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19 Honest Confessions From Reality TV Show Producers

"Reality" is a very loose term.

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1. Nothing is ever "scripted", but some shows are certainly more heavily produced than others.

Bravo

2. "Unscripted" is a lot more of an accurate description than "reality".

Bravo

Editors have to create a story arc just based off the footage they have. Sometimes this means editors have to create "frankenbites" – different sound bites from the same person mashed together to form a complete "sentence". This doesn't usually happen on every show, though, and it's often easy to pick up on.

3. And if two people are arguing, the producers will engineer scenes where they have to face off.

VH1

So if a producer hears Amy complaining to her friends about Josh, saying he's pissing her off, two hours later, Amy will mysteriously find herself sitting next to Josh at lunch.

4. Producers also tend to ask provocative questions during to-camera interviews to get good quotes.

5. And sometimes producers will suggest dialogue for the characters in scenes, but it's usually pretty easy to tell when this happens.

MTV

6. If a character doesn't really want to say a line given to them, the producers can usually manipulate them into saying something that can be later edited to have a different meaning.

VH1

7. But it's not edited to fuck with the audience, it's just to make it a more enjoyable show.

Bravo

8. A lot of scenes have to be shot more than once.

Oxygen

So if a character does something that the crew wasn't expecting, they have to repeat it multiple times so it can be filmed from a bunch of angles.

9. Camera operators have to be really fit, as they're running after people, carrying big-ass cameras.

Lifetime

10. The crew and cast of a show never really mingle.

It's weird because the crew knows everything about the cast members' lives, and witness really intimate moments, but the cast knows nothing about the crew.
Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

It's weird because the crew knows everything about the cast members' lives, and witness really intimate moments, but the cast knows nothing about the crew.

11. Camera operators have been known to save certain "adult" video files ~for personal enjoyment~.

Bravo

Whether it's two people getting hot 'n' heavy, or someone getting undressed in front of the cameras.

12. You get to go to some really cool places you'd never otherwise get to see, but half the time it's pretty boring work.

Channel 10

13. Product placement sucks, but it's how money is made in a world where everyone skips through the ads.

Fox

14. If it's a competition show with a prize, the winner has to be legit.

It would be against the law for producers to make sure that the "audience favourite" is the winner.
CBS

It would be against the law for producers to make sure that the "audience favourite" is the winner.

15. It can be so boring for editors to go through HOURS and HOURS of footage to find something juicy.

Oxygen

16. Because on shows like The Bachelor where everyone's in the same house all the time, about 75% of the footage isn't even used.

Lifetime

17. Knowing the right people is much more likely to get you a job than going to film school.

Bravo

18. Reality shows are a LOT cheaper to produce than scripted shows, so don't expect them to be disappearing any time soon.

Bravo

19. And most cast members have to undergo psych evaluations before shooting begins.

It's mainly for insurance purposes to make sure no one is an axe murderer.
Bravo

It's mainly for insurance purposes to make sure no one is an axe murderer.

This post was created with information found in various Reddit AMA threads.