Producers for “Catfish: The TV Show” had applied to rent a pavilion at San Lee Park when they were filming the reality show here in late September, but apparently made other plans after the county declined to alter its liability agreement for the crew.
Social media in Sanford lit up on Sept. 22 after word began circulating that Catfish host Nev Schulman had been in town, including at La Dolce Vita Pizzeria, the Railroad House at Depot Park and the Smoke & Barrel, but there was no official confirmation at the time that they were actually filming an episode of the show that tracks down folks who pretend to be someone else on the internet.
Now, emails obtained by The Rant show an application by Andrew Bear of Burbank, California-based Quidnet Media to rent a shelter at Lee County’s San-Lee Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 24 . The application listed the proposed use as “filming.”
The application requires a signature by the renter accepting liability “for any injury to any person or damage to any park property, and county equipment” during the period of use. Bear, however, appears to have added language so the clause reads “I fully understand that I will be held liable for any injury to any person or damage to any park property, and county equipment arising from my actions or negligence during the period I use the facility” (emphasis added).
Emails show that county staff weren’t open to the additional language.
“I’m not crazy about their addition to the liability language because what happens if someone in their group causes injury to damage to park property during the course of the rental?” wrote Jennifer Gamble, the clerk to the Board of County Commissioners. “What if this person is merely the office person booking the rental and may not even be one of the people who will be at the rented location?”
County Manager John Crumpton said in another email that the county would be glad to host the film crew if Bear signed the form without additions.
“We won’t agree to the changes they made in the rental agreement,” Crumpton wrote. “So our agreement is as presented. If they will sign the agreement, I will sign and they can proceed.”
Bear wrote back to county officials that he couldn’t accept the language as it stands and would “unfortunately have to pass.”
“Thank you for trying,” he wrote.
Although the plan to film at San Lee didn’t come together, there’s plenty of documentation now that the show was filming locally, even if there’s very little information on who the Catfish (or Catfish-ee [spelling?]) might be.
We’ve reached out to Quidnet Media for information on when the episode will air and will provide an update if we receive any information.