How Can We Help?

A Reality Show Film Crew Comes to Camp

You are here:
< All Topics

A few weeks ago I told you that I had been selected to try out for a reality TV show called “Life on the Road.” This week the director and a cameraman came into camp and videotaped a group of us at the Grand Canyon for the show and I learned more about it. It is for Canadian audiences only and this is a “sizzle reel” that will be presented to the network executives who will then either give the okay for a Pilot episode or will decline it which means it is dead. Even if they give the go-ahead, that still doesn’t mean it will become a series. First it will be broadcast as a Pilot to see if it becomes a series. As of now, I’m not getting my hopes up and I’m assuming it is unlikely it will ever see the light of day.

Here is the director wiring me for sound. I'm on the left! My thanks to Dan who took all these photos.

Here is the director wiring me for sound. I’m on the left! My thanks to Dan who took all these photos.

When I told you about this a few weeks ago many of you had a very negative reaction, you were certain that the TV people were greedy, rotten jerks who only wanted to make a buck and would make us look like drunken, crazy bums. I didn’t think that was the case at all. But I was wrong!
The cameraman lining up a shot.

The cameraman lining up a shot.You can’st see them, but he actually has horns and hooves!

On my God, you were so right and I was totally wrong!!!! The director and cameraman who showed up were evil monsters! They were demons in the disguise of men. They handed me a script and told me to memorize it and it made me look like a buffoon who was out to steal, kill and rape everyone in sight! First they wanted me to rob a convenience store and then for lunch I was supposed to dine and then dash at the restaurant. They even wanted to bring in an actor in a Forest Ranger uniform and have him beat me up! It was horrible, horrible I tell you! I finally had to pull out my .357 magnum and threaten them with it to get them to leave.


Not a word of that is true, just the opposite is!! They were two of the nicest guys I’ve ever met! They couldn’t have been more friendly and professional. They told me some of their resume of the shows they have worked on and it was remarkable. They worked on some very impressive shows and were extremely good at what they do. They told me to just relax and be myself that they wanted to present my life honestly and without slanting it in any way—and I totally believed them. There is no doubt in my mind that if it goes forward only good will come from it. The more I got to know them and tell each other our stories, the more confident I became that they were outdoor people who loved to travel and were totally open to counter-culture lifestyles. Beyond that, they are Canadians; they are genetically incapable of being rude!

Because they had flown in late the day before, they only one day to do all the shooting. That made for a very busy schedule. The first thing we did was hitch up the trailer and go take shots of me driving; after all, you can’t have a series called “Life on the Road” without shots of the van and trailer on the road! Mostly they went ahead of me, set up the camera, and then I drove into the shot. There was a big mud-puddle near here so they also got shots of me running through it and soaking the van. I have new mud tires so I gunned it inside the mud puddle and threw mud everywhere for affect. I’m hoping that is a cool shot!
My new mud tires doing their job!

My new mud tires doing their job! The Arizona monsoons have made getting stuck a daily hazard!

Of course they had a top-of-the-line professional video camera, but they wired the whole van inside and out with GoPro video cameras for “atmosphere” shots. While we were driving along one of the suction cups came loose and the GoPro blew off at 60 mph, I watched it bounce all around and land in the middle of the road. So we turned around and went back to pick it up. It was still recording and looked like new! They weren’t surprised at all and said that was normal for a GoPro. (When I saw that I said to myself I had to own one, and you know what, now I do! Best Buy had them on sale so I bought a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition, and so far I am in love with it. That means I have to go have some adventures worthy of an adventure video camera!! (Now, I need to find cheap and very easy video editing software. Does anyone have any recommendations? The more powerful the better but reasonably fast, stable and easy to use are my highest priority. What do you use?) Find the GoPro on here: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition
Randy going to be interviewed in his nice travel trailer.

Randy going to be interviewed in his nice travel trailer.

When we got back to camp they took shots of me setting up and in camp and interviewed me with questions and answers. There were 8 of us in camp and 5 of them (3 males, 2 females) had agreed to be interviewed, so when they were done with me they interviewed them. By then it was getting late so we ran into the Grand Canyon and took some videos of me driving along the Rim and of me standing on the Rim. They called it the “Hero” shot, but that seemed like a pretty unlikely description of me. Unfortunately it wasn’t a very nice day so I don’t think the Canyon was at its prettiest.
That evening we built a fire and they videoed us siting around it. One of our group, Laurie, is a professional singer and she had written a song about being on the road so she sang it for us by firelight (and a light they had set up to fill-in). With a little luck it could be the theme song for the Series! My good friend Randy (of the Mobile Codger blog recited one of his famous Poems .
Randy and Laurie around the fire. That's Curtis behind them, he was also interviewed.

