You won’t find Dan Smith’s Reality TV class in
the studio. They’re usually outside – somewhere – toting remote cameras
on their young shoulders and tipping fuzzy boom mics into the nonstop
The 25 students in this one-of-a-kind class are learning the
ins and outs of a growing phenomenon in the entertainment industry: How
to shoot a reality TV show.
“There is no book for this,” said Smith. A 15-year veteran of
the rough and tumble entertainment industry, Smith, a professor at Mt.
SAC since 1998, has done a bit of everything, from Sizzler commercials to public access cable.
And that’s the point. Through Smith’s hands-on approach, he’s
built up a TV production program that rivals those in four-year schools.
His biggest problem is hanging onto students before they get
cherry-picked by reality TV show producers and directors.
A recent defector is Chris Rehnke, who left his class to work
on “American Gladiators” and then “Ice Road Truckers” at the end of
2006. Now, he’s producing web-based videos for a YouTube channel.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story REAL.