Saturday, September 17, 2005

Key West Real World Jobs: Spray On Tan

Looks like the Key West Real World cast will have a unique job for the tropical island. Plans are underway for the castmembers to work in a spray-on tanning salon which is being created just for the show. Here is a sign presently in the window of the future salon:

The owner of the house where the show is being taped, Andrew Lippi, also owns a building on upper Duval Street that until recently housed two art galleries. One of the galleries is still there, but the other, named The Pineapple Gallery, has closed its doors and is currently being refashioned into a tanning salon. Word is they'll only have the salon open for 6 months, and when production is over it will close...maybe to turn back into a gallery again. More about Key West is at
Here is the Key West building permit displayed in the window of the future salon:

In reality (no pun intended), Key West is one big tanning booth. Step outdoors and you will be blasted with intense sun-tanning rays: all free. Why anyone would want to spray on a tan while in Key West is beyond me. It rarely rains for long, much less days at a time.
Unless, maybe they'll be trying to push the definition of a spray-on tan and do body painting for Fantasy Fest. That would make some good television.
For MTV's Real World producers, this is one stop shopping. One owner for the castmembers house and job.
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Friday, September 16, 2005

Key West Employees Forbidden From MTV Show

Solares Hill, the Key West weekly free-for-locals paper, reported that Ed Swift has forbidden his employees from being filmed by MTV's Real World.
In this weeks Soundings column, Mark Howell wrote:
"A memo addressed to all "cast members" at Historic Tours of America -
meaning its Conch train and trolley drivers, attendants and ticket-takers - was
sent out this month by Linda Test, director of HTA's Key West operations.
Headed "MTV 'Real World' Filming, it instructs:

"At no time will it be acceptable for any castmember to be filmed or
interviewed during work hours or while in unifrom by anone of MTV's 'Real
World.' Any requests for photos or interviews must go through Piper Smith,
marketing director.
"Should you decide to participate in any filming during your personal time, no reference to HTA or its affiliates may be mentioned.
"Failure to comply will be grounds for disciplinary action and
possible termination."
I have a feeling this is not what it at first seems. Maybe Ed Swift, owner of HTA, wants controlled & free publicity, and is going to negotiate a "settlement" with MTV if they'll use his brands tastefully. Also, maybe he doesn't want an employee to say something he'll regret - this is, after all, a huge television show coming to Key West.
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Key West Real World Begins Filming

Despite a local businessman's legal challenges, the Key West Real World has begun filming. The cast members are in the house and production has begun. A hearing is scheduled in the County Court for Wednesday September 21, 2005 where a judge will hear decide on whether to issue an injuction to stop production.
I would guess that this will not happen. My suspicion is that the local businessman, Ed Swift (owner of the biggest tour operation on the island - the Conch Tour Train and Trolley), will be satisfied if he can get MTV to include his business in the production...maybe have the cast members take a Train tour. Just my speculation, but I wouldn't put it past him. He known as a very aggressive businessman.
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Monday, September 12, 2005

Rare Look Inside: View the House Lease for MTV's Real World Key West

I have had a chance to look at the lease agreement between MTV producers for the Real World and the owner of the house where the upcoming season of the reality show is planned. With rent of $25,000 per month, this is anything but a "real world" scenario.
I couldn't put the lease on this blog - it would be unreadable with the built in Blogger image optimization/reduction. So, I've posted it at my online guide to Key West.
Click the link below to see the lease
The lease is very interesting reading and a rare look behind the scenes at MTV. If you want to see more of this kind of information, let me know. If there is interest, I'll post the entire complaint, filed by a local businessman, against MTV for disrupting his peaceful neighborhood with the upcoming production.
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Key West Real World: New Date Set for Hearing Against Production

The date has been changed for the hearing of Ed Swift's complaint. Instead of the previous date of this Tuesday, the hearing has been rescheduled for Wednesday September 21, 2005 at 1:30 pm. This is a hearing to be held at the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West Florida. The judge will decide whether to issue an injuction against MTV against filming the upcoming Real World season in Swift's neighborhood.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Key West Real World Producers Due in Court This Week

Here is where things are as far as the Key West Real World. Filming has not begun. Things are on hold until a local complaint is heard by the county court.
On August 24, 2005, Key West businessman Ed Swift and his wife filed a complaint against Bunim-Murray Productions. The Swifts live across the street from a house MTV producers have rented in order to film a season of their reality show Real World. Naming a list of nuisances they anticipate, the Swifts have thrown a big wrench in the taping schedule. As of now, there is a motion for a temporary injunction.
The hearing is scheduled for this Tuesday, September 13 at 3:15 pm. I'll post what I learn.
Also, thanks for visiting my Key West blog!
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Friday, September 02, 2005

Locals Lash Out At Swift Over MTV Show

When word got out of Ed Swift's lawsuit against the Real World, MTV's popular reality tv program due to be filmed in his neighborhood near Key West, islanders were quick to criticize the mega-tourism businessman for ignoring their similar pleas. Though a couple were sympathetic, overwhelmingly Key Westers had little sympathy for Swift. Here are a few of the comments, as printed in the local paper:
"So MTV is filming a reality video next door to the Key Haven home of Ed Swift. I hope they're able to incorporate into the video some of the reality of living in Old Town Key West. Such as the Conch Train or the Trolley's loudspeakers and tooting horns."
"Mr. Swift, I really object your trains running by my house on Elizabeth Street four times an hour every 15 to 20 minutes broadcasting how pretty my plants are."
"I've watched every season of MTV's 'Real World' since the beginning in 1993. I know every house and every cast member but I cannot tell you a single thing about any of their neighbors, their neighbors' lives, their children's lives or their houses. Ed Swift just needs to chill out and be tolerant for three months as I am every half hour as the Conch Train passes slowly by and pictures are taken."
"Ed, I feel your pain. Tell you what, let's do a survey of all the residents from Key West to Key Largo and see what they think. Then we can appoint a county committee to study it. After that we may want to do a quality of life study. We'll get to the bottom of it, I promise."
"It seems that Ed Swift would appreciate the publicity that MTV will bring to the Keys. More people riding his trains."
"Give Ed Swift a break. If you live in Old Town you live in a mixed residential/commercial area. Key Haven is a residential suburb. When you move to the suburbs you have an expectation of peace and quiet. If the Real World house was next to mine, I'd let my dog poop on their lawn."
"I don't care if Ed Swift has every license under the sun and MTV doesn't. This is still funny as hell. Go 'Real World,' go."
"Come on, let's be fair. Having a Conch Train go by your house the last 47 years is not the same as having MTV move in next door to you 24-7. The Conch Train shows off what's positive about Key West. Is MTV's The Real World the image we really want to portray anyway?"
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