Join 3,552 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


How does Scare Tactics Work?
October 12, 2009 9:49 PM   Subscribe

How does Scare Tactics work?

I find the show Scare Tactics fascinating, but I can't determine if it is legit. It seems to be a huge liability scaring people like that, especially in the States' litigation happy society. Also, if a person does not like how they reacted to the scare, can they refuse to sign over their right to have their likeness broadcast? I would imagine it would be a very risky procedure to set up and execute the scare if there was a possibility that something might go wrong or the target would refuse to sign over their likeness. Anyways, anyone has any other insider knowledge about the show I would love to hear it.
posted by mazniak to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It's very likely that the producers would have pre-screening in place, possibly under a different guise, like maybe the people had just done a psychological assessment survey that they thought was for some other purpose. Certainly there would be health professionals on standby and there's no way they would show the scenarios on television without having signed consent to do so. On top of that, they probab-*BLOOOOOGH!*
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:17 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here is a forum post with purported correspondence with one of the actors. Also, I recall that sometimes the people are led to believe that they're on a different reality show but then things go horribly wrong.
posted by Roman Graves at 1:33 AM on October 13, 2009


I worked on a reality show that was NOT Scare Tactics, but had a very similar mislead-them-then-spring-a-surpise-on-them element to it. There were a team of staff psychologists and counselors there for the shoot days. They were there to talk to the person, when they inevitably blew up, walked off set, said they weren't getting paid enough to do this s#!@, etc. We also had a producer who was AMAZING with people, and was able to *consistently* talk these people into staying, following through on the rest of the shoot, and generally making asses of themselves on national television. How they did it, I'll never know. Well, I do a bit. Some people were convinced by having a little more money thrown at them ("Would you be willing to continue if I were to...say, throw in an extra $300? No? $500?) up to a predetermined limit. I think they were allowed to go as high as $1500 in a flat-out "We'll lose them if we don't do this" emergency. My memory is fuzzy, so that number is shaky at best. Some people were convinced that they had to go through it because they had signed a contract, and would be sued. Some people were convinced to continue "for the good of the show" and use of guilt. Some thought they might *actually* get a good outcome if they continued (they rarely did).
Regardless, when they finally signed the papers, I'm pretty sure there was a rock-solid "You Can't Sue Us" clause in there to protect the production company.
posted by Spyder's Game at 2:02 PM on October 13, 2009


« Older I need ideas for a piece of ar...   |  Costume-filter: help me source... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.