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Survivor Production Team

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Survivor Production Team
Medical Team

Dr. Ramona Salins, a Survivor medic, checks up Mike Borassi.

Occupation On call Medical Team
Years Active 2000-present

The Survivor Production Team are the crew who work behind-the-scenes to produce Survivor.

Composed of 300-400 employees, they arrive at the filming location months before filming to construct and design the set and to ensure the safety of the contestants before filming begins. The team stays on location for three months, although this has been extended to six months since back-to-back shooting has become commonplace. Alongside the standard crew, the Production Team also hires locals of the region, in turn generating revenue and helping boost their economy.[1]

Base Camp

Base camp is where the crew stays for the entire duration of the game. Take note that parts of the base camp may vary from each season.

Parts of Base Camp

Tent City

While certain employees wait for the cabins to be built, they usually live in tents until their collapsible cabins are built.


Air-conditioned collapsible cabins are used to shelter the production crew. Cabins have their own closets and working bathrooms


The Production Team is a community of crew members which is composed of both Americans and locals. They build up how the series is going to pan out, from the challenges, locations such as Tribal Council, and the twists that will be peppered in a season.


Although not seen on camera (with the exception of Jeff Probst, who serves as host), a producer will ultimately make the last decision on events that happen away from camp. For example:

  • Whether or not an injured castaway who has been away for a period of time will return (if medics allowed them to stay); or
  • If a castaway quits the competition during the jury phase of the competition, whether or not they ascertain the right to serve as a juror.


Several cameramen are commissioned to film in challenge grounds, Tribal Council and at the survivors' camps. While they are present at the castaways' camps, they are to shoot them 24/7. They are also responsible for filming confessionals. Though the castaways are allowed to talk to them, the cameramen will not talk back. At camp, fewer are stationed to film the castaways' downtime. Cameramen also pull aside the castaways to do their confessionals to explain conversations that are not filmed.


While there are audio personnel who are responsible for planting secret microphones in challenge areas, there are others who work with the cameramen to film castaways.

Medical Team

The Survivor medical team are always on hand 24 hours a day to assist, diagnose, and support the castaways in the event of injuries or serious illnesses. If at any point medical attention is required, either a castaway in need or the host calls the medics for help. The team consists of three doctors, three paramedics and two nurses who stay at a clinic at base camp. They cover tribe camps, challenge sites and Ponderosa. They also tend to the production team's health concerns.[2] The medical team also has the authority to remove contestants from the game if the situation calls for it and send them to a hospital for further treatment. 

Dr. Ramona Salins is the most recognizable member of the Medical Department on Survivor. A New Zealand native, she is usually present whenever a castaway's health is compromised.


The medical team as of Survivor: San Juan del Sur are:

  • Ben Canalese (medical director)
  • Ramona Salins
  • Ana Phillis

Art Department

The Art Department is the team who helps build the motif of the season around the castaways. In some cases, they get outside sources, such as locals, to help with their work. They are also responsible for the aesthetic look of the Tribal Council set, Jeff Probst's snuffers, and other things.

Marine Department

Consisting of boat captains, mechanics, safety swimmers and divers, the Marine Department is in charge of the marine transportation of the contestants, crew members, props and equipment.[3] The department also helps the Challenge Department construct props for water challenges and film underwater scenes. Locals with boating experience may also be hired. The marine department also ensures that they have enough boats in situations such as medical evacuations, quits and intolerable storms. In preparation for storms, the department routinely checks weather reports.


  • Henni Rall (Marine and Transport Manager)
  • Maui Postma (Marine Coordinator)
  • Megan Williams (Dockmaster and Coordinator)

Challenge Department

Working hand-in-hand with the art department, they work on challenge ideas. A group of individuals called the "Dream Team" tests the challenges first before the challenge can properly be used in the game.

Dream Team

The "Dream Team" is composed of 16-20 people, usually in their early 20's, who test run the challenges before the actual castaways perform them. Dream Team members run through the challenge, ideally just as the castaways would, while the cameramen, directors and producers practice filming. Interestingly, in some cases, the castaways performed the challenge very differently compared to how the Dream Team did it.[4][5]

The Dream Teamers also sit as "guinea pigs" at Tribal Council to look for the best lighting and camera positioning that will expose the castaways best.[6]



The production team needs surveyors to create maps of the whole location for easy transport.


The US production crew also hires local workers for supplies like lumber and other materials needed for challenges, Tribal Council sets, and the like.


  • Contrary to popular belief, Ponderosa is not located at base camp.
  • Aside from being host, Jeff Probst also works as an Executive Producer of the series.

See also


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