Makah host film crew for National Geographic survival show

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

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NEAH BAY — Filming on the Makah reservation has wrapped up for a survival reality series set to air on the National Geographic Channel some time next year.

Mike Rainey, Makah business manager, said a film crew of about 30 finished filming for the as yet unnamed show last Tuesday after a roughly three-week stint traversing the wilderness areas of the reservation.

“They loved it,” Rainey said. “They hope to be able to come back and do more.”

Rainey said he could not offer too many details on the filming until the air date gets closer but could say it will be part of a new National Geographic series.

“It’s been a good experience for the tribe,” Rainey said.

“They’ve been sensitive to our needs and respectful of our land.”

Chad Sandhas, spokesman for the National Geographic Channel, said the footage captured on the Makah reservation could end up in as many as four episodes of the new reality series.

“The series will not actually air until 2015,” Sandhas said.

The new TV show joins a bevy of other reality series airing on national networks and filmed on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The most recent of these is the History Channel version of “Top Gear,” whose hosts filmed an episode driving log trucks with West End drivers in April.

History Channel shows “Ax Men” and “Ice Road Truckers” have also either filmed on the Peninsula or featured area residents.

Also filmed on the West End is “The Legend of Mick Dodge,” which recently was renewed by the National Geographic Channel for another season.

Rainey said he could not detail specific locations where shots for the new reality series were filmed but said they included locales in the reservation’s wooded areas and along its rivers and coastlines.

“They absolutely loved the terrain that [we have] here,” Rainey said.

“The natural beauty, and I’m going to say the wilderness of the terrain.”

Rainey said film crew employed about eight tribal members as guides through the reservation lands and to help with production.

The film crew also stayed in lodgings on the reservation and ate in local restaurants, Rainey said.

“They were welcomed here and are welcome back,” Rainey said.

Meredith Parker, general manager of the Makah Tribe, said the film crew’s presence both exposes the reservation as a setting for future film production and has direct economic impacts through the patronage of the reservation’s resorts and eateries.

“That’s a real benefit,” Parker said.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: June 22. 2014 6:43PM
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