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Colonial House Picture of the colony
Meet the Colonists Behind the Scenes Interactive History Media Gallery
Behind the Scenes
Introduction Interview with the Executive Producer Colonial Life, Then and Now

Interview With the Executive Producer. Back to questions

Question:

What about the selection process? Were there any major differences from FRONTIER HOUSE? Did you have any particular challenges that weren't anticipated?


Answer:

We had more than 5,000 applications, which is about the same as FRONTIER HOUSE -- some were individuals, some were families. It represents a lot of people. I think one of the things we noticed about the application process this time was that people were more savvy. There's so much "reality" TV out there, which we really don't see this as. We see this as experiential history. But there is a certain group of people looking to get on TV that you want to stay away from.

People are also more guarded about giving "it" all up on camera because I think that there's an increase in awareness that when a camera lives with you that long and that often, people have to give a lot of themselves so that we can tell a good story. But in the selection process we're aware that people have gotten savvier to this type of television, and you kind of have to weed out the ones who aren't going to give it to you or the ones who are going to give it to you the way they hope to -- the "game." This isn't a game. Some of the reality shows are games; this isn't a game.

We're going to ask these people to live this way for six months, so that was hard. We really wanted diversity in our group -- but in the application process we found we weren't getting as many minorities to apply as we hoped, and the reply from folks when we reached out was, "That's not my story." So we had to really look at that. And our view was, Well, it's American history. And we did then get plenty on board to say, "Yeah, that's our story" -- but if you look at the numbers, the initial response was low from that. Other than that, it was a similar process. And the most important thing is finding people who really want to go exploring 1628.

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