Surviving Reality TV – with Michael Dermen – ON THE GO – Episode 77

In this final part of our chat with Michael Dermen, we talk TV budgets, running a tight ship, and producing a survival reality show!

As TV shows all over the world continue to cut down on costs, Michael Mermen tells us how this trend manifests itself at the high end of the spectrum, in the kind of TV shows he usually works in.

His role as a Line Producer means that he has to be on top of even the most seemingly meaningless expenses in order to make sure the budget is adhered to and that most of the money is spent on the screen. Of course, there are also situations where you have to spend a little more to keep your crew happy. This is all part of striking a good financial balance, and is a key responsibility of his job description.

Michael also shares stories about some of the coolest projects he has worked on during his last four years in the US. One of his favourites is Naked and Afraid, a show that sees a woman and a man left completely naked to fend for themselves in a survival situation. Michael tells us about the challenges involved in shooting a project like this, and what goes on behind the production curtain of a survival reality show.

At the time of this interview, Michael was involved in shooting the current season of Top Gear USA, so he also shares a little bit about his experience on the show. He also tells us about his future plans to move from factual to scripted TV – a difficult move that may once again require taking a step back career-wise in order to find his feet.

It was great having Michael Dermen on cinema5D ON THE GO, and we hope to see him again soon!

Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE GO coming!

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Watch previous episodes of ON THE GO (& On the Couch) by clicking here. Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

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