Concept[ edit ] James and his team developed the series as a study on the concept fame, and more specifically "world fame". They focused on over people who are "undeniably world famous".
Of the group, at least a handful would usually be left at the end of each show to collect their reward. The mine was different. It was said to be patrolled by the spirits of miners who died while on duty, as well as the Nahual, a werewolf-esque creature.
The sense of foreboding was too much to take. On the first night of shooting, all six contestants quit. Unlike most docudramas, there was no camera crew in sight. The cast wore chest-mounted cameras and carried handheld recorders to provoke a feeling of real isolation.
Nor did the production orchestrate artificial scares—apparitions, fleeting figures in the woods—like a modern haunted house. Instead, the contestants were largely left alone to get lost in their own heads, the weight of the violent, sometimes-murderous locations bearing down on them as they sat in pitch-black areas thought to have paranormal occupations, sometimes for hours.
Some contestants successfully made it through to the end; others quit in their hotel room, before they had even arrived at the site. To get a sense of what it took to craft this real-life Paranormal Activity, Mental Floss spoke with members of the cast and crew.
Coupled with the music video countdown series Total Request Live, it remained a destination channel with a clear identity for young adults. That brand was put to use by writing and producing partners Martin Kunert and Eric Manes, who conceived of a feature film pitch about an MTV-esque reality show that goes awry.
Kunert and Manes began shopping the feature around town. We had just done a movie called Campfire Tales and decided doing a pseudo-documentary horror film would be our next idea.
It was called Dare. Beau Flynn Executive Producer: I merged the two ideas to create Fear and took it to Dawn Olmstead, who was one of my best friends from college. Dawn Olmstead Executive Producer: He sent over the feature idea.
Beau and I discussed what would happen if we basically did it for real. The pitch was about these kids that go to [the allegedly ghost-occupied swamp area] Honey Island in Louisiana. I was working for Beau as his assistant at the time. Dawn had recently joined the company and had worked at MTV.
They ended up selling it there as a show. MTV thought it was a cool idea, but I think there was suspicion over whether we could pull it off and be scary. What are we actually shooting?
Jonas Larsen Segment Producer: It was a crazy idea. How were we going to execute this? How were we going to create a sense of these people actually being alone? For me, haunted location shows had never quite worked.
How do we know the location is haunted? My thinking was, remember how scared you get watching a horror movie and seeing someone going down into a basement?
The scariest parts are watching people nervously going somewhere. MTV With the premise settled, producers set about creating an environment unique in television—isolating the cast from the production and allowing stationary mounted cameras in the location and on the cast's bodies to cover the action.
The idea was to not have any interaction with the production. That was the way to get genuine fear. They felt completely isolated and alone. Gordon Cassidy Story Editor: With these ghost-hunting shows, one of the things that breaks the spell is the presence of a camera crew.
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