reality TV’s time and staging constraints challenge freelance audio engineers.

reality TV’s time and staging constraints challenge freelance audio engineers.
Reality TV’s unsung heroes are those behind the cameras and behind the monitors in the editing bay, and those include audio engineers. The famously subtitled slurping on Joe Millionaire proves how hard it is to get quality audio. In a highly technical look at audio on reality TV shows, Film & Video Magazine reveals the tricks of the engineers’ trade. An engineer who worked on Paradise Hotel says they were “pulling out our hair trying to figure out why we couldn’t find the dialog anywhere” because they only had hidden, not body, mics for the first few days. Another problem: “The time constraints of reality television are like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Larson Studios’ Ken Novak says.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.