Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Have you ever watched Survivorman?

I do not often say these words alltogether in one sentence " he is the man"

The "Survivorman" is Canadian filmmaker and survival expert Les Stroud, who must use his survival skills to manage for seven days by himself in various remote locales with little or no food, water, or equipment.

Stroud is completely alone (he is not accompanied by a camera crew and he operates the cameras himself). He is equipped with only his clothes, his camera equipment, his "trusty harmonica , and a Leatherman multi tool . Often, the show begins with a specific scenario in which one might find oneself stranded (such as a car breakdown in the desert; or stranded on a deserted island after a storm). To add to the realism of the "scenario", he is sometimes permitted to have some 'everyday items' that a stranded person in such a situation might possess. He also carries a satellite phone for use only in an emergency.

In each episode Stroud places himself in a unique survival situation. The show is meant to demonstrate how one might survive alone in a remote location with minimal supplies until being rescued. Finding food, water, and materials to make fire and shelter pose the main challenges of each episode.
Part of the tension of Survivorman is in watching Stroud deal with the aftermath of unsuccessful or inappropriate survival techniques and decisions. The reasons for these errors can include time limitations, being unfamiliar with a technique, or misjudging weather conditions, all frequently encountered by people in survival situations. Stroud allows these predicaments to occur for the benefit of the TV audience, rather than simply sitting and waiting to be rescued. While acknowledging the errors and the negative effect on his emotional state that they can create, Stroud remains calm throughout, providing a model of behaviour vital to successful survival.
In addition to the physical challenges posed by each survival situation, Stroud confronts the psychological effects of isolation, physical injury, and exhaustion. Stroud is never without his harmonica, even in the episode where he honed his harmonica to eight sharp points on the hard rocks in an unsuccessful attempt to create a flounder catching device. Stroud's harmonica playing creates an atmosphere in strong contrast to the often dismal nature of the survival experience, and has a noticeable positive effect on the host. Stroud also narrates to the camera, commenting on his physical and psychological state, providing survival tips, or making jokes (such as his parody of an iconic scene in The Blair Witch Project), effectively employing the future television audience as a companion. Stroud also often dismantles available equipment (e.g. bike, snowmobile, airplane) and puts it to another practical use

Except for footage of him arriving at his new setting, and being retrieved at the end of the week, the content of each episode is taped entirely by Stroud himself using several DV video cameras that he must carry with him everywhere that he goes. (He has lately switched to a number of HDV cameras.) The burden of having to carry, place, and retrieve the camera equipment for each shot adds to the challenge and difficulty of each survival situation. His camera and audio gear typically weigh about 50 pounds (22.7 kg) in total. During the "Behind the Scenes" episode, Stroud explains that "setting up or tearing down all of my camera gear takes about 65% of my time," making survival more challenging. The episode also explains that Stroud and his team extensively scout their locations ahead of time and consult with survivalists and natives to the area. The goal is both to ensure Stroud's safety and to sketch out interesting scenarios and techniques that can be illustrated on the show. He later records a voice-over commentary in the studio, where he explains his decision-making process and details of how he accomplished various tasks.

i highly recommend checking out these sites to learn more and i am sure there are youtube videos of his amazing adventures.


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