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Survivor: Edge of Extinction: Behind the scenes of marooning

There will be 18 people on your TV screen when the 38th season of Survivor ( Survivor: Edge of Extinction starts on Wednesday on CBS. Nineteen, if you turn on Jeff Prost. But there are so many others who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring you this magic moment when Probst welcomes the contestants and the adventure officially begins – about 645, actually.

They say it takes a village, but with some 275 international crew members and 370 local Fijian workers working outside the camera to make sure that every detail is available to both competitors and viewers, the production team [Survivor is more like a well-oiled machine. What's really going on in these precious morning hours before the season? What happens outside of the screen before all cameras turn on? How much does it work to run the TV in just a few minutes?

We went to Fiji with a pass to access the best realities show on the planet to get full information about what's going on in the morning. before contestants are thrown on (and eventually) on a big boat. What follows is just a taste of the events of May 30, 201

8 – Day 1 of Survivor: Edge of Extinction – before the cameras began to roll. It includes last-minute changes, troubles in the open sea, a walk at Prosst's golf cart and coffee. A lot of coffee.

2:45 – Ponderosa 1 (Bekana Island)
Get up and shine! The 14 new racers who will compete in the 38th season of Survivor sit for three days in the Fiji Island Paradise. But it was really a torture. Because not only could not talk to anyone outside a few talks with producers, medical and press, but the actors have no idea when their adventure will begin. But as players wake up from their tents in this ungodly hour by competing contestants, they know: Today is the day.

In the morning, she will be checked by the wardrobe department to ensure that everything that everyone wears is already pre-approved (once I notice how the members of the tribe often wear the same color scheme, not by accident) , and the security department is confident, as one manufacturer says, that "they do not have phones in their pockets or matches – everything that is not." (Richard Heych broke smuggling matches on All-Stars into his butt. ) There is another meeting to be held before being released for play. 19659007] Survivor

3:00 PM – Camp: Catering (Island of Mana)
Survivor but in 2009 as a way of limiting costs, the show began shooting two seasons back in the same place, starting with Samoa for seasons 19 and 20. Then we headed to Nicaragua, then ] back to
to Nicaragua, then to Cambodia to Samaria, then to Caramon in the Philippines, then to the Philippines in Cagayan, and then mad, the production has settled in Fiji for season 33 and has not left since then. Jeff Proble has publicly said he hopes they will never leave.

For four months each year (from March 1 to July 7, 2018), production is taking Manama Island on the islands of Mamanuca as their base camp. And it's in the dining room at 3 am that the poor souls in the early shift are moving for a quick continental breakfast before they go to work. Among these souls is the master of Lucas Faganelli. Like so many crew members, Faganely has worked on the show for a long time while rising on the ladder. He started in the 21st Season ( Survivor: Nicaragua ) as a dreamer who tries the challenges.

The craftsman grabs a quick bite, outlining his morning, which includes going to his shop to start loading trucks full of supplies, then transferring everything to a boat in the production port, which will then be exported to the carriage boat, where everything will be unloaded again. But for now, let the spit eat his breakfast.

3:30 – Ponderosa 1
The doctor will see you now. Dr. Joe Rowels was the medical director of the Survivor of the 31st season. Once he has achieved a moderate degree of glory by breaking the dreams of national TV contestants through medical evacuation of the camera, Dr. Joe has been more helpful. this morning. After eating a large amount of coffee, he begins to see the contestants one by one for their latest medical examination.

The contestants undergo comprehensive medical examinations before leaving the United States and then sit down with Dr. Joe when they first arrive in Fiji to go through their medical history as well as all the medications they take or allergies they may have. The last-minute check is "only in case there is something that has bothered them over the past few days in Ponderosa," explains Dr. Joe. "And since the open ones often have a challenge, so I have to make sure they are fit. they are healthy, they are ready for this. "

And this season all looks good. "In the past we had someone who had some bites of bugs that started to look a little infected, and that's the chance to say," Is that okay? "Or" I'm a little worried about that, "explains Dr. Joe. "It's often just a case of something I can say, and the next time I see them, I can trace it and ask, 'How are things?' Does that improve? "Or whatever." But this season there are no such questions.

Interestingly, this is not the case when the final weighing occurs. This has already happened a few days earlier during their major medical consultation, although one contestant jokes with Dr. Joe that she wants this to happen now because of the whole weight she has given her after arrived in Fiji. Without having anything else to do, and knowing that food will soon be scared, "they really, really, eat in the last few days," says Dr. Joe.

The last meal of the contestants before the game begins

3:45 – The base camp: Riley Mundee's room
What Riley Munday does in the morning is to turn on his radio. As a field producer coordinator, Munday – who started the show in Season 7 ( Survivor: Pearl Islands ) as 18-year-old Dream Teamer, is the nerve center of the show, coordinating between several departments to make sure that everything is on the way. And there's plenty to watch out for. Soon the radio is not enough. "I've been sending text messages between the security guards, the closet, our Ponderosa manipulators, and then Heni from the Marine Department, because I wanted to make sure everything was okay with the boat that she was fit and ready," says Munday Later. 19645002] At 4 o'clock in the morning, Maddy is expanding his text chains to include the art, crew and audio department "who are preparing to leave the boat because we need them to load everything under it before we even start [filming] portraits because they can not do anything from their work while we are obviously shooting portraits if we use the same portraits and open. "

" Her story is unbelievable, "says Jeff Prostst of Madden. – He started as a dreamer. Now she runs the show. She has so many things, and she runs this army, as if it's just a picnic in the backyard with some friends. But imagine a picnic of 645 people scattered across several islands. Many people have to deal with. Summing up her morning before sunrise, Riley sighed: "I'm just getting tied up, sending text messages to them."

