Jack Dermody

Modern Day Signs of Danger

I went down for a swim at Bondi yesterday and saw that the crew of Bondi Rescue had set up on the south end of the beach directly in front of a strong rip. They were sitting inside a tent, that almost resembled a hunting blind, camera aimed directly at the water, at the seemingly unsuspecting tourists milling around the water, whose feet were flirting with the churning water.

The way the cameras were just sitting there waiting for a disaster to happen –  all set up for an exciting close up on somebody’s panicked, drowning face – made me wonder at the implicit contract in “reality TV”. At what point are the new “TV stars” rescued from their roles as victims? And what happens if some producer decides that even more drama is required?

Needless to say, it seemed like a good rule for the modern era – a film crew that is all set up but doesn’t seem to be doing much is best avoided.