It’s not every day that New York Film Academy documentary students have a chance to meet a man whose past jobs range from running for U.S. Congress in Kentucky to portraying “Balthazar the Monkey Boy” in a touring carnival attraction. On Monday, October 24th, students met the man, Eric Streit.
Though of the most prolific and successful reality television showrunners in Hollywood don’t be fooled by Streit’s eclectic job history. His hit credits include Gator Boys, Mall Cops and New Girls on the Block. Streit’s heart lies in the sometimes crazy world of reality television.
Streit sat down with documentary students in New York Film Academy LA’s Industry Perspectives to discuss breaking into reality television. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Streit began his show biz career as a stuntman and actor. When he was hired to blow up a car for and pulling off the stunt on a tiny budget, Streit discovered his affinity for field producing for reality TV.
After working as a director on the Dr. Phil Show and as a producer on the docu-reality series Intervention, Streit produced 189 episodes of Little People Big World and was then able to move up to the rank of showrunner.
Streit spoke about how he prefers reality television to feature films in terms of production. “With TV you can go in with a 5 or 6 person crew and shoot in no time,” Streit said. Streit sees the reality television world as the “Wild West”. The only rule is hard work pays off.
Students were treated to previously unaired sizzle reels. Streit broke down the rules to what goes into making a good program and how it’s marketed. New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Streit for giving the students a detailed, thorough and highly entertaining look at the inner workings of reality television.