Guiding the adventure from afar – Doug Stanley

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Most commonly known for his work with Discovery Channel’s Emmy Award winning Deadliest Catch, Doug Stanley jumped at the chance to get involved with the Dangerous Waters adventure. In addition to his talents as a director and producer, Doug has revolutionized television with his contributions to the film industry, such as creating innovative camera packages that can be used in extreme weather conditions. We had a few minutes to chat with Doug before the Dangerous Waters crew pushed off. Take a look at what he had to say.

Q: How did you get involved with the Dangerous Waters crew?

A: I met Steven right before the first season of Dangerous Waters and he was looking for some advice on equipment that would work well at sea. He sought me out for my background and tons of experience with sea photography and television production. I first met them right before they departed for Season 1.

Q: You’re the executive producer of this show, what does that entail?

A: My role here is to mainly provide guidance. I’m the person they report to from sea and I’m the one who’s looking at their stories from outside the bubble. Sometimes it’s easy to get too close to your subjects when you’re living among them and you don’t see things that people looking from outside see. My overall role here during the filming of Season 2 is to provide story guidance and constantly be checking in with the expedition and monitoring them as they move along on their journey.

Q: How is Dangerous Waters different from the shows you’ve previously been involved with?

A: This show is a serious expedition. Everything is at stake all the time and each of these guys here has to get up and do it again the next day. For me the big difference is the cast. These guys are a genuine expeditionary force. And remember they don’t do this for a living. They’re in this to do something that’s never been done before in pursuit of a dream rather than their occupation.

Q: What’s your favorite part about working on this type of show?

A: Well, as a television producer, you’re often given a choice of the type of programming you can get involved in. I’ve spent a large portion of my life on expeditions myself – spent 10 years in the Grand Canyon as a professional river guide. Guided a lot in Alaska, climbed in Yosemite, surfed a lot of big waves around the world and for me, this is just my natural environment.  I want to be part of expeditions and I want to be part of the grand things that are happening in the world today. This show is an example of that. It’s a really, really big expedition.

Q: How many hours of film does it take to get down to a one-hour-long television program?

A: This particular show, between 1 and 300 hours to 1 ratio. We’ll shoot an awful lot of tape and whittle that down to just a few hours. The post-production process will take about five months to complete.

Q: What are some things that people don’t know about the behind the scenes aspect of a reality TV show?

A: The most asked question for me is, “Is it real?” Every bit of it’s real. It’s a distillation of thousands and thousands of hours of shooting, but in essence it’s real. I go out of my way in shooting to produce things that are factual.

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