Camera operators are the unsung heroes of reality television. In reality competition shows, they are immersed in high pressure situations with production teams that are understaffed. On other shows like Teen Mom, Intervention, or Cops, they are forced to sit idly while people put themselves (or sometimes their children) in danger. They also have to deal with all of the crazy production secrets of reality TV and behind-the-scenes drama.
Most people who work on reality TV shows have to sign what's known as a non-disclosure agreement, meaning that can't reveal certain information to the public that might spoil the show for viewers. But, under the anonymity of Reddit, reality TV camera operators tell all. One camera operator from the show Teen Mom even deleted all of his comments and account just hours after doing an AMA. Thank goodness for internet sleuths, who were able to retrieve his responses so we could find out who are the worst Teen Moms.
If you're interested in reading behind-the-scenes stories of your favorite reality shows, here are the best responses from the reality TV camera operators of Reddit. Vote up the craziest things that these cameramen have witnessed!
From Alloy, quoting Redditor opticalsk:
"Every shoot, I would want to call CPS. Filthy houses (dog poop on the floor, bloody tampons sitting in a corner for months, weeks old food everywhere, etc.). One of the worst is Leah, filthiest person I've met. When feeding her twins, she would spill a bunch of cheese puffs on the nasty carpet and the girls would crawl around and suck up the cheese puffs, no hands involved."
From Redditor csbaron:
"The one that pops in my mind is filming some 'land boating' at a meth compound in the deep South. Snorting pills on the sidewalk through a tampon was a bit crazy. Going waist deep in an alligator-filled swamp to follow a crack addict also enters my mind."
From Redditor topshotcamera:
"[Host] Colby once freaked out at a female assistant, who coughed during a shoot... The audio guys were trying to tell him [it] happened when no one was talking, so it [was] no issue to edit out. So it turned on him, because his freak out actually was what ruined the shoot. He turned and said, 'Even if I am wrong, I am still right. You are fired, NO ONE GIVE HER A RIDE BACK OR OUT OF HERE!' She laughed at him and said, 'Good idea to freak out at someone over a cough, considering I am the one who texts your girlfriends back for you. Oh, and I have my own car.' She came back a half hour later to give him his phone, which she factory reset."
From Redditor csbaron:
"Fights can be awkward, but most of the time, I just hope that they don't escalate to the point where I have to put the camera down. The hardest one for me was when the subject was going after her mom and the mom started calling out for me to help her, that hurts."