How would you run Top Shot?


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bigalexe
July 6, 2010, 05:59 PM
There is another thread discussion a show called Top Shot floating around here.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=526710

In summary however it is a reality show premiering this season where two groups of mixed competitive and professional shooters square off in weekly competitions and and then there is an elimination competition that picks off one person from the losing team. Survivor format really.

The general tone of the thread is that the show is a good concept but falls short in the trigger time and real action, for a variety of reasons.

So for those of you that have seen the season or at least an episode how would you run the show differently?

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bigalexe
July 6, 2010, 06:03 PM
My Reply:

More trigger time, more bullets fired, and maybe multiple people on the line at once working together.

What drives me insane seeing the show is the very limited amount of time they spend actually shooting. These folks are doing one or two competitions a day and those seem to consist of maybe 20 rounds of ammunition. 20 rounds is how many I give someone at the range who just wants to shoot my gun once, and not nearly enough for someone to get competent with a weapon they have never handled before. Yes these are pro shooters that are expected to know their guns but making this change would put more action on the screen and I think make for a much better perceived competition.

NMGonzo
July 6, 2010, 06:04 PM
So far it is doing a good job to keep my GF interested in the contest, so no complaints here.

However, I would like to see more "run and gun" challenges, in addition to moving targets.

It should have a "zombie" stage in which the shooters have to engage a horde of "zombies" approaching from 360 degrees in varying amounts of speed.

It should also have a "paintball duel", or at least a drive-by.

lions
July 6, 2010, 06:10 PM
Do away with the teams and have them compete as individuals, maybe teams of two. No voting to see who goes to elimination, whoever ranks in the bottom two from the competition are automatically in a shoot off to see who goes home.

rm23
July 6, 2010, 06:19 PM
I'd make it all about guns and shooting. I can't stand reality shows and I get that "I'm watching a reality show" feeling when I'm watching Top Shot.

Hawthorne2k
July 6, 2010, 06:36 PM
I think the show does it's job well: It brings in millions of viewers to a show that is at least somewhat about shooting.

Without jeopardizing their success, I'd like to see them add in more of thinking element to each challenge like they did with the "judgement" competition and some more run and gun stages never hurt (but that's the IPSC shooter in me talkin' :) ). The videography so far has been outstanding, but I still think there's a couple of areas for improvement.

Helmet cams. Ideally they should be digitally stabilzed and run a side-by-side view of each competitor as they go thru a competition or show a split screen of the helmet cam and the stage. If they're good enough for the X-Games, why not Top Shot?
For the run and gun stages, some kind of comparitive camera work that shows the difference in each shot, like the overlay of different downhill ski runs used in the Winter Olympics.
More on the shooting backgrounds of each competitor on the website. What is USPSA, Cowboy mounted shooting, Camp Perry, and how do they differ? Why mix in competitors with those backgrounds with current and former servicemen and law enforcement?

KodiakBeer
July 6, 2010, 06:43 PM
How about some accurate information? This is the history channel but at least half the information they give out on historical weapons is wrong.

killchain
July 6, 2010, 07:11 PM
Here's my idea on the show.

Keep people around based on skill, not because their competitors don't like them.

otcconan
July 6, 2010, 07:37 PM
I agree that it should not be teams and should be open. Jim (the old guy on the blue team) should have been eliminated on the first show.

Carter
July 6, 2010, 07:41 PM
Its meant to mimic those crappy reality shows on vh1 and mtv. SO they are doing it the "right" way according to reality tv. However...teeny bopper style for shooting isn't exactly what I'd of liked to see.

No teams would of been an improvement.

DoubleTapDrew
July 6, 2010, 07:50 PM
Have Mac from futureweapons be the whispering host :) He'd be better than that survivor contestant.
Select contestants from THR and 3 gun competitions based on demonstrated skill.
Require 2 minutes of shooting for every 1 minute of jaw flapping on the show.
Eliminate slingshots, ninja stars, pixie dust or any other non-firearm.
Competitors are eliminated based on their shooting scores and times, not their interpersonal relationships with other contestants.

stchman
July 6, 2010, 08:41 PM
AMEN, I want to see more shooting and less BSing back at the house.

One poster said get rid of teams. Each shooter gets to shoot. Then the bottom 2 go to the elimination round and best shooter stays.

I HATE it when they pick somebody because they don't like them.

