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Phoenix family's lifestyle featured in Shanghai World Expo

2010. 7 January

by Valeria Fernández
( The Reids have gotten used to being followed by cameras almost every second. But not because this Mountain Sky family stars in a new reality TV show.

They are among six families in cities across the world whose lifestyle will be featured in an urban-diversity multimedia film project at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.

"We didn't try to change anything about what we do," said Rich Reid, 49, a Cox Communications senior sports producer for Cox 7, Arizona. "We're what we are."

The World Expo is considered the equivalent to an Olympics of science and technology. The event will start May 1 and end Oct. 31. It is expected to have participation from 200 countries and to attract more than 70 million visitors.

The other families featured come from Rotterdam, Netherlands; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Zhengzhou, China; and Melbourne, Australia.

The experiences of each will be compared, focusing on five themes: home, health, learn, work and connected, said Don'Shea Brown, Phoenix correspondent for the "Urbanian Pavilion" project.

A nine-member Chinese crew spent eight days in November and December filming the Reids doing anything from going to the dentist to dirt biking to a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

"They're showing their pursuit of happiness; the goal is to show that, despite your condition, we all share the same hopes, " said Brown, who is also a local producer at 4 TV productions.

The Reids have a hectic weekly schedule, said Becky, 47, a seventh-grade math teacher at Mountain Sky Junior High. Children Brit and Reeze are involved in afterschool activities.

Brit, 14, takes acting lessons and volunteers with the mother-daughter program of the National Charity League.

Reeze, 11, a sixth-grader at Lookout Mountain Elementary School, plays club baseball with the Diamond Dogs.

Rich coaches Shaw Butte's Little League baseball team.

"We try to find time to spend together, especially on Sundays," Rich said. "That's where the whole family sits down to eat."

Rich said the project crew took an interest in showing their day-to-day quality-of-life issues, focusing on work hours, water consumption and the electricity bill. The crew even wanted to buy his 2000 Chevy truck to display it at the exhibit.

Some details of the technology involved in the project are being kept under wraps.

This will be a documentary but also an exhibit where the families' activities will be displayed in three-dimensional images in different settings, Brown said.

The film project also features Phoenix sites, including the library, Desert Botanical Garden and the Scottsdale Art Walk.

The family hopes to travel to Shanghai to meet their counterparts, but so far that doesn't seem likely.