The Cash Cab

How do they work the camera in Discovery channel’s “The Cash Cab”? I figure it must be fixed to the dashboard or something or else the riders would know immediately that something was going on, but then later the view changes around a lot. How do they do that?

They have several cameras and simply synchronize and edit them together. I’m not quite sure how they have them set up so they wont be noticeable, they might be completely noticeable.

I think they mention at the beginning that they have something like 8 lipstick sized cameras placed around the car. But really, what difference would it make if they saw them.

You’re not thinking of Taxi Cab Confessions are you?

Well, when I first saw the program I imagined there was a cameraman sitting in the front seat just like in “The Great Race.” But then I realized the jig would be immediately up, and they certainly wouldn’t be surprised when the lights came on. Pretty neat little show. I get a real kick out of it.

If i remember right, they do have a cameraman following in a cab and/or car behind them. Otherwise they would never have the shots of them doing street shout-outs and getting out of the cab with their money and prancing around.

I’ve never seen the whole thing, I just stumble on it every now and then, So I didn’t know they said that at the beginning.

The cameras are pretty small but not necessarily hidden… Anyway, it seems from watching the show that pretty much as soon as the passengers get in and tell them where they want to go (often without looking around or making much eye contact) the lights go off and the host tells them they’re on a game show, at which point the camera’s visibility really doesn’t matter.

I like the show, too. It’s got a nice combination of solid gameplay and its own charm.

I’ve wondered about what measures the show’s producers take to prevent people from deliberately selecting the Cash Cab. They try to be discreet about the CC’s identity, but the driver must be getting pretty recognizable by now. And then there’s the matter of those funky lights on the ceiling… in one episode, there was a POV shot from outside the cab at night, in which the light show was readily visible. If I spotted the CC cruising by, I might be tempted to follow it around to try to finagle a ride in it.

I’m guessing they probably take breaks between show tapings and/or just drive around a bit to shake tailers.

Also, does the host cabbie memorize all those questions, or is he reading from some discretely positioned display of some sort?

I love the Cash Cab! My roomie and I decided that the host/driver could be Elliot Stabler’s (from Law & Order SVU) brother.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure they’re small hidden cameras and they edit it to what we see. Ditto whoever mentioned a car following to get footage of shout-outs and exiting the cab.

He has an earpiece that’s visible in some shots. I imagine he gets the questions through that and repeats them. (With practice, you can learn to do that even while the guy at the other end is still talking, for a delay of only a couple words.)

The director reads him the questions into a small headphone in the driver’s ear.