Randy and Laurie around the fire. That’s Curtis behind them. He was also interviewed.

And then they drove back to Flagstaff to fly out to their next victims, I mean the other people who might be on the show. They were on the go all day and they were working hard! So I don’t envy them jumping on a plane just to do it all over again! As they drove away I was 100% confident they were good decent Joes who would give us a fair shake and present us just as we are. Whether it ever makes it on the air, I was glad for the experience!
Laurie being interviewed in front of her Burro trailer.

Laurie being interviewed in front of her Burro trailer. Of course Randy is taking her picture!


  1. Naomi

    Sounds like you had a blast! I hope they send you a copy of what they videoed – maybe you can post it here. If it does air, I’m sure it will help a lot of folks.
    Can’t imagine anyone being negative about it, but if so, let it roll off and maybe offer them a fiber bar.
    Have your people call my people. 😉

    • Bob

      Naomi, it was a busy, but very good day! He did say he would be sure we got the footage even if it didn’t make it to air, so I have my fingers crossed we do. LOTS of people are VERY negative about it. But I think they have some valid concerns so I understand their positions. A fiber will fix most of what ails you!!

  2. Stuart

    A good video editing package that would be suitable would be Kdenlive . Price? Free! Works on Linux (free) or MacOSX (not free).

    • Bob

      Thanks for the recommendation Stuart, I will look into it. There is a tendency to think free is low quality, but the photo editing program I use is Picassa and I love it and it is free, so I will look hard at kdenlive.
      Thanks again!

  3. Meg

    I’m glad the shooting went well, Bob. It’s a shame they had only one day but if the idea isn’t “sold” yet they probably have limited resources for shooting. It seems like it would be a fair depiction of the lifestyle so I hope it gets made – even though since it’s only for Canada I wouldn’t get to see it 🙁 . (Hmm, I wonder why they shot down here then…)

    • Lynn

      Probably because no sane Canadian would live on the road. Too damn cold. I will definitely watch for it.

      • Bob

        I don’t know Lynn, I lived on the road for 6 years in Anchorage, Ak, and it gets a little chilly there. But then, my sanity has frequently been debated!

      • Linda

        Tons of Canadians live on the road. We’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, in Quartzsite every winter.

        • Lynn

          I think the topic was Canadians living on the road IN CANADA, not living on the road in the US.

    • Bob

      Meg, yeah they weren’t investing a lot in the Zinger reel. I guess the network execs have the ability to see beyond the limited amount of time that went into it and see it’s potential. At least I hope so. The way e described it was either they had the reaction, “Wow, I want to know more about these people!!” or they didn’t. And that makes sense to me. I think we are interesting and hopefully they will to.
      I suspect that even Canadians find themselves boring and whatever else you can say about Americans, we aren’t boring!

      • Lynn

        Bob, you sure are one for making very broad generalizations. Have you ever been out of the US?

        • Bob

          Lynn, I hope you know I was just being a smart-aleck, I don’t really think Canadians are boring. Some of my best friends are Canadians, and I try really hard to not hold it against them! Both the guys in the film crew were Canadians, and they both commented that they preferred to work with Americans because they were more open and honest. I said it was because Canadians are so polite and they both agreed that was generally true. I know it is a generalization, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Eh?

  4. Rob

    There was a guy that attached one of those cameras to a stick and tossed it out in the water for his dog to retrieve.
    It was an interesting video of a common occurrence.
    Have fun with your camera!

  5. LaVonne

    Woohoo! I have this mental picture of all of you frantically cleaning and reorganizing before the film crew arrived. 🙂

    • Bob

      LaVonne, hey, that was supposed to be a secret, you weren’t supposed to bring that up!!!!
      But you are totally right!! I had a frantic rush to get everything semi-clean and organzied. I am NOT the worlds greatest housekeeper!

      • LaVonne

        Oops, sorry!

        • Bob

          I forgive you, just don’t let it happen again! I have to keep some secrets from you-all!

  6. CAE

    Are they going to put any of it on Youtube, so us non-Canadians can see some of it?

