MTV’s CAGED is a documentary series that chronicles a group of recent high school graduates. Trapped in small-town Louisiana, their lives revolve around the escape-hatch of MMA fighting. For these modern day gladiators, every day is a fight to break free from the past…and to find their future. It’s their chance to turn their lives around, and an opportunity to stand up and fight to make something of themselves.
Caged Work Samples
History of the Project
The project was originally pitched to company owners Joke and Biagio by Travis Bible and Steve Harris, young editors and field producers. Travis had grown up in Shreveport, Louisiana. There Travis had seen the way mixed martial arts was starting to replace high school football as the “it” sport for the whole town.
Joke and Biagio encouraged Travis to put some of his friends and acquaintances on tape the next time he went home. That Christmas, Travis shot and edited an initial tape that proved amateur MMA was full of riveting characters.
MTV Docs felt the same way, and Joke Productions was commissioned to go to Louisiana and explore the world further.
The trip turned into a multi-year development period but was well worth it.
The Shooting Process
The series was filmed over the course of an entire year. In documentary style, cameras were allowed to roll for thousands of hours, capturing the cast and world with intimacy and authenticity.
This lead to a hyper-real, honest, and at times both hilarious and heartbreaking portrayal of young adults in small town America.
The midnight sneak-peek even trended on twitter.
MTV’s Caged was a joy for Joke Productions to make, and remains one of our most fulfilling filmmaking experiences.