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Old February 19th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #1
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Camera Operator attacked by castmember

This incident occured on a show airing on A&E called Intervention. I worked as a camera operator when it first began production and with the therapist featured in this one. It can be really easy to get immersed in the emotion of the scene and not pay as close attention to the objectivity that we should have as the crew and thereby get too close to the action. If you think it's powerful on the screen, you should imagine really being there with all of that going on! We were told to roll on everything, no matter what because it absolutely could not be re-enacted because of the sensitivity and nature of the content. One of the camera operators in this episode got a little too close to the main castmember that was in distress and she let him have it because she was not happy about being surprised with an intervention by her family and the therapist. However, everyone that appears on camera signs releases for this so there really is no liability to the camera operator just for shooting what happens. My solution to calming someone down when something sensitive is being captured is to remind them that it is only tape and not live so there is a possibility that it won't necessarily make it to air or it can be discussed later. Another interesting section in this video is when she tries to elude being taped and jumps into the bed truck that happens to pull up on the road. The camera operator is threatened again but by this time by the driver of the truck because he thinks the girl is being chased by these people. Imagine what 4 guys and one with a video camera chasing a girl down the road. This video is less than 3 minutes of the entire program only showing the intervention and when she goes after the camera operator. After that scene on the road, she calms down, goes back to the house and agrees to go to therapy. The entire length shows the whole dramatic and traumatic backstory and current situation of this young lady's situation. So far she seems to have straightened herself out as shown in the follow up. :)

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Last edited by James Emory; February 20th, 2006 at 10:58 AM.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 10:53 AM   #2
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You think that's bad, you should watch some pro-wrestling! ;)
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Old February 20th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #3
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Sorry, but you couldn't pay me enough to take a job doing something as lame as this. There are other ways to make money that don't include this crap. I hate "reality television," which I happen to think is very unrealistic.

On another note, shooting a short film in downtown Atlanta back in '99, I was nearly attacked by a homeless woman who said she was going to take my camera. She started walking after me as I walked away. I guess I could've defended myself against a homeless woman, but I think that's what you call a "lose-lose" situation. Hmm...beat up or beaten up? I walked and called the security guard over who we SMARTLY had hired for the 2 days shooting downtown!

For any short film people with city scenes, this is good advice. HIRE SECURITY! And it shouldn't be a bouncer. Call the local police station and ask for guys who do off-duty security. This saved us a TON of problems. We had cops coming by many times that just waved at their fellow officer, rather than watch us like hawks. Oh...and it saves you from getting beat up by homeless women.

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Old February 20th, 2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wild
Sorry, but you couldn't pay me enough to take a job doing something as lame as this. I hate "reality television," which I happen to think is very unrealistic.
I agree with you that reality TV isn't always true reality but I'll tell you this, this show was all about true reality and I wouldn't call it lame either. We were told emphatically to roll on everything because there was only one chance to capture it however it played out. Other reality shows that I have worked on were very produced and sometimes contrived to get what the producers need to make the story work mostly because these people are not real actors. Would you not accept $400 /day with OT to shoot it?
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Old February 20th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #5
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Kevin, no need to be rudely disparaging. Had James not already replied, I was about to edit out the first para of your post as a TOS violation. Keep it friendly, please.

James, I noticed she's been clean since Sep 30, 2005 but has been in treatment for 6 months...doesn't add up. Just curious...is that explained elsewhere in the piece, or an "oops?"
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Old February 20th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #6
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As much as I dislike most reality television, Intervention worked it's way around that and is one of my favourite shows. Random 1 is another, but that's another topic altogether.

I couldn't get the clip to play, unfortunately...really would like to see it.

How'd you get involved with the show, by the way?
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Old February 20th, 2006, 12:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Kevin, no need to be rudely disparaging. Had James not already replied, I was about to edit out the first para of your post as a TOS violation. Keep it friendly, please.

James, I noticed she's been clean since Sep 30, 2005 but has been in treatment for 6 months...doesn't add up. Just curious...is that explained elsewhere in the piece, or an "oops?"
Even though it may be against DVi policy, thanks for that Paul but it didn't bother me. I think he's entitled to his opinion to which I partly agreed.

September was 6 months ago. The ending was a follow up shot well after the intervention. These shows are usually shot a few months before they air because there is about 2 weeks of shooting for each story and then about a month of post and then it has to be reviewed and approved by the network producers. As they all do if they choose to even get help, she went straight to rehab which is usually the terms of the show because they are paying for or arranging it as compensation for the family and participant to appear and don't want any gap in between because some of these folks are literally at death's door. This series is one of the first to show this kind of raw psychological and chemical addictions.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Joe Strong

How'd you get involved with the show, by the way?
It is produced by the same company that produces another show that I worked on called Second Chance that aired on TLC back in '04 & '05. They tend to hire local crews wherever they are shooting to keep travel costs down.

