Economic Development Manager William Back announced the completion of filming of the “Naked and Afraid” television show in Dade County.
According to the Discovery Channel’s website, the popular reality drama sets a man and a woman – total strangers to one another – in a “dangerous, desolate location, without food or water.” The pair must figure out how to survive with just one tool each for 21 days.
Chief Magistrate Joel McCormick introduced the show’s producers to Dade County. McCormick said that assured them that Dade has remote and beautiful pockets that would work well for the program. The show’s producers in Los Angeles agreed and sent scouts to Dade to find locations.
Filming took place deep within Sand Mountain’s Tatum Gulf, sitting inside the New Home and Cole City community. The site is an undisturbed, nearly inaccessible rocky gorge, almost 500 feet deep, where only a handful of people have set foot during the past hundred years. Cole City Hunt Club manages the area as a wildlife preserve.
“Once a decision was made to film here, we moved quickly to find accommodations and meals for the film crew,” Back said.
Dade County Contractor Jeremy Sims was recruited to plow a narrow road into the site so the film crew and a medic could get in and out.
Alerted to the filming and the fact that the naked participants would be working in very dangerous terrain, Dade County 911 and the New Home Fire and Rescue team stood by to assist in case of an emergency.
Back said that while the show’s staff were scouting emergency routes, one of the vehicles operated by a production crew member plummeted down a cliff after his steering assembly fell apart. The driver leaped from the vehicle before it slammed into the rocks. The driver suffered broken bones and was sent to the hospital. Back said the driver has fully recovered.
Back said that the show’s producers spent roughly $60,000 locally on meals, hotels, tools, ATV rentals, hardware and supplies over the month they were in the county.
Back also said that three timber rattlesnakes were killed on the trail into Tatum Gulf just as filming was getting underway.
The participants constructed a shelter from small trees and survived only on things they could catch with their hands. Back said this included crawfish, mushrooms, creek fish, frogs, an unlucky armadillo, wild sweet potatoes, saw briars, and venomous snakes.
On day 21, the exhausted visitors managed to drag themselves up and out of Tatum Gulf and climb onto the bed of a waiting pickup truck that drove them away.
Back said that the program is expected to air early next year. No dates have been announced currently.