Chicken-Farmer
July 6, 2010, 08:57 PM
In my opinion a competition is not based on a 5 minute team based shooting event. I would like to see the original 16 competitors compete individually against each other for the entire duration of the show season. Don't vote people off "the island". If these truly are the "Top Shots" then let them compete. The current show format comes down to popularity and theoretically the "Top Shot" could really only be a mediocre shot in the end because they were the most popular.
I enjoy the shooting competitions that the contestants have competed in so far, but i want more shooting. Some drama is OK but it should not be the focus of a shooting show.

Chicken-Farmer

Mike OTDP
July 6, 2010, 10:42 PM
Get yourself 10-15 shooters from as wide a set of shooting backgrounds as possible. Yes, that includes the precision disciplines. There's a Great Big World of Shooting outside of IPSC.

Then run the shooters through each discipline...or have the competitors design the stages, with the shooter who designed it acting as a non-shooting host for that event. He gets to provide color commentary, too - maybe for points from the viewers. First place gets 10 points, 2nd place 9 points, etc. Highest total at the end of the season wins.

The idea is to have a competition...but to also showcase the span of the shooting sports.

Kindly note that if you used enough of a spread in the contestants, you could have a Top Pistol Shot one year...and a Top Rifle Shot the next.

earlthegoat2
July 6, 2010, 10:58 PM
Just like all reality TV they can never have only cool stuff. They always have to throw in drama and conflict.

Pawn Stars and American Chopper come instantly to mind when I think of a neat idea for a reality show that is spoiled by Reality TV.

Here is my post in one of the Top Shot threads before it aired. It looks like I hit the nail right on the head.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6514350&postcount=4

pikid89
July 6, 2010, 11:32 PM
i wish it was point based...a true competition of skill, loser leaves

DammitBoy
July 6, 2010, 11:54 PM
Double elimination would mean more shooting time and more drama.

Have the bottom four compete in a elimination round and then the two losers compete in final elimination.

Keep the teams but have the two worst shooters from each team compete for elimination rounds.

XxWINxX94
July 7, 2010, 11:54 AM
Yup, just like most people are saying here, more shooting, less drama/reality show stuff. I think since it is the history channel, they should provide some more info on the gun, caliber being used, and how that particular gun operates. Just some more details and more time shooting would be great! Otherwise it's a pretty good show.

Robert
July 7, 2010, 12:35 PM
Select contestants from THR
Too bad there is no Keyboard Division. 90% of the people here think 100y is a long shot with a rifle and that 7y is a long pistol shot. We, my self included, spend too much time talking on here and not nearly enough doing. If half of the people on THR were 10% as good as they think they are the competitive shooting world would have a lot more professional shooters. I shoot competitions when time and money allow, and I can tell you that I have a lot of work left to do before I consider my self a solid shooter.

LeonCarr
July 7, 2010, 12:39 PM
I honestly expected them to be better shots.

Flame suit on.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

speaksoftly
July 7, 2010, 12:44 PM
Helmet cams. Ideally they should be digitally stabilzed and run a side-by-side view of each competitor as they go thru a competition or show a split screen of the helmet cam and the stage.

Yes yes yes yes...my biggest pet peeve with the show is that every time someone shoots they do the uber dramatic slo-mo reel and shoot 2-3 cameras in the time it takes them to show a hit. Not only that but it looks like the camera shots of the "hits" are pre-recorded video.

Also, get rid of the "kick you off the island because I don't like your face" voting scheme. I like to train in stress and can imagine a lot of different things contributing to that stress but votes aren't something I think I'll ever stress about in a real life shooting situation. Haha

And like a previous poster said, more time shooting and less time with everything else. I watch an hour show and get to see 5 minutes of shooting and the rest of the time I'm watching grown men gossip and fight like a bunch of cats in a hair salon.

Other than that, I like the show and enjoy seeing the different types of weapons. If it was a points competition that rated players on skill, I'd be all about it.

speaksoftly
July 7, 2010, 12:47 PM
I honestly expected them to be better shots.

Let em flame...I was thinking the same thing the first time I watched it. I'm no grand master but these guys are definitely NOT the best shooters in the world. I came to the same realization when I watched Chef Ramsey's "Hell's Kitchen" and noticed that the "premier chefs" had problems boiling water and steaming vegetables! :banghead:

R.W.Dale
July 7, 2010, 01:01 PM
I'd make a simple change


I'd cancel top shot with extreme prejudice and replace it with new episodes of "Tales of the gun"

I'm so sick and tired of reality TV I could vomit.

hso
July 7, 2010, 01:43 PM
Any television show has to appeal to a wide enough audience base to be "sold" to the network showing it and to be "sold" to sponsors. This is a little easier with cable since the "networks" define themselves to fit niche groups, but a program still has to appeal to as many people as possible to be worth the investment. Our community is just too small to nitpick over a program that has to appeal to a broader audience to make it viable. We should be happy that our interests are included as a major part of the shows premise.

