Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Survival Documentary

When I was at The Shelter Challenge a week and a half ago, Kevin was telling me about his week of survival and how he and his friends wished they had taken a camera with them to record their experience. Obviously a camera isn't appropriate in a full survival situation. We got to talking about how cool it would be to have a camera crew come out and film the whole thing. Since then, I've been thinking about it a lot.

After seeing a show like Survivorman make it onto The Science Channel, I wonder why this idea wouldn't work. The idea I envision is getting a group of 5-8 people like me who are into survival skills and go somewhere to do full survival for some period of time. I think getting people of different skill levels would be important. To make the show interesting I think it would be better to have inexperienced people like me involved. Without some struggle, it wouldn't be as fun to watch.

The show could be a mix of reality tv and educational so you learn and are entertained at the same time. So at one point it shows the group actually building debris huts and then it cuts to an animated sequence showing the structure of a typical debris hut and the science behind how it keeps you warm. I imagine there is a narrator for the show to summarize events and explain the animation.

It would be cool because as the show progresses you can start seeing new skills. Of course you start with seeing how a shelter is built and then fire. Eventually you see traps and snares and hunting. If it went long enough you could see other things like basketmaking, tanning, and other crafts that you don't get into as much until you're settled.

I guess the idea is a lot like Survivorman except it would be a group of people who weren't experts and the conditions wouldn't be as extreme and it would be a longer period of time. Maybe it is just a one episode show our a documentary.

What do you think?


Bleach n Sheets said...

I think it sould be a great idea for a movie. I also think it would sell. The cool thing is you could buy two cameras at Circut City and keep them for 29 days, then return them for a full refund. You can then buy two more at a different store and do the same thing. Your price of shooting is nothing.

Pinger said...

Good idea.

A couple of years ago I thought of something similar, but it would be a 4-part urban survival series in which a group of individuals attempts full survival in an urban settings. A new city for each season. New York in Winter would be the finale. DC in Spring would be delightful. Someplace south in summer and who knows where in Fall.

I saw it more as a written series, but could never get my arms around the rules that would govern the exercise. For example, do you survive as if you are not in a city or as an urban animal? Wild edibles or dumpster diving?

Sassmouth said...

that's a good idea if I did it on my own. I was also considering it as a pitch to a network. It would be cool to have several camera crews around like on Survivor.

I think the trick for that show would be having a camera crew around in a city especially if you are trying to be covert about something. I think it would be cool to mix urban skills with wilderness skills, but either way I think that show would sell. You could really sell it by showing the people in their normal life at the beginning. It would also have the sympathy for homeless people side of it. A documentary like that could do for the homeless what "Super Size Me" did for the obesity crisis.

squirreleeze said...

I think Gary Coleman should be on your show.

fooiemcgoo said...

this is a great idea for a documentary.

i like pinger's ideas, but i think for the common person, the idea of surviving in a city is an oxymoron, and it isn't as glamerous as having to survive if a plane crashed or what have you. i like the idea that sass had. I could be like that cattle drive reality show. take some experts and spoiled kids (and some good people for contrast) and put them in a role-playing situation where their plane crashed. there would be alot of social dynamic as the experts try to rally the willing and unwilling to do what is best. if there is a long enough time, surely there will be tension as some people start skirting their duties.

actually, i saw another thing likethis where people were put in a homestead situation in montana in the spring. they had to build a home (log cabin) and farm and stock food and firewood before winter hit. they had 3 families, a rich family, a working class family, and a single man who i think got married on the show. it was an awesome show. the rich people won b/c the father found ways to make money and bought stuff he needed, as opposed to doing everythign himself. anyway, they were judged on who was most likely to survive the winter. you could judge your idea based on this, who is most likely to survive, as judged by some independant experts.

fooiemcgoo said...

BTW, if you can find a way to pitch this, i think it is a great idea. it could be on the nature or discovery channel. the problem is that you have no documentary experience. editing, making a story, etc.

i know someone who does, if you are serious let me know and i will try to get ahold of him.

Sassmouth said...

Yeah, I don't really know if I could do a documentary myself, I would mainly want to be in it. That way I'd have a video of my survival adventure.