MAFS Australia: TV boss confirms use of sneaky editing trick 'Frankenbiting'

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TV exec confirms use of notorious editing trick – but insists disgruntled MAFS brides still only have themselves to blame for ‘villainous’ portrayals

A leading TV producer has confirmed the use of a sneaky editing technique that some disgruntled reality stars say allows them to ‘twist’ their words.

Jaala Webster, the head of post-production for ITV Studios Australia, said at the Screen Forever conference on the Gold Coast last week that ‘Frankenbiting’ is used on most reality shows – but it’s not as bad as some ex-contestants make it out to be.

‘Frankenbiting’ is a technique in which various audio snippets are mashed together in post-production to form a new sentence.

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Controversial: A leading TV producer has confirmed the use of a sneaky editing technique that some disgruntled reality stars say allows them to'twist' their words. (Pictured left to right: MAFS participants Samantha Moitzi, Al Perkins, Tamara Djordjevic and Brent Vitiello)

Controversial: A leading TV producer has confirmed the use of a sneaky editing technique that some disgruntled reality stars say allows them to ‘twist’ their words. (Pictured left to right: MAFS participants Samantha Moitzi, Al Perkins, Tamara Djordjevic and Brent Vitiello)

Some critics of the method – including former reality TV stars who believe they have been edited unfairly – claim it allows post-producers to make it look like somebody said something they didn’t actually say or mean.

However, people who work behind the scenes of TV insist the technique is only used sparingly to ‘tidy up’ messy dialogue or make conversations more concise.

Ms Webster said Frankenbiting has its limits and editors ‘don’t have the capacity’ to make someone look like a ‘villain’ unless they were actually behaving badly.

Method: Jaala Webster, the head of post-production for ITV Studios, said at an industry conference on the Gold Coast last week that'Frankenbiting' is used on most reality shows - but it's not as bad as some ex-contestants make it out to be. (pictured

Trick: Jaala Webster, the head of post-production for ITV Studios Australia, said at an industry conference on the Gold Coast last week that ‘Frankenbiting’ is used on most reality shows – but it’s not as bad as some ex-contestants make it out to be. (Pictured: MAFS bride Olivia Frazer)

‘[Frankenbiting] is basically where you might take different parts of what someone has said, and you can make a cleaner sentence, which is generally what we use it for,’ she said, according to TV Tonight.

‘I can’t Frankengrab you together having a fight with someone. I don’t have the capacity to do that. So if you look back in the edit, it’s probably because you did say or do something not so great.’

While Ms Webster acknowledged ‘music choices’ and the juxtaposition of scenes can affect how a person’s behaviour is portrayed on screen, it’s almost impossible to make a genuinely nice person into the bad guy using Frankenbiting alone.

‘I have very rarely been able to make someone more villainous, or questionable in their behaviour, than they were actually being,’ she said. 

Divisive: Some critics of the method - including former reality TV stars who believe they have been edited unfairly - claim it allows post-producers to make it look like somebody said something they didn't actually say or mean. (Pictured: MAFS groom Dion Giannarelli)

Divisive: Some critics of the method – including former reality TV stars who believe they have been edited unfairly – claim it allows post-producers to make it look like somebody said something they didn’t actually say or mean. (Pictured: MAFS groom Dion Giannarelli)

Two brides from this year’s season of Married At First Sight, Olivia Frazer and Tamara Djordjevic, have accused producers of giving them a dodgy edit.

While she didn’t single out the ‘Frankenbiting’ technique, Frazer alleged earlier this week she’d effectively been coerced into admitting on camera she had ‘no empathy’.

She claimed on the No Filter podcast sexologist Alessandra Rampolla had ‘told me for five minutes straight all the reasons why I don’t have empathy’ before she eventually conceded: ‘Sure, OK, I don’t have empathy.’

But when the program aired on TV, it looked like she confessed to this straight away, which Frazer said made viewers ‘compare me to Ted Bundy’.

Playing the victim: Two brides from this year's season of Married At First Sight, Olivia Frazer and Tamara Djordjevic (pictured), have accused producers of giving them a dodgy edit

Playing the victim: Two brides from this year’s season of Married At First Sight, Olivia Frazer and Tamara Djordjevic (pictured), have accused producers of giving them a dodgy edit

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