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Behind the Scenes of Close Encounters of the Redneck Kind

What it Takes to Get ‘Er Done

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Photo: Close Encounters of the Redneck Kind (View larger version)

Flight 33

John Winquist, Production Assistant

Published


The primary duty of an associate producer on Rocket City Rednecks is helping facilitate the logistics of a given shoot.  This often requires you to be ready at a moment’s notice to fill in wherever the team may need you to be.  Most of the work that I do for this particular show is done from an office in Sherman Oaks, California – just north of Hollywood.  It is from here that I contact people around the world to help assemble the various supplies our rednecks might need for each upcoming episode.  We work closely with Travis to assemble a list of said supplies and then quickly start contacting the necessary vendors and shop owners to help us collect everything from reflective space blankets to software used to interpret radio waves from space – really, whatever the guys need.  Ideally we have a few weeks to prepare for each episode, but sometimes we have only a few hours.  In such cases you have to be able to think on your feet and use every resource you have at your disposal.

For example, towards the end of the build for ‘Redneck SETI’ the guys have the idea of digging a crater in the ground to retrofit a gigantic satellite dish that will help them pick up radio signals from space.  The guys realized that digging out such a hole was no small task so they asked me to find someone outside the group that could help them get the job done quicker. I got on the horn with a local excavator owner by the name of Darrell Perry and we arranged for him to meet our rednecks at the site of our shoot.  Digging such a massive hole required that we also make a call to the county to make sure that the dig site was clear of any power lines, gas lines and electrical lines.  The county crews were dispatched to the site and, after a thorough check, determined that it was a safe place to start the digging.

Once given the OK from the county workers, the guys were able to direct Darrell to the site and finish the build as scheduled.  They even had time to surf the skies for radio waves after a case of cold ones.

A day after the shoot wrapped, I got back in touch with Darrell to have him fill up the hole.  So just a few days later he was able to make it back to the site where he filled everything back in – no problem.  He even planted some new grass for the site owner.  Not too shabby.

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