Last Saturday, September 8th, the Creative Arts Emmy Awards winners were announced and Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch”, like several other leading shows, was overlooked. “Deadliest Catch” has become a six time emmy nominated series now and no doubt will garner more as time goes on. This is a unique–one of a kind–series that has served as inspiration for other shows currently airing and even more that are in the works. And a great deal of the success of “Deadliest Catch” is due not only to the fishermen featured on it, but to the men who risk their lives filming it. Brothers Doug and Todd Stanley are two of those men. How many injuries have they suffered? How far do they go to “get the shot”? How ever did they end up in this line of work? An article published just last week at Sacbee.com by Sam McMannis sheds a little light on the brains & guts behind the show…
MEDIA SAVVY: KING CRABS
“Deadliest Catch” has turned out to be the Discovery Channel’s top-rated show, routinely drawing nearly 4 million viewers. That’s huge for basic cable, says Discovery’s executive vice president Jane Root, who adds, “It’s our ‘American Idol.’ ”
Doug Stanley, left, and Todd Stanley goof off in the production room at Todd’s house in Lotus last week. Their job, however, is no laughing matter: producing and photographing the Discovery Channel hit “Deadliest Catch” about crab fishermen in Alaska. (Courtesy of Sacramento Bee/Bryan Patrick)
The allure of the show is simple: People like to sit back on a cozy couch and watch others risk their lives in sub-freezing conditions on the tossing and rolling Bering Sea. As narrator Mike Rowe has reminded viewers, nine fishermen have died in the four years the show has aired.
And that’s not surprising when you see the work they do. Not only do the fishermen tangle with 800-pound crab pots swinging wildly around the bow, but they battle the elements that sometimes include 80-knot winds, 30-foot waves and ice, plenty of ice.
Someone, of course, has to film the hardy crews. That’s where the Stanleys come in.
Doug, 44, and Todd, 37, both are adventuresome sorts, working as professional river guides and engaging in extreme sports such as mountain climbing.
They broke into the relatively tame world of television photography in the mid-1990s when they met veteran Sacramento cameraman Jim Meyers. They spent a few years doing quasi-news assignments in Los Angeles and foreign locales.
“Tabloid stuff, like ‘A Current Affair’ and ‘Inside Edition,’ ” Doug says. “That was how I learned the business of television. I’ve shot ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ and ‘America’s Most Wanted’ — that kind of stuff.”
A project such as “Deadliest Catch” seems a perfect fit for the brothers’ adventurous spirit.
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