Stranded With a Million Dollars: How MTV Spied on Contestants for Real-Life Hunger Games

MTV’s forthcoming reality series, Stranded With a Million Dollars, explores what happens when people stop being polite and start trying to win a million dollars. On an island. In the South Pacific.

The producers of the show, formerly called Stranded With a Million Bucks, left the 10 cast members on a tiny Fijian island for 40 days with nothing but the clothes they arrive in. It’s up to them to figure out how to survive. They can buy anything they might need, but it’s deducted from their winnings. Oh, about that–the one mil is divided amongst those still standing at the end. And of course the whole thing is filmed with drones and robocams to make the survivalists feel even more isolated.

If this is starting to sound a bit like, oh, The Hunger Games, you aren’t the first to notice. Even the show’s executive producer, Kevin Lee, concedes that watching it all from the control room was “creepy.” But also kind of cool. The production team needed all manner of drones, tree-mounted cameras, batteries, and magic mics to capture the action, and had to ensure it all survived the cyclones, wind, and other challenges of tropical weather. “Technology and the jungle doesn’t mix,” he says.

Stranded With a Million Dollars premieres February 21. Find out how Lee and his team pulled it all off in the video above.

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