In addition, there are days of prep that happen before filming even begins; contracts signed, locations secured, experts contacted, personal video footage and photos collected and emailed to producers. In fact, for one recent TV show shoot, I had to spend hours scouting around town for buildings I could "climb". That was a new one for me. Then there are the people around me who get roped into the whole thing. I have to recruit people to do interviews about me, to belay for me, to race against me (see Ripley's below), and even to "hang out with me" for candid shots at school, at the mall or at home.
As you read each "behind the scenes" expose' below and watch the accompanying video (click on the titles of each section, they are links to the videos) you will notice some of the things I have already mentioned here and will get a good laugh. (And, you will notice that my own brother entirely avoided being interviewed or filmed for every single one of them! lol Way to go, Clark!)
All of the following videos can also be found on the VIDEO page of this website.
CBS EARLY SHOW
Besides what I have already talked about above, the "behind the scenes" detail on this one is that CBS heard that "The TODAY Show" had already filmed a segment about me. But, because they were going to air it the week that 9/11 happened, and still hadn't, CBS Early Show decided to "scoop" them. After this aired, "The TODAY Show" never was able to use their segment. That is too bad for "The TODAY Show" because they had flown out Summer Sanders to take a trip with me to the Red River Gorge to film both her and I climbing on real rock, and that footage was all wasted.
MORE THAN HUMAN (Discovery Channel)
Notice all the personal photos and video clips that we had to give them for this. Also, the big "behind the scenes" thing was all the testing. They didn't tell me what they were going to do so I was a little freaked out about the bod pod, hand test and physical challenges. One cool piece of trivia is that the tall, bald guy (a former professional baseball pitcher) who was putting me through the physical tests, eventually became my personal trainer.
THE REAL WINNING EGDE (FCA national DVD)
The "behind the scenes" secret of this one was that the producers were very picky about what I wore. They didn't even want me to wear hoop earring because they could become out-dated. Everything from my sweaters to my jeans to what my friends wore, was scrutinized for this reason.
RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT
This one was really tough. Again, aside from the things I talked about above, I had to race against these guys over and over. Yet, they each raced against me, once. In fact, I had to race against ALL of them back-to-back, with almost no rest between them. Also, the "best" climber was really "Frank". The guy they said was the best just "looked" like the "most intimidating" climber so they promoted him as the best.
TO TELL THE TRUTH (game show)
Two things stood out for me on this "behind the scenes". First was that my competitors were the producer's daughter and her friend. When they arrived, the costume people decided to put pads in the shoulders of my competitors' clothes because my shoulders were so much more muscular than theirs. Interestingly, the producer heard about me on the NPR Weekend Edition from the Gorge Games and decided to do a show about me. Also, on the set opposite of ours was the "Family Feud" stage. Cool.
STAN LEE'S SUPERHUMAN (History 2 Channel)
This took two days to film. It was the first time I had to negotiate with the producers on my own and it was amazing how much went into that. I had to climb that first rock many times, whew. Also, I felt sort of embarrassed when I was filming in the climbing gym. I didn't really know those guys who tried the dyno and who raced against me. They were really good sports, though. The show took about 10 hours of footage and turned it into just 7 minutes on video. Crazy, huh?
Hope you will now look at shows like this in a new way. It's not as simple as it looks, for anyone.