4:45 h: Base Camp / Ponderosa 1
There was a delay. The new players had to end up with medical, wardrobe and security checks by 5 am, but Maddy just got a message that her term would come and go. She contacted Maui Postma and Melissa Goulet at the Marine Division (which was up to 3 am) to update them for the new moment but remained relatively uninterested. This is because the assistant director has a trick in his sleeve. Like any reasonable editor who gives the writer a false deadline, knowing that writers often use deadlines more like "guides" than "rules," Munday has built a pillow. you arrive by boat at your destination shortly after 6am to start shooting their portraits (which are the dramatic close-ups of boat riders on their way to the slot you see in the first minute of the show) at 7am. But Mungy has not only embedded her makeup time before shooting, but she did not even plan to start shooting until later. "In fact, here we had a little trick," Munday later admits. – I told them that 7 was rolling at 7:30. Then I thought we'd do it anyway. I was not concerned because I knew they were half an hour back and I had an extra half an hour. After 15 years I finally learned a lesson. "
The Edge of Extinction The contestants waited for security check-ups

5:00 am – Ponderosa 1
Dr. Joe is loading a boat to check out the four players who are returning to Vitu Levu Island. But it becomes even more confusing than that. While the 14 new players are unaware of the four returning players, there is even a little mystery among the returning players. Instead of accommodating all four returning players (Joe Angle, Auri Bracco, Kelly Wentworth, David Wright), they are separated – Joe and Auri stay together in one place while Kelly and David are in another place, each pair He does not know.

This is a tactic that dates from the first season Survivor: All-Stars when each of the three tribes was housed in separate places so the players did not know they were all competing. But that means Dr. Joe has several more destinations on his route to get through the entire cast.

First, Dr. Joe arrives at Kelley and David's headquarters before 5 am and meets the two of the returning. After clearing both of them, he is a 10-minute drive to Joe and Aurie's secret place to give them the proverbial thumbs. And then he got back on a boat – one of the many others to be on this morning.

5:05 am – The Montego Bay
The first crew members arrive in Montego Bay to begin preparing the giant. a sailboat, where later Jeff Probst will welcome all 18 racers (and millions of viewers) to Survivor: Edge of Extinction . At least that was the plan.

But three days ago, the boat they were going to use for the coach suddenly blew out an engine that made the Marine Department go up and find a substitute. And the replacement they find may seem familiar to viewers with an eagle. Founded in the capital of Fiji Nady, Ra Marama originally was built in the 1950s as the Fiji Governor. Converted into an open platform of the Brigantine in the 1990s, it has a classic pirate ship, so the manufacturers use it to open the two Survivor: Game Changers and Survivor: Heroes v Healers

When looking for a spare boat, the maritime department found that Ra Marama was nearby. Knowing that the boat had worked well in the past, production provided it for another type of bis, and only a few hours later it arrived Ra Marama and the arts department began dressing it for its third act. Ra Marama this morning are field crews – charging coolers and snacks under the deck for other crew members who will work all morning – and will support Master Faganely and his team, which carry pineapples, bananas, peppers and dried fish aboard the ship.

There are also crates. Many trunks. Some with the logos Survivor some with drawings of dragon boats and Japanese characters (made by Dream Teamers), many of which with "SEG Trade Co." printed on one side (SEG probably for Survivor Entertainment Group, a joint venture created by CBS and Mark Burnett). And then there are less obvious nods like the "JGW 2388" brand on the part of such a crate – which is just the initials of one of the subliminal members of the maintenance department.

All chests and food should be placed in a position for maximum dramatic effect. Working in the dark is another set of challenges, so the early crew uses main lights to help you see what the hell they are doing and where the hell they are going to do. But Faganely was waiting for him a pleasant surprise when he arrived. "They have a crew lamp," says Fagangeli. "That was very nice. It does not happen all the time. Sometimes we wear a morning set and we have no light and we have main lights. Today we were happy. "Ah, but can he continue?
Together with the medical appointments of Dr. Joe, Aubrey, Joe, Kelly and David also have wardrobe and security checks – with a wardrobe and security guards in every place. At least it had to be done. But if one of the members of the security team is not available, another jumping of the delay, as one security has to check all four people in both places, resulting in a 25-minute detention for the returning. This is just another reason why Mandy builds extra time on schedule.

The contestant Gavin Whitson gets a security check

5:37 am – Ponderosa 1
14 new racers finally loaded a boat to take them Ra Marama for their portraits. Scheduled to arrive for portraits at 6 am, they will arrive an hour later. However, due to Munday's fake deadlines, the photos will continue to be postponed at 7:30 am at the scheduled time. "I was not very worried and I knew they were in close proximity," says Munday, who also has the pleasure of knowing he can always catch up with returning players. "With returning people I feel they know the deal and it would be much faster to prepare them. "I also knew that if we started with an hour late with them, there would still be plenty of time to shoot only four portraits that are traveling." The base camp: Catering
on the way, Mundea and her radio headed to the dining room at the base camp, not just for food and coffee. "Catering is a good place to find people and make sure you have eyes on people," says Munday. "At 6:00 I have my first teams to shoot these portraits. I have seven manufacturers and two crews and I do not want the boat captain to call me at 6:15, saying, "I do not have a man!" So catering is a good place to find everyone and make sure they get there and ready to take off at 6:00. And for coffee.

6:00 – The Base Camp: Dave Dryden's Room
All roads eventually lead to David Dryden. As Director of Survivor Season 7 ( Pearl Islands ), Dryden – with great help from Munday – is the person pulling him together. Dryden's voice is the last one Jeff Probst will hear before shooting, after everything is locked, loaded and ready for work. It's a great day for Dryden. Not only is it a day, but the 5th birthday of his son Levy. But with his wife and birth man still sleeping, Dryden has one thing in mind: time. Production keeps track of all weather patterns and anything that could lead to a possible problem, but the director has his own method.

"We have predictions and patterns about what's going to happen," says Dryden. "These boys are in the morning, check them out and call it, but the proof is for me in the pudding. I have to go out for a walk and go, Okay, I can see that here comes rain, that might be a problem. We will have more shadows than we thought, or it will become clear on this side. The wind beats. "Everything could have died by then, but she tells me: What are some of the problems I'm going to have to deal with? And the more advanced knowledge, the better. "

So Dryden immediately goes out to see what Mother Nature has done for him on Day 1 of the 38th season." It was windy but it did not rain, so it was good, "he notes. "But I also knew that the wind would create some problems as we were on the water."

