Producers

Kathy's Executive Producer reveals the dangers of shooting this week's episode and why Levi is so likeable.

Jun 29, 2010

Levi Johnston wanted to take Kathy ice fishing. Great idea. What’s funnier than seeing Kathy poke a hole in the ice with her “main squeeze” to get a real taste of dating in Wasilla? So, off we went to Lake What-the-Hell to drill into the ice and fish for whatever lives underwater in March. Before we knew it, Kathy was in Levi’s truck and the D-List production crew was following close behind in a rental van, until … we stopped. We were driving off the road and heading straight for the bank of the frozen lake. What?! Logic told me that maybe I shouldn’t have driven a crew of 12 in a van onto an unmarked lake that “looks” frozen. We hear the comforting “everybody does it” from Levi and his buddy. “The ice is over three feet thick.” How far? About a quarter mile. Oookay…

Not wanting to seem like a hopeless city boy, but not wanting to die like Leonardo in Titanic, I figured there had to be a better way. There wasn’t. If we walked our cameras to the fishing spot, we’d be there after nightfall – not to mention frozen solid. Luckily, the Bravo photographer was following our van in a small, four-wheel drive car, so we sent just the essential crew (camera, sound and yours truly) in his far tougher and lighter Subaru and left the van along with the extra crew on shore. 

Kathy had a blast with Levi, trying out the ice drill and snow machining back to Wasilla. As for the crew, we were delighted to get the shot and even more delighted not to hear the dreaded crack/splash combo that would have meant the ice might not be as frozen as Levi suspected.

Two other moments stood out from our time on the ice. The first was when, in the middle of shooting, Levi walked around to the far side of the truck and peed. He was fully microphoned and surrounded by crew, Kathy, and Team Griffin -- and he could not have cared less. The ice ran yellow from under the truck and Kathy ran over and started laughing. You gotta admire Levi. He’s an Alaskan boy through-and-through. He didn’t do it to be funny, or get our attention, or be rude in any way. He just had to pee and that’s what you do in the middle of nowhere when you gotta go.

The other funny moment was watching Kathy ride on the back of Levi’s snow machine (also called a snow mobile in the 48 contiguous states). Kathy was holding on for dear life with her arms around Levi’s waist. Again, with no regard for the cameras (or Kathy’s neck), Levi did like he always does and gunned it. Kathy’s head snapped back like a doll’s and off they went.  They raced off, skidding and zooming until they were as small as a dot. I was picturing what I would say in my testimony at the inquiry following Kathy’s untimely demise but, once again, everything was fine.  Kathy laughed her ass off and I guess that subzero weather must counteract the usual causes of whiplash because she was A-OK. There’s a reason why Kathy has taken to Levi, and when you meet him, you realize why. He’s the real deal. He loves playing, huntin’, and fishin’ ... and the occasional … well, what happens in Wasilla, stays in Wasilla.