WRITTEN BY OUR ANONYMOUS INSIDE MAN….OR WOMAN
Hmmm, how should I set this up? Do you watch TV? Do you watch “Reality” TV? If you are an American, odds are you do, and odds are is that you love it. Odds are also that you believe what you are watching is fact and not scripted. Well, take it from somebody who knows, 90% of Reality TV is scripted scenes performed by very bad actors. Yeah, yeah, you claim you already know this, but do you? Do you know the extent Reality Producers go to make their so-called “Reality”? No you don’t. I do, cause for 5 years I have been working on Reality TV crews. Now I cant tell you what department, or my gender cause for every gig, one must sign paperwork basically saying the production company can sue you if you make public what goes on set. I thought it was time I start to share some of my experiences to the public so at least they know what kind of garbage they are truly watching.
Lets start with a restoration car show I worked. You’ve seen these shows. Their is a shop ran by friends and families. They get clients who want to fix up an old classic car. Sounds simple enough, but that’s in real life, this is Reality TV. First off I discover that the business is not even owned and ran by who the show’s claims. Nope, the real owner is not even on screen. The producers found this shop (it is an actual restoration body shop) and put in their cast. Speaking of, the main cast knows very little about fixing up cars, but they are presented to have this knowledge. I get to the set and I notice some off screen workers fixing up the last details on this sick ass classic car. These workers stage seats in front of the vehicle, the producer calls over the camera crew and the cast. ACTION! With direction coming from the producer, our so called experienced body shop owners pick up the seats and place them in, then they talk about working all night, the vehicle is almost ready and that they are stressed out because the deadline is soon upon them. HA! Really?
Let me explain this so-called deadline. For this episode one family member is giving another family member a surprise birthday gift- a fixed up classic car. Who wouldn’t want that? The gift will be delivered at a birthday party…Surprissseeee!!!! Ok, this sounded real to me. Until I found out that the two family members aren’t really related. In fact they have never met each other. The first time they will meet will be at the birthday. Can you say “casted”? That’s right, someway, somehow, the producers pulled these 2 people out of their asses. I was actually amazed cause up until the point I found out I believed it and thought the gift was very thoughtful. Shame on me.
I saved the best for last. At the shop the crew is packing up to go film the presentation of the car at the birthday party. The cast is getting in their cars and taking off. So I’m thinking how come they just don’t drive the gift over. Well that’s cause a tow truck drives in to take over the fixed up classic car. Was the tow truck being used cause they don’t want to damage or dirty the birthday gift….uhhh no. Its cause the classic car/birthday gift doesn’t even RUN….I just laughed. We all get in the van, and the tow truck does its thing. Once we arrive at the party, the people their are friends of our show’s cast and do not even know the two family members. No they are just there to look cool. The way the last scene was filmed was classic. Since the truck didn’t run, the producers had a problem…or did they?
In the front yard, the two fake family members were placed in the front yard. Down the street 2 of the show’s cast were placed in the classic car that didn’t run. Behind the car were a bunch of crewmembers ready to push. That’s right, push. I then observed the camera crew discuss how this scene was going to be show with tight shots, then a wide shot at a certain moment. After final discussions….ACTION!
With all their strengthen, the car was pushed and picked up momentum to the point it went slowly down the street by itself. The cameras stayed tight while the car was being pushed, then when the pushing crew let go and got out of the way, the shots went wide…beautiful I thought.
Inside the car the show’s cast were screaming and honking the horn, while on the front yard the two family members looked in amazement. The birthday casted family member put on a very surprised and happy face, and when the car pulled up and stopped right in front of them (a total accident), glee was felt through out the scene. What a gift!
I’m not against Reality TV at all. What I am against is how it’s presented to the public as real or even documentary like. I wish they were just honest about it. Look at Tru TV’s show Operation Repo. In the beginning credits, in small font, it states actors are used on the show. The director decided to do this from day one because there is no other legal way to make a show. He got shit from his peers for this. They did not like the fact he was showing the public how Reality TV is really produced. Did it hurt the show? No way, it is one of the most successful Reality shows ever.
From time to time I will share my experiences so at least some of you will know that you are being played. Here’s a little teaser. A few years ago I was on the set of a big hit show, where the host got into a verbal argument with a guest. I thought it was real, the guest thought it was real…until cut was called. The guest went up to the host to apologize and make sure they were still cool. The host responds, “Ah, don’t worry, it’s only for the show”.