"BIG" Time on CBS Prime Time
For Orwell Productions and CBS' "Big Brother" television show, I was Field Producer for a total of four segments which aired during their prime time live shows. The premise of the show was similar to "Survivor" but all the strangers lived in a house surrounded by 24/7 cameras with no outside contact or media. The last remaining in the house after three months of confinement would win between $50,000 - $500,000. Every few weeks the House Mates marked each other for banishment and then the public would decide, at the cost of $1/per call, who would get kicked out.

As the show heated up, field crews were sent out to the home towns of the House Mates to tape various events put on by their family and friends. As field producer, I went out to shoot with DP/Dave Seman of Folding Pictures and Sound/John Mathie to interview key people and film the following events:

- The town of Winnebago, Illinois celebrated in true Midwestern fashion by honoring George's family with a limo ride, parade with tractor-pulled hay wagon, marching band and proclamation by the town's Mayor. The local newspapers and tv stations covered us covering the event!

2) "GEORGE VOTE DAY" - The town of Rockford, Illinois banded together to "save" George after being marked for banishment by creating an event at a bar widely publicized locally on radio and television. A communications company offered to put in a phone line at a bar to pay for all calls over a 3-4 hour period for two nights to vote Brittany out of the house to prevent the votes from being scattered. She was chosen because she was publicly noted as the most popular and considered as George's biggest competition for winning the prize money. Brittany did get kicked out of the house which added to the segment's controversy. The local newspapers and tv stations again covered this event which made it on their 10:00 p.m. news.
Shooting interviews on location for "George Vote Day"

3) "BRITTANY SURPRISE PARTY" - I was sent to Minneapolis to film Brittany's surprise and welcoming home party in her home town. The party participants were convinced that it was the George Vote Day event that resulted in Brittany's demise so I certainly did not mention that I was the field producer on that segment for fear of being run out of town!

4) "JESSICA'S SCHOLARSHIP" - Upon George's demise from the show, we were asked to interview the daughter who was given a full college scholarship from a loyal viewer. Despite Jessica's normal shyness on camera, their surprise at being met at the airport and our involvement in the "controversial segment" which had upset the family, Jessica did grant us the interview which resulted in a heartwarming segment.


"Seman, Feldmann pair on projects;" Reprint from: Screen Magazine; Sept. 18-25, 2000.