Confessions of the Harley LadiesThe Freedom and expression of female bike riders.Format: 10 minute pilot documentary with accompanying website.June 2013 commemorates the 110th anniversary of Harley Davidson, celebrating classic motorcycles andclassic good times. The intention for this documentary will primarily focus on the rebellion and glamour offemale bikers. Revealing an unexplored culture in search of why there are more younger women taking to thehandlebars then ever before, investigating why females are being drawn into this obviously male dominatedworld of thrill and danger. With an exploration into how the motorcycling industry has been impacted andhow the products, designs and biker fashion is changing to meet the needs of the new empowered femalerider.In terms of content, the programme will explore the many Schedulingfactors and influences that affect a women’s decision to ride • Sky Livingtheir own bike and determine their lifestyle choice. It will belead by interviews and driven by characters sharing their ex- • To be aired June 2013periences with a mixture of archive footage and history. The • 1x 60 minute documentaryDocumentary will be divided into three parts: • Available on Sky GO & Sky Demand1) The beginning will be looking at the present, this willfocus on the experiences of select women riders including a • mum and daughter duo, a biker journalist and also a Harley • Confession of the Harley Ladies isriders group belonging to the womens international motor- a new format on Sky Living bring-cycle association. Looking at why they have taken to sitting ing a new level of documentaryin the drivers seat, how it feels being in a mans world and entertainment to engage a femalewhy its important for women to be a part of this culture. audience.2) To follow, looking at the past, back to the early 1900’s • looking at the history of the Motor Maids, the first women’s • Exploring a male dominated cul-Harley Davidson riders group. And how they paved the way ture that females are increasinglyfor women motorcyclists. exposing themselves to. • 3) And lastly, this will explore the future for women rid- • Demonstrating the control anders and how the industry is evolving. What changes are being power of women in the 21st cmade to the consumer segment As the number of womenriders is rapidly increasing, and how the fashion world hasrecognised the gap in this market and what changed are be-ing made to accommodate the increasing number of womenriders.
Target Audience The intention is targeted to reach out to view- ers that do not just have an interest in motor- cycling but to a more culturally diverse audi-& ence. Attracting an age range of 20+ focusing to grab the attention of females. One of the aims of the documentary is to inspire and encourageChannel women to believe they can ride in a mans world.In which case I am proposing that this documentary would be broadcasted on Sky Living, a channel thatproduces inspirational programming covering lifestyle interests and lifestyle trends of the 21st Century.Primarily aimed at women and young adults. Consisting of a mixture of British comedy, drama and factualprogramming. Programme types include: Design, health, beauty, fashion, women’s issues, parenting, love,homes and hobbies. So with a whole host of different genres Confessions of the Harley Ladies would sit verycomfortably, being a lifestyle culture and a topic that is commonly overlooked by the everyday woman, whichwill be explored to bring a fresh new concept and new variation to the channels repertoire.However one concern is, Sky Living do not frequently show one-off documentaries, as much as the contentwould be suitable, the majority of its features run as series. An alternative channel that would suit this topicis BBC Two, a channel that embraces all genres of factual programming. Confessions of the Harley Ladieswould fit in with the tone of the channel with the ethos of being celebratory, adventurous, playful and in-formative. Being in line with the 110th anniversary in June 2013 the content will be current and topicalkeeping the feel for BBC Two documentaries relevant and modern. Confessions of the Harley Ladies wouldsit comfortably either between the 8pm or 9pm slots when documentaries as well as features and formats areshown. It could also be considered for the Entertainment sector on BBC Two which welcomes factual basedformats that attracts its younger viewers. This suits the channel as BBC Two simultaneously try to inspireand challenge viewers to reappraise their views on modern life and society. The audience of BBC Two docu-mentaries, naturally skew towards older viewers (35 – 54) however being a broad-based mainstream channelmore smart, stylish and intelligent shows are now currently being commissioned to attain come of age con-sumers for this demanding generation, In which case Confessions of the Harley Ladies would comfortably fitinto this category.
