Season 3 Q and A

posted: 04/11/12
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Season 3

In our conversation with Jeff Conroy, co-executive producer of Deadliest Catch, we get an inside perspective on the making of the series and what to look for in Season 3.

Q: You've been producing Deadliest Catch since the series debuted. What do you think makes the series so compelling? What keeps bringing viewers back?

A: I think it's a combination of things. There's obviously the compelling nature of watching guys risk their lives in what are real life-and-death situations. There's the financial stake. Each pot coming up is like pulling the handle of a slot machine - you just have to see what is in it. And finally, I think it's the characters. They are fathers, sons and husbands who have good days and bad days. But, unfortunately for them, their bad days can have serious consequences.

Q: What characteristics do you look for in the fishermen you profile?

A: I look for straight shooters — guys who are willing to put it all out there, warts and all. It's boring watching someone who's perfect, always happy and easy to get along with. I'd much rather see someone who's willing to tell you they did well one day and they screwed up the next. I'm also looking for people who don't care about the cameras, which kind of goes along with the straight-shooter characteristic.

Q: What characteristics do you look for in the camera operators you hire?

A: When hiring camera crew, I look for durability and a good story sense. Unlike any other show I have worked on, toughness outranks camerawork as a quality I look for - if you can't hack it, you aren't going to get the story no matter how good of a cameraperson you are on land. This job is not for everyone. You're exhausted the entire time, your camera equipment will fail, your characters can be hostile, and the conditions are ruthless. The producers and camerapeople who are successful have the intuition to follow compelling stories while operating in the worst conditions imaginable for filming a show.

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