The problem is not only in the boat that the riders will compete for, but everything around this boat, including 34 other boats that will be used for today's climbing. "Time affects everything," says Dryden. "Since we are on a big boat, we dock her, we have tracked boats, we have a planless unplanned plane, and a barge boom." All these things will be affected by the weather. Поради силните ветрове, трябваше да започнем да преосмисляме някои неща, като например как това ще повлияе на лодките, които бях избрал за платформи за камери, как позиционираме нещата, колко игра има, как това ще повлияе на водолазите във водата, където са ще трябва да имаме нашата защитна лодка? Това е вид ефект на доминото. ”

Райли Мъндей и Дейвид Драйдън събираха всичко заедно зад кулисите

6:10 ч. – Базовият лагер: офисът на Райли Мъндей
в стаята си и в кетъринга, Мундей най-накрая си проправя път в офиса си. – Дори и рано сутринта, аз се чувствам по-добре да съм тук – казва Мундей. "Имам две радиостанции, имам компютъра. Имам всичко, което ми трябва, пред мен. “Мундей продължава да премества списъка си с следващите отклонения на лодката, докато актуализира сегментните производители и екипажите, които вече са напуснали по радиото, за статуса на състезателите, които пристигат за портретите си. , – Просто ги актуализирам за напредъка, като се обадя на Мауи на морския канал, който се свързва с капитаните на лодките и ни предоставя ЕТА на участниците във всяка лодка за портрети.

Както и Драйдън, Мундей също следи времето , но това беше малко предизвикателно поради факта, че най-близкият радар не работи в момента. Въпреки това, Munday има резервен план, подобен на този на Dryden. – Мауи и Хени в морски, те са морски хора. Обикновено им се обаждам и казвам: „Хей, това, което виждам тук, прави ли това нещо с чувствата ти?“ Те са доста добри с това. ”

Дори и с ветровете, има далеч по-малко се отнася до стрелба с този мрамор на 30 май – което е в сухия сезон на Фиджи – за разлика от метеорологичните кошмари през сезон 37, което доведе до два циклона и инцидент с лодка, който удари състезателя Пат Кюсак от играта на 3-ия ден. Няма нищо, което да ни накара да се притесняваме – казва Мундей. – Няма да има никакви циклони или нещо, което да ни води по пътя. Ние бихме знаели за това предварително. ”

6:25 ч. – Къщата на Джеф Пробст (остров Мана)
Джеф Пробст стана рано и умът му вече се състезава. Домакинът на най-дълго действащото риалити шоу в Америка минава през откриващата си реч пред състезателите в продължение на седмици, докато всички елементи за този сезон се събраха, а сега, само на няколко часа, той се озовава отново, за да се увери, че удари всички важни удари. (При липса на картички или телепромър, които да действат като предпазна мрежа, всичко е на домакина, за да се увери, че предава цялата информация на състезателите – и зрителите – по ясен и сбит начин.)

Някои хора организират мислите си върху бяла дъска. Други влизат в компютъра. А други го пишат с ръка. Пробст прави и трите. Чрез това повторение Пробст е запечатал темите и мислите, които иска да предаде в отвора в мозъка му, така че тази сутрин става въпрос само за усъвършенстване на неговото представяне. През кафе и яйца той визуализира сцената, която ще се състои по-късно тази сутрин, и „всички дребни неща, които ще се случат, и нещата, които искам да им кажа. А реакциите, на които се надявам, ще получим. ”

Домакинът пресича точките, които трябва да намери, включително„ Приветствайки ги и след това ги отрезвявам с напомняне, че някой ще бъде гласуван. След това настройте четирите играчи, които се завръщат. И след това се промъкна през четиримата резюмирани играчи. И после ги дразни с нещо, което не знаят какво идва, което е островът на изчезване. Ето как го гледам от гледна точка на историята. Това са просто големи удари. Но наистина, тази част от работата ми е най-лесната. Хостингът на marooning е лесно. Вече знам какво искаме да направят. ”

7:00 ч. – Залив Мону
След като състезателите най-накрая пристигат в залива Мону, е време всички да бъдат готови да заснемат портретите. След като някои проблеми с радио сканирането накараха Мунда да прехвърли всички към друг канал, помощник-директорът извиква операторите на дроните, за да се увери, че те са готови да свирят. – Има специална лодка, от която да използваме, за да могат да изстрелят дрона – обяснява Мундай. Половин час по-късно дронът е във въздуха и снимките на новите състезатели започват в 7:30 часа. Дори по-добре, дроун-кадрите отнемат само 25 минути вместо планираните 30, което дава на Райли пет допълнителни минути, за да играе с.

Докато свършва дроунът, Мундей се свързва с пилота на хеликоптера Кен Сий и оператора на Cineflex Марк Хрима, изчакайте ги, за да могат да получат и въздушните си изстрели. Sooooo много готини въздушни снимки на това шоу.

7:30 am – Базовият лагер: офис на предизвикателството
Survivor оспорват офиса в базовия лагер е най-готиният място на земята. Seriously. Изпълнен с класически рок плакати, дартс дъски, бира Fiji Gold и миниатюрни версии на реални пъзели Survivor това е мястото, където предизвикателството на продуцента Джон Кирхофър и неговия екип от Крис "Милхаус" Марчанд и Антъни "AB" Britten план всички тези невероятни тестове на сила, стратегия, умен и умения, които виждате в шоуто.

Kirhoffer е постигнал възвишен статус в Survivor кръга не само за това, че има най-готината работа и най-готиния офис, но той го прави от първия ден на първия сезон. Всъщност, той е един от четирите души, които са тук от самото начало, заедно с Probst, съ-изпълнителният продуцент Jesse Jensen (който също е вдигнал страхотния си фактор, като се е появил като майстор на джедаите Saesee Tiin в Star Wars: Епизод III – Отмъщението на ситите в свободното си време), и Скот Дънкан (да, по-големият брат на Тим, и да, че Тим Дънкан ), който филмира всички тези супер готини снимки на забавен кадър на

За да отбележат този повод, Кирхофър издава бърз имейл, който поздравява останалата част от това изключително братств о. Тема: "За 38-ти път, щастлив ден."

