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Producers Reveal What It’s Like Filming Below Deck Sailing Yacht: “They’re Always on Camera”
Sometimes, it's not smooth sailing on Below Deck Sailing Yacht.
The first season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht has really brought the drama so far. From budding relationships to crew member departures, we've seen it all — but have we really? There's so much that goes on behind the scenes during filming that doesn't make the show. Lucky for us, the producers revealed all in an enhanced version of Season 1, Episode 12 that aired on April 27.
So, what is filming really like on the Parsifal III?
1. Always on Watch
If one thing is certain, it's that the production crew has tabs on everyone aboard, 100 percent of the time. With that being said, the team never "walked in" on Jenna MacGillivray and Adam Glick.
"We know where they are at all times — they're always on camera," explain producers.
2. Mid-Season Mayhem
New cast members usually don't join a show in the middle of filming, but every once in a while, it'll happen. Luckily, the crew knows just how to handle this kind of situation.
When Chris Miller came on the show to replace Parker McCown after his resignation, they got to work. The production team swiftly made sure his certificates were up to date and got him on a last-minute flight in time for the charter.
"It was definitely a rush," they say.
But what do producers fear the most about bringing on new crew members mid-season? "That they'll feel too intimidated by the cameras to fully be themselves."
3. Familiar Faces
There were about 60 members of the production crew in Greece to film the show. In fact, the production team tends to move from show to show. About 85 percent of them have worked on all three Below Deck franchises.
4. How the Team Decompresses
The production crew sleeps in a nearby hotel. "We basically take over the place," they say. The crew consumed "espresso martinis and Aperol spritzes all over town" in their downtime.
5. Cameras for Days
Production has four camera operators per shift, including drone and steadicam operators. Plus, there are rotating teams shooting handheld or surveillance cameras 24/7. There are about 20 surveillance cameras installed throughout the yacht.
It's safe to say *all* eyes are on the Parsifal III crew.
6. A Surprising Perk
Boarding time for guests isn't exclusive to the show's charters — and it's actually something the filming team enjoys watching other yachts engage in. Producers say it's fun to see other yacht crews all lined up on the dock receiving guests and starting new charters.
7. Luggage and the Laz
If there's a limit to how much luggage a guest can bring, producers say they've never exceeded it. Once unpacked, suitcases get stored in the laz, or under the hallway in the crew cabin area. The laz, short for lazarette, is a shortage area typically reserved for tools and other equipment.
8. Sailing Selfie Intel
The best spots on the Parsifal III for taking selfies? According to producers, "The bow or any angle that catches the sails when they're up — they're breathtaking."
Guests love to take pictures on the bow, but when the boat is sailing, that can be dangerous. "Trying to sit on any of the railings while we're sailing is also a huge no-no," say producers.
9. Minding Their Own Business
Charter guests almost never wander into the production areas. "We don't interfere with their vacation, so they tend to return the favor and leave us to do our jobs," explain producers.
Seems like a pretty even trade.
10. The Video Village
Producers take over one guest room to house equipment and another for the video village.
In the video village, one whole wall is filled with screens that have feeds to ALL cameras on board. That way, producers can see every little thing going on around the boat at all times.
11. Close Quarters
Every day, the producers cram into the small video room, sitting on top of each other for a 12-hour shift. They admit working in TV can be glamorous, "but when you're sweating on top of your co-workers, it's not."
12. Tender Traveling
Production has a special method of transportation during filming. They use three to four tenders to ferry themselves between the Parsifal, their hotel, and meals every day. When filming from the tender, producers must "find a sturdy seat and hang one."
13. On the Top of Their Game
The production team has to be on their toes, just in case anything unexpected happens. During this episode, they found out last minute that Parker was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Kaiti, underwater... So, a producer rushed out to capture it. Now, that's dedication!
For more producer secrets, check out "Episode 12 — Behind the Episode."
And don't forget to catch new episodes of Below Deck Sailing Yacht on Mondays at 9/8c.
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