cutting at different angles.

External – A dark exposed brick wall (public space) somewhere suitably open but also not especially busy.

Oz talks to camera, with a large piece of chalk in one hand

OZ

Right so we’ve moved, we’re still in residential Winchester. But now I’ve got [BROKER name] with me.

BROKER [To Oz]

“Hey.”

OZ [To camera]

“[Name] is a qualified mortgage broker, and he’s going to help us go through some of the sums behind buying your first home.”

Oz turns to Broker.

OZ

“Is that right?”

BROKER

“I’ll try!”

OZ

“Ok cool. So give us an idea… from your perspective, what’s the biggest problem facing first time buyers?”

BROKER

“Just the sheer cost. For instance, Zoopla says the average price of a flat around here is just over 280 thousand…”

Oz writes £280k on the wall.

OZ

“That’s a lot.”

BROKER

“Yeah. Especially when you consider that, according to Payscale.com, the average salary here is just under 25 and a half k.”

Oz writes ‘Av. Sal £25.5k’ on the wall.

OZ

“Now, I’d recommend at least a 10% deposit on your first home…”

Oz writes ‘10% deposit = £28k’ on the wall.

OZ

“Wow, so even looking at that, the amount you need just for a deposit in this area is more than you might earn in a whole year…”

BROKER

“Yep, exactly. Which is years of saving, even if you have a bit of help from, say, your parents. It’s really not realistic for one person.

“So you’d probably have to go somewhere cheaper, where you’re looking at nearer 120 to 150 k.”

OZ

“Though then of course your commuting costs could go up.”

BROKER

“True. But, say you want to buy here and there’s two of you instead…”

OZ

“So say a household income of around 50 thousand pounds…”

Oz crosses out ‘£25.5k’ and puts ‘£50k’ next to it.

BROKER

“Yeah. Depending on your monthly outgoings, and say you’re both lucky enough work quite close to the house you’re buying… so not much travel cost each month…”

“You might get a mortgage of, say, 230 to 240 thousand…

Oz writes ‘Mort. £240k’ on wall. He then points first to that figure, then to the ‘10% deposit = £28k’ and back again

OZ

“Still not enough for a 280 thousand pound flat, is it?”

BROKER

“Not with a 10 per cent deposit.”

OZ

“So then you need a bigger deposit. Which means longer to save…”

BROKER

“Yeah. And during that time prices could go up further.”

OZ

“Any alternatives?”

BROKER

“Well there are a few.

“There’s a government scheme called Help To Buy, where you take out a loan for the deposit and then pay a small percentage on that as well as your mortgage.

“There’s a Help To Buy ISA as well, where the government boosts your funds buy 25%. So for instance, every £200 you put in, the government puts in £50, up to three thousand pounds per person.

“So if you’re buying with a partner, you can get a boost of up to six thousand pounds.

“And there’s shared ownership, where you basically pay a mortgage on a certain percentage of the property. And you rent the rest of the property each month.

“So that’s a good way to get on the property ladder if you don’t have a full deposit.”

OZ

“That sounds interesting. Are there any drawbacks?”

BROKER

“There is one big one, yeah. Basically you don’t have a protected rental agreement, so if you default on the rent rather than the mortgage, you can lose the whole house, including all of the cash you’ve already put into the place.”

OZ

“Ouch!”

BROKER

“Yeah. So I’d say for most people, your best bet is still to get a deposit together and find a place in an area you can afford.”

OZ

“Not very encouraging, is it?”

BROKER

“Not hugely. For first time buyers, it can be tricky.”

Oz turns to camera and it zooms closer in on his face

OZ

“Still, it’s not impossible. Let’s go and explore our options, shall we?”

 

Scene 6: Talk to estate agent

Type: Estate Agent Interview

External to internal – Estate Agent just up from Winchester High street.

Scene opens with Oz walking and talking to camera.

OZ

“So my job now is to try and find a place here or nearby that a first time buyer could conceivably make an offer on.”

Oz stops outside an estate agent.

OZ

“I’ve looked online and seen that [agent name – e.g. Belgarum] has a couple of decent-looking options. So I’m gonna head inside and have a chat.”

Scene cuts to Oz sitting down in front of agent at their desk.

OZ

[Name of agent – e.g. Steve] “Hi.”