Джеф Пробст получава изтегляне от продуцентите на Chris "Milhouse" Marchand и John Kirhoffer

7:50 am – Catering
С толкова много внимание, съсредоточено върху карето, изпълнителният продуцент Мат Ван Вагенен (който започна през 14-ти сезон като продуцент и всъщност сега е ден-на-ден номер две в шоуто след Пробст) има друг проблем: какво се случва след . Така че след някакъв импровизиран индийски бурито за закуска Ван Вагенен се среща с четирите производители, които ще бъдат разположени на двете плажове на племето, за да преодолеят онова, което се надяват да уловят, когато участниците започнат да се заселват. което се опитваме да ударим, защото всеки сезон правим малки ощипвания, ”казва ЕП. „Например, този сезон наистина се сблъскваме с въпроса защо някой е тук и разказва повече вътрешни истории, така че преглеждахме това. Производителите имаха възможност да интервюират гласовете вчера и така ние сравняваме историите с това, което смятахме за влизане, и това, което интервюто им разкри. ”

20:00 ч. – Офисът на Райли Мъндей
Текст идва от режисьора Дейв Драйдън, който нервно проверява докъде вървят нещата. "Всъщност изглеждаме наистина добре", отговаря Мундей. – Няма нужда да отлагаме нещо тази сутрин. – Мъндай се смее. – Той не е свикнал с това. Изглеждаше шокиран.

8:15 ч. – Къщата на Джеф Пробст
Нещо не е наред. Не и с протеиновия шейк Джеф Пробст. Това беше положително вкусно. (Не е чудно, че Пробст изглежда толкова дръпнат.) Но нещо не е наред за Кели Уентуърт – конкретно, някои статистически данни, които екипът е изследвал. Тъй като Пробст преглежда своите бележки по отношение на постиженията на завръщащите се играчи, че той ще рецитира на начинаещите, той забелязва, че само Кели е спечелил едно индивидуално състезание за имунитет. „Мисля, че тя спечели две предизвикателства за имунитета, казва Пробст. "Как можем да не знаем това?"

Текстовете на домакините предизвикват продуцента Маршанд, който вече е на лодката и работи върху буйката. – Кели Уентуърт. Едно или две предизвикателства за имунитета? И как не знаехме това? [19599006] 19 .

Милхаус пише: "Първо". Пробст все още е съмнителен и отива в интернет, за да се опита да го провери, но "не можете да се доверите на онлайн", така се обажда Пробст на производителя AB. "Не, това е две", идва отговорът, заедно с друго осъзнаване: "О, Боже! Това е вторият ден, в който Джо се срина [в Survivor: Камбоджа ]”казва Пробст. "Тя победи. Беше победител от мъжки и женски пол. Това забравихме. Тя спечели първата част от него. ”В този момент, всичко, което Пробст може да направи, е да се смее. „Ние създаваме тези предизвикателства. Запазваме нашите собствени записи. И дори тази сутрин се озовах: „Сигурен съм, че е две.“ И след това проверих, че е две и си помислих: Добре, радвам се, че го намерих няколко часа преди да стана на живо!

8:30 ч. – Кетъринг
След като обгърна срещата на производителите, Ван Вагенън има важно призвание да се направи на важен човек, а името му е Джими Куигли. Като наблюдаващ продуцент, Куигли прави много за шоуто като един от Ван Вагенен и доверените лейтенанти на Пробст, но има един аспект от работата му, за който всеки фен би би убил. – Той е този, който всъщност засажда идолите! – казва Ван Вагенен. Да, сред отговорностите на Quigley е скриването на всички идоли на имунитета и предимствата в лагерите на племето. Всеки път, когато видите играч да стигне до пън, или под заслон, или в дърво, или надолу в пясъка и да извади пакет, той е бил поставен там от Джими Куигли.

до ден на деня ”, казва Ван Вагенен. Това означава, че Куигли има работа, която не само крие идолите. „Има още нещо, което някой от едно от племената ще получи на карето“, разкрива Ван Вагенен. Това нещо е ключ към предимство, скрито на плажа. Единственият въпрос, който остава за Quigley е: Кой плаж? Тъй като намекът може да бъде намерен от някой от племето, Куигли не може да я засади, докато не разбере кой от това племе е го заредил. "Той е наясно, че ще трябва да засадим това нещо", казва Ван Вагенен.

"През последните няколко дни говорихме за това къде ще бъде скрито. Много пъти, ако има някаква представа за нещо и знаем, че ще отиде на конкретен плаж, можем да бъдем наистина придирчиви за това къде идолът отива на този плаж. Но в тази ситуация, където не знаем дали ще свърши в лагера на Ману или в лагера Кама, намекът трябва да има смисъл и на двата плажа. Докато имаме представа, която работи и за двата лагера, няма да знаем на кой остров да го сложим, докато не бъде намерена. Ван Вагенен казва на Куигли, че ще се свърже с него с ценната инфор мация веднага щом се открие следата. Куигли може да се отправи към плажа на това племе и да го скрие, преди състезателите да пристигнат. Състезание с времето!

Д-р. Джо Роулс се грижи както за състезателите, така и за екипажа в ролята си на медицински директор

9:00 am – Rivendell
След още две лодки да се върнат в базовия лагер , толкова необходим душ, а след това още една разходка с лодка до друг лодка, д-р Джо пристига на крайната дестинация за каре, наречена Rivendell, от крайбрежието на остров Тавуа, заедно с помощник

Нещо, което зрителите може да не осъзнават, е, че Медицинският екип на Survivor не е само там за състезателите, но и за екипажа. (И, както мога да удостоверя, благодарение на многобройните пътувания до медицинската област лесно наранявах посетителите на снимачната площадка, като пресата.) С този конкретен случай, който се случва на водата, най-голямото нещо, което Роулс и медицинският му екип трябва да се притеснява, че в часовете, предхождащи старта е… морска болест. „Често лекува гадене и други неща“, казва д-р Джо. – Защото ние сме на тези платформи за лодки в продължение на часове в набъбването и често хората често започват да се чувстват зле. Това е доста често срещано явление. И когато времето е лошо, ние получаваме хора, страдащи от морска болест, където има хора, които седят на лодки в нежно набъбване в продължение на часове, и това може да я донесе малко повече. ”

И понякога вълните не са толкова нежно. The most infamous case of this was back in season 13 for the opening for Survivor: Cook Islands (a.k.a. the Vomitorium) where massive swells caused contestants, crew, and yes, the press, to hurl repeatedly in, on, and over the sides of various boats. With so many crew members on so many boats and platforms surrounding the marooning — not to mention the main boat itself — the medical teams keep anti-sickness tablets in their pockets at all times.

