In last week’s blog, I talked about the difficulties of traveling out of city to shoot. This week, I’m going to do the opposite. Because while shooting within Los Angeles certainly has its benefits, there are certain obstacles that you face no matter where you film.
In a word, clearance –- which is a catch-all word that basically means you need a lot of permission to film (and/or use) things and put them on national television.
For example, in this week’s episode, Kyle and Taylor both throw birthday parties for their daughters on the same day. Parties, in general, are a clearance nightmare. Even worse are kids’ parties –- because no one under 18 can sign their own release. A parent must sign for them. Not nannies, not babysitters, not siblings. It’s got to be a parent.
As I stated a few blogs ago, we take special care when we shoot with minors. Not only are their child labor laws –- which have become much more heavily policed in the wake of the Jon & Kate Plus Eight drama –- it’s also just the right thing to do, ethically. Adults realize (well, mostly) the ramifications of appearing on a reality TV show. But kids –- particularly those attending parties for two and four-year-olds –- have no concept. So as much as possible, we reached out to the parents of the kids attending the party to make them aware we would be filming. Because believe it or not, not everyone wants to be on a TV show.
Here’s how the clearance process works. At any location, when people other than the Housewives people are going to appear on camera, we place a sign-up at every location, which is kind of like the iTunes agreement. By walking by this sign and entering this location, you are giving us permission to show your likeness.
Beyond that, if anyone has a significant interaction with one of our cast members, that person will need to sign a specific release. And because lawyers draft releases, and it’s a lawyer’s job to protect their client from every infinite possibility, the release is an extremely dense two-page document filled up with lots of legalese –- like “every medium in existence today and every medium invented in the future” –- things that tend to be off-putting to the average person. Every person gets their photo taken as well, just so that months later in the editing process, we can verify that all those people have indeed been cleared. (And on the rare occasion, we can’t verify that, we have to blur the person’s face. We hate blurring, so we avoid it at all costs.)
Thanks for taking the time to explain all of that. Many times I have wondered why sometimes things/people are blurred and other times not, especially outdoor 'main street' scenes.
Can/will you explain how it is that the acrimonious discussion between Camille & Kyle was either not filmed or shown?
Apparently this exchange was pivotal in changing the interactions between all of the BH women & occurred in the presence of some of them (though not as witnesses).
Previews for next episode show the possible escalation of the disagreement but surely your footage (if it exists) of the original conversation would be revealing.
Curious to know how much of the ladies' days are filmed since it appears film crews are assigned to follow them pretty much everywhere.
Also wonder if it is obligatory on RHOBH for them to interact even if there is bad blood between them.
Thanks Dave! I think that the behind the scenes is just as interesting as what happens on camera. We fans love all the info!
This was great information! I've always wondered how that worked. I thought those who had their faces blurred chose participate when in actuality, it's all about the clearances... interesting!
Wow. Who knew? Thank you so much for the clarification. I had no idea that such apparently minute details were all considered while filming.
Thanks for sharing.
These blogs are so interesting! I wonder how much of the production work interupts the interaction and exchanges between the women and men on the show? Do you ever ask them to re-shoot a scene because of clearance issues? Are they asked to remove things from view? Just curious.
This show makes me laugh so hard!!! These women make me sooooo grateful that I have no money,,,,a real husband....and I am missing nothing by not living in Beverly Hills. Do they even know there is a real world, with real people in it?
Yes,same request here! Seems only fair to show the footage of that conversation. Camille looks bad enough enough already,as being the epitome of what people think about self absorbed super rich yet shallow Californians!
Who is the one or ones that decides what is going to be aired and what will not? Also, do any of the housewives have a say what they want aired or not?
Thank you guys SO MUCH for RHOBC! Finally we get back to the "original" housewife premise: where viewer's get a chance to view a lifestyle much different than many of ours, real family relationships, realistic drama NOT related to being on the show or spotlight or reality-fame. It's amazing! The people you guys cast are awesome, and the castmate interactions aren't forced or annoying. Please keep it up!!
well I think it is very sad to see these people who live lavish lives and spend tons of money on ridiculouse junk when there are so many people out of work in America! Then we find out these people on your show portraying themselves to be so RICH are actually in Bankruptcy and have filed it before?? This is just horrible and I'm disgusted especially by the bimbos of Beverly Hills they all look like plastic surgery nightmares and then I found out some of them hence Taylor have filed bankruptcy yet she is spending like it is going out of style? Is this the message you want to send to women of the world? All you need is to starve get plastic surgery marry a rich man and hope he doesn't leave you?
Nice going Bravo, you have managed to find the worst choicr of women in this country to portray on your show, luckily I get a laugh out of making FUN of them! I just hope young girls are NOT taking this CRAP seriously because it is nothing more than a bunch of stupid Clown HOs!
There's no one in bankruptcy currently on the show, but you are right, Russel's past business was. As much as I don't care for his persona on the show you've got to hand it to the man for having the ability to turn his business around, not an easy thing to do in this economy. As for the party, all I can say is bless them. My sister and I both work part-time (2nd jobs) for a caterer who puts on lavish affairs such as the one you witnessed. The work and tips (the rich tip well!!) are gratefully appreciated by both of us and our families. Which comes down to you "TrashTV" why would you deny all those people who worked for Taylor's party the opportunity to make an honest living. She can afford such a lavish event, and like the others can also afford the "junk" she buys, keeping all sorts of little people like me afloat.
I agree with you. People who have worked for their own money should be able to spend their own money as they see fit. Taylor finds happiness in giving her only daughter the best birthday party that she can afford. And why not? Her child will only be four once and she should have the best party that her parents can afford. And in so doing, a lot of business people benefited, party planners, caterers, florists, waiters, bands, security guards, etc.
Dave, thank you for your blog. I am big fan of all the Housewives franchises. Your blog is the first I go to read. I love all the background information, issues while filming, clearance, unexpected long days, catching or missing crucial moments - the original cat fight with Camille and Kyle!
Keep up the "behind the scenes". I can't get enough of it.