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The Reality Behind ‘Below Deck’

  • June 29, 2020

Inside the commandeered master suite, the production crew’s parental affection for the cast (“Careful! Oh, Bugs, don’t hurt yourself!” Mr. Cox pleaded as Ms. Drake ran to find plastic cups) battled for dominance against their incurable addiction to drama (“Kiko! Show me Kiko, Vinny! Show me Kiko! Vinny, show me Kiko!” he yelled to a camera operator, realizing the chef was receiving bad news about dinner).

Mr. Cox described his increased ability to anticipate people’s reactions as “the only muscle I have that’s actually grown over the 13 seasons.”

“I find in my brain, when people are having a conversation, my brain instantly shifts to watch the person as they’re getting a piece of information,” he said. “I’m so used to anticipating guest reaction on stuff, I go to restaurants now and I literally, when a plate is set down, stare at the person who’s about to eat it. I’m like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t like it. And she’s annoyed that he doesn’t like it.’ And my wife is like, ‘Will you please just keep eating?’”

Filming for the current season wrapped in early autumn., The cast left the boat, the master suite bed re-emerged from its plywood sarcophagus, and most members of the production crew took a short vacation, to travel, or to go home and sleep for a week. Then it was time to carve more than 4,000 hours of footage into 20, 44-minute installments.

“You’re writing backwards,” said Mr. Samton over a video chat this past spring. “You’re creating the story after. It’s somebody giving you 1000 words and saying ‘Put these in the order of an essay.’”

Using chronological activity logs assembled in the field, a team led by Ms. Rajabi spent two or three weeks sketching out story arcs for the season and per episode.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/style/below-deck-bravo.html

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