Bites at Animal Planet

6 Jun

Keith Hoffman: "I Don't Think I'm in Kansas Anymore"

 

Keith Hoffman Files a Final Report on Shooting a New Season of Hillbilly Handfishin'

Actually I was in Oklahoma but it felt like Kansas when I and some of the crew drove home from our final day in the water with tornados and storms all around us.  (Yet another thing beside snakes, spiders and wild boars that can kill you in Oklahoma.)  

Yet as I return to my desk at Animal Planet (still no bunny rabbit sorting my mail), I’ll miss the wide-open spaces, the friendly people, and the communion with nature both dangerous and beautiful.

hillbilly handfishin crew


The Hillbilly Handfishin' crew hard at work!

 

I’ll miss the crew who can’t change the channel when the snakes look too creepy but have to keep trudging on through muck and mire.   The crew who travelled from all over the country to shoot the show for three months and sleep on the grounds in tiny trailers far from their beloved spouses, partners, family and friends.  (There is a strict policy on the set:  No “Showmances” or as I call them “Hillbilly Handcrushes” between crew members.)

Hh-crew


Just another day at the "office" for the HH team

 

I’ll miss the guests who arrive off the van dazed and nervous and then are best friends by the end of a week of sharing meals, sleeping quarters and the experience of catching catfish with their bare hands — like walking on the moon, this something only a small number of people can relate to.

Hh-interview


Guests are welcome with open arms

 

And mostly I will miss Skipper, Jackson, Joann and Jeannie.  They and their families open their lives to our motley crew as we scream in terror when cows rush towards us and ooh with delight at double rainbows at the end of a terrifying storm.  

hillbilly handfishin rainbow


Just another day in the life of a Hillbilly Handfisher

 

As I drove at 3 a.m. along the back roads of OK to the airport (half expecting a Bigfoot to cross in front of my car), I knew I was leaving with a life experience I would not forget — enriched from being away from my desk and coming face-to-face intimately with nature.  (A point I was again reminded of when a bat swooped at my head as I exited my rental car — luckily no one was there to hear my screams).

And now it’s hard to believe the Hillbillies and crew are starting all over again with a new set of guests in the water today:  cops, cocktail waitresses and ballroom dancers ...

I’m jealous I’m not there.  

keith and jackson


Keith (Left) and Jackson before they rode off into the sunset, marking the end to another perfect handfishin' day

 

P.S.  Watch another great show Louisiana Lockdown this Friday at 10pm.  Prisoners and animals in Angola Prison in Louisiana! 

If it does well I’ll blog from inside jail.

 


Keith Hoffman is Executive Producer for Hillybilly Handfishin’ (and Louisiana Lockdown!) on Animal Planet. 

 

(Photo Credits: Courtesy of Keith Hoffman)

about the blog

Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

Advertisement
archives
Advertisement

shows

 

video

 

mobile

stay connected

our sites

shop

corporate