I would discourage the personality conflict based voting, but I don't actually know how you'd go about it. The whole process of groups voting members out of the competition creates dramatic tension and that interests a broader group of viewers so it may be a necessary evil.

I would use the full range of firearms from matchlock to the most modern and leave the non-firearms out. I'd include movement of the target and/or shooter at times and I'd add ranges from contact to out to a thousand meters.

Dewey 68
July 7, 2010, 02:10 PM
My biggest issue with the show are the repeated, canned slow-mo shots. They are cool the first time, but after you've seen the same bullet and casing being ejected and the same bullet impacting the target, it gets old.

I wish that the show went into more historical detail, but I've accepted that it's a reality show first, and a show about guns second, or maybe third....not sure there....:uhoh:

Superlite27
July 7, 2010, 02:22 PM
As lions said above:

1) I would make it more of a "skill" based competition rather than a popularity contest.
2) I would make this "skill" based competition based more upon the actual "skill" it is supposed to be based on.

The ENTIRE episode where the shooters had to remember where the plates were behind the screen COMPLETELY P!&&#D ME OFF!

The squares were the size of a house! They were competing based on their MEMORY of where the targets were rather than their actual skill! In the final "shoot off" where Bill lost......THERE WAS NO PHYSICAL WAY FOR HIM TO WIN. As soon as the targets started swinging, there was a "disqualifier" target swinging syncronized behind a winning target. He HAD to shoot all three targets without touching a disqualifier. How does one do this when a losing target is syncronized behind a winning one? HE HAD LOST BEFORE HE FIRED A SHOT.

Yes, he deserved to go. But he also deserved a fair chance.

Why isn't it possible to keep all competitors and base the competition using all of their strengths so they all have an equal chance? Why not have one episode a competition using antique muzzleloaders, one using an IDPA format, one using IPSC, one using long range, one using long range pistol, maybe indoor small-bore three or four position, sillouette pistol, etc., etc., and then SCORE THEM ALL at the end of the series to determine a winner?

This way, they all have an equal chance, it is NOT a popularity contest, and they are judged based on SKILL and not goofy crap like their MEMORY?

searcher451
July 7, 2010, 02:27 PM
Less playing up the so-called personality conflicts among the players and more demonstrations of shooting skills. I don't mind the slow-mos so much (in fact, some of them are downright cool), but I do mind all of the smug, arrogant, I'm-not-talking-with-him-again crap that they play up again and again. Given the "reality" of other so-called reality shows, a lot of this stuff is smoke-and-mirrors for the cameras and isn't real anyway.

eye5600
July 7, 2010, 05:46 PM
I agree with most everyone else. They copied a standard reality show format rather than working out something new. Less drinking though; that should count for something.

I've only seen a bit, but I hate the way the tape is cut. I have little faith that the trigger squeeze I see here goes with the target impact that I see there. There's damn little integrity in reality TV.

earlthegoat2
July 7, 2010, 07:27 PM
I'd make a simple change


I'd cancel top shot with extreme prejudice and replace it with new episodes of "Tales of the gun"

I'm so sick and tired of reality TV I could vomit

This about sums it up.
Bring back a good show and get rid of a crappy one.

W.E.G.
July 7, 2010, 07:29 PM
I'd cancel top shot with extreme prejudice and replace it with new episodes of "Tales of the gun"

I'm so sick and tired of reality TV I could vomit.

+1000

killchain
July 7, 2010, 07:47 PM
Have Mac from futureweapons be the whispering host :)

You mean Baldo the Wonder Seal?

"This is a FIFTY CALIBER SNIPER RIFLE..." :P

Owen
July 7, 2010, 08:05 PM
I think I'd have fewer competitors, and at least wait a few episodes before starting eliminations.

Maybe set it up as a points based system, and have a leader board.

KodiakBeer
July 7, 2010, 08:14 PM
Despite all the reality show silliness, the poorest performers on each challenge are going first.

On the first episode, Mike was (by far) the worst performer and he's gone.
Second episode, Frank.
Third episode, Mike.
Fourth episode, James.

Owen
July 7, 2010, 08:17 PM
right, but in each of those cases, the person was eliminated before they got a chance to show off in their area of expertise, and I think that's a shame.

browningguy
July 7, 2010, 09:49 PM
More shooting, less drama. I watched one episode, won't be back.

menacingsquirrel
July 7, 2010, 10:47 PM
Hmm, I actually like the format. I like seeing the personalities at work.

