Behind the show: The Incredible Dr. Pol

The Incredible Dr. Pol is just that with the top-notch film crew behind it. National Geographic Wild aired the reality television show following the vet in 2011 and it has been a hit ever since. Many people sit and watch Jan Pol and his colleagues every Saturday evening to see what the new animal emergency is but few think about how much work goes into making the show. With twelve hour work days, the crew plans to the best of their ability but they never really know when the next farm call is going to come in or when Dr. Pol will change his work day around. That is just part of the way things go in reality television, according the team that works on the show.

Alex Mikus, a Full Sail University graduate that was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. has been working on the show for over a year. He is a camera assistant but he worked his way up from that first phone call. “I had just graduated college and a friend of a friend gave me a call and asked if I wanted to work on the show. I started as a production assistant but with hard work I got promoted.

The crew that varies in age and experience level has fun while working with there new family. Mikus said that when you work 12-hour shifts with people for weeks you get close with them, its bound to happen. Between the producers, camera operators, sound technicians and assistants the television show is riveting and untraditional.

The show airs 9 p.m. on Nat Geo Wild. 


Temporarily Missing Home

More families suffer from having a family member who battles with alcoholism than meets the eye. This project on Bill Millard and his family shows what it is like for a family to have a parent/spouse in jail for drunk driving offenses by exploring their normal day-to-day life and the new struggles that come up with having an temporary absent father and husband. Ultimately I wanted the audience to feel the pain alcoholics put on their family and understand that it is something many different types of families deal with. It is also something that can be worked on with time and patience. Alcoholism is not something to recover from easily but with a supportive family and the will to change Bill has a chance to change his life forever. I followed Bill Millard who is serving a year at the Isabella County Jail for 5 drunk driving offences and his time out of the jail on work release in Farwell, Mich. I also spent time with his wife DeAnn and two sons Steven and David.

The Isabella County Jail is a strict small town jail that has old time views that I had to respect while photographing this story. I was not allowed to photograph in the jail. I was also cut off from making any further contact with Bill while he was serving time. Bill was threatened with losing his one saving grace, his work release. I am disappointed that I did not get to show the entirety of this story because I really wanted to show it to help others who may be suffering from the same situation at home.

I hope that one day when I am able to show this project to a larger audience and that it can make as least one other person feel not so alone.