– How do documentaries about super dangerous/illegal/risky activities get safely filmed? DOPE is about drugs, and they follow actual cartel members and the cops. How do the doc crew get clearance? Is there any protection for them?

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I’m watching DOPE, which is a series dedicated to drugs and how they’re made, trafficked, and sold.

We have doc crews filming people cooking giant vats of heroin, interviewing cartel members, and riding along with illegal trafficking trips. They also travel with special ops drug task forces in high risk search and seizures.

How do doc crews do this? What protection do they have? How can they film illegal substances and simultaneously protect the identities of the people they’re filming and themselves? Would they be liable in a seizure if they’re riding along?

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Long story short they pay them, as well as those cartels like people to know how much power they have. It shows them off in a “good” light in their eyes.

Most people like to be on camera. And in war zones, media can’t be “armed”, must be distinguishable from a combatant, and can’t be shot.