In general, maroonings at sea tend to be less dangerous than big opening land challenges. The most concerned Dr. Joe ever got at a marooning was one year prior when Michael Yerger dropped to the ground after running the opening challenge in Survivor: Ghost Island. “He went from zero to 100 miles an hour, and really put everything into it,” says the doc. “And, it was one of those challenges that didn’t look that much, but I know, because I’d seen people practice it, it was brutal. I thought I was going to have to go and look after him, but he battled through it, and he did okay.”

But when the contestants are merely grabbing supplies and diving in, like today, “it’s fairly low key,” says Dr. Joe. “We do worry about people swimming, but they’re all tested to make sure they can swim. We have safety divers. The main concern I have is someone jumping in, and then someone bigger jumping in and landing on top of them. But, fingers crossed, we’ve never had that happen, and I feel we won’t.”

9:10 a.m. –  Riley Munday’s office
Segment producer Talia Sawyer hits Munday on the radio with some good news. They’re done with all the newbie portraits — and 50 minutes early according to Munday’s admittedly padded schedule. Now they just need to finish the portraits of the returning players and get back to position for the main marooning — which is not always as simple as it seems. A few seasons back, producers went north to get their pre-marooning portraits and, as Munday explains, “Then the wind turned and they couldn’t get back. It took them an hour to get back and then moored into position so we started an hour late.” Whoops!

At this point, Munday is almost all the way through an entire pot of coffee, with a side order of chai. Can you blame her? After all, coordinating all the travel logistics alone is borderline insane, with 34 different boats carrying 714 bodies over a total of 1,500 miles. But Munday also feeds off of the energy of day 1 filming, even if it can be mentally taxing. “Yeah, it can be quite stressful, especially when it’s getting close to the departures of producers and the last-minute people that are coming out to the open. I find it extremely stressful when you have to start pushing people’s departure times, because it doesn’t just affect that person. It affects marine, it affects the rest of the day if we have other things scheduled.” But today, so far, so good.

Riley Munday started on Survivor as an 18-year-old Dream Teamer and is now the behind-the-scenes nerve center of the show 

9:20am – Jeff Probst’s house
Jeff Probst just cracked the code. Even with all his preparation, there was one part of Probst’s introductory speech that he just couldn’t make work. The host wanted to tease the Edge of Extinction twist without completely giving it away, and also needed a bridge to connect two different — yet related — themes. “I couldn’t figure out how to connect that it’s so hard to win and you never know what you’ll be called on to do,” says the host.

But then it hit him. “I need to say it’s hard to win Survivor because Survivor‘s unpredictable. And that led me to the last part, which was, ‘Because Survivor‘s unpredictable, you never know what you’ll be called on to do. And when you’re pushed further than you ever imagined, that is your opportunity to stand up, adapt, and conquer.’”

For Probst, that crystalized both the theme of the season and the returning foursome. “It’s connecting the dots of Survivor being very hard, as evidenced by these four players. And it’s hard because it’s unpredictable. Now we’re starting to foreshadow Extinction Island. And the reason you have to be prepared for anything is because you never know what it’s going to take to win this game.”

9:30 a.m. – Base Camp Marina: Whiteboard meeting
Have you ever watched one of those football movies where the team all gathers around as the coach diagrams plays on a chalkboard while pointing out everyone’s given assignment? Or have you ever sat through one of those war movies where the troops gather around a giant map, monitor, or futuristic virtual touch screen as a general-type lays out the attack plan and tells everyone exactly when and where they need to be at a specific time? That’s basically a Survivor whiteboard meeting. Only instead of a locker room or a bunker, this one takes place on a dock looking out on the Fijian ocean. So, slightly more picturesque.

The whiteboard meeting is had before every marooning or challenge so key crew members know how the event is going to unfold and their responsibilities during it. Who’s there? Around 25 people with a variety of responsibilities. “We have basically all departments there,” says Dryden, who will be running the show. “We’ve got anybody who’s gonna participate. We’ve got audio, camera, people that aren’t already bumping gear out to the boat, the divers, everyone. And basically I go through what’s gonna happen.”

And there has been one big change for today they need to go over. At a run-through the previous day, big swells kept causing the boat of four returnees to keep bashing against the main marooning boat when they practiced transferring what would be Aubry, David, Joe, and Kelley. The solution? “We actually reoriented the ship,” explains Munday. “We re-clocked it about 90 degrees.” But that meant all the backgrounds would change as well.

Not only that, but the tribes might end up on the wrong beach! That’s because now the contestants would be paddling out closer to land. “One of the things that I was super nervous about is instead of them paddling into the open ocean, they would be paddling towards shore,” says Munday. “Just because of the swell at the moment, I was really worried with the dropping tide that they’d get caught on the reef range of motion that the swell would take them in.”

After assuring Munday that a plan is in place to keep the contestants from drifting off, and giving everyone a basic rundown of what’s to come, Dryden lets the camera team know which players they are assigned to film: “You’re gonna be on the blue team, you’re getting close ups, you’re getting twos and threes, you’re getting panning shots, you’re gonna have the wide group shot. Let’s make sure that we get clean tribe shots that aren’t overlapping.”

And that’s just for the opening set-up. After Probst gives his introduction to the players, the entire camera team will have to reposition into a new area with new responsibilities, so Dryden needs to make sure everyone knows what to do for that as well: “For the repo, you’re gonna be exclusively on people jumping overboard, you’re going to the yellow boat, you’re gonna be shooting people jumping overboard going to the blue boat. You’re gonna be responsible for getting whoever grabs the secret advantage. I need a wide here, I need a tight there.”

