Tuesday, March 23, 2010
UPDATE: Why Mantracker is Fake, Part Two
When I first watched Mantracker on OLN, I really liked it. A human tracker is hot on the trail of human prey, just like in the old days, what a great idea! Two minutes later I was disappointed to realize the entire show is totally faked.
1) Forward camera positions betray staged scenes. While the prey runs at top speed, camera crews somehow manage to always stay ahead and get great shots while remaining invisible to the Mantracker:
On the run from Mantracker, Vlad helps Nate climb over a barbed wire fence. How did the camera crew get over the fence before them and set up this shot? Staged.
Camera crew to prey actor: "OK, you wait here while we go through the tunnel and set up the camera on the other side. Don't start running through the giant pipe until we signal you." Staged.
Camera crew to prey actor: "We'll aim at the ground and film your footprint while you walk through the river sand. We'll do several takes and use the best one." True story. Staged.
Another barb-wire fence crossing with the camera crew waiting on the other side. Staged. (Mantracker producers love barbed-wire fence climbing.)
Camera crew: "Luckily, we were waiting right here at the exact place and time they chose to break out of the woods and cross the river. They ran right past our camera and gave us a nice shot." Staged.
It's really a TV drama, where producers recruit wily actors to act as prey and improvise action and dialogue within the fictional universe of a theoretical Mantracker pursuit. Is there anything wrong with that? No. But the scenes are so obviously staged (and sometimes painfully unrehearsed) that the scale of disbelief required to enjoy the show is so far off the map, it eludes even the Mantracker himself, who admits he doesn't watch the show.
Venerable Mantracker Terry Grant: "No, I don't watch the show."