Technicalities of reality TV

This may belong in Cafe Society, but it does have a factual answer, so I’ll put it here.

A couple questions

In fast moving reality shows, how do they manage to keep a camerman with contestants at all times?

Some examples:

In the Amazing Race, often contestants would take the last two seats on a flight. Somehow there is video of them on the flight. How did this happen?

There are other moments where every second counts in a race and yet they must take time (never shown) to wait for a camera guy to shoehorn his way into a cab before they can leave. How is this resolved?

Secondly, just how much of a bystander is the cameraman?

For instance, in the latest Survivor they had shots of a sleeping tribe with all kinds of animals and insects scurrying around and even on the participants. If a deadly snake were to appear, would a cameraman be obligated to rouse the players in order to warn them?

That may not be the best example, but if the cameraman were to see imminent danger and just keep silently filming, could they be liable for injuries that may have been prevented?

Perhaps the waivers that players invariable have to sign would absolve camermen of this responsiblity?

Here’s a hint: “Reality” TV doesn’t have a lot of reality in it.

Wow. That’s a really useful answer. Thanks.

I would imagine (but I just waggin’) there is a lot of re-shoots after the event. You know like “quick, jump in the cab and pretend you haven’t already won”. I think it is pretty common in lower budget interviews too. When there is only 1 camera it is usually facing that who is getting interviewed. Later they take the camera and shoot the interviewer and they re-ask the questions as if the person is still there…

Well, as far as the Amazing Race thingy goes, I’d guess the powers that be had already reserved seats on all the possible flights for the camera crews.

The contestants on the Amazing Race have to reserve four seats: two for the contestants, one for the cameraman, and one for the sound man.

I only know this because my friend’s parents were on last season (Teri and Ian). I wondered the same thing. :slight_smile:

guess i was wrong. told ya it was just a wag!

Spatula, your friend’s parents were Teri and Ian and that’s all you offer up? Tell us more!

The producer of Survivor admitted, when he was sued by one of the contestants, that he re-shot footage after events had taken place. So, for example, when they were doing swimming races, he’d have cameras in the water taking close-ups, and later he’d get doubles[1] to re-do the races so he could take overview shots of the race from a distance or the air.

[1] I’m not 100% sure it was doubles and not the original contestants being asked to replay the races, my recollection is fuzzy.

In the case of Survivor, hardcore fans have known for years that producer Mark Burnnett’s Hand Of God plays a BIG role.

For instance, consider the mysterious bush fire that appeared on Survivor Australian Outback after a rainstorm . One of the idiots on the show commented “maybe it was hit by lightning”, but consider that the rain had stoped for a good 30 minutes or so, and the fire was extremely localized.

And the most amazing thing was, the tribe was in need of fire for cooking! What a coincidence, isn’t it???

As far as time spent waiting for the camera guys, it would balance out over all the teams. So not a big deal. They do get time bonuses for equipment failure and similar things that make the crew unusually slow.