We can say that Guillaume St-Arnaud is an adventurer. An adventurer of the ether who enjoys putting his protagonists in awkward situations and keeping us, the spectators that we are, awake in our seats. The shootings in which he takes part are not commonplace. For five seasons, he traveled across Quebec thanks to The little seduction. We owe him two seasons Flight 920. When he is not in the four corners of the world, he recognizes Take away with France Beaudoin and spaces with Sarah Jeanne Labrosse.
To learn more about Get Me Out of Here! Speaking of a new TVA reality show hosted by Jean-Philippe Dion and Alexandre Barrette, I’ve joined him on the other side of the planet where he’s preparing Survivor Quebec.
Photo courtesy of Productions Déferlantes
Meet a director who is fearless and juggles people, cameras as much as he does big bugs!
What does it take as a director to immerse yourself in such an adventure?
The biggest facet of my work is structural evaluation. I have six cameras, a jib (camera on the end of a crane), two robotic cameras, and at least four or five Go Pros. There are 22 robot cameras in the camp. I have to be able to do something spectacular and grandiose with Quebec’s budgets. The format platform is located in South Africa. But we found that it was more expensive to shoot than to build one. I’ve learned to do a lot with a little. We built everything in a workshop in Montreal and shipped by container. We’ve been scouting Costa Rica four times to find the right camp in the jungle but accessible, near a body of water, and create our own work structure.
Should a fresh start require a long testing period to make sure everything is secure?
Of course it needs testers. People from the team made themselves available to the game to find the right level of difficulty for each challenge. There is a notion of game management that is quite important to achieve balance. For the test of the helicopter, for example, specialists assessed the drop height as good. Divers searched the bottom of the water to make sure there were no rocks. The goal is to be safe, but pretty scary. It was estimated that as the tide rose it was easier to swim. For another challenge, we were shooting on a cliff, we also needed to be able to position the cameras safely. There are many details to evaluate. People are present at all times to ensure the safety of participants. There is an ambulance within 100 meters, a doctor and a full-time psychologist. It’s very little “fixed with the Views type”.
There are many bugs in each episode. Is it easy to control?
Costa Rica has a precise law that regulates the fauna and flora. We had wranglers for snakes, bugs, rats. What are 10,000 cockroaches? Is that enough? That’s a lot of management! We had many vivariums. We had to feed them and make sure each species coexists well with the other animals. We did sting tests with scorpions, spiders. That was checked, but the whole team had to be sure. Two locals worked full time raising the rocks to spot snakes that look like tree branches and could pose a threat.
Where are the animators during the events?
Our management consisted of a container village. Alexandre and Jean-Philippe had monitors in their caravan and eagerly listened to everything. Jean-Philippe worked really hard to take the announcements to another level and Alex wasn’t just there to hit. They were very dedicated.
There is no peer elimination here. Do we feel a lot of support?
The beauty of the concept is not in the parlor game. Never does interaction with others make you go out. This show is more humorous, more playful, more good-natured. The style has a very refreshing positive aspect. All are allied to face the jungle. If you lose, you lose to yourself. Contestants experience many emotions. You are immersed in something extreme. In addition, they live in a camp, sleep on wooden boards, go to the toilet on wooden chairs, never have privacy, are hungry, suffer from the heat, humidity and are spied on by cameras. The wear and tear is there too.
► Get me out of here! Sunday 6:30 p.m. on TVA