View Full Version : Bootleggers and video
December 17th, 2011, 12:27 PM
Discovery channel or one of those, has a new program which is a serial on Appalachian bootleggers. I'm wondering how a doc crew can get people to let them be taped committing a felony....particuarly there. My first newspaper job many years ago was in Appalachia, and the people there, while unfailingly courteous and hospitiable, were also suspicious and very slow to open up to "outsiders." I've been on still raids with cops in East Tennessee, Southeast Kentucky and SE Virginia...where the possibilities of getting shot were pretty real.
So, getting around the the nexus, how do you think this crew could gain the confidence of people in the commission of a crime, to let them tape evidence of what they're doing? And, because they are also documenting the cop side of this, is there a conflict of interest or trust in doing this? There has to be an interesting inside story on this series......
And what's next, "Carjackers" ? "Inside Traders"?
December 17th, 2011, 08:39 PM
Perhaps they are just re-creating the situation in a legal manner ... and then not telling the audience that it's a re-creation. Mix it up with real footage to create the illusion of in-the-moment/on-the-ground footage.
December 18th, 2011, 03:25 PM
Judging by the production values and access, you are likely right, which makes it a false documentary in my mind.
BTW, it's Moonshiners, not bootleggers, my bad. Bootleggers are the distributors, moonshiners produce the stuff. When I worked in East Tennessee, I worked in a "dry" county ---kept that way in large part by the polticial influence of the 'shiners to improve their business....
December 18th, 2011, 05:54 PM
You pay the federal license fee and taxes and you can make your own shine. It may be a legal still run by folks with a colorful past.
December 18th, 2011, 10:26 PM
Interestingly, this issue is (according to the previews) coming up, where the 'shiner discovers to get legal he has to post a $200,000 bond, install sand filters and other EPA stuff, and generally goes "wtf??" about it. What disturbs me is that this "reality" show either has a fantastic way with people in getting them to co-operate against their own welfare-- and as I said, I have had some experience working in that area and it's not easy --- or there is something phoney about it that they are not telling us....
December 18th, 2011, 11:01 PM
It's just entertainment. With shows like gold rush, pickers, aliens and mythical monsters this is pretty tame. Cheers
Rick L. Allen
December 19th, 2011, 07:19 PM
Remember there is nothing "Real" about "Reality TV."
December 20th, 2011, 07:15 AM
The mental illness depicted on those hoarding shows appears real.
December 21st, 2011, 10:16 PM
It's funny, we were just talking about this while watching the show!
I thought is was illegal to witness a crime and failing to report it?
December 23rd, 2011, 12:17 PM
Maybe there's some kind of legal loophole for "historic re-enactment"? Heh, heh! When I lived in Calvert City, KY, (circa 1976) if you came upon a 'working' still while in the woods walking, hunting, whatever, you picked up a stick and put it on the fire, thereby contributing to the 'making of Moonshine whiskey'. If the 'still' was cooking, I guarantee the owner was watching you down the sights of his rifle. I miss the smell of 'cornbread' wafting in the air.
Better to be a live 'contributor' then another 'missing person' in the woods of KY.
December 23rd, 2011, 03:59 PM
@James, yeah, that's sort of what I was thinking. I have worked on some dicey news situations involving 'shiners, something about this "documentary" doesn't pass the "cornbread sniff" test. Now, how many people but you and me know what the smell of cornbread in the woods means? :)
December 23rd, 2011, 05:12 PM
Battle...it's a good thing ; )
December 24th, 2011, 06:42 AM
@James, yeah, that's sort of what I was thinking. I have worked on some dicey news situations involving 'shiners, something about this "documentary" doesn't pass the "cornbread sniff" test. Now, how many people but you and me know what the smell of cornbread in the woods means? :) As a former Kentuckian, been there. That's how my Granddaddy made his living in the 20's and 30's, running booze from Glasgow to Bowling Green.
December 24th, 2011, 10:14 AM
Steve...you 'Granddaddy' put the 'roar' in the 'Roaring 20s'! I lived in Calvert City, about 15/20 minutes from Paducah, KY, 1976 - 1980 and loved it!
'Kentucky - the home of fast women and beautiful horses.' Heh, heh!
January 4th, 2012, 09:24 PM
I was wondering the same thing while watching the show.
Not only would the documentary crew be accomplices but the video evidence might be tremendously incriminating.
The defense could insist in court that it wasn't moonshine. Without evidence, there is no proof that the liquid was, in fact, alcohol even though they said it was alcohol. It could be claimed that it was all staged, even though they might, in fact, have been making real moonshine.
They can say that it's just like the way the production of meth was depicted in "Breaking Bad." It was just props and materials that looked like the real thing. Along with convincing actors.
Without law enforcement directly observing and taking hard evidence, could these people be convicted?
If nothing else, it's certainly educational. Now I know how that stuff is made. My dad told me my grandmother used to distill Japanese sake to make it stronger (she came from Japan and went back before I was born).
Maybe I can do something creative with that length of copper pipe in the garage...
January 6th, 2012, 11:37 AM
It's all fake re-enactments. I've shot on several reality shows and they are all scripted. Most of the time, the subjects are even fed their lines by producers off camera. On the show "Man vs Wild", the crews spend hours getting into position and then he moves toward them, the route and dialog predetermined. Don't believe ANYTHING you see on TV.