Oz shakes agent’s hand.

OZ

“So I’m looking into market conditions for first time buyers around Winchester. I’ve seen a few of your places on Rightmove. Think we could find out a bit more?”

AGENT

“Sure thing. So what’re you looking for?”

OZ

“Well I actually talked to a few first time buyers earlier. I know most of them were looking for a flat. You’re probably looking at 10% deposit or a shared ownership arrangement. Do you have anything that matches that?”

AGENT

“Hmm… not around here directly. But we do in [slightly further away – Eastleigh etc.]. How about this?”

Agent shows Oz a relevant property. The camera cuts to a visual of their screen.

AGENT

“Or there’s this…”

Agent shows Oz another property, the camera cuts to a different angle of the screen as the agent scrolls down the page.

OZ

“Okay that second one… so that’s in [location], which is a few miles away. Nothing round here?”

AGENT

“It’s a really expensive area I’m afraid. For first time buyers… their best bet is buying somewhere slightly outside and commuting in.”

OZ

“Okay so it’s cheaper to live… but then there are more travel costs.”

AGENT

“Yeah, but it usually still works out more affordable that way.”

OZ

“Okay cool, sounds like our best option. So if I get hold of one of our potential first time buyers… is this a place they could take a look around?”

AGENT

“Yep absolutely!”

OZ

[Points to phone in his hand]. “Let’s see what we can do…”

Scene cuts to Oz standing looking out of the estate agent window, phone to his ear

OZ

“Matt? Yeah, hi. It’s Oz from The Real Deal.

“Hello mate. Yeah I’m good! I’m actually stood at [Name of Agent] estate agents at the mo. And they’ve got a place I think you might want to see.

“Can I text you the details?

“Wicked. Okay mate chat soon.”

Oz turns to camera.

OZ

“Looks like we might have a viewing.”

Scene 7: Show first-time buyer around a flat

Type: House viewing

External to internal – A flat somewhere in a town or village near Winchester, e.g. Eastleigh

OZ

“Right so we’ve set up this viewing. Matt, meet [Agent]. [Agent], meet Matt.”

Matt and the agent say hi and shake hands.

“So Matt, you’re looking to buy. Can I ask why?”

MATT

“Just sick of renting really. My money’s going into a bit of a black hole. Doesn’t make sense to keep on doing that.”

OZ

“I hear you. Do you mind if I ask what salary bracket you’re in? Without giving too much away. Say, 20 to 25k? 25-30…?”

MATT

“Yeah 25-30.”

OZ

“And you’ve looked into mortgages already?”

MATT

“Yeah I’m hopeful of one for around £125,000”

OZ

“Does that include a deposit?”

MATT

“Should do. Maybe if I can get a bit of help from family. It’s tight, but I’m looking into it.”

OZ

“Wow so you’ve done a lot of the work already. Have you looked into other options?”

MATT

“Maybe shared ownership… I mean, I’ve looked at it… not too keen on that to be honest. I’d rather buy outright if I can.”

OZ

“Okay, [Agent], do you mind showing us around?”

AGENT

“Sure thing.”

For the rest of this scene Oz acts as a middleman. When the agent introduces a new room, Oz comes up with ideas of what could go where, or how a wall might be knocked through, for instance. He also asks Matt what he’s after so the viewer can get a feel for suitability. Specifically, Oz may want to ask the following questions…

“So Matt, would you prefer to have a second room for a flatmate and rent it out? (Would the extra income come in handy?)”

“Did you need parking included?” (Agent could field this answer if it’s permit parking for instance)

“Do you need much storage? How much stuff do you have?”

“Can you see yourself here? Is this the sort of place you’re after?”

After the house viewing…

OZ

“So Matt, what did you think?”

MATT

[Cautiously] “Yeah it was alright… I mean, it’s a bit smaller than the place I’m renting now.”

“And with the cost of travel too I’d be paying a bit more to live a bit further away…”

OZ

“Ah that’s the trade-off of renting vs buying.”

MATT

“Yeah… I guess I’m not sure.

“It’s nice. And it is in line with a couple of other places I’ve seen.

“I guess I need to have a think.”

OZ

“Yep by all means.”

Oz turns to camera

“And while he’s doing that, I’m going to go and talk to someone who can give us a bigger picture on why things are the way they are.”