Lorenzo Rojo
July 8, 2010, 01:02 PM
I would have selected the top shooters in many different types of missile weapons and firearms: semi-auto pistols, SA revolvers, bench shooters, silhouette shooters, archers, sling-shot experts, knive and shirkin throwers and maybe even javelin throwers, pitchers and quarterbacks. I would devise a skills test in each of the disciplines. Everyone would compete in every classs except where they were an "expert." A points system would be used and the person finishing highest after all of the contests would be the "Top Shot."

I think the person who wins the "contest" as it is currently presented is much more likely to be the "Top Snot."

Oh yeah, I would nix any use of a schmarmy host whose hands seem glued to his hips and overall contribution is limited to: "Bring it on in, guys."

KodiakBeer
July 8, 2010, 02:53 PM
right, but in each of those cases, the person was eliminated before they got a chance to show off in their area of expertise, and I think that's a shame.

The whole concept of the show is based around a variety of weapons. Being expert at only one thing to the exclusion of everything else, makes somebody a weak link. That's why if I had to bet, I'd say one of the military people with more generalized skills will emerge as the winner. Those guys are also far less whiney and abrasive than the ego driven "competitive" players, thus less likely to be voted off early in the game.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
July 8, 2010, 04:40 PM
Less back stabbing

And have you noticed that about half these guys have no skills or common sence at all-----I mean I'm just a schlub and I could do better than these clowns. I thought they were supposed to be experts?

Watched about 1.5 episodes---and I also won't be back.

Owen
July 8, 2010, 05:54 PM
Omaha,

every single one of those shooters would stomp you in their area of expertise...

Omaha-BeenGlockin
July 8, 2010, 06:06 PM
But not overall---that's the thing---and I'm a nobody.

jleyring
July 8, 2010, 06:08 PM
I really enjoy the show because it is something that im interested in and would love a chance at competeing also. But as many have already said, I would love to see individual shooters. So it truely the "Top Shot" instead of getting by having good teamates. Jim the old guy should have gone first. Didnt even know how to shoot a pistol. COME ON. More shooting competitions everyone for themselves and the best shooter will be standing at the end. I think Blake or JJ should win. Best 2 shooters on the show.

KodiakBeer
July 8, 2010, 06:29 PM
Omaha,

every single one of those shooters would stomp you in their area of expertise...

Omaha makes an excellent point! That first episode showed how absolutely miserable some of the pistol contestants were with standard iron sighted military rifles.

The archery competition was just as pathetic. This was a freaking 40 pound bow - a girls bow! I haven't picked up a bow in 25 years, but I suspect even I could perform better than these guys.

Too many of these contestants are specialists in one narrow area. They aren't gun enthusiasts, they're competitors within one narrow niche of the gun world.

Most/many of the people on this board grew up in rural or small town America. We have at least basic competence with bows, shotguns, rifles (iron or scoped), handguns, blackpowder guns and so on from childhood on. Yeah, any of the USPSA shooters would absolutely trounce me within his specialty, but as we've seen they're so narrowly focused that they don't perform very well outside that specialty. I guess that adds a bit of fun to my viewing. It may reek of armchair commando, but I like sitting back and mentally commenting that "I could do better that that".

hso
July 8, 2010, 06:45 PM
Most/many of the people on this board grew up in rural or small town America. We have at least basic competence with bows, shotguns, rifles (iron or scoped), handguns, blackpowder guns and so on from childhood on.

You're making an incorrect assumption based on your background. Look at the old "who we are" threads and you'll see the majority of folks here are more suburban instead of rural. Most members have no experience with anything but modern cartridge firearms.

KodiakBeer
July 8, 2010, 07:06 PM
You're making an incorrect assumption based on your background. Look at the old "who we are" threads and you'll see the majority of folks here are more suburban instead of rural. Most members have no experience with anything but modern cartridge firearms.

Perhaps you're right. So let's say "many" instead of most/many.

Sebastian the Ibis
July 8, 2010, 07:35 PM
How would I make it better?

Put all the contestants on a deserted island with the weapons of their choice and a helmet cam. And see who the sole Survivor, not "voted off."

However, since we have to deal in reality I think the present show is pretty good. It gets non-shooters interested in shooting. The only change I would make is to add some more interesting weapons. I.e. each team learns to use a civil war cannon, and the teams compete to take out a regiment of mannequins with grape shot? Who can shoot down a model airplane with quad mounted M-2's first? It's TV they have the budget and connections to get some really interesting weapons. ... just look at mail call.

