Renee Wyatt, who stars in "American Guns" on the Discovery Channel, and her family are currently filming Season 2 of the reality show that focuses on their business Gunsmoke Guns. She shared exclusive behind-the-scenes information and details about the impact of filming on the family.
How has filming a reality show affected your family?
Renee: We're definitely closer. We're all striving towards one common goal with the TV show. It's something none of us are familiar with, so it's kind of an even playing field for parents and children alike. We're in business together, but we haven't had this kind of dynamic before. As a mom, I feel really fortunate to have the special opportunity to do something like this with my children. We have more time with our older children, but less time with our younger children. We have also had to postpone a couple of family vacations, but the enormous positive impact certainly offsets it. Given the choice, we would do it again in a heartbeat.
Would you be interested in doing a Season 3 of "American Guns"?
Renee: Definitely. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we're very grateful for it. We're having such a great time. Plus, our business has certainly benefitted, and that translates into a stronger foundation for our children and generations to come. Kurt and Paige have also benefitted in the many opportunities that have come their way.
What has been the impact of the show on your store?
Renee: Gunsmoke is thriving, and our customer base has become unbelievably diverse. We have tons of women and entire families coming in constantly. That's not typical of Gunsmoke prior to "American Guns."
Renee explained that the show condenses an enormous amount of information into one episode that has an impact on how many details get included.
Do you feel that the show is realistic or have the producers sometimes altered things to be construed differently?
Renee: The show is essentially about our business and our family. You can't portray an entire week's worth of events in 43 minutes and include every single detail. Some things are condensed. I think "American Guns" does a really good job in taking a slice of our life and making magic with it on screen. We haven't agreed 100 percent of the time with what they have chosen to focus on, but we're gun makers, not TV producers, so we totally trust their expertise in those types of judgment calls. Also, the crew members are not gun experts, so there have been times in the process of editing down the footage that a certain aspect of something has made an impression that we don't feel is quite right. That's just the nature of the beast, and we're trying really hard to avoid that in the future.
I remember Rich commentated once that the graphic shown on screen when detailing a gun modification was drawn improperly. Also, sometimes when Rich does a gun sale or build, they're not able to include every single detail, and the price seems unrealistic. When we sold that collection to Regan Smith, the race car driver, the sniper rifle was extremely rare and had expensive modifications along with some accessories. It drove the price of the group way up, and those details were not presented on screen.
Can you share any hints about upcoming episodes?
Renee: There is a lot more family dynamic in the upcoming episodes and some amazing gun builds. The gun buys coming up are over-the-top. We have some rare and surprising historical guns that are going to knock your socks off.
How do you feel about having celebrities join you on "American Guns"?
Renee: Personally, I am not all that celebrity crazy, but my husband is another story. He would love it. I completely respect and admire the incredible talent of celebrities, but I am not starstruck like Rich.
Can you share something from a recent episode that viewers did not get to see?
Renee: We fall down. We have laughing fits, spill things, and knock stuff over with cameras rolling every day. Just yesterday, I was walking across a field, got caught up in a hole and fell flat on my face. I'm not mentioning all of the pranks that are happening. We have so much crazy fun that you guys will never see.