Camera operators are the unsung heroes of reality television. In reality competition shows, they are immersed in high pressure situations with production teams that are understaffed. On other shows like Teen MomIntervention, or Cops, they are forced to sit idly while people put themselves (or sometimes their children) in danger. They also have to deal with all of the crazy production secrets of reality TV and behind-the-scenes drama.

Most people who work on reality TV shows have to sign what’s known as a non-disclosure agreement, meaning that can’t reveal certain information to the public that might spoil the show for viewers. But, under the anonymity of Reddit, reality TV camera operators tell all. One camera operator from the show Teen Mom even deleted all of his comments and account just hours after doing an AMA. Thank goodness for internet sleuths, who were able to retrieve his responses so we could find out who are the worst Teen Moms.


Filming Teen Mom Was Horrendous Because Some Of Moms Were The Worst

From Alloy, quoting Redditor opticalsk:

“Every shoot, I would want to call CPS. Filthy houses (dog poop on the floor, bloody tampons sitting in a corner for months, weeks old food everywhere, etc.). One of the worst is Leah, filthiest person I’ve met. When feeding her twins, she would spill a bunch of cheese puffs on the nasty carpet and the girls would crawl around and suck up the cheese puffs, no hands involved.”

Did Crazy Things To Capture Insane Moments On A&E’s Intervention

From Redditor csbaron:

“The one that pops in my mind is filming some ‘land boating’ at a meth compound in the deep South. Snorting pills on the sidewalk through a tampon was a bit crazy. Going waist deep in an alligator-filled swamp to follow a crack addict also enters my mind.”

The Host Of Top Shot Unreasonably Lost His Temper At A Female Assistant, Who Coolly Exacted Her Own Revenge

From Redditor topshotcamera:

“[Host] Colby once freaked out at a female assistant, who coughed during a shoot… The audio guys were trying to tell him [it] happened when no one was talking, so it [was] no issue to edit out. So it turned on him, because his freak out actually was what ruined the shoot. He turned and said, ‘Even if I am wrong, I am still right. You are fired, NO ONE GIVE HER A RIDE BACK OR OUT OF HERE!’ She laughed at him and said, ‘Good idea to freak out at someone over a cough, considering I am the one who texts your girlfriends back for you. Oh, and I have my own car.’ She came back a half hour later to give him his phone, which she factory reset.”

The Conflict Between Needing To Film And Wanting To Help On A&E’s Intervention Was Hard

From Redditor csbaron:

“Fights can be awkward, but most of the time, I just hope that they don’t escalate to the point where I have to put the camera down. The hardest one for me was when the subject was going after her mom and the mom started calling out for me to help her, that hurts.”

Saw Truly Terrifying Things On Kitchen Nightmares

From Redditor Anon930:

“[The worst was] pulling out old appliances like grills and fridges, seeing old, rotted raw chicken and mice that died in the hardened grease sludge underneath.”

Survived An Accidental Fire While Filming Yukon Men

From Redditor dirtyshutter:

“Another cameraman and myself were staying at Stan’s fish camp in one of his cabins. It was the summer so the mosquitos were terrible… Like carry you away terrible. We didn’t end up putting the mosquito pick completely out before bed – like we thought we did. It smoldered under the cabin for a few hours and we awoke to the crackle of fire and a five-foot flame in the doorway of the cabin. Our cabin was on fire! The only way out was to jump into/over the flame. It was scary.”

There Are Many Fascinating Things In Nature That Cameramen Are Unable To Capture

From Redditor GavinThurston:

“The most amazing thing I witnessed looking through the camera viewfinder but didn’t manage to capture was a female Gorilla feeding. She stopped to catch a butterfly in her hand and held it up briefly to her eye to see what it was. She then almost seemed to raise her eyebrows in recognition before releasing it and watching it fly away. As a cameraman, there are many things I witness but fail to capture on video. If you [are] impressed by what you see on TV, there is way more out there to see and witness!”

Saw Someone Sh*t Themselves On Survivor

From Redditor survivorguy:

“[Saw] a contestant having shat themself after a challenge. […] A look of dread for sure. A quick dip in the ocean is all the freshening up they got. Had to wear the same sh*t-stained, salt-water-rinsed shorts for another couple of weeks as well!”

Saw And Smelled One Of The Grossest Things While Filming Dirty Jobs

From Redditor dirtyshutter:

“[The worst was] rotting pig carcasses. We shot a story in Northern Indiana on bug entomology that involved several pigs in different levels of decay. The worst had been kept in a trash bin for several weeks. It was a liquid mush. I will never forget the smell.”

Saw Boyfriends Of Girls Gone Wild Watching Everything Live

From Redditor catacombphantom:

“I’ve been shooting girls where their boyfriend was outside, banging on the door and yelling at her when she got off. Then demanded we delete the footage. All I could do is laugh. Rule #1, never bring your girlfriend to a Girls Gone Wild event. Ironically enough, I’ve had boyfriends encourage their girlfriends to do it. I’ve even let them stand behind me while I shoot them in the room, then give them free DVDs and swag for being a great sport. One guy saw his girlfriend do things even HE’S never seen before.”

Cameras For Cops Show Are More Welcome Than News Cameras

From Redditor CopsCarflyAndChambo:

“Yes, people make threats sometimes… But not anymore than they would any other TV news camera. In fact, I’ve had citizens yell at me to get “that news camera out of here!” When I told them we are the “COPS” show, they said, “Come on in!” That was at the scene of a drive-by shooting, and as I said before… Most people want to tell their story.”

Saw Difficult Things That Stay With You Forever On Cops

From Redditor CopsCarflyAndChambo:

“I followed some homicide detectives with Las Vegas Metro on a missing persons case that turned into an unsolved homicide. That case was tragic and stayed with me for quite some time. Something people forget is that the we, as well as the officers, are also human and are affected at the end of the day.”

Saw Everything On Playboy’s Swing, From Fights To Nudity

From Redditor brooks18:

“I’ve seen many fights on camera. Worst injuries are usually just black eyes, though. Hair pulling is big, too. Lots of lost weave on the floors, haha.

As for boobies; yes. Sometimes they pop out or [are] even shown off. I mean, when I worked on Playboy’s Swing, I saw everything. I mean, we were filming swingers banging every night, haha.”

Girls Gone Wild Was A Sad And Pitiful Affair

From Redditor snippysnappy:

“One that we didn’t ever get on camera, but here’s the scene:

It’s after 2am, and the club we were at that night has pretty much cleared out. This night was a ‘foam party,’ meaning that after a certain hour, the dance floor was filled with an ever replenishing supply of ‘foam.’ The kids dance in it, grind in it, do god knows what in it. But, by the end of the night, the foam is reduced to a milky, filthy, pool of warm water, maybe six or eight inches deep.

We’re packing our gear when I look up and see some sad, clearly intoxicated girl, on her hands and knees in the foam, desperately searching for her wallet she had lost on the dance floor.

It just seemed to sum up so much of what the whole experience was like, that it’ll forever be burned into my mind’s eye.”

Working With A Ridiculous Diva Guest Star Can Be Difficult

From Redditor brooks18:

“On one show, our crew was setting up all morning for a big party scene. Once ready, we waited hours for a special guest to arrive so we could get things started. When she finally got to set, she wasn’t even ready to shoot, needing hair and makeup done. Our director said, “We are ready when you’re ready,” and she took it the wrong way. She didn’t want us to be rushing her, haha. Anyways, her and the director really got into it. She was rude and then he started yelling, “We have over 100 people here who have families to get home to.” Eventually, she walked out. We waited another 40 minutes and she came back and gave us an abbreviated performance. Very classy.”

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