And then there are the cameras underwater as well. “Divers are gonna go down at this point,” says Dryden “and what I’m looking for is a wide shot from underneath, getting people hitting the water. You’re gonna be by the team advantage, so just once you’re down, stand by, don’t get distracted. Someone’s gonna come to you and untie that thing and that’s your shot. Once they have that, follow to the boat, get them loading it, and then you can start freelancing on your water, getting people climbing in or whatever else happens.”

Everyone has a job and a specific responsibility. Seeing as how this is all happening alongside 18 contestants scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off (and often with actual chickens), it is the very definition of order in the middle of chaos.

The Survivor marine department had to track the comings and goings of 34 boats for the marooning

9:35 a.m. – Monu Bay
With some of the advance dressing and preparation complete, Ra Marama departs Monu Bay for its final marooning destination of Rivendell off the coast of Tavua. That is where the contestants will board and the latest Survivor adventure will officially begin.

9:45 a.m. – Jeff Probst’s golf cart
Jeff Probst’s house on Fiji is situated in between base camp and the Tribal Council set, so Probst, like many other senior producers, gets around on golf carts. But as the host travels from his abode to the dock to leave for the marooning, he has one very important video to record for someone back home who cannot be here on this special day.

“Yo, I am pulling up to the dock to go do the 38th marooning,” says Probst on the video. “Dude, 38! It’s a beautiful day. It’s been raining like crazy, but, man, the sun just parted this morning and it’s awesome out. And we’re gonna go do it. It’s another big, risky idea but hey, that’s what you told us to do — go big or GO THE F— HOME! Alright, later!”

The host then stops recording and hits send. And that’s how Survivor Svengali Mark Burnett received his personal video message from halfway around the world as the show that changed the face of television kicked off filming on its 38th season.

10:15 a.m. – Rivendell
Six-and-a-half hours after waking up, Munday arrives at the marooning boat… and can’t get on. Even worse, nobody can. The problem is that even though they talked about repositioning Ra Marama by 90 degrees after yesterday’s rehearsal, it’s not at the proper angle so it’s not currently safe to board. The fact that the wind and current are presently blowing in opposite directions is not helping matters either, so safety divers are forced to use four 300lb anchors to help secure the boat in place.

The delay means all those camera operators that were supposed to be setting up all that gear in preparation are instead, in the word of Munday, “floating out in the water waiting to go to the mothership.” Nine boats, four zodiacs, and two barges are already on the scene ready and waiting to transfer people, props, and gear.

For one of the few times all day, Munday is frustrated. “I had reiterated so many times that at 9:30 we need them to start mooring,” she sighs. “I was told that they’d be done by 10. I get here at 10:15 and it’s still not in position.” And, as Munday explains, the delay has caused a domino effect. “Art hasn’t been able to get aboard to set their last-minute items. Audio hasn’t been able to get aboard because audio have to sync cameras and audio first. Which means they need to do that before I can even send audio out to the contestant boats to get them mic’d and ready.” Now Munday is worried that she won’t have time to mic the contestants and have them ready for the open in time, but here’s the thing: It’s Riley’s job to worry. That’s why she’s so good at it.

10 minutes later, smaller boats are brought in to transfer crew and gear to the main boat, and the race is on.

The scramble to set up cameras, food, and clues begins!

10:36 a.m.
The chaos is officially underway. 30 people are now on-board Ra Marama.

An art boat filled with additional fruit and fish arrives and is locked onto the “Hero” boat (production name for the marooning vessel). The crew immediately starts grabbing and placing these valuable supplies throughout the boat — valuable because these are the supplies that contestants will scramble to procure in the roughly two minutes Jeff Probst will give the players before forcing them to jump overboard. The more they can grab, the better fed they will be. In total, 20 produce crates and 15 baskets filled with perishables like fresh vegetables, lots of green leafy items, and seasonal fruit, as well as longer lasting items like taro, potato, sweet potato, and pumpkins are strewn about.

Meanwhile, cameras are placed everywhere. Fourteen cameras are being positioned, as well as another remote camera on the mast head, two on follow boats, two underwater, various GoPros, and the ever-present drone. And wherever there are cameras, there are microphones, including two that will be placed on Probst, 18 for the contestants, three boom mics, and seven mics planted throughout the boat for a total of 30. Normally the Survivor audio team has two hours to prep the ship with various microphones, but with rough ocean conditions delaying the arrival of the ship and their ability to board, that time has been cut to a mere 20 minutes.

10:49 a.m.
Wanna know a secret? There often is a secret reward or advantage hidden on board at a marooning. Not this season, however. This season there are two secrets— a secret tribe reward and a secret individual advantage. The tribe reward message is hidden in the middle of the boat behind a bag of fruit. Whoever removes the fruit will find it… as long as they are actually looking. “Secret Tribe Reward!” reads the message. “Dive under buoy, find the handle and pull!”

The notice is sufficiently obscured, but challenge producer Marchand has a thought: What if the person who finds it wants to cover it back up so the other tribe does not see and race them to it? “Right now we’re looking at the communal advantage and we’re making sure there are enough items around it where if they want to re-hide it as quickly as possible, they can,” he explains. Since the notice is locked down on the ship and cannot be removed, Marchand calls over some more produce. “This way they can rebury it, because they can’t move the actual thing.”

Meanwhile, prop master Faganely hides the secret individual advantage at the forward of the boat, sticking it to a crate using some black tac (so it doesn’t blow away in the wind) and behind some fruit. While the fruit is technically hiding the advantage, it also serves the purpose of drawing players over to it. “There will be a bag of pineapples on top of it,” explains Faganely. “You can’t pass that up, so someone’s going to take it for sure and see the advantage.”

