The “magic” of outdoors television

No matter how many times we hear it, some people just don’t seem to be able to accept the concept of, “Don’t believe everything you see on television.”

That’s true with everything you see on television, particularly commercials and outdoors programs. Not to sound too cynical, but the line between commercial and outdoors program is a very grey area. Post a comment below if you can name an outdoor television program on the air these days that talks at any length about a product that works without also being sponsored by said product.

Do we believe everything we see on television? Way too much!

Ever see a commercial where a guy is holding onto an ice fishing rod and drag is peeling off his reel? Then he “sets” the hook and reels in something that appears to be fighting him…turns out that action is best done by a coffee mug tied to his line rather than a fish that could break off.

I’m not trying to take the moral high ground here without revealing my own deceitful ways. When I made a video for my podcast of big pike tip-up fishing on Lake of the Woods I needed some close-up flag popping shots. A length of chain tied to the tip-up line with 10 feet of slack is just perfect for flag-popping action that looks genuine.

When I was on the television show Whitetail Properties a few years ago shooting a trophy buck, everything was fair chase and ethical but the set-up and “finding” of the deer was all staged. After I’d shot the deer, we filmed my taking aim and bringing the gun up. What made it to television looks like I’m following the deer through the scope for quite sometime while the camera guy is hurriedly whispering for me to take it.

The reality was that the buck was quartering towards me and I didn’t want to move until he was in range. I had the gun in my lap when he started sauntering my way and so I stayed like that until the right moment. I quick drew the muzzleloader to my shoulder, peered through the scope for a second and squeezed off the shot.

Once the deer was down, we made sure it was actually down before filming me finding it. Most every show does this and it’s easy to tell just based on the camera angles they take.

I mention all of this mainly for those casual videographers out there looking to shoot their hunt. Good television takes multiple takes and angles. When you are filming, focus on the one thing that can’t be redone and fill in the other parts later.

And just like Hollywood does: if reality doesn’t do somethings quite right the first time, go back and make it look like you wanted it to in the first place. So much of entertainment is about deceiving the audience so might as well play along.

Just don’t throw ethics, the law or fair chase to the wind. Other than that, the sky is the limit. Share your favorite blooper or stupid television moment below, especially those starring you.

Categories: Blog Content, Bloggers on Hunting, Ron Hustvedt

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