‘Gold Rush’ Star Parker Schnabel Thinks Camera Crews Feel Mostly ‘Natural’ During Work

by Taylor Cunningham

Parker Schnabel has been mining on Gold Rush for so long that he doesn’t even notice the camera crews anymore.

The third-generation miner has been starring in his hit docu-series since 2011. And over the years, he’s appeared in a few Gold Rush spin-offs. He even became a producer when he started Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail in 2018.

So at this point, the filming process is second nature to Schnabel.

“For me, it’s natural now because the majority of my working life they’ve been around—since I’ve been 15. So I’m used to it,” he told Hidden Remote in 2016.

And since the Discovery Channel reality star practically grew up in the limelight, he has a hard time understanding when newcomers feel “uncomfortable” working for camera crews.

“I don’t’ even think about the cameras,” he admitted. “They are pains in the asses sometimes though. [laughs]”

Like most reality shows, Gold Rush likes to capitalize on drama. So when Parker is having a particularly bad day, he can bet that someone is going to stick a camera in his face and make everything worse. And they’re gonna stay with him longer than usual.

However, Parker Schnabel has a lot of respect for Gold Rush’s current production team. So, he can’t complain too much.

“The nice thing about Raw TV, the production company that works on the show, they’re a ton of fun to work with,” the mine boss shared. “They come from a strict documentary type background. It’s nice to have that because they’re getting the real story.”

How Real is the ‘Gold Rush’ Reality Series?

For the past two decades, Gold Rush has supposedly followed the true-to-life experiences of Alaska’s most popular gold miners. But is the series as real as it claims to be?

According to producer Ed Gorsuch, it is. But he admits that he tries to use the stars to add a little flair.

“We don’t just turn the cameras on and shoot randomly,” he told Reality Blurred in 2017. “We do focus on a story or character, and we do try to have a plan each day or at least each week on what we want to emphasize.”

But aside from that small bit of planning, Gorsuch claims the rest of the action plays out naturally. None of the stars read from scripts. And the crew doesn’t feed the miners lines or ideas from the sidelines.

“The miners do what they’re going to do, and we give shape to it,” Gorsuch admitted. “And that is the ideal thing.”

However, castmember Jimmy Dorsey says otherwise. According to a conversation he had with TV Overmind, Gold Rush editors mess with the footage to “create heroes and villains.”

And some people have claimed that Gold Rush producers sometimes misuse mining equipment—intentionally. And they pull the dangerous stunts just to create more on-screen action.