Reality TV producers use “cutting-edge gear” to film and produce shows

A lot of technology is required to bring us our weekly dose of drama on our favorite reality shows. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what kind of cameras the camera operators use, or how producers capture those night-vision shots of illicit make-out sessions, or how cast members are lit so we can see every blemish, Broadcasting & Cable has an incredibly detailed special report about the equipment producers use to construct reality shows.

While The Real World is moving toward increasingly smaller and more mobile cameras, The Amazing Race‘s executive producer insists that “the camera needs a certain degree of heft in order to feel right on the shoulder and allow the photographer to get a quality shot,” B&C reports. But watching Big Brother houseguests or other reality show cast members at night involves the use of either “night-vision tech and low-light black-and-white cameras,” with the former appearing greenish on screen.

How does the footage from those camears get assembled? On The Real World, editors use Apple’s Final Cut Pro, editing 3,500 hours of footage into a single season. “t takes the company’s 25 editors as long as 10 weeks to edit an episode,” B&C reports.

Making Reality More Real [Broadcasting & Cable]
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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, 37, 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.