Owen
July 8, 2010, 07:47 PM
This show is pretty low budget so far. I'm guessing far and away the biggest expense is the property rental, and the cash prize. I haven't seen a contest yet where the material cost is more than a few thousand dollars.

kayak-man
July 8, 2010, 07:57 PM
For the elimination rounds, have it be the worst shooter from each team, so even if you lose the challenge, you still have a shot of coming out all right, albeit a very slim shot.

What about an "Old west style gunfight" for the elimination rounds?

I think I'd give the contestants a small choice in the weapon. For the second episode, they would've been able to choose between the Berretta or a 1911. The memory game? AR15 or an AK variant.

I don't know if it would be any better, but I'd watch it...

rscalzo
July 8, 2010, 08:03 PM
This show is pretty low budget so far.
Anyone who has knowledge of a Discovery Channel production knows their budgets are low. I knew some of the participants in front of and behind the camera in a recent deep sea exploration program. Budgets were slim.

Actually the budget for the crew and cast lunch/dinner was extensive. Knowing Jim personally, he's usually eating a MRE at the matches. The food service on location was a welcome surprise to him.

nbkky71
July 8, 2010, 08:50 PM
The one thing that I'd change about the show is how the team selects the shooters for the elimination stage.

Instead of them taking individual shots, I'd have them all on the firing line and shoot at the target(s) at once. That would shorten the selection process and make it a little more anonymous.

Seattleimport
July 8, 2010, 08:51 PM
I agree with the consensus: more shooting, less drama. Have the "era" of the competition randomly determined each week, and have players compete in fun scenarios: Medieval (archery/crossbow), Colonial/Napoleonic (blackpowder muzzleloading), Wild West (early cartridge), WWI, WWII, Cold War, Modern. Mix rifle and pistol for each of the firearm eras.

For the elimination round, the bottom two should each be given a pair of single-shot paintball guns. Styled to look like flintlock muzzleloader dueling pistols. They go back to back, they pace 10, and the mediator calls FIRE!

Whoever gets shot, goes off the show. If both get shot at the same time, both go. If neither lands a shot, both go.

Owen
July 8, 2010, 09:17 PM
ooh, i like the nbkky71 idea.

Or have everyone shooting at the same time, and give them two shots..sorta like Condorcet voting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method

KodiakBeer
July 8, 2010, 09:43 PM
Two men enter, one man leaves!

http://llamabutchers.mu.nu/archives/mad_max_beyond_the_thunderdome.jpg

Carl N. Brown
July 8, 2010, 09:59 PM
Elimination is based on performance in previous match and personality conflicts, not on the skills needed in the next competition.

The Survivor style personality conflicts-alliances with in the teams are hoky dramah but in real teams such things happen but you learn to recognize and get past personality conflicts for the sake of the team.

The egos of some of the competitors were annoying. There is no "me" in team, unless you rearrange the letters.

bigalexe
July 9, 2010, 11:01 AM
Instead of them taking individual shots, I'd have them all on the firing line and shoot at the target(s) at once. That would shorten the selection process and make it a little more anonymous.

I think the intent of that entire process is that it is not anonymous. It adds anxiety and drama because the team members are in essence shooting their teammates. As a matter of drama it's actually a good move by the directors, however as a matter of principle I think it's terrible because it's one step away from outright hanging up pictures of the team members.

Also in regards to the competition costs I had the same thought. They somehow got an awesome house for the competitors to stay at but their competition materials are stuff I could probably pull together in less than a month on a college-shoestring-budget. I bet if they had wanted the connections exist to get them onto military ranges that are already setup. Also I would bet USPA, IPSC, and other competitive bodies would even sponsor competitions and pitch in for the setup and hey maybe advise the directors in exchange for a little advertising. Heck they should call the NRA and ask for help.

Ok new suggestion: Get involved with existing shooting organizations for advising.

Dr.Rob
July 9, 2010, 04:34 PM
I'd like to see more 'run and gun' type events. Granted, the premise was to get shooters from a variety of backgrounds, but a run and gun event with reloads would be neat to see how it was filmed by a good crew, and pretty exciting if done well.

Gouranga
July 9, 2010, 04:48 PM
I would like to see them hire a large muscular man with an aluminum bat. His job would be to hit anyone who even thinks of whining or any type of drama. I would create a new creed for the show, it would be "Shut up and shoot!". lol

I just loathe reality shows, and drama like that. I LOVE the shooting though.

toycruiser71
July 10, 2010, 02:07 AM
Agree with most on here. Less drama, more shooting. I hate listening to the whining in the house. Who cares if they don't get along? I don't care and don't wanna know about it. Just go shoot.

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