    • Bob

      Sorry CAE, I don’t know any of their future plans as of now. Everything is still way up in the air.

  7. Diane

    Sounds great Bob,
    Glad it was a good experience and glad you didn’t back down from all the negative response you recieved when you announced it a few weeks ago.

    • Bob

      Diane, I mocked the doubters in jest, but I do respect their opinions. You can make a good case against doing a reality TV show. Ultimately I decided the possibilities of good were greater than the possibilities of harm.
      Thanks for your support!

  8. Yolanda

    So Bob, what rig will you buy when you’re a famous Canadian tv star? ;0)
    Sounds like you all had fun. Miss you guys!

    • Bob

      I wish you had been here Yolanda, as soon as I met you I thought, “Now there is a lady with STAR power!!”
      I hope to see you again this winter?

  9. OpenSpaceMan

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it…
    You guys look way to clean and happy. Most of the bums I’ve met are dirty and pretty grumpy.
    I think if it gets on the air, the co-star of the show will be mother nature and the producers will fill your gas tank so you can drive around to different places and meet other nonconformist like us…while letting the cubicle people experience some of the beautiful things you see everyday on your hikes.

    • Bob

      Openspaceman, we do have a few extras to offer them, one is that we move cheaper so we can move more often. I told them if they shot it I would go all over seeing the amazing beauty of America. I also told them i would I would do my best to make them pee their pants at every shooting doing adventurous things.
      Another thing I have to offer is the wide variety of wonderful people who cross my paths. So many of you all are as worthy, or even more worthy, of a show than I am. So they get you along with me.

    • Bob

      Good idea Steve, I’ve been playing with it but I think I would like a little more.

  10. m.a.

    Glad it worked out so well for you. Sounds like you had the perfect gang there, too.

    • Bob

      m.a. we had a great group of people!! The only one missing…was you!!

  11. DougB

    Humph. Must be because they’re Canadians. Any American reality show crew worth its salt would have blacked out a couple of your front teeth and had you foraging through a local grocery store dumpster, then stage the manager coming out for a “confrontation”. You would then be coached to yell, “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”

    • Bob

      It’s funny, we talked about how they prefered working with Americans because it was so much easier to get us to be open and honest. It’s a stereotype, but Canadians really are very polite people.

  12. Calvin R

    While I am not cut out to be a TV star, even for 15 minutes of fame, I would like to see that video. I’m thinking it will be available somewhere on the Internet, along with nearly everything else that is on video.

    • Bob

      Calvin, other than the shots of me driving, it really is mostly talk. We stand around and they ask questions and we answer them. By itself it really isn’t very interesting. We’ll have to see what comes of it.
      The day I was going to move to the Canyon we had a huge downpour and i got stuck. I emailed him and said there was a chance I couldn’t get up to the Canyon and he wrote back and said he wished he had been there for that because that is what makes an interesting show and gives it some drama. There is no drama in one day of interviews.

  13. Traveling Troy

    Well, it sounds like the film crew will represent you well. I hope they approve the pilot and you guys/gals get the gig.
    I just came across a new HGTV show that is currently casting called “New House, New Life”. It’s about going from Wall Street to Main Street or trading in the cubicle for the dream life.
    As far as editing video, I go the cheap route for now and use the same as Steven above: Windows Live Movie Maker with Windows 7 and Audacity for sound editing.
    If I wanted to upgrade and wanted to spend the cash, I could see getting a Sony Vegas Pro product.

    • Bob

      Thanks Troy, I’ve heard good things about Sony Vegas Pro. I may check it out.
      I liked your blog, I wish you the best as you start your journey!

  14. Nelda

    I’m so glad it was a positive event for all of you. Good for you, Bob. Miss you.

    • Bob

      Nelda, we will be seeing you at the RTR soon, Right!?

  15. gary green

    hey now bob, big time tv star, keep living your dream!!!

    • Bob

      Thanks Gary, you too!

  16. Phyllis Anne

    I’m happy to read you had a good experience with the film people. I’m not feeling negative about the show idea at all. But I hope it somehow becomes available to us to watch here in USA.
    I have used Windows Live Movie Maker and it works fairly well, but I soon bought and now prefer Sony Vegas Pro. I like SVPro much better for longer videos and especially for editing/removing/adding layers of soundtracks (think get rid of engine/road noise from soundtrack then adding your own music/narration). I’ve made several long vacation videos to send copies to family and friends. My program is about 4 yrs old so I’d like to get the up to date version. I’ve no experience of Kdenlive that Stuart spoke of earlier, but I will check it out.
    Cheers for such a great experience for you!
    Phyllis Anne

    • Bob

      Thanks for the recommendation Phyllis Anne, I will look into it!