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Last edited by James Emory; February 20th, 2006 at 10:48 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #9
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First of all, no need for any warnings. You were going edit THAT out? Wow...that is disparaging. :-) It was far from mean spirited and as you might tell from my other posts...(never mind)

But I surely didn't intend any unfriendliness towards any person...but to a format of what we do as shooters/editors. As an editor who has done reality television, I'm not a fan. There are some good shows out there, but the one described where James' crew is told to "keep rolling" even as the people are "distressed" is a bit troubling to me not as a shooter, but as a human! :-) Yes, money is money, but hopefully this type of thing will go away so we don't have to be a part of its creation.

James, having never seen it, I should withhold opinion on that particular show. It sounds like it usually ends positive...and maybe the end does indeed justify the means.

James, it doesn't sound like you took it that way, but no offense intended to you personally! Hope Atlanta is doing well for you...

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Old February 20th, 2006, 09:55 PM   #10
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Moderator Note:
James, glad you have thick skin -- although I suppose one should assume that if you're doing reality TV that would be the case -- and Kevin, thanks for a much more eloquent followup post. All's well again with the world; no offense given, none was taken, and everyone is reminded that DVinfo ain't like all the others. We can all sing Kumbaya now. ;-) FWIW, after the recent insanity in some of the HD forums, we're moderating even closer to "zero tolerance" than we used to. We absolutely won't allow any more threads to start down that slippery slope. That's probably more than enough said on administrivia.

Well, let's hope the young lady will remain clean and sober long enough to see her episode air after her six months actually tick by. Recidivism rates at 6 and 12 months are plenty high for all forms of substance abuse...and I can only guess that as a group, people motivated by external factors like a TV show would have even higher rates (but that's just a guess). But, hey, any attempt at rehab is better than no attempt, eh? Do you know when this episode will air?
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Old February 20th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Do you know when this episode will air?
This was at least the second time that this one has aired that I know of. I saw it a while back and wished that I could have recorded it because of the incident with the shooter. Then, I saw the promos for it to air again on Sunday, yesterday, and I recorded it to post here. You can check the program schedule at the link below for this and other episodes.

www.aetv.com/intervention


Here is another relative thread about the fine line between cast, crew and what is happening in a scene.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....6&postcount=20

Last edited by James Emory; February 21st, 2006 at 02:10 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 01:38 AM   #12
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Hey James, I am a fan of the show Intervention and wanted to say good job.
Not only has the subject matter drawn me to the show, but how it is shot. I have seen the episode and saw in a few shots the camerapeople and cameras. They are DVX'S, correct? The look of the show is one thing that drew me to it, and the DVX holds up so well in all those scenes of natural light. What kind of post correction is done on the shot images. Do you as camera operators have someone who tells you what gammas and settings they want?
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Old February 21st, 2006, 11:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wild

There are some good shows out there, but the one described where James' crew is told to "keep rolling" even as the people are "distressed" is a bit troubling to me not as a shooter, but as a human! :-) Yes, money is money, but hopefully this type of thing will go away so we don't have to be a part of its creation.
We are told to keep rolling because that's our job, to be objective and not to interfere. I produced and shot a show for Comcast just like COPS and had to keep a close but safe distance for obvious reasons. Believe me though, when an officer got into a physical situation beyond his control with a suspect the camera was set down and I did what I could to help. A while back, I saw a show about reality TV on VH1 called the Unreality of Reality TV. The person had worked on Survivor and said that he was told if a shooter stopped rolling for any reason, even to help someone in trouble, that they would be released. They made it clear that there were always specific crew members just off camera to handle any incidents and that shooters were not to miss anything. A specific example was when one of the castmembers fell asleep in front of a campfire and fell face first into it and got burned really bad. A med team was immediately rushed in and the guy was on a helo out of there and the cameras kept rolling the whole time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wild

James, having never seen it, I should withhold opinion on that particular show. It sounds like it usually ends positive...and maybe the end does indeed justify the means.
Well, sometimes they have had people get real mad about the intervention and just walk out and refuse treatment. Then there are those that go to treatment and leave shortly after. Then there are the ones that finish treatment and get things worked out.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 11:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Paul Pelalas
Hey James, I am a fan of the show Intervention and wanted to say good job.
Thanks, but I didn't work on this one if that's what you meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Pelalas
Not only has the subject matter drawn me to the show, but how it is shot. I have seen the episode and saw in a few shots the camerapeople and cameras. They are DVX'S, correct? The look of the show is one thing that drew me to it, and the DVX holds up so well in all those scenes of natural light. What kind of post correction is done on the shot images. Do you as camera operators have someone who tells you what gammas and settings they want?
Visit the link below for more info. It is shot with the DVX 100a in 30P and I think with the DP's choice of internal setup.

Relative Thread
www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=40500
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Old February 21st, 2006, 01:02 PM   #15
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I was able to check out the clip, James. Thanks! Can't say that I've seen that episode (thought I'd seen 'em all!) and I'll be checking the listings for it in the future, that's for sure.

haha man, I bet that was a somewhat uneasy feeling for the cameramen when that truck pulled up. He looked like bad news. Glad she didn't end up going with him. Yikes.
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