Making his dream a reality – Arnold Perez

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After two years of working in reality TV post–production, Arnold Perez has landed the role of Associate Producer. He excitedly tells us how he reached his goal and about the realities of working in this world.

Whether you're a fan of reality TV or just curious about what goes on behind the scenes, Arnold Perez is the man to talk to. Only two years into his career and Arnold has already worked on a smorgasbord of shows, namely Australian Survivor, Shark Tank, X Factor, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, The Bachelor and MasterChef. That's an impressive resumé, you have to admit.

With such a grounding in one of the most popular of TV genres, we asked Arnold if he could share a few secrets, or at least tell us what it's like to work on these shows. 'Australian Survivor was the most fun,' he tells us. 'Partly because of the people, but mostly because it's where I learned the ropes. The toughest was I'm A Celebrity. It was the UK version of the show, shot in Queensland. I was away from home for six weeks, live logging 12 hours a day, six days a week. It was fun, but such a tough gig.'

Bringing it all together

What does your role entail?

'I work in post–production, so I come in towards the end,' he explains. 'On Survivor, which was my first role, my job was to take notes and come up with storylines. Nowadays I basically prioritise what goes to air, as well as time manage the workload of the assembly editors.'

He continues by telling us why his job is so time consuming. 'Most of the editors and post–producers work on one episode at a time but I work across all the episodes. This means that I become the point of the contact for the whole series and for the storyline.'

How it becomes a reality

Arnold may be busy, but we quickly learn how much he thoroughly enjoys his job. 'I love being a fly on the wall. I find it engrossing. I also love the people I work with. They're far more interesting to me than the contestants.'

He wasn't always planning on a career in reality TV though. It was while he was studying at film school that a friend at Fremantle Media offered him a four day post–production role on X Factor. What began as a way to make money whilst writing and directing his own film projects, quickly became a career, as reality TV doors began opening for Arnold. 'I was only going to do it for a couple of years but I realised I loved it and I'm actually very good at it,' he tells us.

Doing what he loves

So, does Arnold see himself staying in reality TV?

'My friends and I are always coming up with our own reality TV formats that we'd like to see happen in the future. But I also have a lot of other goals. I still work on my own film projects and other projects with mates.'

For instance, there are a couple of film ideas about the Mardi Gras that he'd like to make – one a documentary and the other a scripted short. On top of these, he's also hoping to make a film for Tropfest.

Arnold concludes by telling us how blessed he feels to be able to work on his own films, and then come back to a paid job that he loves. It seems like he's found himself his own winning format.