After the governor of California issued a stay-at-home order in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kris Jenner came up with a brilliant idea.
“[She suggested], ‘What if we just shoot everything ourselves?’” Keeping Up With the Kardashians executive producer Farnaz Farjam told Elle on Monday, May 18, noting that she and the momager, 64, had previously considered assigning a cameraperson to each family member or postponing filming completely.
Farjam, who has worked on the E! reality series since 2007, was down to try it, so she made sure that the Kardashian-Jenners had all of the necessary tools. At first, the family captured footage on their personal cellphones and uploaded it to a shared album.
“But as we [saw it come in], I was like, ‘Oh, people are going to get sick of seeing this [poor quality] footage like this,’” Farjam told the magazine. “We needed to get them proper interview spaces [for confessionals].”
And so, the EP hired a director of photography and a technician to set up tripods in Kim Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian’s homes. The team wore hazmat suits and used sanitary wipes to avoid any potential contamination. In addition, a showrunner delivers new iPhones to each KarJenner every Monday and picks up the ones they used to film themselves the week prior so that the show’s editors can start working on the episodes for season 18.
“Sometimes you’ll hear them mumbling under their breath, ‘Who knew a camera person’s job would be so hard?!’” Farjam said of the reality stars. “But, like, that’s funny. That’s gold. That’s stuff we want to include in the show.”
The Bunim/Murray Productions senior vice president of entertainment and development teased that she is particularly “excited for people to see” Kim, 39, in quarantine with her family.
“[She had] to juggle everything on her own, especially early on, when it was so, so scary,” Farjam said. “Now people have been quarantining for a long time and have trusted people in their lives to help them out, but in the beginning they didn’t have that. Watching Kim juggle four kids will be really relatable. No matter how big her house is, four kids is four kids. It’s a lot.”
“He’s totally showing a way more mature side of himself,” she said of the Cleveland Cavaliers player, 29. “I think so much more [highly] of him now. Not that I didn’t like him before, I just like him so, so much more.”
Fans got a first look at the Kardashian-Jenners filming themselves when the season 18 trailer dropped in May. In the teaser, Kylie Jenner revealed that “someone so close to home has tested positive,” although she did not say who.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians returns on E! in September.
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