How long do the Below Deck crews film for? Gruelling schedule detailed

Below Deck season 9 preview

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Below Deck became a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of fans across the world catching up on eight seasons worth of drama. The Bravo show sees the crew of the My Seanna taking care of the luxury yacht and its esteemed clientele. But to document the reality of the experience, the cameras have to follow the cast on a gruelling schedule for the TV show.

How long do the Below Deck crews film for?

Captain Lee and his team are forever sailing the seas of the islands situated off mainland America but their plans aren’t always as plain sailing as they had hoped.

From crew members clashing with one another to a number of errors happening onboard the yacht, there is never a moment to miss.

For this reason, the camera crews tend to follow the cast around the clock to make sure they capture the best content.

They live on the vessel with the cast members, watching them on screens in a specially equipped out room so they know what the crew are up to at all times.

It usually takes six weeks for the producers to get everything they need to fill an entire season with drama from the seas.

When cast members sign up for the show, they must agree to let the cameras follow them 24/7, making it one of the most unique reality shows airing on television.

Other reality programmes tend to see the cast members meeting up in certain locations before shutting the door to the cameras when they return home.

This is not the case for the Below Deck stars, as producer Courtland Cox explains, stating: “Our first call sheet had camera crews arriving at 7 a.m. and wrapping by 10 p.m.

“Because that’s what you do for a normal reality show. Then we realised that yachties stay up until three o’clock in the morning drinking and hanging out, and we didn’t have the cameras there to cover it,” he told Vanity Fair.

Didn’t have cameras to cover it

Courtland Cox

To ensure all the drama was being recorded, producers fitted Go Pro cameras throughout the vessels they were using to film the shows.

It seems the cast are chosen for a specific reason, too, with producers selecting the individuals they hope will stick to the filming schedule and its demands.

Tania Hamidi explained although the show isn’t scripted, they want people who will be willing to open up in front of the cameras.

“It’s a TV show so the crew we choose are definitely outgoing and happy to be open. If they are closed off, it’s hard to tell a story and hard for others to come out and tell them their stories,” she told Boat International.

But having your life recorded upon the yacht is not the easiest of experiences as the stewards have to work for more than 16 hours a day.

Kate Chastain posted on her Twitter account how the show was “one of the most difficult out there for cast members”.

The former star of the programme added how cast members have to “get into our tiny bunk and have to wave to the camera so they’d turn our lights off.”

This is the only way cast members are able to interact with production as they are not allowed to speak to those behind the camera whilst filming.

The only place onboard the luxury yacht where cast members aren’t filmed is the bathroom, where they are allowed their privacy.

However, if there are more than two people in the bathroom at the same time, the cameras are allowed to follow them in.

This is because some of the most emotional scenes could happen, with stars of the show confiding in each other.

The only other time the cast are not filmed is when they enjoy their three days off a season to do what they want.

Below Deck returns for season nine – available to stream and download first in the UK and Ireland on hayu from October 26. Below Deck is available to watch on Bravo in the US. Below Deck seasons 1-8 are available to stream on Hayu.

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