  17. Laurie

    On the morning the film crew was to arrive, I was dealing with a health challenge that was really overwhelming me and I really had to consider if I had the stamina to get the casbah photo shoot ready and I was really torn because I wasn’t feeling good yet I wanted to support Bob.
    As I lay in bed feeling pretty exhausted, I meditated on how best I could serve in this situation and decided I wanted to show up fully for Bob and for the film crew and that intention made all the difference.
    I had a profound interview with the crew and the filming of the song went without a hitch and my energy and stamina were such that no one knew that I was dealing with one of the most daunting health challenges that I’ve ever experienced. (I’m still navigating it, so all healing energy sent my way is greatly appreciated)
    I will be posting more about my experience with the project on my facebook page once I
    m feeling better:
    Until then you can hear the song they filmed around the campfire on youtube when it was filmed for the ‘No Boundaries’ documentary last summer in Lake Heron:
    Bob thanx so much for asking me to be a part of this inspirational project!
    Much love to you…Laurie

    • Bob

      My profound thanks to you Laurie for being there and being a shining example of the best of mobile living!! Your rig, you song, and your life are a beacon we can all follow to a much better life.

      • Laurie

        Wow…thank you Bob!
        That touches my heart since you were the first person I connected with on the road that first winter when ‘I ran away from home’ at Hi Jolly in quartzite where I became lifelong friends with you, Cheri and Sandy!
        I so appreciate you being there for me even before I took to the road…you’ll never know how much your support and encouragement to me during that tender hearted time.
        I am proud to be a friend of yours and will always show up for you fully in any endeavour so feel free to call on me.
        PS – I love the photo you took of me and my guitar while whispering to randy as we waited for the film crew because it actually makes me look like I have ‘sexy’ biceps!

        • Bob

          Knowing you has been a joy for me too Laurie!

  18. Curtis

    Glad you had a good time Bob.:)
    Thank you Laurie for the youtube link.

    • Bob

      Thanks Curtis!

  19. ILDan

    I really hope that I have the opportunity to see the program here in IL. Definitely a LOT of new stories to be told in camp!!
    BTW-That pic w/ you and the director…Is it me or are you loosing weight on your new smoothie diet!?! Were you trying to offset the 10 lb camera gain? LOL
    Either way, you’re looking trim and I’m looking forward to seeing the show.
    Hope you’re enjoying the season’s transition. Dan

    • Bob

      I have definitely lost weight on the diet. But I am not following it anymore. It’s a long story and I will tell you about it soon in a post.

  20. jim

    dang i was looking forward to seeing it on my tv but good luck with it anyway

    • Bob

      Thnaks Jim.

  21. Patrick

    Hi Bob, Below is the link to Ubuntu Linux OS
    Better MAC OS and Windows OS and better Yet is free. I have been using is since 1992 and it ‘s extremely easy to install. Good luck

    • Bob

      Patrick, thanks for the thought, but I don’t have the time or ability to mess with Linux. If it takes 5 minutes it’s more time than I am willing to give it.

  22. stan watkins

    Glad you had fun.

    • Bob

      Thanks Stan. It wasn’t so much fun as interesting. I was very tired of talking by the time it was all done.

  23. Oakley

    Glad you pulled thru all that movie star stuff…heres a question…will you make a lot of cash doing this???..perhaps a new diesel pusher with 4 slide outs>>>,,,lol..just a thought…HappyOak

    • Bob

      Oakley, I have no idea if it pays or what. I think it is still unlikely to get that far. We’ll just have to wait and see.
      Yeah, I can just see me in a 40 foot diesel pusher with 4 slides!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT!!!

  24. Linda

    The only time I’ve ever edited a video, I used Windows Movie Maker. It seemed adequate. Just after Thanksgiving, Amazon starts having Lightning Deals and they often have pro-level editing software at a deep discount.
    Latest post:
    Good Night Gracie

    • Bob

      Thanks for the tip Linda!

  25. wheelingit

    Looks like the shooting went well indeed! Good news all around. I do hope it gets produced.

    • Bob

      You should have been there! You would have fit right in!

Table of Contents