And viewers will see it as well, with the advantage crate placed strategically right by a GoPro camera to ensure it is all captured on film. How much time does Faganely spend figuring out the perfect place to stash an advantage? “Quite a bit,” he laughs. “You have to see where you can cover it with a camera and then we just try to make it work with random props. We’ll throw these boxes in so it’s at the right level, throw stuff around it, make sure everything is fine. You always want to make sure you have the perfect spot and perfect things around it that look good too.”

This particular advantage is actually a clue as to the whereabouts of said advantage back at the tribe beach, and somewhere, Jimmy Quigley is waiting for a call to tell him at which camp he should start burying.

Prop master Lucas Faganely shows off the Secret Advantage before hiding in on board Ra Marama

10:56 a.m.
Remember that secret tribe reward sign telling someone to dive under buoy, find the handle and pull? It has been the cause of much recent consternation. The problem began when production had to change the marooning boat a few days prior. That meant the first full rehearsal the crew did was, as Dryden puts it, “null and void.” Therefore, the second final rehearsal the day before actual filming was really the first (and only) full walk-through with cameras that would correspond to what they actually shot at the marooning. And when they did it, something was off.

The plan was for a player to jump off the boat, swim over to a buoy, dive down, and pull a handle that would release the reward crate of canned food. But that’s not what happened. “It was too confusing for somebody who has not seen a diagram or seen footage or pictures of what they’re gonna do,” says the director of the rehearsal with Dream Teamers. “It basically was canned goods, but they were attached to a bunch of bamboo things to keep them floating. And the thing is under a buoy. So you have this object that they’re gonna win which they’ve never seen, and they don’t know what it is. And then below that is the mechanism they have to trigger in order to release it.”

During the rehearsal, the Dream Teamers never saw the trigger. “And so they got there,” says Dryden, “and they’re pulling on the cans and they’re trying to untie the knots that are holding it to the line that goes to the release mechanism. Then finally somebody else comes over and they still can’t figure it out.” The director can only laugh. “Then they just drug the whole thing over and lifted it into the boat before they even figured out ‘Oh, s—, there’s a handle there!’  And then they released it. We were all like, ‘Oh my God!’ It needed to be totally revamped and simplified.”

So with only about 14 hours until go-time, Dryden walked over to the challenge office (a.k.a. Best Place on Earth) and tasked Kirhoffer with making the contraption “idiot-proof.” Kirhoffer immediately gathered Faganely and marine dive team coordinator Douglas Ahnne in his challenge shop, and after fielding a concerned call from Probst (“How’s that looking? We gotta make sure that it’s bulletproof. It’s definitely gotta work. We can’t have them coming up saying, ‘I can’t figure it out.’”), the team laid out the underwater apparatus to figure out how to make the entire operation cleaner, more visible, and more user-friendly.

The problem — and corresponding solution — was all in the handle. Because they didn’t want the handle to fall to the ocean floor after being pulled, it had a rope attached to it, which was also attached to all the cans. But the ropes only added to the underwater confusion, so Kirhoffer’s solution started with a simple idea: “Let’s just not worry about losing the handle. Pull the handle, let it drop to the floor of the ocean. We have scuba divers — they can go down and find it later.”

The team got rid of one rope completely, changed the other one from a vanilla color to a clearer white one that was easier to see, and then adjusted the handle length and color (painting it bright orange) to make it more obvious what and where to pull. It all sounded good in theory, but how would it look once they got it in the water? With the new contraption finally in place, John Kirhoffer wants a pair of eyes on it to make sure it will pass muster, and in cases like this, the only eyes he trusts are his own. The challenge producer dives into the ocean to inspect it for himself.

Now you see it, now you don’t! This secret tribe reward before being hidden behind bushels of produce and potatoes 

11:02 a.m.
“Can you please put your hand up so I can see where your dinghy is?”

This is just one of the random, out-of-context quotes you hear on a boat now filled with people making last minute adjustments. Like, say, director Dave Dryden proclaiming “Let’s lose that. I don’t want a big nut in his face” while pointing to a dangling coconut that will be in frame next to Jeff Probst when he welcomes the contestants.

Dryden is getting his first look at the almost-finished product and making other adjustments when necessary. “The wind is strong so that just makes maneuvering boats and positioning tricky,” he notes. “We just need to fine tune a few key elements, and get a barge out of Jeff’s background now that we repositioned the boat, but we’re getting there. We’re right on schedule.” Then, amongst all the chaos, Dryden takes a moment to look around his outdoor office-at-sea. “Look at this day! C’mon! It’s been raining all week! I’m loving it.”

Meanwhile, Milhouse is still tweaking the hiding of the secret tribe reward clue. “Let’s move these potatoes up front,” he says seemingly to nobody in particular, and yet then, magically, potatoes appear. Milhouse thinks having potatoes as cover will keep this reward a bit harder to find because they are less attractive to contestants than the other foods, causing the challenge producer to snicker. “The funny thing is, the potatoes have so many nutrients that’s what they should take.” (Future contestants take note!)

With most of the food and props now placed, Faganely has one last important task: getting the tribe maps and buffs ready. Faganely takes all the blue buffs out of a bag, checks them, puts them back in the bag and then ties the map to the outside of the bag. He then does the same for the yellow buffs. The level of detail goes even further. After confirming that the Manu tribe will be receiving their buffs first, Faganely hangs that bag on the outside so that Probst can grab it easily, while the second Kama bag goes on the inside.

With so many moving parts and time becoming scarce, Munday needs to clear out some of the human clutter getting in the way. “We need all non-essential personal to move from the main area of the boat or else we’re not going to get this off in time,” she announces. Speaking of getting things off on time, where is Jeff Probst?

Lucas Fagenely takes the Manu tribe map and attaches it to the bag of buffs

11:10 a.m.
The eagle has landed! Repeat: The eagle has landed! In actuality, it’s just Jeff Probst and exec producer Matt Van Wagenen, who step on board Ra Marama. After greeting various members of the crew, Probst makes a beeline for the starboard side of the boat, where John Kirhoffer has just emerged from the water with an eyewitness account of the new and improved handle in question.

Kirhoffer explains to the host how he dove down seven feet without a mask on “so I can see what they will see to make sure that it’s not confusing.” After feeling good about the rejiggered rig, he dove down again, this time with a mask so he could see everything clearly and make sure everything was exactly as it should be. “I wanted to make sure it’s dead perfect,” the challenge producer says to the host while dripping wet. “And it’s dead perfect.”

