Real-life rookies on Recruits

Recruits' student Mitch Flemming talks about what it takes to film the TEN factual at NSW Police Academy.

In about a month's time 22-year-old Mitch Flemming will find out whether he graduates from the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn.

Flemming, originally from Newcastle, is one of the participants in the second season of TEN's factual series, Recruits. But if training to become a policeman isn't bad enough, he also has to contend with the demands of a television crew.

"The first few weeks having a camera in your face you don’t know what to do, you don’t know how to act in front of it," he says. "But after a while you're just yourself and you forget they're there in your face and you say something that you probably regret saying. You forget that you've got a microphone on sometimes and a bit of swearing comes out. Just normal things.

"But you just end up being yourself and it's a great bunch of people that you work with down here. Everyone seems to get used to the cameras after a while, I guess."

Flemming gave up a successful career as a builder to study at the academy, but says it will be a skill to fall back on if he doesn't make it.

For Recruits he is filmed at work, at play and back at home with his family. Occasionally some of the others in his class give him a bit of good-natured ribbing over his fledgling TV career too.

"I cop a fair bit from the boys in the class, giving you a bit of grief. But I’m not too sure if nicknames go around. I know a lot of people try and avoid you so they're not on camera," he says.

"Some people try and dodge you to make sure that their face doesn't get put on camera. But I think everyone gets treated the same down here, it's just that someone's got cameras following them, really."

Flemming, who admits to being a bit of a joker, says only occasionally has the crew asked to re-stage a moment for the cameras.

"That has happened once or twice. There might have been something funny said or the way we did something they might not have got the angle they wanted. I've been asked to do things a couple of times again but normally most of the time if they miss it, they miss it. Hopefully it happens again.

"At the start of session one they were following quite a few of us and I think a lot of people were putting on a different act for it all. I don't change for anyone, I'm always myself so I think that's one of the reasons why they probably stuck to me. I think when people are on camera, they are trying to act a little bit tougher or a little bit smarter just so it looks good on TV.

"But I guess we won't find out what happens until the series comes out, really."

Recruits airs 8pm Thursdays on TEN.

Watch a sneak peek of Recruits season two.

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