BH Producers

Showrunner Dave Rupel pens a love letter to the crew

Nov 3, 2010

Hello again. Most of the comments to my last blog were requests for more of the ladies to blog more frequently. Point heard loud and clear! We are encouraging all of the ladies to do just that, and I’m happy to say that Camille will be joining the blogosphere this week. Also, a quick shout out to all the Hoosier fans out there. I wasn’t just born and raised in Indiana. I’m an Indiana University grad of 85! Go Hoosiers!

This week’s blog is really going to be a love letter to the RHBH crew. We came into this season with a whopping zero dollars budgeted for traveling expenses. That doesn’t mean we didn’t think there would be some travel, but the thought was it would happen on a rare basis. But after spending time talking to the ladies about what they had planned in their lives…Bam! During the first five weeks of our shoot, we traveled to Sacramento, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and New York.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit in my reality TV career. Sometimes it’s fun, but many times it’s exhausting. Transporting gear around Los Angeles in a crew truck is one thing. Transporting it by plane is quite another. Every camera, every audio package, every light comes in it’s own case. When we traveled for our three-day shoot to Las Vegas (the bulk of episode three), our crew checked in approximately 25 cases of equipment at the Burbank airport—and that’s not including personal luggage.

Imagine that schlepping! Twenty-five large, bulky cases have to be loaded from our production office. Then unloaded at the airport. Then checked through security. Then unloaded at the Vegas airport. Then loaded into vehicles and taken to the Palms casino. Then unloaded again and taken via elevators to our crew production room. It takes a lot of manpower to do all that moving.

Now, imagine their boss (me) telling the crew that I also wanted to shoot the whole process! Neither Burbank airport or the airline allowed filming, though my crew worked their hardest to change their minds. But McCarran airport in Las Vegas does allow filming, as does the Palms Casino (okay, sure, having one of the Palms owners, Adrienne Maloof, as one of our wives helps). So when I say we “hit the ground running,” I mean it literally. Cameras were up and rolling in the Vegas airport. We shot the baggage claim, the walk to the limo, the limo ride to the Palms, the totally unplanned trip to the awesome basketball suite, etc. Our two crews, A and B, spent the weekend leapfrogging one another. B crew covered the airport and limo, then the A crew was in place at the Casino to catch the arrivals, while B crew hurriedly checked into their rooms in order to be ready for the next beat to film.

That was basically the pace we kept the entire weekend. We ran, we hustled, and we worked our butts off. Trust me, I love Vegas and I love gambling, but I was so exhausted at the end of the workday, I didn’t gamble once!

I’d also like to salute all of the husbands, wives, significant others and loved ones of our crew – in particular, my husband. (Yup, I’m one of those 18,000 gay and lesbian couples in California who legally wed during that brief window.) There’s a term in Hollywood called “production widow.” Basically, it means that during the production of a series, the loved ones of crew members have to put up with our very long work hours and not seeing us much. It’s not easy, so I tip my hat in gratitude to each and every loved one for putting up with us.

At the end of the day, we got a fantastic episode out of the Las Vegas trip. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s full of bling—and it produced unexpected drama. When you watch the episode, and the credits roll, I know the names are meaningless to the fans. They’re just names. But to me? It’s a sweet reminder of a phenomenal group of people that went beyond my wildest expectations and basically made every unrealistic request of mine a reality. Love you RHBH crew! You’re the best!