Top Ad unit 728 Ć— 90


Westley Harris: Placing X-tra X-cellence in The X Factor

The most visible element of The X Factor may be the judges and talented contestants but it’s producers like Westley Harris who are the essential link between audience and talent. Harris has an impressive resume that includes some of the biggest TV shows in the world such as Wife Swap, The X Factor, and Summer House (Bravo). Executive Producer Andrew Llinares declares, “I worked with Westley on The X Factor UK, Britain’s Got Talent, and The X Factor USA. Whether working for me either in the US or UK, he is constantly impressive; which is why he is asked back season after season.” In addition to praise from EPs like Llinares and Mark Sidaway, Harris has been recognized by the prestigious Royal Television Society for his outstanding work in Reality TV. Westley seems to have a natural ability to sculpt compelling and emotional stories about everyday people who aspire to stand out. His involvement in all stages from casting, filming, producing, directing crews, to edit producing allows him to manifest a story rooted in truth and riveting; even in a curt format. His previous experience living with cast members and filming them displayed exactly the kind of tone which The X Factor creators and EPs wanted to possess in their production.

Possessing talent and expertise is important but also vital is navigating an easy transition for all involved parties. Everyone involved in a successful endeavor wants someone highly creative on their team; when that person makes their life and work easier, they’re over the moon about it. Westley was brought onto The X Factor UK (aired on ITV) for season six, after the show had already become popular. The powers that be on this production were betting that he would not only acclimate quickly but would raise the show’s “game.” It wasn’t long before this premonition was vetted with a BAFTA Craft award in 2010 for Best Production Team. From seasons six through eight, Harris followed and produced some of the show’s most popular and important segments. In addition to contestants like Irish twins John and Edward (aka Jedward), Westley lived in the house with finalists including runner-up Olly Murs and winner Joe McElderry. From Chrysalis inhabitation to transformation, Westley was the eyes through which the TV public bonded with these would be celebrity artists.

Westley’s work and recognition on UK’s The X Factor led the show’s EPs to place him in the producer’s role for the US version starting with season three (airing on FOX). As one of three segment producers, Harris was casting, filming, producing, directing crews, and edit producing the singers, ensuring that their stories were relayed in an engaging and authentic way. The process is much longer than appears on the aired episodes. From the audition tour through to the live shows spans a year of work. The producer feels a great sense of responsibility to contestants and viewers alike conveying, “I think we all have things which make us interesting and unique; the key is actually finding out what motivates and drives someone, what their dream is and why they’ve come on the show. Viewers want to root for the people on the show and it’s my job to help them discover why. I think of it like an onion; we want to show the different layers people have. I love speaking to them and finding out more about who they are and why they do the things they do. It’s a beneficial trait for a producer on this show.”

Harris makes sure to give praise to the man many consider the face of The X Factor, Simon Cowell. He concedes that while Cowell is known for being demanding and intensely detail oriented, these same factors contributed to the growth he experienced while producing for the show. Westley remarks, “It was great working with Simon. Some of the things he wanted delivered were very challenging but he was right to have high expectations. During the movie theme week, I managed to clear the last minute the rights of a movie clip for us to use during a live show. I had to jump through hoops but Simon sought me out after the show to directly thank me and tell me how pleased he was. The BAFTA award was also a nice recognition! Winning the award helped let people know that the show was not only successful in the ratings but was also deemed to have a great producing team. I think it was a direct result of our intense attention to detail. Simon had requested that we change from small intimate auditions to ones on stage in front of thousands, which was quite a transition.” The audience was very welcoming to the new presentation with over nineteen-million viewers for the finals; further proof that Westley Harris had found a way to appeal to everyone.

Author: Kelly King

Westley Harris: Placing X-tra X-cellence in The X Factor Reviewed by JaamZIN on 6:43:00 AM Rating: 5
All Rights Reserved by Me and My Crazy Mind © 2015 - 2021
Designed by Sweetheme

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.