ChannelResearchIn regards to my research on pages 7 - 8, referring to the focus group with4 women motorcyclists, it was concluded that generally speaking, the ma-jority of women overlook the motorcycling culture as being predominantlymale orientated and are less likely to become involved unless they areexposed to it by a husband/partner or family member. In relation to this itwas discussed that in terms of TV programming there hasn’t been hardlyany coverage that focuses on the culture and the lifestyle and especiallynothing that has been aimed or targeted towards women. They felt thatthe only content available is on the Harley Davidson or existing motor-cycle websites in which case it would only be viewed by women who areinvolved in the culture. This demonstrates that there is potential for thistopic to be broadcasted, not only just being an eye opener for women ingeneral but will give insight to an undiscovered lifestyle.Looking at what has already been aired on TV that shares a similar ap-proach is The Hairy Bikers, A series following two men with a passionfor food and motorcycles. Although it is primarily a cookery programmeat the same time it also consists of a travelogue following the two bikersexploiting the biker lifestyle, sharing an audience of both men and womenalike. This compares slightly to Confessions of the Harley Ladies as bothprogrammes are aiming to unwrap the culture behind the motorcycle.This programme is aired on BBC 2 which is an alternative channel I haveproposed Confessions of the Harley Ladies, demonstrating that as a one offdocumentary it could be very viable.Cultural and lifestyle programmes formatted in the way of a documen-tary reflecting and portraying a lifestyle genre would be My Big Fat GypsyWedding. Investigating the lives within a different culture. The showreveals a community that lives alongside but detached from mainstreamsociety. Confession’s of the Ladies of Harley would work on a similar prin-ciple in regards to exploring a different sub culture and the influences heldwithin the motorcycling lifestyle.Other programmes that share a similar topic are broadcasted on Discov-ery Turbo, a channel that is purely dedicated to the excitement, the thrill,the fastest and the most amazing vehicles that can be found. The channelis documentary based with series such as American chopper and wheelerdealers, although the documentaries are focused around motorcycles andvehicles, it is very male orientated and a lot of the content is a reality basedformat which wouldn’t suit my proposing documentary however this is aprime example of the main cultural and lifestyle motorcycle programmesthat are available (excluding motorsport) demonstrating that there is notmuch variety targeted at women and that there is a position for one offdocumentaries.
Control & Freedom Socialising Aspect Transporta6on Being rebellious Prove women can ride 5 4 3 2 1 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Topic The stereotypical image of the hardened male road war- rior with the tattoos, long hair, muscles, and a bad attitude is definitely changing. A softer, yet edgy female versionResearch is developing. Women who have good jobs, marriages, education, and sophistication are venturing into the sport of motorcycling and discovering the lure of the highway. The Motorcycle Industry Council reports in 2008 that one third of the calculated 3 million female riders in the USA are college educated, with professional or manage- rial positions in the workforce and have a median income of $52,730. They are taking the next step and are moving into the drivers seat and becoming a new segment of the motorcycling world. “One of the biggest shifts taking place in the motorcycling industry is the growth and impact of the female riding population. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s statistics from 2008, 25 percent of all motorcyclists are female— that’s one out of every four riders. Since 2003, the number of women riding a motorcycle has in- creased by 24 percent, making women the fastest growing group of new riders. Meaning that it’s not just a guy thing anymore.” 40+ The Chart Above shows statistics from the Motorcyling 20 to 40 Industry Council in 2008 11 to 20 6 to 10 From the survey I conducted, 32 women riders 1 to 5 responded to my questionnaire. The bar chartbelow shows how long each rider has been 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 riding with 53% on started riding in the past 5years. Taking into consideration this is a verytiny segment of motorcyclists it demonstratesthat more women in recent years are taking Control & Freedom control and is beginning to start riding. With Socialising Aspect regards to the reasons as to why, the most Transporta6on popular answer was to gain control and free- Being rebellious dom and to prove that women are capable and Prove women can ride are able to ride.