Extreme Sport "Car-Diving" on Court TV... well, almost
Back in January of this year (2007), I was contacted by a Los Angeles based producer. We'll call him "Andy". I'm not using his real name because this might be considered embarrassing by him and I'm not out to embarrass anyone. The purpose of this entry is simply to share an amusing story. Andy was curious about a very dangerous and illegal extreme sport called Car-Diving that he discovered in my video. Check out the video he saw for yourself:
Use this code to embed Car-Diving in your website or blog.
Andy was seeking people who take great risks, in search of the ultimate adrenalin rush, for a show called "Thrill Junkies" which he was producing for Court TV. He had never seen or even heard of "car-diving" before and thought this might make a great addition to his show.
I received an e-mail from him inquiring about it. I get all kinds of weird e-mail, so I did some research to make sure he was legitimate, and indeed he was. Andy wanted to connect with the insane guy he saw, who dives to the ground in front of moving traffic as shown in the car-diving demo video. I found it amusing that he thought it was real. Car-diving is about as real as Superman or a politician who doesn't lie and mislead people for personal gain. The Car-Diving page of my website clearly spells out that car-diving is NOT real and nothing more than a visual effects demo. I was a little surprised that a professional freelance producer failed to see that. In his favor, he may have caught the video on a different website, where that isn't spelled out as clearly. What a great compliment though - it looked real enough for him to go looking in to it, meaning I did a decent job on the visual effects.
As soon as Andy finds out the video he saw is only a visual effects demo, any chance of getting my fictitious extreme sport of car-diving seen by the masses on TV will go right out the window. In that regard, I decided to play it off as real and called Andy on the phone number he supplied. Why not? Perhaps if I can get a little exposure for my absurd (fake) extreme sport, I might be able to raise the necessary funding to finally produce my car-diving gag-documentary.
Passing off car-diving as real wasn't too difficult since I had planned for making a mockumentary about this absurd extreme sport several years ago. I still had several of the fictitious characters in my head along with the stories they would tell during their "interviews" for the fake documentary. We spoke on the phone and I played my part as if it were real. Aside from asking if it was staged (as in did my friend drive over me), he never questioned the authenticity of the video. I explained how it was an emerging underground extreme sport in the Rochester, NY area back in the early 2000's. He asked why he had never heard of it before. "The local media wouldn't dare touch this story out of fear that more people might try it themselves", I told him. I also went on about how the local police gave us (the car-divers) a hard time and threated very severe punishment to anyone caught in the act. I threw in several detailed accounts including some of the other car-diver's nick names, and preferred styles of car-diving. Long story short, I put on a good show for Andy. He asked if I had more car-diving clips and I said I did not - the one he saw was the only surviving clip. I think he started to question its legitimacy because of that, but we continued speaking for a while longer.
They would pay me an unspecified amount to use my clip in their show. I didn't expect it would be much, but thought it was cool anyway. I was asked if I would agree to give an interview if they flew a camera crew over. I said I'd be happy to, but made it clear that I wouldn't give a live demonstration of car-diving, telling him, "I haven't done it in years and won't do it again." Andy seemed to enjoy our chat and said he had to clear "car-diving" with the other producers at their next meeting. That was five months ago and I haven't heard back from him. To be honest, I didn't expect to. I'm quite certain that Andy either figured out I was BSing him over the phone, or perhaps took the time to read the write-up on my Car-Diving page, explaining that it is just a visual effects demo for a fictitious extreme sport.
I recently looked up "Thrill Junkies" on Google, but didn't find anything in regards to the show he was producing for Court TV. I thought it might have been released by now... without car-diving, of course. These things take time to produce, so perhaps it is still in production or maybe postproduction. Even though car-diving will not be a part of the show, I'm curious to see how it turned out.
This is a good illustration of the fact that you really shouldn't believe everything you see on the internet, TV, etc. It's all just a big show anyway - even when they call it "news" and especially if they call it "reality TV". But that is a story for another day.
So what do you think? Do you find it amusing that a TV producer in search of extreme sports was taken in by my visual effects demo? Would you like to see the full documentary of Car-Diving? Would you like to be in the documentary and be seen car-diving with the rest of us fools? Share your thoughts - click the comment link below!