Scene 8: Talk to economics professor at University of Winchester

Type: Walk-and-talk interview, walking towards camera that keeps moving backwards

External – Winchester University Campus

Note: Depending on the biases and views of the particular professor, this could be the hardest scene guide on Oz’s behalf. However, what we should be able to end up with is a scene that speaks to a growing class divide, which is making it even harder for people to not only own their own home (as in, first time buyers) but also to hold onto it (as in, the homeless people spoken about with the professor).

OZ [To camera]

“We’re building a picture here of a country where it’s increasingly hard to buy your first home without some significant tradeoffs. But is that accurate?

“I’m back at The University of Winchester to try and get to the bottom of it.

Scene cuts to Oz walking towards camera with a smart-casually dressed university professor.

OZ

“[Name], you’re a professor of economics and politics here at Winchester uni.”

PROF

“I am indeed.”

OZ

I’ve been looking at first time house buying, homelessness. I’ve talked to owners. I’ve talked to experts. I’ve even shown someone around a place that’s a little further out than they’d like to live.

“So, what’s your take? Why is it so hard for people to buy their first home in a city like Winchester? And is it fair that it’s like this?”

[This will be where Oz needs to guide the interview. We can anticipate them talking about:

The class divide.

The political climate and the way it is reflected in the electorate’s age split.

Brexit.

House prices relative to wages.

The way demand outstrips the supply of new houses and what the government is (or isn’t) doing about it.

The goal here is to act like a journalist, keeping that conversation going and get as much footage as possible of their expert opinion on all of these topics.]

OZ

“Okay one more question… if you were a first time buyer in this economic and political climate… what would you do?”

 

Scene 9: Conclusion

Type: To-camera

Internal – Winchester University Campus, inside a public area – e.g. food court, with young people in the background.

 

OZ

“I’ve been all over town in the past few days.

Oz begins counting off the points on the finger of one hand again.

“I’ve talked to renters who want to buy.

“I’ve talked to owners who are glad they no longer have to rent.

“I’ve talked to experts who’ve helped me work out the options.

“I’ve even shown someone around a typical kind of flat for a first time buyer in this area.

And I’m gonna be honest… I’m pissed off. There, I said it.

“If you’re a potential first time buyer, let’s be blunt – you’re not in a great position.

“If you can afford to pay towards a mortgage – you’re probably not in a place to jump through the hoops of a deposit and stamp duty.”

Oz emphasises the bold lines in each of the following points.

In fact, X% of prospective first time buyers say the deposit is their biggest hurdle, and Y% need help from family or a loan to make that happen.

“And if you are, can you afford a mortgage in your area? Are there enough affordable houses near you at all?

Again [statistics source] says that demand for affordable housing outstrips the number of actual properties by [Number e.g. 2] to [Number e.g. 1]. So there are currently [twice?] as many buyers as houses or flats on the market.

“And just look – this came out while we were working on the show.

Oz shows paper displaying ‘House prices up by £10,000 headline

“A ten thousand pound increase in house prices. It’s not good news.

“So here’s what I’d do.

Oz emphasises the bold lines in each of the following points. Possibly counts them off again on his fingers or holds up fingers to indicate the different points.

Start saving early. Put a bit of money aside every month. It’s never too soon to begin building that nest egg.

“If you have family who can help, ask them. You’re probably gonna need all the help you can get.

Do your research. Get to know the prices in your area. Find the areas you can afford to buy in and decide how far away you can afford to live.

“Maybe work out if there’s a Help To Buy scheme that will work for you.

“Look into the Help To Buy ISA.

“Look at shared ownership. Decide if the risks are worth it.

“And once you’ve done all that: get educated, use the web, learn how the process of buying a house works. Then pick a good mortgage advisor and get approved.

It isn’t gonna be easy. If you’re smart about it, though, it’s definitely possible to get on that property ladder, even in this day and age.

“But be aware of the struggles, and know that it’s going to be more difficult for you than it ever has for any generation of first time buyers before you.

And that’s the real deal.”

 

Cut to end credits over a montage of outtake footage as the title track plays in the background. The Show logo appears and the music reaches its end. In the final shot, the logo stays on screen rather than fading to black, ensuring its title stays with anyone who’s watched this far.

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