Probst and Kirhoffer have been doing this together for over 18 years now. They have a shorthand and level of trust that has been forged over an astounding 1,446 days of filming. If the king of challenges says it’s good to go, then the host believes him. But just because everything looks in place doesn’t mean Kirhoffer still isn’t at least a little nervous. “The thing I’m most concerned about with today is making sure that thing pops up,” he says when asked about what he’s going to be focused on once the contestants finally show up. “We have plenty of people concerned with everything else.”

Challenge producer John Kirhoffer, all dried off and redressed after diving down 7 feet to inspect the secret tribe reward

11:15 a.m.
Matt Van Wagenen seems way too relaxed. “Usually I have these nervous butterflies at the marooning,” says Van Wagenen. “But there is a calmness about this season for some reason.” The beauty of unscripted television is that even with all the planning in the world — and the Survivor production team overplans for everything — you never know what is going to actually happen. “This is like Christmas morning,” explains the EP. “It’s shaking the presents and getting ready to see how this turns out.”

The calmness of this season may be somewhat due to familiarity. Out of 38 seasons, this will be the 9th time that the show has begun with some sort of variation of having payers starting their adventure by scrambling and then jumping off of a boat — and the fifth time in the past eight installments. Why? Because it just works. “We had an editor named Eric Gardner who worked on the show for years who said, ‘If it’s not better than throwing ‘em off a boat, then throw ‘em off a boat!’” laughs Van Wagenen.

As for what he is most excited to see at the open, it is not who discovers the group reward. Nor is it who finds the individual advantage. But there is actually a third secret item on board, and this one is a bit of a misdirect. “There’s a small little thing,” Van Wagenen explains, “and who knows if it will even make it on the show, but we have a small little fishing kit that’s floating around that actually looks like the Legacy Advantage. We’re going to keep an eye on that and see who grabs that thinking that they got something. It’s still great, but they’ll come back to camp pulling that out of their pants and realize they just got a bunch of hooks.”

The fact that Van Wagenen and his team have spent this much time and energy creating something may not even make it on TV is typical. In fact, many of the elements at play here — from the crates and props and underwater cameras to the very rewards and advantages themselves — may never actually be used or seen, yet every detail is painstakingly obsessed over. That’s the genius of Survivorwhile the fact that producers planted a fake Legacy Advantage would qualify as the evil genius portion of the game.

EP Matt Van Wagenen (passing both a pensive Probst and the secret tribe reward clue) is like a kid on Christmas on marooning day

“If you are on the Ra Marama and don’t need to be here, you need to disembark now,” announces Munday to the crew. “Last call.” This means all non-essential personnel need to make their way off to the boat and onto either one of the two floating barges or dozen boats or Zodiacs off to the side. Speaking of barges, one of them at the top of the hour had drifted into a camera shot, forcing four safety divers into the water to secure four 100-pound anchors to help reposition it. At the same time, grips had to chop off a canopy support pole that was in a camera shot, while other security boats were also moved to ensure clean visuals.

The game of cat and mouse with the tides continues as the marine department delivers yet another anchor to help secure the barge. Even with all the preparation in the world, last minute tweaks and changes like this are the norm.

“Jeff is coming upstairs” a segment producer radios to Munday, and sure enough, Probst emerges from below deck, now dressed in his official opening attire: a black shirt and his trademark orange Survivor hat (#OrangeHatAlert). He works the boat a bit, asking one cameraman how many seasons he’s been on the show. “I started season 11,” comes the answer. “Dang!” sighs Probst, now talking more to himself. “Wow, we have a massive combined total of seasons with our crew. That’s really amazing. Season 11. Wow.”

From there the host starts running through what he will say to the contestants when they arrive. It’s a routine with which crew members are very familiar. Probst will close his eyes and enter almost a trance-like state, murmuring to himself what to say to make sure it sounds right to him and that he does not omit any key pieces of information. Right now, he’s working on how he wants to introduce Joe Anglim to the newcomers once the returnees make their way on to the boat.

“He has pushed his body so far that it literally gave out and he dropped. He lasted 32 days,” Probst whispers under his breath. He’s got it. He’s in the zone. The host is ready.

Director Dryden and his camera team, ready to go

11:39 a.m.
All water bottles have been hidden (crew members are not allowed to eat or drink in front of the contestants) and phones turned off. Seven safety divers have been positioned in the water. Security has locked down the waterways to ensure clean visuals for filming. (After all, they don’t want to risk a stray tourist boat taking passengers to nearby Castaway Island — where Tom Hanks made best friends with a volleyball — all of a sudden coming into frame.) And then, Munday gives the order: “Let’s bring the contestant boats in.”

Slowly, two boats come into view. They get closer. Everyone on Ra Marama waits in silence. For three days, the 14 new contestants on these boats have been anxiously waiting for their adventure to begin — wondering if all that preparation and strategy will actually come to fruition. But now it is the crew — who have constructed, tweaked, and often reconstructed every tiny detail countless times — that must wait anxiously to see if all their preparation and strategy will pay off in terms of the marooning going off without a hitch.

It takes seven minutes for both boats to make their way to Ra Marama. (Meanwhile, a speed boat with the four returning players remains just out of view, ready and waiting for its dramatic entrance once cued by Munday.) “You’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Probst says to the newbies as they file in and take their seats near the aft of the vessel. “Alright, guys, take a spot,” he orders. “Everyone find a spot on the boat. Let’s get this thing going.”

The players spend a few minutes making sure they are all in proper position and can be clearly seen by cameras. Perched on a port beam railing right behind the row of cameras, Van Wagenen flashes a grin. He knows what’s coming next, and as someone who compared what’s about to happen to Christmas day, he also knows the biggest present of all is about to be opened.

“Alright,” announces Probst at exactly 11:50 a.m. “Welcome to the 38th season of Survivor. Give it up!”

The game is on.

For tons of other pre-game articles and more Survivor scoop all season long, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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